More “clarity” from Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne on Marr this morning, who said that Labour won’t consider tabling a motion of no confidence in the government until after the meaningful vote. Expect that line to last all of a few hours before Labour has to “clarify” it again. May hardly needs encouraging to delay the vote as long as possible…
Andrew Gwynne has suggested that Labour could go into a second referendum backing a Labour-style Brexit deal, before ‘clarifying’ Labour’s position with “let’s wait and see”. Whenever the Government’s position seems unclear, the Shadow Cabinet always seem determined to go one better…
Andrew Gwynne made a rook-ie error while attempting to play chess on a visit to a primary school in his constituency last week, with the Shadow Communities Secretary concluding: “all I can say is it’s rock hard and I’ve been beaten by a 7 year-old called Alfred!”
Guido is not surprised Gwynne was left looking a little board – on closer inspection it turns out that both players were playing without kings. Gwynne might want to Check the rules. Or perhaps it’s just a preview of the coming Corbynite utopia where the monarchy has been removed…
— BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics (@daily_politics) March 4, 2018
Labour now backs what they previously opposed…
Andrew Gwynne is always giving it large about his groovy role as Labour’s National Campaigns Coordinator, churning out essays about the crucial part he played as the digital guru of Labour’s campaign. He wrote last June:
“[We] linked our voter database technology with Facebook. This cutting-edge tool allowed us to deploy targeted messaging to key voters on a more personal and localised level than ever before… When we saw improved local canvass returns in Sheffield Hallam, we were able to target anti-Lib Dem Facebook messages at all the voters in the seats that we thought were being contested between Labour and the Lib Dems. In the last week alone 24 million people viewed our shared content on Facebook.”
For such a Facebook expert, Gwynne’s activity on the social media site is rather eyebrow-raising. Gwynne’s personal account has joined a variety of bonkers, racist and antisemitic group. According to Facebook, Gwynne is a member of:
- Stop Zionist USA: a group dedicated to sharing antisemitic material including pictures comparing Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler, memes which blame Israel for ISIS and spreading Rothschild and Soros conspiracy theories
- United Against the Monarchy: a republican group which shares pictures ridiculing the royal family
- Stop the Mosque: a campaign against building new Mosques which warns “Islamic conquest is well underway in Europe”
- Truth Is Rising: a nutjob group for conspiracy theorists which has suggested ‘7/7 was an inside job’ and is awash with antisemitic material
Either Gwynne has managed to hide some pretty radical views or – perhaps more likely – he is simply blanket-accepting all the group invitations he gets from randomers. Tell us more about your Facebook expertise, Andrew…
— Sunday with Paterson (@RidgeOnSunday) October 29, 2017
Top Shadow Cabinet member Andrew Gwynne tells Niall Paterson: “Nobody holding those views has a place in modern democracy”. Looks like O’Mara is toast…
New Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne got to grips with his new brief at the Local Government Association conference yesterday . He had a nice line on the importance of localism and devolving power across the regions:
“Voters did not vote to leave the EU to take back control from Brussels only for it to be held in Whitehall.”
A good line, but where did Gwynne get it? It is remarkably similar to a speech given at the LGA Councillors’ Forum back in January…
“Last June, the people of Britain voted to take back control. We’re not about to reclaim power from Brussels only to hoard it in Westminster.”
… by Sajid Javid, Gwynne’s opposite number.
That moment when you’re two weeks into your new brief, aren’t up to scratch so lift lines from the Secretary of State you’re meant to be shadowing…
Andrew Gwynne asks Boris Johnson why he wouldn’t go head-to-head, Boris Johnson pulls him back and calls him a “big girl’s blouse” pic.twitter.com/xzdtnXr8Ft
— Sky News Tonight (@SkyNewsTonight) June 2, 2017
A definite deliberate grapple from BoJo on Labour’s interrupting election chief. You gonna take that, Andrew?
UPDATE: Later on Boris blew kisses at a very angry Ian Lavery:
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 2, 2017
Labour have written to the Cabinet Office complaining about George Osborne’s job at the Standard. Guido has the letter:
London SW1A 2AS
cc: Sue Gray, Rt. Hon. George Osborne
I write to formally raise my concern about a potential breach of the Ministerial Code by the Rt. Hon. Member for Tatton, George Osborne.
Mr Osborne served this country as Chancellor of the Exchequer until July 2016, just over eight months ago. Since leaving this post, the Member for Tatton has drawn considerable controversy over his private appointments and notably his failure to fully declare details of these appointments to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.
In October last year, after learning of one of Mr. Osborne’s appointments in the press, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments wrote to Mr. Osborne stating that: “The Committee would also remind you that advice should be sought on all appointments, paid or unpaid, before they are taken up or announced” and that the “the committee is unable to offer retrospective advice on appointments that have already been announced.”
Today many were again concerned to find that Mr. Osborne had repeated this procedure, announcing his new role at the London Evening Standard prior to consulting the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.
The rules on Business Appointments are established to counter suspicion that the decisions and statements of a serving Minister might be influenced by the hope or expectation of future employment with a particular firm or organisation; and that an employer could make improper use of official information to which a former Minister has had access to.
Disregarding these rules deeply undermines public trust in the democratic processes and does a disservice to those Members that ensure they follow the rules laid out on these matters.
Furthermore, the rules around this process are outlined in Section 7.25 of the Ministerial Code, which states that:
“On leaving office, Ministers will be prohibited from lobbying Government for two years. They must also seek advice from the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA) about any appointments or employment they wish to take up within two years of leaving office. To ensure that Ministers are fully aware of their future obligations in respect of outside appointments after leaving office, the Business Appointment Rules are attached at Annex B. Former Ministers must abide by the advice of the Committee which will be published by the Committee when a role is announced or taken up.”
In light of the Member for Tatton’s conduct, I request that the incident be investigated to determine as soon as possible if a breach of the Ministerial Code has taken place. The Ministerial Code sets out that in the position of Permanent Secretary, you advise Ministers on potential conflicts of interest, and agree action with them regarding the handling of them.
I therefore ask you to urgently clarify:
Whether the Member for Tatton’s conduct constituted a breach of the Ministerial Code;
Whether you were made aware of the Member for Tatton’s appointment at the Evening Standard prior to it being announced in the press;
Whether you aware that the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments had not been consulted;
And, if a breach of the Ministerial Code has taken place, whether you have consulted the Prime Minister about further steps to be taken.
Given the public interest, I am placing a copy of this letter in the public domain.
Andrew Gwynne MP
Shadow Minister without Portfolio
The PM will be consulted on whether it’s a breach…
Top Corbynista Angela Rayner is upset with irresponsible politicians who have been peddling “rumours” that Tameside hospital in her constituency faces downgrade. Rayner has reassured her constituents the stories are “totally untrue”.
What kind of person would peddle such false speculation?
Much of the furore seems to have emanated from a press release fired off last week by Labour’s new national elections organiser Andrew Gwynne:
“Speculation is rising Tameside Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit could join 23 other A&E units across the country that have been identified for a possible downgrade or closure… I am extremely concerned… I’ll be speaking to the Chief Executive of Tameside Hospital”
Was Rayner’s tweet was aimed at her party’s election chief? When telling the truth to your constituents gets in the way of your colleagues’ shameless electioneering…