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…

 

Tory MPs’ People’s Vote Campaign No Longer Contains Any Tories

The second referendum campaign for Tory MPs, Right to Vote, set up by Phillip Lee, no longer contains a single Tory MP among their ranks, following multiple defections, resignations and withdrawals of the whip by the Government. Coincidentally the website and campaign have since folded…

At its height, the group contained 10 Tory MPs in its fold, however, following a record number of MPs changing party, the supposedly Conservative campaign is now led by a Lib Dem and counts four independents, one ‘The Independents’ MP and one ‘The Independent Group for Change’ MP among others. Keeping up?

The only sign the group was ever Tory-affiliated is the two remaining Tory Lords, who will be grateful that Boris said he wouldn’t withdraw the whip from any Lords supporting the Surrender Bill. A good demonstration of the change seen in British politics over the last year.

“Humble Address” Breaches Article 10 of the Human Rights Act

That this House has considered the matter of prorogation with the imminence of an exit from the European Union and accordingly resolves–That a Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that she will be graciously pleased to direct Ministers to lay before this House, not later than 11.00pm Wednesday 11 September, all correspondence and other communications (whether formal or informal, in both written and electronic form, including but not limited to messaging services including WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook messenger, private email accounts both encrypted and unencrypted, text messaging and iMessage and the use of both official and personal mobile phones) to, from or within the present administration, since 23 July 2019 relating to the prorogation of Parliament sent or received by one or more of the following individuals: Hugh Bennett, Simon Burton, Dominic Cummings, Nikki da Costa, Tom Irven, Sir Roy Stone, Christopher James, Lee Cain or Beatrice Timpson; and that Ministers be further directed to lay before this House no later than 11.00pm Wednesday 11 September all the documents prepared within Her Majesty’s Government since 23 July 2019 relating to operation Yellowhammer and submitted to the Cabinet or a Cabinet Committee.

Dominic Grieve, Stephen Doughty, Sir Oliver Letwin, Ian Blackford, Jo Swinson, Caroline Lucas, Liz Saville-Roberts, Hilary Benn, Guto Bebb, Anna Soubry, Mary Creagh, Jonathan Edwards, Chris Leslie, Justine Greening

Remainers in parliament have passed a motion to present a Humble Address to the Queen with the aim of forcing the government to reveal communications with journalists. Downing Street says that “under no circumstances will No. 10 staff comply with Grieve’s demands regardless of any votes in Parliament”. Guido has notified those named in the humble address, with whom he has communicated, that he expects them to protect his rights under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act and notify him in advance of any action or inaction which might potentially prejudice his rights under the Act.

Article 10 of the Human Rights Act states

Freedom of expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Article 10 guarantees the absolute right of journalists to “to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority”. Ironically Grieve was always very keen on this right being incorporated into UK law, it ultimately allows people to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights…

Dominic Grieve Has Left the Group

Dominic Grieve leaves the Beaconsfield Conservative Association’s WhatsApp group…

“Warmest thanks to all for the many years of friendship and support. Farewell, exile beckons.”

Grieve’s Prorogation Hypocrisy

Dominic Grieve has been touring TV and radio studios claiming that Boris’ prorogation is unusually long and therefore unconstitutional as ordinarily the prorogued period cover just four or five days. Guido thought it might be nice to remind the anti-Brexit campaigner who was the Government’s Attorney General when Parliament was prorogued for 21 days, starting 14 May and concluding on 4 June in 2014. That recent prorogation spanned the Whitsun recess and a further two weeks of sitting time. In contrast, Boris’ prorogation takes up just four days of sitting time…

Grieve Pledges to No Confidence His Government

Self-styled Remoaner in Chief, Dominic Grieve, had a wobbly interview on BBC 5Live this morning, reacting to the news that Parliament will finally be prorogued after three long years. He went as far as saying he would vote No Confidence in the Government, accepting that course of action could usher in Prime Minister Corbyn.

Hilariously, the audibly distressed former Attorney General somehow simultaneously said Boris’s prorogation is a constitutional outrage, whilst admitting there is still “plenty of time” to hold a vote of no confidence in the Government. So Parliament has its power then. Storm in a teacup…

ITV Broadcast Grieve’s Phone Number

In a post-GDPR world, you might think the big media giants would have a member of staff on hand to ensure their practices are compliant. ITV however takes a clearly more cavalier approach to EU law, as yesterday they interviewed Remoaner-in-Chief Dominic Grieve with his phone number on full view to the world. Guido has always said he’s a phone-y democrat.

The interview, conducted via FaceTime from his home in France (naturellement), was promptly wiped from the web – but not before Twitter had noticed.

