Rory Stewart Jumps to Second Place With Tory Members

Looks like Rory Stewart’s ‘unique’ style of campaigning hasn’t done him too much harm, he’s managed an improbable jump into second place in the latest ConHome leadership survey. He’s still going to need at least another eight votes if the fun is going to continue. He tells The Sun he is still “one or two votes short”…

Raab and Gove have both been pushed down a place and fall under 10% for the first time in months, Hunt has closed the gap slightly while the Saj has managed to put a bit of distance between himself and the remaining candidates. Hancock looks to have cleared the 16-vote bar with George Freeman’s switch from Gove yesterday, the other three all have work to do. The membership won’t be too distraught either way, it’s just 2% for McVey and Leadsom while Hancock and Harper don’t even muster 1%…

It’s all a bit academic anyway, these are all molehills compared to Boris Johnson’s towering peak – breaking the 50% mark for the first time. His smooth launch yesterday failed to offer any kind of gamechanging gaffe his rivals need to dent his imposing lead. It’s increasingly starting to look like a race for second place…

mdi-timer 13th June 2019 @ 9:01 am 13th Jun 2019 @ 9:01 am mdi-comment Comments
McVey Calls for BBC to Reverse Licence Fee Hike

Former BBC employee Esther McVey has become the first Tory leadership candidate to wade into the BBC licence fee row, accusing the BBC of breaking a deal it made to increase the licence fee on the condition it kept them free for over-75s. Esther has pledged to force the BBC to reverse the decision…

The licence fee remains a deeply unpopular tax and Guido is surprised the other Tory leadership candidates are not trying to make more hay with it. Even Theresa May (remember her?) has got involved. Pledging to stop Gary Lineker cashing in at pensioners’ expense is hardly going to be an unpopular policy…

mdi-timer 11th June 2019 @ 9:08 am 11th Jun 2019 @ 9:08 am mdi-comment Comments
Lorraine Kelly Savages Esther

Tension was high on GMB this morning when Lorraine slipped out of character responding to Piers Morgan’s question of whether she remembers Esther from her GMTV days with a curt “yes I do.” Thirty seconds later she claimed to not remember Esther at all. If looks could kill…

UPDATE: Esther has shed a bit more light on her historic feud with Lorraine, telling Paul Brand they used to share a dressing room. Until Esther was promoted…

mdi-timer 10th June 2019 @ 12:18 pm 10th Jun 2019 @ 12:18 pm mdi-comment Comments
Esther Launches Campaign With ‘Public Service’ Video

There’s a twist in the latest Tory leadership launch video – there’s almost no sign of the candidate herself for the first minute of the video. Instead Esther McVey’s big pitch is being a “public servant” focused on you, the voter. However the voters she needs right now are MPs, can she get the three more she needs to stay in the race?

mdi-timer 10th June 2019 @ 9:37 am 10th Jun 2019 @ 9:37 am mdi-comment Comments
McVey: I Would Use Every Tool At My Disposal to Leave EU
mdi-timer 9th June 2019 @ 10:56 am 9th Jun 2019 @ 10:56 am mdi-comment Comments
Meet the Candidates: Team McVey

Esther McVey is positioning herself as the most ‘authentic’ Brexit candidate in the Tory leadership race, she’s gone even further than Dominic Raab in actively advocating a no deal Brexit as her preferred option. She’s also set out robust positions on spending aid cash on police and schools and scrapping HS2 in favour of investing in the North and the regions. Combined with her blue collar Tory credentials as a Barnado’s girl from Liverpool, could a different “blonde bombshell” wrongfoot the frontrunners?

Team McVey is a blue collar affair and a youthful one too. James Roberts, a former CTF operative and now Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, is doing strategy while Tory candidate Clark Vasey, who runs corporate affairs for Fujitsu, is working on policy. Brexiteer spinner Ed Barker is doing her comms, although McVey will be hoping his previous career as a saxophonist for George Michael doesn’t lead to any careless whispers on the campaign trail. Dan O’Neill, former aide to Richard Tice and Michael Fallon, is in charge of the digital side of the campaign. He’s also a saxophonist, will they be tempted to start a band?

McVey is also receiving informal advice from former senior journalist turned PR guru Ian Monk, as well as former Tory MP David Nuttall and of course her famous First Fiancé Philip Davies. Former Tory Vice Chair for youth Ben Bradley is leading her Parliamentary operation. She’s got five MPs publicly backing her at the moment including Remainer Gary Streeter – despite her Brexit position. Can her blue collar agenda reach out further beyond her Brexiteer base?

Social media support: MakeWay4McVey has a great name but only 284 followers and questionable proofreading skills, McVey herself has 34.3k followers on Twitter, she’s new to Instagram but has already got 164 followers in under 24 hours. No sign of a Facebook page…

Mainstream media support: The Telegraph has run a number of supportive op-eds although no major endorsements as of yet.

ConservativeHome members survey: 3.1% (7th)

YouGov public recognition: not yet included

William Hill odds: 50/1 (14th)

mdi-timer 29th May 2019 @ 12:05 pm 29th May 2019 @ 12:05 pm mdi-comment Comments
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