CONFIRMED: Leadsom Pulls Out

leadsom-times

As of 11:32am sources say Andrea Leadsom is pulling out. She had been genuinely shattered by the motherhood row over the weekend. A statement is coming at noon…

UPDATE 12:13pm: Confirmed, she’s out. You read it here first.

Now Rachel Sylvester Contradicts Her Own Story

Last night Twitter was lively and claiming that Andrea Leadsom had brought up the subject of family and motherhood, this was briefed to the Sunday Times’ political editor Tim Shipman:

This morning Rachel Sylvester was out defending her story, claiming that it was Andrea who introduced the issue of family:

However the partial audio released from The Times has Rachel Sylvester introducing the issue in a question thus:

Rachel Sylvester: “Does your family inform your politics? Do you think motherhood – I thought it was very interesting during the debates you several times said, ‘as a mum’. Do you feel like a mum in politics?”

Which clearly contradicting Rachel’s claim made at 09:04 to the BBC:

Rachel Sylvester: “What was so striking was it was she her introduced the issue of family, I didn’t raise it at all… it wasn’t I who introduced it, she did.”

An hour later at 10:04 the BBC has Rachel Sylvester saying she did raise the question:

So apparently contradictory assertions. Goes without saying that Leadsom completely denies raising the issue, calling the claim “gutter journalism”. The only way to establish whether or not Andrea Leadsom has been stitched up is to release the full recording – something The Times is refusing to do…

LISTEN: Partial Times Audio Excerpt

The Times have released a partial excerpt audio recording of the key part of Andrea Leadsom’s interview with Rachel Sylvester:

Rachel Sylvester: “Does your family inform your politics? Do you think motherhood – I thought it was very interesting during the debates you several times said, as a mum. Do you feel like a mum in politics?”

Andrea Leadsom: “Yes. Really carefully because I am sure Theresa will be really sad she doesn’t have children so I don’t want this to be ‘Andrea has children, Theresa hasn’t’, do you know what I mean? Because I think that would be really horrible. But genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake. She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.”

In Andrea’s defence, Sylvester brought up the subject of motherhood and asked the question about her being a mum. Suggestions from the Twitter outrage bus that this was a Trumpian ploy are way over the top. Leadsom’s horror at the Times headline “Being a mother gives me edge on May” is genuine. It was naive rather than nasty…

FLASHBACK: Leadsom Grills Bob Diamond in 2012

Sky’s Faisal Islam has dug out this video of Andrea Leadsom forensically grilling Bob Diamond at the Treasury select committee in 2012. She may well have given her CV a bit of a gloss. But no one can deny she knows her stuff…

Leadsom For Leader March on Parliament

With hindsight this was perhaps not such a good idea.

Vids via Jim Waterson, Jason Farrell and Arj Singh.

Andrea’s CV Mis-Lead Some

Andrea Leadsom has released her CV in an attempt to dispel claims she exaggerated her City career. Leadsom today says that she was a “Deputy Financial Institutions Director” at Barclays. Yet the CV she submitted when she was a Tory candidate in 2005 claimed she was the boss – the “Financial Institutions Director, managing team of 30”, not the deputy. Some interesting quotes from unnamed bankers in there too. Guido this morning asked Andrea’s team to help clear it up – no answer yet. To be fair, this isn’t creativity of Mak-ian proportions either. C’mon, who hasn’t given their CV a little gloss ahead of a big job interview…

Tory Public Declarations Latest

TORY LEADERSHIP

Theresa May won 165 votes yesterday but has only 118 supporters publicly declared. This means she has around 50 spare backers whom her rivals fear she will employ tactically in order to guarantee her preferred opponent makes the ballot. Naturally Team TM deny they will gerrymander the vote.

Two Fox supporters – David Nuttall and Edward Leigh – have publicly jumped over to Leadsom. Another – Robert Syms – has gone to May. Gove will be working hard stressing his liberal credentials to Crabb backers. The bookies are now offering near enough the same odds for a May-Gove ballot as a May-Leadsom…

Mordaunt Attacks “Bogus” Leadsom Claims, Defends “Stellar” City CV

Andrea Leadsom has admitted making “misleading” claims about her City career to today’s Times, following up a story questioning her credentials on Iain Martin’s new site Reaction. Andrea’s campaign chief Penny Mordaunt has just been on the Today programme attacking the article as “bogus” and insisting she had a “stellar” banking career. This isn’t the first time an ambitious Tory has been accused of talking up their City CV – remember Sajid Javid last year. Leadsom’s main obstacle is clearly going to be questions over her experience. Guido fact: she has more actual ministerial experience than David Cameron did before he became Tory leader…

Leadsom’s Old Blog a Little Old School

Twitter lefties and Lobby hacks are trawling through Andrea Leadsom’s old blog written back before she was an MP. Expect to see her musings taken out of context and spun for the worst possible headline. Guido has had a look himself – she comes over as well-meaning but a little old school. In one blogpost she expresses her discomfort at gay adoption:

“There’s a truly unbelievable story in the paper today, that a young brother and sister… have been turned down for adoption by their own grandparents… If that weren’t enough, the siblings are now to be adopted by two complete strangers against the wishes of the grandparents… And as if that weren’t enough, the two strangers are a gay couple, who have been selected ahead of several heterosexual couples.”

In another post Leadsom rails against political correctness, writing:

“I’m sick and tired of political correctness… I don’t want my daughter to be taught by a woman with a veil covering her face. What’s wrong with wanting to communicate face to face?”

In this well-intentioned article condemning racism, she uses the old-fashioned phrase “coloured people”.