Guido is Grieving for inevitable state of the former Attorney General’s phone today…

Boris Set to End Supremacy of EU Law in Days

Boris has directed Stephen Barclay to sign the official order to end EU law’s supremacy in Britain, a move that Steve Baker described to The Times as “absolutely totemic”, proving Boris is “willing to leave on a fixed date with no question of extension. It’s the do-or-die pledge in black and white”. Just one of the many jobs May never got round to doing…

Whilst MPs voted for the EU Withdrawal Act in 2018, which repealed the original legislation making us members of the EEC, it required a “commencement order” to come into force, which Barclay is expected to sign imminently. Not only does the Government’s move show Boris is totally serious in his Brexit pledge, since it does not involve MPs – by which Guido means Remainers – Parliament cannot interfere with the process. Surprise surprise, Dominic Grieve is not happy. The Tories’ wannabe Remoaner in Chief begrudgingly admitted that he can’t stop the order being signed. He’s reduced to admitting he will have to try to reverse it retrospectively…

Hammond Himself Said Voting Leave Could Lead to No Deal

The latest mendacious line to come from the hard Remain camp is that “nobody was told that voting Leave could lead to no deal”, with Philip Hammond going into overdrive this morning and claiming it is a “total travesty of the truth”. The problem is, as usual, it’s the Remainer line that is a “total travesty of the truth”.

Change Britain have looked at what Remainer politicians actually said and, surprise surprise, everyone from David Cameron and George Osborne to Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn repeatedly warned voters that voting Leave would lead to Britain leaving the EU after two years, deal or no deal. Along with a certain Rt Hon. Philip Hammond M.P. at the Despatch Box in the House of Commons…

Dominic Cummings Speaks

Sky News were out with the cameras to doorstep Dominic Cummings this morning, Boris’s top adviser sportingly gave a brief but polite interview – considerably more so than many elected politicians. “Mr Grieve will see what he is right about…”

Bercow Selects Grieve’s New Anti-Brexit Amendment

In the most predictable development of the day, Bercow has selected Grieve’s beefed-up anti-prorogation amendment, despite it being even more contrived than the version that was rejected by Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing last week. There’s a sizable number of Tories who have put their name to it already, former minister Alastair Burt co-sponsoring the amendment with Hilary Benn despite not even rebelling on the weaker Grieve amendment last week. Wonder what Jeremy Hunt thinks about one of his leading supporters co-sponsoring an amendment as hostile as this?

The Tories are expected to put a ‘hard three-line whip’ against the amendment, rebels think they’ve convinced ministers to abstain. Even with less than a week left, May surely can’t allow Cabinet Ministers to flagrantly flaunt a three-line whip…

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

Grieve: ‘Technically Quite Difficult’ to Block No Deal

Remainer morale has taken another blow this morning as Dominic Grieve all but admitted on Today that he had run out of options to try to block no deal, save trying to bring down the Government altogether. Grieve conceded that “technically that may be quite difficult” to block no deal outright but confirms that he would vote for no confidence in a Government “persisting” with no deal instead, and speculates that newly sacked Cabinet Ministers might join him. Whether the ones with half an eye on their careers really want to usher in a general election in which they’ll all be standing as independents is another matter…

It’s hardly a surprise that Grieve is out of ideas given the laughable “report” written by Margaret Beckett and himself and published by the People’s Vote campaign this morning, which supposedly offers details on ways to stop no deal but in fact reads more like a 17-year-old’s A-level politics coursework. Grieve and pals keep trotting out the line that a second referendum is the “only way out” without ever being challenged on the question of how it changes anything if it just comes back with the same result…

YouGov Debunks Claims of Large-Scale Tory ‘Entryism’

Remainer Tory MPs’ go-to excuse when facing local members angry over flagrant betrayals of their manifesto commitments has been to dismiss it as “entryism”, despite there being no solid evidence for it whatsoever. It suits Remainer Tory MPs to blame Leave.EU rather than unhappy local members. Blame that Arron Banks gleefully accepts

Instead of idle speculation, YouGov have done a rigorous study into Tory members, when they joined the party and why. While a large number of recent joiners did say it was because they wanted a vote in the leadership election, the vast majority were Tory supporters already before they actually joined the party. Leadership contests have always been good recruiting tools for pre-existing supporters who just haven’t bothered to join the party they back:

Whilst recent joiners are more likely to support Boris, even pre-2015 members still overwhelmingly prefer Boris to Hunt by 63% to 37%, so it’s largely immaterial to the final result. There’s simply no evidence that there’s been entryism on any significant scale – newer members may be more ‘Brexity’ but they are still overwhelmingly Tories. Brexit-blocking MPs have no excuse for not listening to the genuine concerns of hard-working local members any more…

