Meet the Candidates: Team Raab

The Tory contenders are gearing up for what might well become the most protracted Tory leadership contest ever – it could be another 8 months before the race officially starts if May clings on ’til December. That hasn’t stopped the candidates from starting to get their teams together already…

Dominic Raab has assembled a number of key Vote Leave figures behind him – James Starkie joined Team Raab last month, Beth Armstrong was Raab’s SpAd as Brexit Secretary but stuck with her boss after his resignation. Arbuthnot Banking Group have donated £44,259 to Raab to cover her salary for 6 months. Both are former SpAds for Michael Gove…

Spinning for him is the formidable Paul Stephenson, Vote Leave’s former Director of Comms and co-founder of Hanbury Strategy. Officially, Stephenson only has an informal advisory role…

A number of MPs are also already said to be on board the Raab train, including former Brexit Minister Suella Braverman. Raab is said to have provisionally lined up former ministers Sir Hugo Swire and Shailesh Vara to propose and second him. Braverman and Vara both resigned alongside Raab last November…

Raab’s main problem is that he and Boris will likely be fighting over the same MPs and the same endorsements from the Brexit-supporting press. Here’s how his other key stats compare:

Social media support: Ready for Raab has 1.7k followers, Raab himself has 44.1k followers and his Facebook has 3.4k.

Mainstream media support: None as yet, though Stephenson is close to the Sunday Times’ Tim Shipman. In the last few weeks Raab’s had a few op-eds for The Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday.

ConservativeHome members survey: 18% (2nd)

YouGov public recognition: 19% (7th)

PaddyPower odds: 9/1 (4th)

UN-Loving Snowflakes Accuse May of Undermining Rules-Based International Order

The snowflakes at the United Nations Association have had a hissy fit to accompany the visit of another UN special rapporteur to the UK in order to fill Guardian column inches investigate “extreme poverty”, releasing a patronising note to warn British journalists of the “consequences” of “negative media coverage during a special rapporteur’s visit”Terrible when an international organisation has to face some level of scrutiny…

They have also compiled a list of eight egregious examples of British politicians “engaging in rhetoric which undermines the value placed on the rules-based international order”. It features no fewer than two separate accusations against Prime Minister Theresa May and one against Philip Hammond, for such heinous crimes as criticising tank-chasing lawyers and daring to accuse a UN body of making a “ridiculous” finding. Send them to The Hague!

Former Foreign Minister Sir Huge Swire is also named and shamed as one of the top British saboteurs of the international legal order… for tweeting this adorable picture of him cuddling his dog:

It’s not like the UN has any more serious instances of countries undermining the international rule of law to be worrying about. Oh, wait…

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article referred to the United Nations as the easily-offended organisation – it was in fact the United Nations Association.

FCO Vows to “Resist Argentine Threats”

The stretched twig of peace is once again at melting point.

Tension is high as Argentina’s state prosecutor orders an embargo of UK assets involved in Falklands hydrocarbons operations, demanding the seizure of more than $156m of international equipment, including ships, drilling platforms and bank accounts.

FCO minister Hugo Swire is threatening appropriate measures over this “flagrant and unacceptable campaign to strangle the Falkland Islands”.

“We have been absolutely clear that Argentine domestic law does not apply in the Falkland Islands, nor in the waters that surround them… The government of Argentina should refrain from unjustified provocations of this kind… The Falkland Islanders have every right to decide their own future, including through the development of their economy. As ever, we stand behind them and are confident that the international community will continue to resist these Argentine threats.”

We will not flinch…

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