Chris Bryant’s Reluctant Starmer Endorsement

Not the ringing endorsement camp Starmer will have been hoping for…

mdi-timer 4 February 2020 @ 12:52 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:52 mdi-comment Comments
Labour Shadow Cabinet Drown Their Sorrows

Labour’s leadership contest was in full swing last night after the PLP hustings, with almost all contenders taking to Strangers bar to lobby fellow MPs. Parliament’s bar’s veterans were amazed to see the likes of Starmer, Long-Bailey, Rayner, Thornberry and Phillips – almost never been spotted there – getting merry. Damian McBride, no stranger to Strangers, was seen pressing the flesh on behalf his mistress, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, in the forlorn search for a single endorsement. Burgon almost found his way to Strangers, instead he ended up having his dinner in the Commons canteen with Cat Smith instead, in turn missing a few votes…

After staying until closing in the newly inclusive Strangers bar (now allowing staff in as well as MPs) – an elite group of the Shadow Cabinet headed off to Players bar – where the resentful attitude of attending Labourites towards the Shadow Cabinet members for losing the election made things decidedly less merry. Ashworth, Louise Haigh, Chris Bryant and Lord Adonis still managed to enjoy themselves, dad-dancing and loudly singing along to apropos lyrics, “Losing everything, it’s like the sun going down on me”. Sad…

In the end, a row erupted after a singer in the bar adapted the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ to say “the record shows, we took the blows and we lost ’cause of your way”. Chris Bryant shot back with “no we didn’t” eventually resulting in the singer calling the Shadow Cabinet “c**ts”. Singing truth to the powerless.

Expect Labour MPs to be getting on the booze a lot over the coming months…

mdi-timer 8 January 2020 @ 10:27 8 Jan 2020 @ 10:27 mdi-comment Comments
Speaker Spec-Data

This data from our friends at the Spectator says it all. Being Speaker was always about Bercow grabbing attention on his feet. Bercow will go down in history as wrecking the office of Speaker, unless a traditionalist is elected his successor it is now irredeemably partisan and will likely be so in the future. Imagine Chris Bryant in the Chair…

UPDATE: Two corrections, it is not the Speccie’s data, it is Robert Colvile’s analysis. The CPS wonk also says this does not compare like-with-like because it is over this data is actually speeches across entire parliamentary career, not just while Speaker. Our first mistake was because, unlike us, the Speccie did not credit the source and our second was taking their headline at face value.

Robert Colvile says that comparing Bercow and Michael Martin’s last three years as Speakers is better. Bercow is still 3 times as gobby as his predecessor…

mdi-timer 21 October 2019 @ 18:19 21 Oct 2019 @ 18:19 mdi-comment Comments
Harman Pitches Herself as Continuity Bercow

The race to be the next speaker is formally on, with a number of candidates now openly campaigning. In truth many candidates have been quietly on the campaign trail for well over a year. Harriet Harman has the most sophisticated operation and the most support from the Labour benches. Another serious contender at this stage is Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle. Harman took to the airwaves on The Today Programme to declare that she agreed with Bercow’s flagrant disregard for precedent…

Guido brings you the runners and riders to be the next speaker in full here…

  • Harriet Harman (Lab)
    • The (self-described) ‘Mother of the House’. Pitching herself as ‘continuity Bercow.’ That will go down well with Remainers but is unlikely to pick up much Tory support…
  • Lindsay Hoyle (Lab)
    • Deputy Speaker. Good sense of humour with a decidedly smaller head than his would-be predecessor. Seen as less activist with a broader appeal across the House. But will this Remainer Parliament want someone less keen on breaking the rules for their own cause?
  • Chris Bryant (Lab)
    • Loves Parliamentary procedure so much he wrote a book on it. An also-ran.
  • Charles Walker (Con)
    • A close friend of Bercow and loyal Theresa May fan. May want to add ‘speaker’ to his title along with his KBE this morning.
  • Eleanor Laing (Con)
    • Seen as more cooperative in the eyes of Brexiteers…
  • Rosie Winterton (Lab)
    • Another Deputy Speaker and former Labour Chief Whip under Miliband.
  • Meg Hillier (Lab)
    • Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
  • Sir Henry Bellingham (Con)
    • Promised to bring back ceremonial outfits, including wifs for the clerks and speaker. Will go down well with traditional Tories…
  • Sir Edward Leigh (Con)
    • Certainly the Tory Brexiteer’s favourite… so a no-hoper if Bercow insists on this cohort of MPs voting in the next speaker.
  • Pete Wishart (SNP)
    • Clearly doesn’t think Scottish independence is likely any time soon…

Expect backroom dealings and grovelling campaigning over the next two months…

UPDATE: After putting his name about, Pete Wishart has sheepishly pulled out

UPDATE II: Election for the next speaker announced for 4th November

UPDATE III: Shailesh Vara (Con) has emailed MPs announcing he is also running for speaker, promising to be impartial and to address “everyone in a respectful and fair manner“.

mdi-timer 13 September 2019 @ 12:05 13 Sep 2019 @ 12:05 mdi-comment Comments
Bryant Tickles Cox

Chris Bryant got Geoffrey Cox chuckling at the Despatch Box after regaling an unexpected anecdote…

mdi-timer 12 March 2019 @ 13:39 12 Mar 2019 @ 13:39 mdi-comment Comments
“Kay Burley Will Stand Against Matt Hancock in West Suffolk”

Labour MP Chris Bryant reckons Kay Burley could stand against Matt Hancock in West Suffolk if the future of Sky News is threatened under proposed merger plans. Kay would win…

mdi-timer 5 June 2018 @ 15:12 5 Jun 2018 @ 15:12 mdi-comment Comments
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