Yesterday The Sun published word from the Westminster rumour mill that Labour frontbencher Cat Smith has done what political strategists have been predicting the party would have to do for years – get into bed with the SNP. She’s now dating SNP MP David Linden, with the two splashing their growing friendship on Instagram. The paper reports they bonded over the challenges of having small children and being MPs.
Things aren’t all happy families, however. While Linden separated from his spouse last year, Cat Smith revealed she was still in the process of divorcing hers in October last year – despite having already begun her new cross-party relationship. 13 months on, it seems that process is far from complete.
Following the news of Cat and David’s relationship coming to light, Guido was sent a Facebook status from Cat’s (still) husband. Last night he told friends that while he has “tried for many months to prevent the breakup of our family – and the ending of a relationship which first began 16 years ago” his high-flying Labour partner has refused “all attempts to discuss any alternative”. Ben Soffa – Labour’s head of digital – continues:
“I have tried for a year to avoid reaching this point, but with Cat planning to continue with the relationship she formed in Westminster whilst I remained in Lancaster caring for our son, we will soon be divorcing.
I have poured so much of my energies into the advancement of her career. I have reshaped my life around her needs and given so much of my time, effort and money to support her. Rather than pursuing my own interests I spent almost every weekend and much time besides supporting her campaigning, writing the materials that would be presented as her work and forgoing many opportunities of my own own so l could be there to support her professionally or facilitate our home life. Having re-shaped my life in this way, it makes it all the more hurtful to have been so rapidly discarded as apparently disposable.”
Guido can hear the Eastenders drums kicking in…
To the surprise of many, Corbyn remarkably escaped punishment for failing to declare his 2014 trip to Tunisia to lay a wreath for terrorists responsible for the Munich massacre after telling the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that his trip had only cost £656 – £4 under the £660 threshold for declaring trips. Convenient…
After a much deeper investigation into the evidence Corbyn provided to the PCS, Guido can reveal that Corbyn himself was aware of the threshold (although he got the number wrong) and knowingly tried to avoid exceeding it. Corbyn sent an email, apparently to his office staff, raising his concerns that the organisers “keep it cheap” to avoid him having to declare it and refer to it in debates in Parliament:
“thanks, just received a text from [redacted] also.
It sounds alright but will need to be very clear who is paying for it as I will have to declare anything over £600, unless thy [sic] can keep it cheap. If declared has to be referred to by debates etc.
CS/JB please block out dates I assume 29 to 3rd or so.
Corbyn was replying to the email below which appears to be from one of his Parliamentary staffers, although the sender been redacted. It has a UK Parliament Disclaimer at the bottom and is clearly discussing his diary arrangements. CS referred to in the email above is presumably Cat Smith who was working in Corbyn’s office at the time.
Why was Corbyn so keen to keep the trip out of the public eye before agreeing to go on it? Why has Corbyn still refused to submit the original receipts for his flights, only submitting “estimates” which conveniently worked out just £4 below the threshold? Surely Corbyn wasn’t trying to cook the books to hide a trip he knew was going to be so controversial?
On Friday Labour MP Cat Smith was due to hold a public meeting promising to discuss Brexit with her constituents, a majority of whom voted to leave the EU. The meeting was due to take place in one of the highest voting wards in her constituency…
Writing on Facebook the evening before the meeting was due to take place, Smith said she had “been advised to cancel the event due to concerns over security… a decision about going ahead with meetings in Knott End and Lancaster will be made in the morning following further discussions with the police.” Strangely, Lancashire Police insist they had not advised Smith to cancel the event. Why did she imply they had..?
Surely this abrupt cancellation of the meeting can’t be anything to do with the fact that three days later she voted for all the Second Referendum Campaign backed amendments…
Top Corbynista Cat Smith on the general election:
“…we didn’t lose it…”
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) February 24, 2017
Top Corbynista Cat Smith tells ITV why Labour’s performance in Copeland was still an “incredible achievement”. Of all the things said by Labour politicians today, surely the most ridiculous…
Lancashire Constabulary confirm they have been granted a year-long extension to investigate Cat Smith’s election expenses. Here we go…