Bridgen Requests Emergency Debate to Revoke the FTPA

Andrew Bridgen has submitted a SO24 (emergency debate) application calling on the House of Commons to revoke the hated and useless Fixed Term Parliament’s Act. Opposition MPs are submitting hosts of SO24s and now the Tories are playing them at their own game

The FTPA – forced through by the Lib Dems in 2011 – prevents the PM calling an election without 2/3 majority support, and means the Government losing a vote of no confidence doesn’t automatically lead to an election. In reality, it’s meant weak Governments can’t fall and strong Governments can still call an election whenever they want. Another stellar legacy for the Lib Dems in Government…

Hunt Reported to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Over MP Mailshot

Entrepreneur Jeremy Hunt has been coming up with some enterprising strategies to try to reach as many voters as possible in the Tory leadership election. Tory Association Chairmen across the country have been receiving an email from his campaign manager Philip Dunne MP, asking them to forward on two attachments detailing his ten policy pledges to their local memberships. A savvy way to get round GDPR regulations, if the Association Chairmen oblige…

Now he’s found himself in a bit of hot water over a letter he sent to all Tory MPs earlier in the campaign, on the 10th June when the MP voting stage was still in full swing. Hunt used official House of Commons headed letter paper complete with his picture and official campaign slogan in the corner – he’s now been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards by Priti Patel for misuse of Commons stationery. Priti says it could be a “clear breach of Parliamentary rules” which specifically prohibit its use for party political purposes and has asked them to clarify the matter. Awkward…

Read the letter in full below…

UPDATE: Sam Coates has got hold of a separate set of emails which appear to show Hunt’s campaign directly violating data rules. Hunt’s team have been sending out apologies and removing people from distribution lists and say the emails were sent out “mistakenly”. Did they “mistakenly” gather the private phone numbers and email addresses too?

UPDATE: Andrew Bridgen has reported the Hunt campaign to the Information Commissioner’s Office over the alleged data breach. Team Hunt already did the same thing to Team Boris earlier this week via Harriett Baldwin, leadership contest getting dirtier…

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Corbyn Wreath Trip Expenses Cover-Up Reported to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

This morning the media is reporting that Boris has been admonished for the late reporting of a part-owenership of a home. In a much more serious attempt to subvert the rules, the Leader of the Opposition has again been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards over his dodgy reporting and attempts to hide his trip to Tunisia in 2014 where he laid a wreaths for the terrorists responsible for the Munich massacre.

Earlier this year, the Labour Leader got off admonishment free as the Commissioner’s office took his declarations at face value. New evidence revealed by Guido shows the Labour Leader imploring staff in emails to cook the books to make the wreath-laying trip artificially appear to have come in under the reporting limit. In reality the ‘supporting evidence’ Corbyn submitted worked against his own case…

Guido’s investigation has led Andrew Bridgen to ask the Commissioner that the original case be re-opened. Read his letter in full here…

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BBC Guests Pile in on Bridgen for Quoting a Poll

Andrew Bridgen was accosted by the entire panel on Politics Live today for accurately quoting YouGov polling that shows in the likely event that the UK doesn’t have an agreed deal by Friday, voters prefer leaving with ‘No Deal’ to both accepting an extension, or remaining in the EU.


This sort of pile on is what happens when only one person on the panel voted to leave…

Bridgen Commends Corbyn’s Brexiteer Credentials

“He clearly campaigned vigorously against repeated EU referendums in Ireland, and declared forcefully that he did not wish to live under a European empire of the 21st century”

Will Corbyn fans try to claim that this direct quoting of their leader’s opinions of the EU is just a smear..?

Tory MPs’ Awkward On Air Moment

There were amusing scenes on Victoria Derbyshire a short while ago as anti-May MP Andrew Bridgen gave a full interview standing alongside the pro-May James Cleverly, only to walk off air before the two could actually speak to each other. Tory Party unity on full display…

Bridgen Suggests No. 10 Put Out Noose Comments

“The only people that suited those kind of comments, which were very unhelpful, bad politics (and I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the Prime Minister), is Number 10.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Number 10 didn’t put those words out themselves knowing exactly how the press and the public would react.”

It’s a view…

Bridgen on Burka-gate

Andrew Bridgen talks burka-gate on Sky News:

“Would you interview me now if I was wearing a crash helmet with the visor down?”

READ: Andrew Bridgen’s Letter to Graham Brady

H/T @rosskempsell

Now Vaz Reports Bridgen to Standards Commissioner (Again)

Keith Vaz has reported Tory MP Andrew Bridgen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards – again. Bridgen first complained to the Commissioner about Vaz’s conduct in September 2016 after the Labour grandee was the subject of an infamous newspaper expose. The Commissioner opened an inquiry which was suspended for months due to ‘health reasons’. Almost two years after the coke and rent boys shenanigans, Vaz is in the House the Commissioner’s probe is back on

At the time Vaz retaliated, complaining about Bridgen to the same watchdog, arguing that any investigation into his conduct was outside the Commissioner’s scope. The Commissioner rejected Vaz’s complaint…

Now Vaz has complained yet again, this time on the grounds that Bridgen has commented on Vaz’s case to the media. Bridgen tells Guido:

“Mr Vaz is clearly somewhat rattled.”