“During my campaign, I had come across a small number of (mostly) young men, who had strongly racist views. They told me they would only vote for a party that was willing to get rid of black and coloured people from this country. What struck me as strange is that they weren’t bothered about the thousands of white Europeans arriving from Central and Eastern Europe”

Expect her enemies to use this as ammo, suspect Andrea will not be harmed with this electorate…

ConHome Poll Shows Neck and Neck Race

conhome poll leadership

Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May were tied in ConservativeHomemost recent self-selecting leadership poll. While Leadsom has largely replaced Boris in the previous week’s poll, Gove lags, just ahead of Fox (previously tied with Leadsom for third) into fifth place. Guido suspects the next leader of the Tories is going to be a woman…

Leadsom in Second Place

TORY LEADERSHIP monday 4 july

At Monday lunchtime Andrea Leadsom is firmly in second place on public declarations. She’s been endorsed by Theresa Villiers and has secured more names on the older Tory right – James Gray had been down as a Fox supporter but has switched allegiance, Redwood and Rosindell are also backing her. Curious to see Remain campaigner Dan Poulter endorsing Leadsom. Makes you wonder about those ‘May supporters backing rivals‘ rumours…

Readers should know that Guido’s is the only list recording confirmed public declarations – rival lists contain unconfirmed speculation, much of which has been denied to Guido by MPs and the campaign teams. That isn’t a criticism – in the game of snakes n’ leaders some MPs will inevitably privately tell several candidates they have their support, or refuse to publicly declare. A public promise is worth far more…

View our spreadsheet here.

Andrea’s “Journey” From Remainer to Brexiteer

Andrea Leadsom’s first test in a major one-on-one interview was bumpy – she admitted she used to be a Remainer, wouldn’t rule out giving Farage a job and was unprepared for questions about her taxes. In 2013 she said “I’m going to nail my colours to the mast here. I don’t think the UK should leave the EU. I think it would be a disaster for the economy”. If Stronger In had been half competent this would have come out during a referendum TV debate…

Gove was then beaten up by Marr for betraying Boris. Marr told him he should have driven across London and told his friend in person rather than “humiliating him publicly”Box office but not much in the way of questions about his pitch to voters.

Theresa May gave a very scripted set of answers to Peston. She optimistically said Tory members are not looking for a “Brexit Prime Minister”. The Remain Home Secretary who oversaw the failure to meet immigration targets then claimed there was no “silver bullet” to control numbers. Stephen Crabb is probably giving an interview somewhere later.

Via via @liarpoliticians

Gove Moves Ahead of Leadsom in Public Declarations

TORY LEADERSHIP

Gove is now ahead of Leadsom in public MP declarations – John Whittingdale, Shailesh Vara, Henry Bellingham, Bob Neill, Suella Fernandes, John Hayes and former top leadership contender Adam Afriyie have all endorsed him this afternoon. As of 4 pm the Gover is in third place with MPs who have gone public, with Andrea in fourth. There are unconfirmed rumours that right-wing Leavers Peter Lilley, Bill Cash and John Redwood will back Leadsom. 142 Tory MPs have declared so far, others are aligned but staying quiet…

See Guido’s spreadsheet in full here.

Arron Banks Keen to Bankroll Leadsom Campaign

UKIP donor Arron Banks’ spokesman says he is keen to help out Andrea Leadsom’s leadership campaign in any way possible, including financially. This morning Banks’ Leave.EU group endorsed Andrea after internal polling showed she was their supporters’ choice. Both Tory and Labour Leave.EU supporters say Andrea is their favourite – 30 plus Leave MPs are expected to back her too. […] Read the rest

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Blundering Boris’ Botched Andrea Offers

At 6 pm on Tuesday Boris met Andrea Leadsom for a ten minute one-on-one discussion in her office. He tried to convince her to join his ticket by offering her Business Secretary and an EU negotiating role. She rejected it out of hand, insisting she would only take Chancellor.[…] Read the rest

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Gove Chief Negotiator, Boris-Leadsom Summit, Priti Rumours

John Whittingdale and Liz Truss have joined Dom Raab and George Eustice backing Boris. Johnson is well ahead in Guido’s spreadsheet of public MP declarations and the Sun predicts he has 100 names coming. Michael Gove met with some 20 MPs last night to discuss how to convince wavering Leavers to endorse BoJo.[…] Read the rest

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Leadsom Waiting For Boris to Offer Her Chancellor

Boris’ Telegraph column in which he appeared to endorse free movement has left him with work to do to convince Leave MPs he will deliver on Brexit. Today his allies are insisting he would end free movement. But some unconvinced Leave MPs are encouraging Andrea Leadsom to stand as the ‘true Brexit candidate’.[…] Read the rest

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ITV Debate Vote Leave Highlights

Vote Leave’s best bits from last night. Particularly strong closing statement from Boris…[…] Read the rest

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Campaign Report: 36 Days to Go

carswell johnson

Leave message: Leadsom: Energy security at risk with Remain.

Remain message: McDonnell: Worker’s rights at risk with Leave.

Cut through: Cameron says ISIS wants Brexit.

Leave social media count: 373,260 likes, 42,238 followers.

Remain social media count: 400,200 likes, 28,355 followers.[…] Read the rest

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Leadsom and Mordaunt Woo Outers Over Wine

Since he declared for Leave the odds on Boris joining Osborne in a leadership final have shortened, with ambitious colleagues jostling for position. Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt have both previously been tipped to mount leadership bids, they are both Outers who help run the intriguing ‘Fresh Start’ group of Tory MPs.[…] Read the rest

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