Harman: Parliament Should ‘Change With the Times’

Harman Pitches Herself as Continuity Bercow

The race to be the next speaker is formally on, with a number of candidates now openly campaigning. In truth many candidates have been quietly on the campaign trail for well over a year. Harriet Harman has the most sophisticated operation and the most support from the Labour benches. Another serious contender at this stage is Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle. Harman took to the airwaves on The Today Programme to declare that she agreed with Bercow’s flagrant disregard for precedent…

Guido brings you the runners and riders to be the next speaker in full here…

  • Harriet Harman (Lab)
    • The (self-described) ‘Mother of the House’. Pitching herself as ‘continuity Bercow.’ That will go down well with Remainers but is unlikely to pick up much Tory support…
  • Lindsay Hoyle (Lab)
    • Deputy Speaker. Good sense of humour with a decidedly smaller head than his would-be predecessor. Seen as less activist with a broader appeal across the House. But will this Remainer Parliament want someone less keen on breaking the rules for their own cause?
  • Chris Bryant (Lab)
    • Loves Parliamentary procedure so much he wrote a book on it. An also-ran.
  • Charles Walker (Con)
    • A close friend of Bercow and loyal Theresa May fan. May want to add ‘speaker’ to his title along with his KBE this morning.
  • Eleanor Laing (Con)
    • Seen as more cooperative in the eyes of Brexiteers…
  • Rosie Winterton (Lab)
    • Another Deputy Speaker and former Labour Chief Whip under Miliband.
  • Meg Hillier (Lab)
    • Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
  • Sir Henry Bellingham (Con)
    • Promised to bring back ceremonial outfits, including wifs for the clerks and speaker. Will go down well with traditional Tories…
  • Sir Edward Leigh (Con)
    • Certainly the Tory Brexiteer’s favourite… so a no-hoper if Bercow insists on this cohort of MPs voting in the next speaker.
  • Pete Wishart (SNP)
    • Clearly doesn’t think Scottish independence is likely any time soon…

Expect backroom dealings and grovelling campaigning over the next two months…

UPDATE: After putting his name about, Pete Wishart has sheepishly pulled out

UPDATE II: Election for the next speaker announced for 4th November

UPDATE III: Shailesh Vara (Con) has emailed MPs announcing he is also running for speaker, promising to be impartial and to address “everyone in a respectful and fair manner“.

Labour Party Democracy Harriet Style

Harriet is polling her Camberwell & Peckham CLP members as to whether she should stand again. Via text message they can vote yes. That’s it comrades…

May on “The Labour Sisterhood”

Harriet Harman and Liz Kendall would both like that to come true…

Harman’s Unfortunate This Week Gaffe

Odd outing on This Week from the usually right-on Harriet Harman as she made a off-colour joke live on air. Brillo was not impressed:

Oops…

Harman Condemns “Inexcusable” Lewis B*tch Slur

Clive still hasn’t said sorry for this. Looks pretty bad…

Harman: Very Bad Time for Labour

She says it is not an existential crisis for Labour. Yet…

She also regrets not challenging Ed Miliband for the party leadership:

Would history be different if she had lead Labour rather than Miliband? Perhaps…

Campaign Report: 17 Days to Go

nathalie bennett bse bus

Leave message: Stay and we’ll be paying for the Eurozone’s failure.

Remain message: Cameron, Farron, Harman and Bennett united: Leave must make plans clear.

Cut through: Polls changing drastically in Leave’s favour.

Leave social media count: 456,041 likes, 51,907 followers.

Remain social media count: 456,247 likes, 34,318 followers.

Odds: Remain 4/9, Leave between 11/5

Latest poll: Remain 43% (-1), Leave 48% (+1) (ICM, online). Poll of Polls is now Remain 51%, Leave 49%.

13 Labour MPs Didn’t Declare Hattie’s Pink Bus

Since Guido started looking at Labour’s battle bus spending, readers have been in touch to ask where Harriet Harman’s famous pink bus fits in. Well, it’s a very good question. Electoral Commission data shows that 13 Labour MPs who claimed they spent nothing on transport benefitted from activists transported into their constituencies in Hattie’s pink van. Among those who didn’t declare are the new London mayor Sadiq Khan, five shadow ministers  – Gloria De Piero, Judith Cummins, Jo Stevens, Clive Lewis and Mike Kane – as well as Paula Sherriff, Naz Shah, Rupa Huq, Joan Ryan, Tulip Siddiq, Margaret Greenwood, Clive Efford and Ruth Cadbury. Oooops…

Now, Labour listed the pink bus as a national expense costing £5,000. Yet if it carried anyone who did any campaigning in local seats, as Labour boasted it did at the time, Electoral Commission guidance suggests some of the cost should have been declared by individual candidates. Jo Stevens had £10 left over to spend in the short campaign before reaching the legal limit, if she’d declared the pink bus she’d have gone over…

Labour Spent £4,700 on Hattie’s Pink Bus

How much did Harriet Harman’s infamous pink bus cost the Labour Party? Service Graphics invoiced them £4,742 “to produce and install Pink graphics” on the “Woman to Woman Bus”. That ends the debate about whether it was pink, magenta or cerise.

