Boris’ Unequivocal Apology

Boris’ unequivocal apology:

“It was my mistake, I should have been clearer and I apologise for the anguish the distress and anguish caused to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family.”

Richard Ratliffe on Boris:

Lots of anti-Boris journalists are ignoring this from Richard Ratcliffe:

“It’s not in Nazanin’s interests to have the Foreign Secretary battling for his job”

Gove: Iran is Responsible, Boris Critics Playing Into Their Hands

Bang on from Gove, who gave Marr a passionate defence of Boris in the wake of increasingly hysterical point-scoring by his enemies. Gove argued:

“It’s plain wrong for us to try to find fault with democrats when the real responsibility is to say to the Iranian regime: you are a serial abuser of human rights, you are the principal sponsor of terrorism, you have blood on your hands in Syria, your responsibility is to insist that this British citizen is at liberty. We play their game, we play into the extremists’ hands if we do anything other than show solidarity in the face of their abuse of human rights.”

Look at those losing their minds about Boris this week: George Osborne’s Evening Standard, the Guardian, the Mirror, the Times, Jeremy Corbyn, Sadiq Khan, ultra Remain MPs and journalists. They are ignoring that Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, has said: “It’s not in Nazanin’s interests to have the Foreign Secretary battling for his job”. And yet Boris’ political enemies are cynically trying to make the whole story about his career rather than Nazanin. They are more interested in attacking Boris than getting her home…

Boris Hires Number 10’s Lee Cain

Guido understands Boris has hired Number 10 spinner Lee Cain as his new media SpAd. Cain is a former Fleet Street journalist so he gets news, he’s popular with the Lobby, is a big Brexiter and knows BoJo from his days running the broadcast operation at Vote Leave. Also a move which shows the relationship between Number 10 and the Boris camp is perhaps better than some have suggested. Good hire for Boris and good to see another big job for a Leaver…

Boris Tells EU Citizens: Your Rights Protected Whatever Happens

Boris tells a Polish reception:

“You are loved, you are welcome, your rights will be protected whatever happens. We will make sure that we will continue to be open and welcoming to those from Poland who want to live and come and make their lives here.”

Probably the strongest message yet from a Cabinet minister to EU citizens and scaremongering Remainers.

Arms Folded in Unity

Actually not a bad ad lib from Corbyn pointing out that Amber Rudd was keeping Boris and Hammond apart at PMQs.

Positive body language… sorta.

Boris on Labour: “You Supine Protoplasmic Invertebrate Jellies!”

A repeat but the old ones are the best…

Boris Locked Out of Number 10


Write your own jokes…

Boris and Gove Back PM Statement

Boris and Gove on board at the moment but expect Brexiter backbenchers to oppose the ECJ and new EU rules during the transition. As Guido reported back in June, most Leavers are ok with a two year interim period so long as the end state is a full, clean Brexit outside of all the institutions of the EU. That remains the case tonight…

Livid Boris Vents Fury at “Allies” Briefing Press

Today’s Telegraph and Sun run quotes from anonymous “allies” of Boris calling for Philip Hammond to be sacked and claiming BoJo will “just say no” if Theresa May attempts to demote him. Boris is livid about these stories and says they have not been sanctioned by him and do not represent his views. In a furious tirade on the Tory MPs’ WhatsApp group last night, Johnson said he is “fed up to the back teeth” with anonymous “allies” briefing the press purportedly on his behalf:

“I do not know who these people are. I do not know if they are really my friends and allies or if they represent some sinister band of imposters. I heartily disagree with the sense, tone and spirit of what they are quoted as saying. Whoever they are they do not speak for me”

MPs who aren’t in the room with Boris are often appearing in print as his “allies”, claiming to speak for him. More often than not recently they are landing him in hot water, hence his frustration vented on WhatsApp. His declaration that “they do not speak for me” is as much as anything a plea to the Lobby not to report the views of excitable backbenchers as his own. Boris needs to take back control of his supporters…

Peston Labelled “Fake News” By Minister Over Boris Smears

Another ‘interesting’ take from Robert Peston, who writes: “the life-or-death question for May is whether Shapps and Johnson are in cahoots”. He claims Shapps met with Boris’ team a few weeks ago to “discuss matters”. A Tory source says this is “totally fabricated, an obvious smear”. Jake Berry, who is named in Peston’s story, says it is “fake news”. Senior May allies say Boris is not plotting any challenge with Shapps. Who briefed Pesto?

