IPSA Refuse to Fly MPs Home

Parliament’s independent body responsible for MP’s expenses, IPSA, is refusing to pay out for MPs jollying abroad who now need to fly home, Guido has learnt. A victory for the taxpayer…

Whilst Guido understands a Lib Dem whip is now stranded until he finds the cash to pay for the flights himself, things could be worse: Guido has seen the Tory MPs’ Whatsapp group where newlywed David Morris has informed colleagues he has had to postpone his honeymoon…

UPDATE: IPSA have now u-turned on their opposition to paying for MPs to come back from abroad – having sent an email to MPs saying not only will they pay for MPs coming back from abroad, but for their spouses and partners too. Now seems a bit overly generous…

Our original source in the Lib Dems, however, assures us that at 1.30pm, IPSA was refusing to fork out for flights back. However, after pressure from the Lib Dem whip and others, they have u-turned.

Meet the Candidates: Team Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has been more overtly making himself known as a contender for the top job and today has finally signalled he’s running. Since leaving the Health Department that made him a hate figure for the left (in 2017 he received more social media abuse than Diane Abbott), he’s worked on establishing a reputation for competence, get better at connecting with the public, and beefing up his Brexit credentials. Even at the expense of foreign relations…

His ten months as Foreign Secretary got off to a bumpy start on a China trip when he memorably forget his wife’s nationality, but recent trips have proved more beneficial. His flashy tour of Africa last month landed him plenty of helmet-wearing, boat-riding action man photographs, even earning him accolades as “presidential”. Hunt’s SpAds including Ed Jones, Tim Smith and Christina Robinson have been running his campaign machine for the time being. Sue Beeby, an experienced ex-CCHQ staffer and Treasury SpAd formerly at HS2, is helping out on the campaign. Former Hunt SpAd and May’s outgoing press secretary Paul Harrison was widely thought to be in the frame, campaign sources close to Hunt insist he is not…

On the Parliamentary front, former Health Minister (and fellow multi-millionaire) Philip Dunne has been working groups of MPs at dinners for Hunt. David Morris has recruited a decent number of supporters too. Andrew Mitchell has made himself close to the team. Much of the pitch has been proposing Hunt as a ‘stop Boris’ safe pair of hands, who sensibly voted Remain but is (now) committed to delivering on the referendum result. Where has Guido heard that pitch before…?

Hunt has been working hard to shore up his ‘re-Leaver’ credentials, Guido understands he’s managed to recruit Leave-voting Leo Docherty and Will Quince on board. He’s been showing skin to Leavers by talking up ‘No Deal’, earning him the nickname “windsock” from Lib Dem voting Tory ultra-Remainer Lord Cooper. Guido hears Hunt has even being trying to court hardcore ERGers like IDS…

Despite a slick campaign and making inroads within the Parliamentary party, Hunt only managed to clock 8% support in the most recent leadership poll of Tory members, behind Boris, Raab, Gove, and Sajid. As the preferred candidate of the Tory Party establishment, he’ll have to set out a bolder vision if he wants to truly shake off the ‘continuity May’ brand…

Social media support: Hunt has 162,000 Twitter followers, and 10,000 likes on his Facebook page. Sadly no ‘Pumped for Hunt’ campaign yet…

Mainstream media support: The Sunday Times has been consistently writing positive news stories. Other papers are biding their time but if Remain support coalesces around him expect the previously Mayite papers to come on board…

ConservativeHome members survey: 6.75% (4th)

Times/YouGov membership poll: 8% (5th)

YouGov public recognition: 37% (3rd)

William Hill odds: 12/1 (5th)

MP Begs For Brexit to be Concluded

Tory PPS David Morris today pleaded with John McDonnell in the Chamber to back the Withdrawal Agreement “so that we can all get on with our lives.” An innovative approach…

Tories Demand Agent COB Faces Foreign Affairs Select Committee

The Tories are calling for Jeremy Corbyn to be hauled before the Foreign Affairs select committee to face questions over his links to a Czech spymaster. David Morris has written to FASC chairman Tom Tugendhat asking him to bring Agent COB in for an evidence session to “allow the facts to be established and individuals to clear their name”. Here’s the letter:

Dear Mr Tugendhat,

It has recently been widely reported in the National Media that the leader of the Opposition, the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP had fraternised with a Soviet Bloc Czech Spymaster in the late 1980s. Included in the reports are statements made by the former spy master from the StB – the Statni Bezpecnost, Jan Sarkocy. These statements come from the man who was based in the Czech Embassy in London at the time and who should therefore be in a position to have some authority on the issue.

Given that it is widely accepted the Czech intelligence service had a track record of successfully penetrating Parliament – including the recruitment of at least two senior Labour MP’s – John Stonehouse and Will Owen there are strong grounds to warrant further investigation of these reports.

We are fortunate that a number of former Soviet Bloc Intelligence agencies have had their files preserved. The Stasi of the DDR have had many of their records preserved and they may also shed some light on the issue.

These are very serious and disturbing allegations given that the Leader of the Opposition wants to scrap Trident debasing our defence capability and national security.

Despite the efforts of some to play down these issues there are some serious allegations being made about a Member of this House. I have considered asking the ISC but as their primary role is oversight of the UK’s intelligence service and not foreign relations I feel that your committee is best placed to investigate. I also note that the allegations relate to activity over 20 years ago and so much of the information would not be restricted by Government secrecy rules. At the very least an evidence session from all those mentioned in recent news reports would allow the facts to be established and individuals to clear their name,

Kind regards,

David Morris MP

The man who wants to be Prime Minister has been accused by a Czech spy of handing information to Britain’s enemies – something he does not deny. At the very least we should be told what Corbyn said in his meetings with Jan Sarkocy, and allow him to answer the very pertinent questions about his judgement in being foolish enough to meet Soviet bloc “diplomats“. Tugendhat should call him…

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