Another Former Labour Minister Urges Voters to Back Boris

Following the wide-spread coverage of Ian Austin and John Woodcock calling on the public to back Boris and block Corbyn, a third former Labour MP – Tom Harris – has used a column in today’s Scottish Mail to back Boris for PM. Just about counteracts David Gauke’s u-turn this morning to stand as an independent against the Tories…

Harris – who served as a transport minister under Blair and Brown – has invoked the words of Theresa May (of all people), in writing “I will be voting Tory… to save the country that I love”, and goes on to say:

“Jeremy Corbyn, the present leader of UK Labour, cannot and must not be trusted with the security of our nation. Nor, frankly, can he be trusted with safeguarding the Union”

Harris – who also served in Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet and backed leaving the EU in 2016 – wrote a similar column in 2017 warning of the dangers of Corbyn, but stopped well short of overtly calling on people to vote Tory. Austin, Woodcock and he really are Mainstream…

Grieve and Gauke at Tory Conference Despite Voting Against It

Expelled Tory MP David Gauke has been spotted arriving at the Raddison Blu hotel just outside the Tory conference secure zone – despite having just voted against allowing a recess for the conference. Fellow expellee Dominic Grieve has also spent a couple of days doing fringe events – including one with Jacob Rees-Mogg. They clearly can’t resist the attention…

Gauke has three fringe events scheduled, including one tonight with fellow expellee Dominic Grieve on why a no deal Brexit would be bad for the country; however Guido has been tipped off a group of pro-Brexit young Conservatives plan on gatecrashing the event to heckle. Wonder whether Gauke and Grieve will regret turning up after that…

 

David Gauke Still Wants to Return to Tory Folds

Former Justice Secretary and Tory MP, David Gauke, has told Sophie Ridge he still harbours ambitions of returning to the Tory fold.

Following the expulsion of the 21 rebels, all conversations were about when they would be allowed back in; however Gyimah’s defected to the Lib Dems, Rory’s setting up a new party and others like Hammond seem to have given up entirely. Gauke has become the rebels’ rebel…

Gauke ‘Prepared’ To Lose Whip To Block No Deal

Gauke To Meet With Boris Tomorrow

Gauke Borks Corbyn

David Gauke rejects Corbyn as a ‘national unity PM’

If anyone thinks the answer is Jeremy Corbyn, I think they’re probably asking the wrong question.

Team May All Out

Funnily enough certain backbenchers haven’t taken up their places to watch Boris’s inaugural speech at the Despatch Box…

Gauke Doesn’t Rule Out Resigning to Vote With Grieve

The Northern Ireland Bill is heading back from the Lords today with fresh amendments designed to thwart prorogation, courtesy of Dominic Grieve’s moat-cleaning buddy Lord Hailsham. Grieve himself is considering having another go at adding his out-of-order amendment now his other key ally John Bercow is back in the chair. All of which means a number of very tight votes today…

It could be even tighter after Newsnight reported that Remainer Cabinet Ministers were even considering resigning to rebel and vote with Grieve, given most of them expect to be out of a job in a week anyway. Philip Hammond is one on resignation watch, while ‘Gaukeward Squad’ leader David Gauke left the door wide open to rebelling on Today – which would also require his resignation. Could get messy…

UPDATE: Grieve has now tabled an even tougher version of his previously out-of-order amendment, which would force Parliament to return for days on end if a new PM attempts to prorogue. Predictably Bercow has selected it

Gauke: I’d “Resign in Advance” From a Boris No Deal Cabinet

Not that anyone’s really expecting him to be in it anyway after his recent antics, but David Gauke has clarified that he would “resign in advance” from a potential Boris Cabinet if he was required to sign up to leaving the EU on October 31st deal or no deal.

Funny how he didn’t feel the need to make the same clarification about a Jeremy Hunt Cabinet, despite Hunt also backing no deal just with more woolliness around the date. Or that he never felt the need to resign from a May Government that had “no deal is better than a bad deal” as its official policy for well over two years…

Meet the Candidates: Team Rory

Much like the man himself, Rory Stewart’s campaign has meandered between novelty and farce, what there’s no doubt about is that he’s made the biggest impression of all the rivals jockeying for position behind Boris Johnson. Behind the stunts and awkward videos however, there’s a well-organised campaign team skilled in the art of astute press management. Just look at the Telegraph’s front page this morning which Rory has cleverly tried to spin as an attack on his past links to MI6 – as if a front page putting him in the same bracket as James Bond is remotely negative publicity. Guido lifts the lid on the team holding the camera while Rory takes his “selfie” videos…

