Labour whip Conor McGinn has created some headlines today by accusing Corbyn of threatening to call up his dad. McGinn over-dramatically says this is “bullying”. It’s not really though, is it. “Just wait till your father hears about this” is said by many mothers…
McGinn was fingered a while back as a key anti-Corbyn plotter, despite supposedly serving the leader as an opposition whip. This errant WhatsApp message catches McGinn red-handed plotting against Jez with Labour MPs:
In writing, an opposition whip whipping his backbenchers to ‘keep up the pressure on JC’. A punchy Labour insider says:
“Calamity Conor couldn’t even use WhatsApp when he was pretending not to be playing both sides, and his latest nonsense about his dad just makes him look like a clown.”
Opponents of Owen Smith complain that the Labour whips office has intervened to ensure he beats Angela Eagle’s number of nominations. Smith was spotted deep in discussion with whip and top schemer Conor McGinn yesterday – the pair are close and McGinn’s wife used to work for Smith as an aide. McGinn, who was accused of orchestrating Shadow Cabinet resignations, is incidentally very close to Tom Watson…
Who is helping run Smith’s operation? Heidi Alexander and Lucy Powell have been canvassing on his behalf, and Vernon Coaker has been talking him up on the terrace. Smith has the backing of the “old right” of the party, which is ironic given he used to be a Blairite and is now positioning himself as a competent version of Corbyn. Smith’s official line is that he only decided in the last few days that he had to stand. This has surprised Labour MPs who received phone calls six months ago asking if they would support his bid. It’s a slick operation for “oily” Smith…
According to Corbynista Labour sources, Tom Watson is the coup leader and the plan is currently that there will be a vote of no confidence and then Lisa Nandy will eventually take over. She is said to have Watson’s backing. Labour whip Conor McGinn, who is close to Watson and hates Corbyn, is choreographing resignations. Labour MPs are calling colleagues canvassing support for Nandy. That is the plan from one faction of the plotters: for Nandy to ultimately take over from Corbyn…
UPDATE:Sam Coates from the Times reckons there are three separate coup groups, all fighting among themselves as to who takes over.
UPDATE II:Lisa Nandy has now resigned and said Watson should take over as caretaker leader.
Last week, the Gambling Commission published a damning indictment of Gala Coral. Gary Watts, a problem gambler, had stolen over £800,000 which he had lost to the bookmaker, but they had failed to realise that he was a problem gambler engaged in money laundering. A fail on both counts!
The judgement followed a Westminster Hall debate on bookies’ Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, where Tory MP David Nuttall claimed that it could not be true that gamblers are losing £300 in a minute but are also money laundering. It is apparently beyond his comprehension that some customers are money laundering, whilst others are losing £300 a minute.
Gambling with the proceeds of crime is also considered money laundering, which is precisely what Gary Watts was engaged in. This is why he got three years in prison and why the Gambling Commission required Gala Coral to forfeit the proceeds back to the victims.
However, true to the regulator’s form, no licenses were revoked and no fine was imposed on the bookie, despite Gala Coral messing up on a similar scale a few years ago. A no-lose situation for the bookies!
Two allegedly pro-horseracing MPs, the Tory’s Laurence Robertson and Labour’s Conor McGinn, expressed concern that restrictions on FOBT stakes would result in less cash for the bookies which could impact the survival of horse racing.
While everyone is distracted by the “Revenge Reshuffle” six Labour MPs are trying to push through in the Committee stage of the Charities Bill being discussed at this very moment. The MPs (all new members have tabled a New Clause that would green light to political lobbying by charities.
Power to make representations
(1) A charity may undertake political campaigning or political activity in the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes. (2) A charity may campaign to ensure support for, or to oppose, a change in the law, policy or decisions of central government, local authorities or other public bodies.
The newly elected Louise Haigh, Peter Kyle, Conor McGinn, Jo Stevens, Wes Streeting, Anna Turley are trying to legalise partisan left-wing charity sock-puppeting by the legislative back door. Surely the Tory MPs on the Committee will oppose this retrograde amendment?
Multiple Labour sources have accused the party’s NEC of stitching up safe seats for committee members, with Keith Vaz in the frame for fixing selections for his friends. When there is a late retirement in the run up to an election, Labour has a standard procedure where an NEC sub-committee chooses the candidates to go forward for selection. This special selections panel is usually put into place close to the election for last minute selections only, however Guido is told that this time it was implemented in January. The NEC deciding that any constituency where the MP stood down after 10 December last year not have local shortlisting powers and the NEC rather than their local party would handle the selections. One Labour source describes this as “earlier than ever”, another as “way too early”, noting there is “still plenty of time to run proper selections”. Why the change from convention?
Since the special NEC panel was set up, NEC members are mysteriously being selected for safe seats all over the place. NEC member Conor McGinn was put on the shortlist for the uber-safe seat of St. Helen’s North, winning the selection two weeks ago. McGinn represents the same division on the NEC as Vaz.
As Guido reported yesterday, NEC member and Unite agitator Rachael Maskell has just been selected in York Central in acrimonious circumstances.
Meanwhile the selection in Edmonton, where Andy Love has retired, takes place this weekend. At the moment the favourite is Kate Osamor, surprise surprise, yet another NEC member. Three NEC members put forward for safe seats just weeks after the NEC special selections panel was set up – more than a little fishy…