Grieve Amendment Not Selected

Dominic Grieve’s amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill attempting to make it impossible to prorogue Parliament in Autumn has not been selected. Grieve’s amendment was clearly far beyond the scope of the Bill as well as carrying a range of constitutional baggage. Although that’s hardly stopped Bercow before…

What has stopped him is the fact that as it’s a Committee of the whole House, he’s not in the Chair, it’s a Deputy Speaker instead. Eleanor Laing proving herself far more capable of dispensing the solemn responsibilities of the Speaker’s Chair than Bercow…

UPDATE: Legal eagle Nikki da Costa notes that while three other Grieve amendments have been selected for debate, it’s doubtful that they will achieve his desired purpose. It won’t be the last time he tries…

Grieve and Starmer Spotted Plotting

Dominic Grieve was this morning spotted plotting with Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, who last week declared the EU anthem to be amongst his desert island discs. Guido wonders if they were deciding Cabinet positions in the future “Government of National Unity” that Ed Davey wants Starmer to lead…

UPDATE: Guido understands the discussion was over whether Labour will back Grieve’s nefarious attempt to hold pensioners to ransom to scare the Government away from delivering a clean WTO break from the EU. The Mirror’s Pippa Crerar is reporting Labour are now more likely to back the move than not. Deliberately starving pensioners and the disabled of vital funding to prevent the implementation of a democratic decision is unlikely to go down well on the doorsteps

UPDATE II: In sad news for Dominic Grieve, the Speaker has not selected any amendments to the Estimates debates. This is probably a dodged bullet for arch-Remainers from a PR perspective…

Grieve to Hold Pensioners To Ransom Over No Deal Brexit

Dominic Grieve and Margaret Becket have announced that in yet another attempt to frustrate the referendum result they will propose amendments finance legislation on Tuesday to defund vital Government departments in the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. The departments targeted include the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Department for Education, and the Department for Work and Pensions. Going after support structures for disabled people, pensioners, and schoolchildren all to stop Britain properly leaving the EU…

Given that the legal default remains ‘No Deal’, and the Government has already spent in the region of £4 billion preparing for it, this is a deeply callous course of action as if parliamentary paralysis persists then Britain will leave with ‘No Deal’. It’s a likely outcome and this Remainer plan will deliberately twist the knife into vulnerable people if it goes ahead.

As Number 10’s former Director of Legislative Affairs Nikki da Costa points out, in January 20 Tory MPs voted to neuter the Government’s tax administration powers in the event of ‘No Deal’, preventing measures that will reassure business. The psychology of MPs legislating to bring government departments to a halt if they don’t get their way on Brexit is a new level of fanaticism…

Grieve’s Association Chair Slams ‘Very Unconservative’ MP

Dominic Grieve’s Constituency Chairman in Beaconsfield has written a furious email to local members after Grieve’s latest posturing on Wednesday where he again threatened to quit the Tories to bring down the new Prime Minister. Grieve recently lost the confidence of the Association, now the Constituency Officers including Chairman Jackson Ng slam Grieve as “very unconservative”. They say he has lost their confidence as well:

Your Officers and I find it very unconservative for our Conservative MP – especially one of our Association’s standing – to state in the House of Commons that he is willing to bring down a Conservative Government. Especially so when we have always been tolerant of his minority views, votes on Brexit and been supportive and fair following March’s AGM and SGM last week…

Your Officers and I now find ourselves in a situation where we have to publicly rebuke Dominic’s position and that he has lost our confidence…

Ng wrote to Grieve last week formally requesting that he apply for re-adoption as the Conservative candidate, under the Tories’ obscure constitution this is the next part of the process for the Association to deselect him as their MP. However there’s no specified time limit for Grieve to respond, he can simply hang on until the next general election attacking his own party. Assuming he doesn’t resign the whip or have it removed first…

Read the letter in full:

Continue reading

Constituency Chairman Asks Grieve to Apply for Re-Adoption

The Chairman of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association, Jackson Ng has written to Dominic Grieve

As the Chairman of Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association, I understand that there are feelings of disappointment, anger and frustration from many of our membership. Therefore, following this evening’s Special General Meeting and on behalf of our Executive Council, I have immediately written to our MP Dominic Grieve QC to formally request that he now submits a written application to us to seek his re-adoption as our Parliamentary Candidate for the next General Election expected in 2022.

This is usually a formality, not sure it will be this time…

Grieve Loses Local Support After Breaking His Word

Dominic Grieve, Beaconsfield’s current Tory MP, lost a local constituency association confidence motion by 182 to 131 against him. The Beaconsfield Conservative Association chairman says that, “He remains our Conservative MP but I will be speaking as soon as possible to my fellow officers and the Executive Council.” A vote of no confidence is not a deselection.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”

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