Meet the Candidates: Team McVey

Esther McVey is positioning herself as the most ‘authentic’ Brexit candidate in the Tory leadership race, she’s gone even further than Dominic Raab in actively advocating a no deal Brexit as her preferred option. She’s also set out robust positions on spending aid cash on police and schools and scrapping HS2 in favour of investing in the North and the regions. Combined with her blue collar Tory credentials as a Barnado’s girl from Liverpool, could a different “blonde bombshell” wrongfoot the frontrunners?

Team McVey is a blue collar affair and a youthful one too. James Roberts, a former CTF operative and now Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, is doing strategy while Tory candidate Clark Vasey, who runs corporate affairs for Fujitsu, is working on policy. Brexiteer spinner Ed Barker is doing her comms, although McVey will be hoping his previous career as a saxophonist for George Michael doesn’t lead to any careless whispers on the campaign trail. Dan O’Neill, former aide to Richard Tice and Michael Fallon, is in charge of the digital side of the campaign. He’s also a saxophonist, will they be tempted to start a band?

McVey is also receiving informal advice from former senior journalist turned PR guru Ian Monk, as well as former Tory MP David Nuttall and of course her famous First Fiancé Philip Davies. Former Tory Vice Chair for youth Ben Bradley is leading her Parliamentary operation. She’s got five MPs publicly backing her at the moment including Remainer Gary Streeter – despite her Brexit position. Can her blue collar agenda reach out further beyond her Brexiteer base?

Social media support: MakeWay4McVey has a great name but only 284 followers and questionable proofreading skills, McVey herself has 34.3k followers on Twitter, she’s new to Instagram but has already got 164 followers in under 24 hours. No sign of a Facebook page…

Mainstream media support: The Telegraph has run a number of supportive op-eds although no major endorsements as of yet.

ConservativeHome members survey: 3.1% (7th)

YouGov public recognition: not yet included

William Hill odds: 50/1 (14th)

MPs’ Christmas Door Decoration Rivalry

MPs are busy trying to one up each other with Christmas door decorations this December. The decorated office doors pictured here face each other in One Parliament Street, although it’s fairly safe to say Ben Bradly’s office is winning. Have you seen any MP’s festive decorations in Parliament? Send them in to team@order-order.com and Guido will announce a winner over the Christmas break!

Parliamentary Beard of The Year Competition Hots Up

This year’s Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award competition is hotting up with Tory MP Ben Bradley and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn stretching far into the lead as the competition approaches its final week. Of the fifteen shortlisted candidates, only Corbyn, Bradley, and Crispin Blunt breach 1% of the vote…

Corbyn had won the award for three years in a row until last year where newcomer Ben Bradley knocked him off his perch. The reigning champion and the old grand master now are heading for a nail biting finish with results to be announced on 7th December…

Organiser Keith Flett told Guido that their wider national Beard of The Year Award  is changing its voting system after suspected foreign bot interference in last year’s election. Apparently Prince Harry received an extraordinary number of votes from Russian IP addresses. Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen in this hotly contested race… 

You can vote for your favourite political beard here

Tory Vice Chairs Quit in Protest at PM’s Brexit Deal

Two more resignations: Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley have quit in protest at the Chequers deal. Their letters:


A party divided…

Ben Bradley Advising Young Adults on “Life Choices” and “Communication Skills”

Tory social media expert Ben Bradley is spearheading a campaign to change young people’s “life choices” and improve their “communication skills”. The Tory vice chair has been canvassing fellow MPs for support. An email from Bradders was sent to parliamentary colleagues with the subject line “how do you make your life choices? From the head of heart?” After a giggle, MPs opened it to find:

“We need your help to equip more young people with the skills to make safe and healthy choices…. improved communication skills… this is key to helping safe transition into young adulthood.”

He would know…

Tory Stars Court Young Activists at Xmas Bash

Big turnout at a Christmas bash for young Tories in Westminster last night, where 100 enjoyed wine and mince pies, with another 200 on the waiting list. A dozen MPs came along to the venue on Smith Square; speeches from movers and shakers James Cleverly (who reminded the room of the role of young people in preventing a socialist government), George Freeman and Priti Patel were well received.

A lot of excited discussion about the future direction of youth movement within the party. Who knows, maybe the Tories might even have a youth-wing in 2018?

Seen Elsewhere



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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”

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