Rory’s campaign manager is his wife, Shoshana Clark, who moved to Afghanistan with her first husband to work for Stewart’s Turquoise Mountain charity in 2006, only to promptly leave him for Stewart and become Chief Executive of the charity. Another key part of the team is Rory’s SpAd Lizzie Loudon, an alumni of Vote Leave, Theresa May’s press team and, naturally, Hanbury Strategy. Also on Team Rory are Ramsay Jones, David Cameron’s former Scotland adviser and James Johnson, a current Downing Street SpAd and Theresa May’s pollster. Guido hopes the SpAds are following the strict civil service rules and have either resigned their jobs or are taking unpaid leave to work on the campaign…

Rory’s robust anti-No Deal stance has scooped him up endorsements from key members of the Tory Remainer establishment that previously looked to be getting behind Hunt – Justice Secretary David Gauke is a key part of his campaign while May’s deputy David Lidington also came out for Rory yesterday. Regular Remainer rebels including Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, Nicholas Soames, Antoinette Sandbach and Caroline Spelman have all lined up behind Rory as well, he’s yet to win backing from a single Brexiteer. Not exactly a representative cross-section of the Tory Party…

Rory’s trousered over £50,000 in the last few weeks including £10,000 from Russian Hedge Fund manager Lev Mikheev, £10,000 from Khaled Said, son of Saudi political fixer Wafic Said, and £5,000 from Edwina Snow, wife of Remainer snowflake Dan. A handsome war chest for Team Rory to play with, if they can make it through this week…

Social media support: Rory’s eccentric social media game needs little introduction, it has achieved levels of cut-through most of his rivals can only dream of. Rory’s personal Twitter following has rocketed up to 169k in recent weeks while he has a moderate Facebook following of 15k. He’s even got more Instagram followers than Insta-queen Liz Truss…
Mainstream media support: Pretty much every non-Tory in the media…
ConservativeHome members survey: 16.33% (2nd)
PaddyPower odds: 8/1 (2nd)

Gauke Pleads With Members to Defeat Deselection Attempt

Guido readers will be aware that Justice Secretary David Gauke is facing a Special General Meeting of his local association at the end of the month to hear a motion of no confidence in him as an MP. This morning he has written to local members urging them to support him, despite going against his manifesto commitment that no deal is better than a bad deal.

Despite pushing for the softest Brexit possible, and helping to block the UK’s exit on 29th March – voting against exiting on WTO terms, Gauke claims he has not obstructed Brexit. He also hits out at the person who started the petition, alleging entryism. It’s going to be a messy fight…

Read his letter in full below…

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Gauke No Confidence Notice Sent Out

The Tories are heading for civil war…

Gauke Announces Support for Rory Stewart

In a move revealing what a block he has been in Cabinet to a cleaner Brexit, the Business Secretary David Gauke has endorsed Rory. That’s Rory ‘I Have A Lot of Views In Common With the Labour Party’ Stewart…

David Gauke: I’ll Resign if May Goes for No Deal

David Gauke says “obviously I wouldn’t be able to remain as a member of a Government that pursued [no deal] as a policy.” Impressive that the Justice Secretary has managed to remain a member of a Government with “no deal is better than a bad deal” as a policy for over three years without noticing…[…] Read the rest

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George Eustice Tears Into Grandstanding Remain Ministers

Former Farming Minister George Eustice has laid into grandstanding Remain ministers for flaunting resignation threats around in the press, after his own principled resignation yesterday. Speaking to TalkRadio, he attacked them for “trying to buffet the Prime Minister around through threats of resignation”, adding “that’s no way to behave as a minister”.[…] Read the rest

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Cabinet Brexit Discussion Latest

This morning’s Cabinet meeting naturally focused around Brexit, with most of the conversation on no deal planning. When conversation turned to the Withdrawal Agreement, ministers resorted to increasingly wild analogies for the current state of mind of Conservative backbenchers. Somehow the conversation culminated with David Gauke concluding that MPs are “waiting for Scarlett [Johansson]…..[…] Read the rest

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Gauke: Rudd Shouldn’t Resign

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Gauke Refuses to Join Calls to Ban Worboys From London

David Gauke was under more pressure in the Commons today as MPs queued up to ask why he isn’t doing more to make sure John Worboys is banned from Greater London, where his hundreds of victims live. The Justice Secretary refused to back calls for a Greater London exclusion zone, despite the MoJ engaging with the licence conditions process on a daily basis.[…] Read the rest

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Gauke Bottles Worboys Legal Challenge as Sadiq Launches Judicial Review Proceedings

On Sunday the government said it would do everything possible to keep John Worboys behind bars, well it’s taken them five days to break that promise – David Gauke has bottled his judicial review. This really is weak from the new Justice Secretary, especially since JR experts including Lord Pannick said he would have had a good chance of success.[…] Read the rest

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Lewis: Justice Secretary Doing “Everything He Can to Make Sure Worboys Stays Behind Bars”

Doesn’t look like Worboys is coming out any time soon.[…] Read the rest

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