As anyone who has read a newspaper or spoken to a Tory MP recently knows, a more pertinent question would be whether Shapps has “discussed matters” with supporters of David Davis since the election…

Stanley Johnson Backs Brexit “The Time Has Come to Bail Out”

Boris has managed to win over one of the most ardent remain camapigners – his father Stanley. The former Tory MEP who once headed the European Commission’s Environmental Action Programme has been won over by his son’s arguments and Juncker’s over the top speech outling his vision for a pan-European government. Writing for BrexitCentral he says

For me the critical moment came a couple of weeks ago when EU Commission President Juncker gave his State of the Union address to the European Parliament. The vision he presented of an EU with a single government, and with directly-elected EU ministers with EU-wide responsibilities, including finance and defence, was quite simply – it seemed to me – totally over the top.

Up until then, I was still ready to argue that if you wanted to steer the ship in a different direction, the best thing surely was to stay on board and try to seize control of the steering wheel. In other words, fight from within for change.

But the ship metaphor doesn’t really work. The train metaphor is a better reflection of reality. Mr Juncker’s Federal Express is heading down the track at an ever-increasing speed in a direction we really don’t want to go. Even if Britain stayed on board, I doubt if we would be able to change the points on the track ahead, or even slow the train down.

Boris, I have to say (but I would, wouldn’t I?), wrote a brilliant 4,200-word article in the Daily Telegraph pointing all this out at more or less the same time that Mr Juncker was giving that unfortunate speech. Boris argued that for 40 years Britain has been trying to nudge the EU towards a different destiny and on the whole we have not had much luck.

The time has come to bail out, he asserted. I agree. We may argue about the length of the transition or ‘implementation’ period but there cannot surely be any longer any doubt what the ‘end-state’must be.

So that just leaves his sister Rachel, who has swung her vote to the LibDems, to be won over by the famously persuasive powers of Boris…

Rudd Tells Boris to Stand

Great spot of an awkward audience moment…

Boris Speech Full Text


As our hearts go out to Las Vegas today we are reminded once again of the attack that took place here only a few months ago, on innocent and music-loving young people. And if there is a message to our American friends it is this: that they will come through it and they will come back from it stronger.

Because this city has shown that nothing and no one can bow the indomitable spirit of the people of Manchester, which in recent years has reinvented itself as the great thrumming engine of the northern powerhouse.

With its vast potential to generate jobs in finance, in academia, in journalism and the arts – and that’s just the ones held by George Osborne Continue reading

Davis’ Jibe at Boris

“We train the best diplomats and put them to the test by sending them to work for the Foreign Secretary.”

Shots fired at his rival…

Hammond and Rudd Satisfaction Ratings Plunge

At the weekend Hammond and Rudd bombed in a focus group of Tory voters. Now their net satisfaction ratings on ConHome have taken a plunge – Hammond is down 14 points to minus 37 and Rudd is down a huge 20 points to minus 9. Crystal clear what Tory members think of their attempts to water down Brexit.

May Won’t Say If Boris is Unsackable

Theresa May declined to say that Boris is unsackable on Marr this morning. It would be just as relevant to ask if Philip Hammond is unsackable – the Chancellor has consistently been more at odds with government policy than Boris. Hammond wants a five year transition, May and Boris want two years. Hammond wants an EEA minus model, May and Boris don’t. Is it really Boris who is out of line with policy, or is it Hammond?

Boris Reciting Kipling’s “Mandalay”

Full credit to Boris for recalling a Kipling poem, Guido has long struggled trying to recall “If” at appropriate moments. The ambassador was unamused and considered the moment inappropriate. Channel 4 and The Guardian are trying to work it up into a full international gaffe. Here’s Charles Dance giving it full justice at the memorial to commemorate VJ Day on the seventieth anniversary of the country’s final victory in World War II:

Makes you proud…

YouGov Tory Member Poll: Borismania Back, Rudd Bombs

For all the attacks on him in the media and among Remainers over the last few weeks, YouGov finds Boris is the choice of Tory members to be the next leader. Ruth Davidson is in second place and Jacob Rees-Mogg is in third. Notably David Davis is some way behind on just 11%, while the Cameroon choice Amber Rudd is completely out of it on just 6%. Hammond is on a meagre 5%. Sobering for the Remain hope Rudd, and a reminder that the anti-Boris Remain media narrative does not reflect the views of Tory members…

H/T Sam Coates

Thornberry on Boris’ Paternity Test

The set-piece gag in Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry’s speech was a joke about Boris Johnson not liking maternity tests. Miaow…[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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