All the Labour Cronies Elevated to the Lords Under Sir Keir

Labour’s big Sunday headline was their plan to abolish the House of Lords to “restore trust in politics”. The idea to replace the Lords with an elected upper chamber was pitched to contrast the party with successive Tory governments “handing peerages to ‘lackeys and donors'”. 

Ignoring the fact that Blair put hundreds of Labour-supporting peers in the Lords and subsequently faced the Cash-for-Honours scandal – Sir Keir’s railing against lifelong jobs for mates looks pretty odd. Since taking over as Labour leader, he’s seen 18 Labour supporters into the upper house…

31 July 2020

  • Kathryn Clark, Baroness Clark of Kilwinning – former Labour MSP and MP
  • Bryn Davies, Baron Davies of Brixton – former Labour GLC member
  • Susan Hayman, Baroness Hayman of Ullock – failed Labour MEP candidate, ex-Labour MP
  • Prem Sikka, Baron Sikka – policy advisor for Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell
  • Tony Woodley, Baron Woodley – former general secretary of Unite

22 December 2020

  • Judith Blake, Baroness Blake of Leeds – former Labour leader of Leeds City Council, mother of Labour MP Olivia Blake
  • Jenny Chapman, Baroness Chapman of Darlington – former shadow Brexit minister, former Labour MP
  • Vernon Coaker, Baron Coaker – former Labour MP
  • Wajid Khan, Baron Khan of Burnley –former Labour MEP
  • Gillian Merron, Baroness Merron –former Labour MP

14 October 2022

  • Sonny Leong, Baron Leong – long-time Labour activist, co-founder of SME4Labour
  • Frances O’Grady – general secretary of the TUC
  • David Prentis, Baron Prentis of Leeds – former general secretary of UNISON
  • Kuldip Singh Sahota, Baron Sahota – former Labour councillor
  • Ruth Smeeth, Baroness Anderson of Stoke-on-Trent – former Labour MP
  • Sharon Taylor, Baroness Taylor of Stevenage – former Labour councillor
  • Fiona Twycross, Baroness Twycross – former Labour London Assembly member
  • Tom Watson – former Labour deputy leader

This represents twice the number of new peers installed under Jeremy Corbyn, who himself gave chums like Shami Chakrabarti the ermine robes.

We also recently learnt that Rosie Cooper, who in September said she was going to resign as an MP, is refusing to stand down while she tries to secure a peerage. More than the Lords hypocrisy, Guido reckons Remainer-in-Chief Starmer will have a hard time restoring trust in politics with constitutional reform after his years of attempted Brexit-blocking…

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Labour Attack Tories for Selling Access to Kwasi, While Auctioning Afternoon Tea with Jenny Chapman

Last Wednesday Labour was furious at the Tories for ‘offering access’ to the next chancellor ahead of the forthcoming party conference. Responding to the report in The Guardian that donors can pay £3,000 to meet Kwasi Kwarteng, Labour MP Jon Trickett accused the Tories of putting democracy up for sale:

Alastair Campbell commented, “same old Tories same old sleaze.” Transparency International said the move “reinforces public concerns that cash buys privileged access and influence in our democracy.”

Guido was astonished, therefore, to see Sir Keir’s own St. Pancras Labour branch simultaneously launching a fundraising auction to raise cash for “our General Election campaign and [get] Keir into Number 10.” One of the prizes? Tea for two with Shadow Cabinet member Jenny Chapman…

Admittedly the prize of tea with one of Starmer’s most senior colleagues stands head and shoulders above some of the other items up for auction, including a signed copy of Sir Keir’s 2021 conference speech that even his own team admitted droned on for far too long.