How long will it take the Commissioner to dismiss this one…

Blue on Blue: NiMo Complaint About Brexiter MP

Nicky Morgan has protested to the chief whip and her association chairman has lodged an official complaint with the Tory party after her colleague Andrew Bridgen sent a statement of support to a pro-Brexit rally in her constituency. On March 10 the cross-party ‘Brexit Means Exit’ tour was in Leave-voting Loughborough, hosting speakers from all the major parties. Brexiter Bridgen had agreed to attend and notified Morgan’s office, only for NiMo to email the chief whip and for Julian Smith to then ask him not to go. Bridgen accepted and instead sent the rally organisers an innocuous statement about how “the people of our country voted to leave the European Union and to take back control of our Laws, our borders and our money”. Which is, after all, government policy…

That didn’t satisfy Team NiMo – Guido hears her association chairman responded by lodging an official complaint with the Tory party. Seems a bold move given Bridgen was in Loughborough actively campaigning for Morgan a few weeks earlier, Brexit is the policy of the government and NiMo voted with Labour when Remain rebels defeated the government in December. Who should be the one getting a telling off from the chief whip?

UPDATE: Here is the statement Bridgen gave the rally. Nothing in there which any Tory should be disagreeing with.

On the 23rd of June 2016 the people of our country voted to leave the European Union and to take back control of our Laws, our borders and our money. To fulfill that wish ,means that we have to leave the single market, the customs union and the juristriction of the European Court of Justice all of which was made clear by those on both sides of the argument in the run up to the Referendum.

Let us be clear, there is no hard or soft Brexit, only Brexit as promised in the referendum or a betrayal of the British people and indeed of our democracy itself. Parliament decided to give the British people the final say on this decision when it voted overwhelmingly for the EU referendum. When those who regret the way the Referendum result went or those who wish for Parliament to reverse or dilute the people’s decision through votes in Parliament ,they often cite that “Parliament is sovereign” and must have the final say regardless of the referendum result. I say this, elected members of Parliament are the servants of the people ,not their masters, MPs are custodians of power for a relatively brief period of time, sovereignty belongs to the people and the people have spoken.

I assure you I will continue to work tirelessly for the Brexit the British people voted for and in the confident ,steadfast ,determination that it will be delivered.
That our country’s future place in the world and its social and economic prosperity will be decided in our Parliament by Members elected by the British people and not in Brussels or Strasbourg by unelected EU bureaucrats.

I sincerely believe our country’s best days are ahead of us if we take this path. Something future generations of our great nation will be eternally grateful for.
I wish you all well with today’s meeting and urge you all to Keep Calm and carry on campaigning.

Motion Calling For Independent Inquiry into Bercow Bullying

An Early Day Motion has been tabled calling for an independent inquiry into John Bercow following bullying allegations:

“This house calls for an independent investigation into the allegations of bullying made against Mr Speaker.”

Caroline Lucas has been granted her Urgent Question at 3:30pm. Surely MPs on all sides will want to get to the bottom of this…

Vaz Reported to National Crime Agency Over His Finances

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has tonight reported Keith Vaz to the National Crime Agency calling for an Unexplained Wealth Order investigation to look into his finances. Uh oh… 

Sunday Sleaze Round-Up

The much-anticipated Sunday front pages make grim reading for the government. Theresa May’s de facto deputy Damian Green is tonight accused of having “extreme porn” found on one of his parliamentary computers. The Sunday Times says the discovery was made by cops when they raided Green’s office in 2008. Former Met Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick confirmed to the paper that his officers had found the material. Green tweeted a statement calling the claims “false, disreputable political smears” and says he was not informed of any porn being found. 

The paper counters that it has spoken to a police source other than Quick who also claims to have seen the porn. The splash reveals Quick will give evidence on Monday to Whitehall ethics supremo Sue Gray, who is leading the probe into Green. Kate Maltby, who tells The Sunday Times she knows difference between a hand and a tablecloth. will also give evidence and gives a sit down interview to the paper. Can Green cling on much longer?

Also in the Sunday Times, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen goes on the record saying he reported concerns about the behaviour of fellow backbencher Dan Poulter to the whips in 2010 – but claims he was ignored. Bridgen says he informed whips of comments made by female colleagues alleging Poulter put his hand up skirts. Bridgen has now reported Poulter using the new complaints procedure and an investigation is underway by the new disciplinary committee. Poulter denies the allegations.