Despite him barely ever turning up, Labour blew £223,572 on David Axelrod’s firm AKPD. They spent another £563,973 on polling from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, and £184,609 on Michael Sheehan’s debate coaching. There’s no price on laughter.

Corbyn Accused of “Low-Level Non-Violent Misogyny”

Just in time for the reshuffle, two of Labour’s most high profile women have come out and blasted Corbyn for giving jobs to the boys. Harriet Harman tells Newsnight: “We can’t have a men-only leadership when we are party for women and equality”, while Jess Phillips blasts: “some people in the Labour Party are accepting low-level non-violent misogyny because it’s Jeremy doing it”. Will there be a woman in one of the shadow great offices of state by tomorrow morning?

Hattie Does Her Bit For Deficit Reduction

Capture

Harriet Harman is looking to take on a new Parliamentary Assistant. Fresh-faced, budding bag-carriers have however been disappointed by the paltry salary on offer. IPSA decree that the minimum salary for a London-based Parliamentary Assistant – a mid-ranking job which is senior to a secretary or even a senior caseworker – should be £23,000-a-year. Penny pinching Hattie is offering just £19,000, a wage more typical of a junior caseworker or junior secretary. At last Labour embrace “the cuts”…

UPDATE: As has been pointed out by many of our right-on readers, assuming a 40-hour week, that is less than the “Living Wage”.

Harman’s Parting Zinger to “Old, Posh” Corbyn

Hattie has remained resoutely impartial during the leadership election, alas she couldn’t resist a parting dig at Comrade Corbyn on her final day on the frontbench:

“It was quite surprising to discover that I’m not old enough or posh enough to be the frontrunner of this current leadership election.”

A personal attack from the acting leader on the last day of voting. She’ll be on the list when the purge comes…

Of course, as this footage of young posh totty Hattie shows, the St Paul’s old girl certainly fulfils the posh criteria:

Close observers will note that her accent went a bit Estuary sometime in the late nineties…

Guy News Special: Hattie’s “Anyone” U-Turn

Harriet Harman, 18 May:

“We will allow people who are not party members or who are not affiliated supporters to have a vote. Anyone – providing they are on the electoral register – can become a registered supporter, pay £3 and have a vote to decide our next leader.”

Harriet Harman, 25 August:

“If they don’t support the Labour Party’s aims and values, they don’t get a vote.”

Guido did try to warn her[…] Read the rest

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Harman Horror at Penile Drugs Injection

Guido was having a Friday afternoon peruse of the Southwark News when he suddenly crossed his legs and winced:

Southwark council leader Peter John recalls the time Harriet Harman visited the Ayelsbury council estate with a local councillor:

“They were in a lift and a man was injecting drugs into his penis.

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Len McCluskey on the Harriet Harman welfare row:

“I’ll send her a dictionary so she can look up definition of opposition.”[…] Read the rest

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“Tory” Witch-Hunt: Kendall and Harman Smeared

If the Labour leadership contest wasn’t already a spiralling descent into insanity, Diane Abbott has now accused Harriet Harman of “voicing a Tory agenda“:

The increasing use of the “Tory” smear is becoming a hysterical, McCluskeyite witch hunt, rooting out any sign of moderation among the leadership candidates.[…] Read the rest

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SKETCH: Ladies Tennis, ISIS and EVEL MacSporrans

Were they tails that the Speaker was wearing, and a waistcoat? Is he finally dressing the part? It’s cruellest trick he’s playing on his critics. He’s turning himself into a decent Speaker. Acting the part, dressing the part, sounding the part.[…] Read the rest

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Harman Forgets When Labour Tried to Abolish Human Rights

hatty

Harriet Harman, at her pious worst today, declared in a speech about Human Rights:

“Labour values are about social and economic rights. And they are also about the civil and political rights embodied in the Human Rights Act. But these are not just Labour values – they are British values and universal human values. 

[…] Read the rest

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PMQ’s SKETCH: Where Was the Eton Gloating Song?

Harriet was always going to use that line about gloating.

The PM is back to his easy, lordly form. He deflected hostile questions (“It’s an important point she raises.”) He congratulated opposition MPs. He made a pretty decent UKIP joke that made Douglas Carswell laugh – “He has made political history.[…] Read the rest

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