Politicians selling access to wealthy individuals is a practise as old as time, yet Labour continually gets on their high horse about it. £3,000 to meet the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Tory conference is a hell of a steal given Labour charges £5,000 to donors in return for dinners with Shadow Cabinet members…

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Tories and Labour Ignoring Local Election Issues

The local election campaigns are underway and, as usual, hardly taking the country by storm. Both parties are slinging huge quantities of mud at each other, albeit neither the Tories nor Labour seem to remember the capabilities of local councils. Labour’s current campaign slogan is “High taxes and low growth. Britain can do better than this”, which implies councillors’ job is to grow GDP. The Tories, meanwhile, have launched a new campaign on Facebook targeting constituents of the Labour shadow cabinet, accusing them of voting “to keep illegal migrants in Britain”. One Tory source boasted that, unlike when Labour briefs the press about Facebook attack ads, they have actually put them out. Guido calculates they’re spending around £3,000.

One thing Guido can’t work out is why one of CCHQ’s attack ads is being directed at Jenny Chapman, who is referred to as the “MP for Darlington” in the Tories’ advert. She lost her seat in 2019. Peter Gibson won’t be happy…

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Starmer’s Own Shadow Brexit Spokeswoman Slams His Second Referendum Policy

It seems Starmer’s own leadership campaign chair, Jenny Chapman, has successfully completed the five stages of grief faster than many of her PLP colleagues. Despite being Corbyn’s Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU and a leading proponent of a second referendum – eventually forcing Corbyn’s hand – she’s now finally realised the policy was a bad idea. In an under-the-radar tweet over the weekend, Starmer’s top ally responded to a user who criticised the policy:

Co-conspirators will note Chapman is still the party’s shadow Brexit spokesperson in the Lords. Guido has a feeling Starmer has fewer regrets than his best mate in the Upper Chamber, then again he wasn’t a red wall MP…

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Starmer’s Month of the Long Knives

Keir Starmer wasn’t lying when he told Piers Morgan he’d been “listening” to Tony Blair’s leadership advice. Over the past few weeks, Sir Keir’s been pulling every lever within reach to fulfill the promise of a “total deconstruction and reconstruction” of the Labour Party. A “reconstruction” which, coincidentally, means appointing a load of Blairites…

Almost every organ of the party – from the Leader’s Office, to the frontbench, to the PLP, and to the National Executive Committee – has seen a wave of changes over the last few weeks. It hasn’t happened overnight, though now the purpose is quite clear: a doubling down on “New New Labour”.

In the Leader’s Office, Blairite Sam White was recently enlisted as Chief of Staff replacing Morgan McSweeney, joining new strategist Deborah Mattinson (Blair/Brown adviser), and interim director of communications Matthew Doyle (Blair adviser) replaces Ben Nunn. This, of course, follows Carolyn Harris’s resignation as Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary in May, along with Jenny Chapman’s unceremonious shafting as his director of politics a month later. Deconstruction and reconstruction, piece by piece.

Over in the PLP, Ben Folley (a relic of the Corbyn golden years) has announced today he’s leaving his role as General Secretary of the Parliamentary Labour Party, which follows Starmer’s ruthless purge of thousands of far-left loons at the National Executive Committee meeting last week. And of course, this is before you even get to the botched reshuffle of the frontbench…

UPDATE 28 July: Keir Starmer’s speechwriter and close aide Chris Ward has told colleagues he is quitting according to the Guardian. Which begs the question, who will be his new speechwriter? If he is recycling Blairites, he could bring back Phil Collins, the recently sacked Times columnist now with time on his hands. After all he did write some of the most memorable speeches for Tony Blair…

UPDATE 29 July: Tom Hughes, who worked on Starmer’s leadership campaign before joining the leader’s office as press officer and spokesperson, is leaving.

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BREAKING Jenny Chapman Out as Starmer’s Top Advisor

The Times has just revealed Sir Keir’s shifted his closest aid, Jenny Chapman, as he continues to revamp his top LOTO team. Chapman will now be moved away from her top adviser role to instead shadow Lord Frost in the upper chamber. The defenestration comes after his Chief of Staff was reshuffled to a new role, and his head and deputy head of communications quit on Friday evening…

Last month, Guido revealed Labour MPs had taken to sharing a dossier of “Jenny’s 15 f**k ups” in the role, which included the decisions to suspend then re-admit Corbyn, various candidate selection bodges and organising Sir Keir’s visit to a ‘homophobic’ church. Yet more Titanic deckchair re-arranging ahead of Batley & Spen…

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