Confirmed: Andrew Bowie to Stand Down as Tory Vice Chair

While some are reporting tonight that Tory Vice Chair Andrew Bowie has resigned from his role, Guido understands he has not yet left the position, however he intends to step back from the job shortly to focus on his constituency work. He will not leave the role until a replacement is found. Disappointingly it sounds less dramatic than initial reports made out…

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The Tories’ Three Day Mask Farce

While Labour don’t know whether they’re coming or going on the question of ‘to Plan B or not to Plan B’, the Tories seem to be in an absolute tailspin on the mask question. After noticeably appearing at PMQs en masse without facemasks, Sajid Javid told the nation on Wednesday “we’ve all got our role to play in this”, and it was a “fair point” to note a difference in what Tory MPs are saying and what they’re doing:

During Business Questions yesterday, however, Rees-Mogg pointed to a sub-clause of the mask rule saying they’re needed in crowded spaces “with people that you don’t know”, and given Tory MPs know each other they could avoid the need for masks because of their “convivial, fraternal spirit”.

On Question Time last night we got pulled once again in the complete opposite direction by Andrew Bowie MP, who told the Scottish audience Tory MPs have a responsibility to “set the tone” and lead by example, referring back to the Health Secretary’s words:

This morning on the ministerial morning media round, however, Gillian Keegan both waxed lyrical about the need for individual responsibility and the innate common sense of the British people, however when asked if that put her in the Rees-Mogg school of though she laughed “no… Covid doesn’t look at whether you know someone or not, it’s an infection!”

Everyone clear? Good…

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BBC’s Had Enœuf of Tory MP’s Conference Antics

Andrew Bowie may have found himself out of Jo Coburn’s Christmas card list after causing a ruckus behind her while she broadcast Politics Live from the Tory conference hall. Bowie had been in a furiously competitive egg and spoon race with The Times‘ Kieran Andrews, the finish line of which was chosen to be in full view of the BBC’s camera. Bowie claims he won. Not the first MP to end up with egg on their face during conference…

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PMQs: No Hugging Allowed

Parliamentary banter has become increasingly rare in the new socially-limited Commons, so it was nice to see a rare bout of it this afternoon. Even away from the banter, things did seem more energetic between the PM and Starmer…

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SNP Refuse to Act Against ‘String MP Up’ Councillor

The SNP have taken no action against a nationalist politician and internet troll who engaged in threatening behaviour towards West Aberdeenshire MP Andrew Bowie. SNP councillor Geva Blackett appeared to endorse the threat of an anonymous Scottish Nationalist Twitter account, which proposed stringing Bowie from Kincardine Bridge. The SNP councillor’s tweet has now been deleted…

In response to the incident, Blackett was quickly relieved from her role on the Cairngorms National Park Authority board. The SNP, however, have refused to act.

The original anonymous tweet is now being investigated by the police. Scottish Tory deputy leader Annie Wells told the Aberdeen Press and Journal that:

SNP politicians need to realise that their behaviour influences how the radical and aggressive members of their party behave. By getting involved with this dangerous individual, the councillor in question gives legitimacy to their views.

“We’ve seen recently how Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to condemn racist border protests simply emboldened nationalists to ramp their demonstrations up.”

Nicola either can’t control her party, or doesn’t want to. Scottish Nasty Party at it again…

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Boris Appoints CCHQ Vice Chairs

Boris has put the finishing touches on his reshuffle this afternoon by appointing a fresh batch of Tory MPs to support new Party Chairman James Cleverly in CCHQ. Paul Scully was appointed Deputy Chairman last week alongside Helen Whately who remains in the role, now six further MPs have been appointed Parliamentary Vice Chairmen:

  • Andrew Bowie
  • Sir David Evennett
  • Helen Grant
  • Ranil Jayawardena
  • Caroline Johnson
  • Alec Shelbrooke (reappointed)

No word yet on who’s got the “youth” brief. Or whether they’ll be younger than former youth Vice Chair Nigel Huddlestone at 48 years young…

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