David Davis leads Boris Johnson by 24% to 18% in ConHome’s new Tory leadership survey of 1,191 readers, though the clear winner is the ‘none of the above’ option on 30%. DD’s grown-up handling of Brexit is serving him well with the Tory grassroots, as was always his plan. Boris’ recent outbreak of Torbynism won’t help him with members. Not real appetite for Hammond or Rudd at all. In terms of the “others” suggested by readers, Raab was most popular on 2%, Gove behind him. No Ruth Davidson surge…
More taxes, more spending, more borrowing, slower deficit reduction, wobbling on tuition fees and ending the public sector pay cap – some members of the Cabinet are becoming Torbynistas. Jeremy Hunt has demanded the “1% cap for NHS workers” is lifted, Justine Greening wants the same for teachers. Now Boris is briefing out he “strongly” believes the public sector pay cap should go. The IFS says copying Jezza’s cap-ditching policy would cost £9.2 billion per year, at a time when the national debt stands at nearly £1.9 trillion…
The 1% cap figure is also very misleading. Many NHS workers and teachers get a salary rise each year additional to national pay. As former minister Rob Wilson points out, this isn’t widely known and is worth several hundreds of pounds a year to several thousand pounds a year depending on salary band. The 1% figure everyone uses isn’t the whole story, for many the real number is more like 4%.
This outlines how teachers get paid wage increases additional to national pay. Qualified teachers’ pay scales | Tes https://t.co/eQhabnPBJx
— Rob Wilson (@RobWilson_RDG) July 3, 2017
I will try to check what the actual rate of wage increase was last year in NHS. I think it was 4% from memory. https://t.co/ZbeZFn3vDT
— Rob Wilson (@RobWilson_RDG) July 3, 2017
As the IFS says, in the last ten years public sector pay has accelerated faster than the private sector. Indeed earlier this year the IFS reported public sector workers are still being paid hundreds of pounds a year more than their private sector counterparts, despite “austerity“. None of the Torbynistas calling for an “end to austerity” are talking about how they are going to pay for it. For Boris this could be the most expensive Tory leadership campaign in history…
Philip Hammond uses a trip to Berlin to mock the Foreign Secretary:
“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. Wise words with some applicability to the Brexit negotiations although I try to discourage talk of “cake” amongst my colleagues.”
Here is John Prescott complaining that the BBC has not covered Boris Johnson’s car crash interview conducted by the BBC’s Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4. You can listen to Boris’ Diane Abbott moment, courtesy of the BBC, below. It is the third-most watched clip on the BBC website this morning.
Eddie Mair to a bumbling Boris Johnson. This is not the Two Ronnies. You don’t get to answer the previous question.” pic.twitter.com/YYlmsXLdcT
— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) June 21, 2017
Key Boris lieutenants Nigel Adams and Jake Berry have been promoted into government. Berry is the Northern Powerhouse Minister and Guido hears it will be announced later that Nigel will be put in the Whips Office.
Always useful for a leadership campaign to have whips experience…
Boris and David Davis are both trying amusingly hard to convey that they are not manoeuvres. Boris has enthusiastically thrown his support behind Theresa May on TV and in The Sun. Those WhatsApp messages expressing loyalty yesterday were self-evidently written to be leaked. Davis did a broadcast round this morning where he offered “100% support” for May, telling ITV he would not challenge her. And yet…
Allies of both Boris and Davis believe the other is trying to stitch up their respective leadership chances. Boris’ supporters accuse Davis, a prolific texter, of hyping up Johnson’s alleged behind-the-scenes manoeuvring to journalists, with the aim of making him look like a dastardly plotter. They see Davis’ hand in Sunday newspaper stories claiming Boris is set to launch a bid. Team BoJo quickly and strongly denied the stories when the papers came out on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, those backing Davis accuse Boris of going too early in an attempt to steal a march on DD. Davis himself took a barely-veiled dig at Johnson on the Today programme, accusing unnamed “colleagues” of “self-indulgence”. Boris met with a number of high-profile old allies and former advisers in the days before the election, and anti-Boris MPs say he was touting support in the early hours of June 9. Wherein lies the truth?
It was already obvious that if May goes Boris and Davis will be the front-runners to replace her. Ignore the wish fulfilment fantasy forecasts of the pro-Remain broadsheet pundits who tip Amber Rudd, she has little chance of getting the support of enough Tory MPs and would win a derisory vote from the rank and file. The shadow boxing between DD and BoJo over the last 48 hours all but confirms their ambitions. Notwithstanding the chance that somehow tonight’s 1922 goes nuclear, they both know going too early is mad and that patience and perceived loyalty is a much better strategy…
Boris tells colleagues on the Tory MP WhatsApp group to back Theresa May. Screenshots quickly leaked to ITV.
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
Boris says sorry after offending a devout Sikh lady by talking about trading whisky with India while inside a Sikh temple. Doesn’t seem quite as bad a gaffe as hyped by the Beeb, most of those present didn’t even blink.
Tom Watson on Boris Johnson:
“Boris Johnson is a cack-handed, cheese-headed fopdoodle, with a talent for slummocking about, who would do less damage to Britain’s reputation in the world if Theresa May sacked him as Foreign Secretary and replaced him with a souvenir paperweight.”
Yesterday’s papers and broadcasters reported that Boris was to be sidelined during the election – Sky News said definitively that he “won’t take centre stage”, the Times said the same though added a source quote informing readers their story was “b*llocks”. Today’s Times says “Johnson to be Tory TV poster boy”, he gave a major speech last night, has an article in The Sun this morning, has just been on Good Morning Britain, LBC and the Today programme and is about to tour the TV studios. Boris is obviously one of the Tories’ main electoral assets, he reaches the places other Tories cannot and will be key to converting Labour Leave voters. You have to read anti-Boris stories through the jealous eyes of his former colleagues in journalism…
— Ambasciata U.S.A. (@AmbasciataUSA) 10 April 2017
The G7 meeting of foreign ministers is underway in the picturesque Italian city of Lucca, Tuscany. Boris Johnson – under fire all weekend for a decision to cancel a planned trip to Moscow – has already met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the margins of the meeting. Earlier BoJo name-checked Rex, saying Britain would “support… efforts by Rex Tillerson to try to move the process forward”…
Twitter employee Joanna Geary was in the Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem last night when she bumped into the Foreign Secretary dining with an old friend. She says “I hadn’t seen David until Boris said “‘I suspect you’ll recognise my friend David’ and pointed in his direction”. Team Boris strongly deny allegations of dad dancing, though Reuters‘ Anjuli Davies alleges some standing on chairs:
— Anjuli (@AnjuliDavies) March 24, 2017
UPDATE: A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “The picture is of Boris trying to get out of a very tight seating area against the wall in the restaurant. Nearly all the other members of the group on that side had to do the same (step up and over) to get out.”
Once a Bullingdon boy…
Boris on being scolded at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, for using the term “liberation” to describe Britain’s exit from the EU bloc…
“Come on, I have to say, I hesitate to accuse you of pomposity, but the word liberation clearly means… it’s etymologically equivalent to being freed, and it’s an undeniable fact that we, the U.K., has been unable to do, to run its own trade policy for 44 years. I want to reclaim the English language, if I may…”