Meanwhile, senior government whip Chris Pincher is under pressure as the Mail on Sunday splashes with the headline: Top Tory’s Bathrobe Pass At Male Aide“. Pincher is accused of trying to untuck the shirt of former Olympic rower and Tory aide Alex Story after taking him back to his London home. Story calls the MP “a pound shop Harvey Weinstein”. The story also references a widely heard rumour about Pincher trying it on with one-term Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop about which he refuses to commentDifficult to see how Pincher can remain a whip…

The Sunday Telegraph also turns fire on the whips office, reporting that concerns about the behaviour of both Fallon and Charlie Elphicke – who last night had the whip suspended – were raised repeatedly. Expect there to be considerable discussion about the propriety of the whips system. Tough first week for Julian Smith…

The Observer reveals Michael Fallon’s resignation was forced by journalist Jane Merrick. She says she told Number 10 at 5pm on Wednesday afternoon that the former Defence Secretary tried to kiss her when she was a 29-year-old reporter. It was the last straw for May…

The Sun on Sunday and Sunday People report allegations that an unnamed Tory MP sexually assaulted a Labour MP in a taxi. It’s alleged a date rape drug was used…

Earlier this evening Channel 4 News broadcast allegations that Tory backbencher Daniel Kawczynski asked a young female researcher to go on a date with a business contact. Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing says she loudly reprimanded Kawczynski for his request during a confrontation in one of the division lobbies. Kawczynski says he did ask a researcher to have coffee with a contact but denies a business deal was involved…

A huge spread of Sunday sleaze for the Tories to deal with tomorrow. Heads must surely roll… 

Tory MP Demands Cabinet Office Investigates Sir Craig’s Book

Following Guido’s story on a potential breach of the Special Advisers Code of Conduct in Sir Craig Oliver’s memoirs, a Tory MP has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood demanding an investigation. Andrew Bridgen asks the two killer questions: why was Sir Craig permitted to publish information that the Cabinet Office admits could prejudice relations with the US? And did Sir Craig breach the SpAds Code of Conduct by failing to discuss his memoirs with the Cabinet Office prior to signing the book deal? This line of the letter is particularly interesting:

“If the rules were broken, there is precedent to confiscate the profits of the book sales. In 2000 the Government obtained a court order for it to be paid £90,000 of royalties owed by the publisher Jonathan Cape to George Blake for his unauthorised 1990 memoir “No Other Choice”. I hope you will investigate these serious issues promptly.”

If the government did confiscate Sir Craig’s profits that could mean an extra £350 to the NHS…

“Vaz In My Right Pocket” Councillor “Sat in His Pants Outside a Swimming Pool”

A Labour councillor who is said to have boasted he had Keith Vaz “in his right pocket” was yesterday accused of “sitting outside a swimming pool in his pants” during a court hearing over his taxi licence. Cllr Gurpal Atwal sits on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, close to Vaz’s Leicester East seat, and has worked as a cab driver in the city for two decades. When his own Council denied him a taxi licence earlier this year he appealed, and at a hearing before magistrates in Loughborough yesterday, Licensing Enforcement Officer Tracey Aldwinckle gave details of his alleged conduct:

“I was told your client is using unlicensed drivers on school runs and then he sat in his pants outside a swimming pool because he believes that’s acceptable.”

The court heard a slew of other allegations including of racism and that Atwal swore at a man; Atwal’s solicitor said there was “no indication” from the public of any such behaviour. A witness claimed in a statement that Atwal once boasted of having “Keith Vaz in my right pocket”… 

Magistrates decided to uphold an earlier decision by the licensing authorities that Atwal is not a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence and also charged him £1,250 in costs. Atwal will however be able to continue working as a cab driver under a previous licence which covers him until 2018. Atwal did not give a comment when approached by reporters. Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicstershire, said of the case:

“It’s a real insight into Labour politics in Leicester, and shows that Atwal’s powerful friends in the city have got serious questions to answer.”

Unlicensed Taxi for Keith Vaz…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Vaz “No Charges” Letter

Law makers can apparently be law breakers…

Standards Commissioner Rejects Vaz Complaint

vaz

Can’t think what motivated Keith Vaz to make a complaint about neighbouring Tory MP Andrew Bridgen to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Vaz still hasn’t actually delivered on his threat to sue Bridgen for defamation – possibly because the allegations he makes are true. Anyway slippery Vaz has released a statement:

Right Honourable Keith Vaz MP said:

“I welcome the inquiry by the Commissioner, following the complaint made against me by Andrew Bridgen, the Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, which will provide important clarification.

She has suggested that my complaint against Mr Bridgen should be referred to the Secretary of State for Transport and I will follow her advice.”

Apparently because Bridgen, like many who have a home in the path of HS2, sold it at a loss to the Department of Transport, he is guilty of something. The Standards Commissioner has basically told Vaz to get lost…

Keith Vaz Threatens to Sue

vaz-bridgen
Keith Vaz’s lawyers are threatening to sue his neighbouring MP, Andrew Bridgen:

Dear Mr Bridgen

We act on behalf of your fellow Leicestershire MP, Keith Vaz.

Our client has been, for quite some time, aware that you have been maliciously spreading false and highly defamatory scuttlebutt about him.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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