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…

mdi-timer 21 April 2022 @ 12:02 21 Apr 2022 @ 12:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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…

mdi-timer 22 November 2021 @ 11:45 22 Nov 2021 @ 11:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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.

mdi-timer 26 July 2021 @ 16:00 26 Jul 2021 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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…

mdi-timer 22 June 2021 @ 10:48 22 Jun 2021 @ 10:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jenny for the Chop: Labour MPs Point to Litany of Failures

It sounds like the fallout from Labour’s local election performance is far from over. Since the weekend of political cock-ups – including the botched sacking of Anglea Rayner – Baroness Jenny Chapman has been in the crosshairs of Sir Keir’s opponents and a few of his friends. Chapman, former MP for Darlington, ran Starmer’s leadership campaign in 2020 and since his victory has been his righthand woman. Something that worries many in the Labour Party…

In the words of Red Boxask a Labour backbencher what Starmer needs to change, and Chapman is a large part of the answer.” MPs’ disquiet is far from related only to the local election results, however. Guido can reveal at the end of April he was forwarded a memo being texted around Labour MPs entitled “Jenny’s 15 f**k ups”, with them accusing her of a litany of failures in Labour’s recent political operation, including:

  1. The Corbyn suspension and then re-admittance farce
  2. The Liverpool Mayor selection, dropping the shortlist of three to then face a subsequent court challenge by one of the candidates
  3. The West of England Mayoral candidate selection, where Bristol’s four MPs were endorsing Helen Goodwin, only for Dan Norris to unexpectedly be included on the shortlist then go on to win
  4. Sidelining Tom Kibasi, who helped Starmer with his leadership only to be sidelined by Chapman when he won and go on to write a scathing Guardian piece
  5. Failing to cultivate Unite, who then withdrew funding and resulted in staff sackings ahead of crucial elections
  6. Proposing a new Labour Sikh Peer who was then dropped after Chapman failed to do due diligence
  7. Encouraging Tracy Brabin to stand for West Yorkshire Mayor without realising she’d then force a by-election in Batley & Spen
  8. Handpicking Paul Williams for Hartlepool, breaching Starmer’s leadership pledge not to parachute candidates
  9. Trying to make too many council and mayoral races targets, without consideration of resources and expectation management
  10. Trying to get Jacqui Smith to lead the investigation into Liverpool’s council chaos, only to be overruled by the NEC
  11. Organising Sir Keir’s visit to Jesus House in Newham before being subjected to accusations of homophobia
  12. Agreeing to change Labour’s NEC elections to the STV system, unnecessarily giving places to the Labour left
  13. Promising an NEC place to a Yorkshire MP during the leadership contest, then failing to deliver
  14. Promising Richard Leonard a place at the top of the MSP list as part of his agreement to step down from the Scottish Labour leadership
  15. Labour MPs thinking she would step down from her position after being awarded a peerage, then failing to

To this list can be added a sixteenth reason – Hartlepool – one source who knows her well is convinced she was to blame for selecting Paul Williams –“he’s quite flirty”. Chapman’s love life and history of affairs is brought up by many. When she took up with fellow MP Nick Smith (her now husband), the subsequent messy divorce became an issue in her Darlington constituency. That she lived in Wales on weekends was an issue on the doorstep according to local Labour Party sources. Starmer’s wife must have concerns, she was reported by Tim Shipman to have banned Chapman from the house…

The Times reports a reshuffle of Labour’s frontbench in the Lords is now being planned, and Chapman is the most obvious impending casualty. If even half of these allegations are true – and blame can be pinned on Chapman – there’s no way Starmer could keep her on as his political adviser. Unless he has other personal reasons…

mdi-timer 13 May 2021 @ 10:32 13 May 2021 @ 10:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Top Starmer Aide U-Turns on Regaining Her Seat

Just one year ago, Jenny Chapman – who lost her seat last year and then went on to Chair Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign – made clear her plans to stand again and regain her old seat. In fact she made her plans a central plank of her pitch to elect Starmer…

“If I am to be re-elected the MP for Darlington then Labour needs a proven leader who can rise to the enormity of the challenge. We need someone who can unify our party and will have the qualities to speak for the whole nation.”

Chapman went on to be one of Starmer’s top aides in the Leader of the Opposition’s Office. Yet with yesterday’s news that she has accepted a peerage, the former Shadow Brexit Minister has clearly now given up on regaining her seat, which saw a 7.4% swing against her. Opting for the consolation prize of an unelected seat isn’t a massive vote of confidence in the boss…

mdi-timer 23 December 2020 @ 10:44 23 Dec 2020 @ 10:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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