Corbyn on Staircases and Ladders

Jeremy Corbyn comes up with a new slogan at PMQs:

“I want a staircase for all, not a ladder for a few.”

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 John Mann (Bassetlaw) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 22 March.

02 Lucy Allan (Telford)

Q3 Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)

04 Charlie Elphicke (Dover)

05 Alex Cunningham (Stockton North)

06 Sir Julian Brazier (Canterbury)

07 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

08 Chris Evans (lslwyn)

09 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)

Q10 Pete Wishart(Perth and North Perthshire)

Q11 John Stevenson (Carlisle)

Q12 Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)

Q13 Huw Merriman (Bexhill and Battle)

Q14 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)

Comments in the comments…

Corbyn Seeking “Liaison Officer” to Improve Terms With PLP

Jeremy Corbyn is hiring a “Political Liaison Officer” to “support and develop the relationship” between the leader’s office and the PLP. Team Corbyn are advertising the tole as “an exciting opportunity”, with the job description including the responsibility of “leading on party liaison around disputes and complaints”. The successful candidate will naturally have “excellent interpersonal skills” and “knowledge of the current political situation”. And how much does the hardest job in Westminster pay? £34,913 per year, with a fixed term contract until Jez goes…

Corbyn: Spirits Ran High Today

New video from Jez out tonight. Everything is fine…

Watson Blasted By Shadow Cabinet Colleagues at “Robust” Away Day

Tom Watson was repeatedly admonished by Labour colleagues at the Shadow Cabinet away day this afternoon, Guido can report. A source in the room says Watson’s decision to go public with his criticism of Jon Lansman and Momentum was “almost unanimously” opposed by Shadow Cabinet members. A point made several times by different Shadow Cabinet ministers was that “this kind of intervention is damaging in elections – this behaviour does us no good”. It was noted that a public Labour Party civil war would ironically harm the chances of Watson’s close friend Sion Simon in the West Midlands mayoral election. Another Shadow Cabinet minister issued a stronger rebuke to Watson, accusing him of a “reckless intervention” designed to influence the Unite general secretary election. Watson did have some support – Guido is told three Shadow Cabinet members spoke up in support of the deputy leader. A Labour source says the choice of the word “robust” in the joint statement issued by Corbyn and Watson this afternoon reflects the level of criticism Watson faced. “He had to skulk out the side door…”

Lansman Was at Unite HQ Two Weeks Ago

Unite have responded to the Jon Lansman – Tom Watson row by issuing a bold statement claiming there is no Momentum plot and that Lansman and Len McCluskey have never met:

“Tom Watson has made claims about Unite and its general secretary Len McCluskey which are entirely inaccurate. As Unite has made it clear it is exclusively for our executive council to determine which organisations we affiliate to. There are no plans for Unite to affiliate to Momentum. For the record, Len McCluskey has never met Jon Lansman to discuss this or any other matter.”

Hmm…

We know from reports at the time that Lansman attended a summit at Unite’s training centre at Esher Place last year. It was hosted by – you guessed it – Len McCluskey. Unlikely the pair wouldn’t have met there…

Guido can also reveal that Lansman was at Unite HQ on Monday, 6 March. Indeed, we caught him on video entering their building in Holborn. Guido understands a meeting of the Unite executive council – a key body that must be consulted before any affiliation – was held there that day. No plot, no plans, no meeting ever with Len? Oh really…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Vaz Complains “MSM” Invent Stories

Keith Vaz isn’t so chatty about the shenanigans of his alter ego Jim the washing machine salesman these days. Last night however he gave his views on the “mainstream media” that revealed his double life at a drinks bash held by Jeremy Corbyn. According to journalist Marcus Dysch who was present, Vaz told the room the “MSM” – he used the acronym – invent what they write and that to counter the press “we must tell people the truth”. The only one inventing stories is Jim with his promise to get you a great deal on a washer dryer…

5 Things That Could Beat Corbyn at PMQs

Yes another week, another PMQs self-immolation from Westminster’s very own equivalent of a protesting Buddhist monk who sets himself on fire. Or “doing a Corbyn” as they now know it in Saigon.

So dismal was the Labour leader’s interrogation (he actually only managed to use two of his six questions), today we will look at five unlikely things that could best Jeremy Corbyn in a PMQs matchup. Opponents will be ranked by ease of their victories over the Labour leader.

  1. Stephen Hawking

“Ah”, I hear you say, “there is no way that Stephen Hawking could beat Jeremy Corbyn, it takes him ages to synthesise his speech and as such he has to plan out all of his sentences far in advance!”. And? Well, both men have to know what they’re going to say before they get to the Chamber and both have an extremely limited ability to deviate off track. However only one of these men is a theoretical physicist who understands the range of possible outcomes he could have to react to, and that is the clincher. Also, he’s easier on the ear. Stephen Hawking wins this bout comfortably, memorably telling Jeremy Corbyn that he’s met black holes with more warmth than him.

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Corbyn Only Asked Two Questions at PMQs

Corbyn had six questions at PMQs. He only asked two. One was about schools.

Question 1: “Big business evades a lot of national insurance through bogus self employment.” No question.

Question 2: “What is she going to do to fill that Budget black hole?” Question.

Question 3: “It is a grossly unfair system where those in self employment pay some national insurance, employers do not and benefit from it. That is a gross injustice which has to be addressed.” No question.

Question 4: “Cuts to social care and cuts to people with disabilities. That is the agenda of her government and everybody knows it.” No question.

Question 5: “Can she say what she’s doing to help the worst off and poorest in our society rather than continuing cutting local government expenditure, schools expenditure and underfunding social care.” Question, about schools.

Question 6: “What she has to do is address the issues of injustice and inequality in our society, and a government that’s dedicated to widening the gap, not helping those that are hard up, working self-employed to try and make ends meet, and not getting access to any benefits at the same time.” No question.

As May said, “I don’t think the Right Honourable gentleman has quite got the hang of this. He’s supposed to ask a question.” Extraordinary…

Corbynista Candidate: “Israel Key Link in Exporting ISIS Oil”

Corbynista Alison Gove-Humphries last night won the selection to stand for Labour in Birmingham City Council’s Hall Green by-election. Her Facebook makes interesting reading. Gove-Humphries has shared an article putting forward the conspiracy theory that “Israel [is the] key link in exporting ISIS oil“.

She also thinks the “Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-semitism crisis”.

Labour have kicked people out for saying the same…

Corbyn’s Alternative Facts on #IndyRef2

Jez went on air this morning to clarify his position on #IndyRef2, telling the Today programme: “no, we’re not in favour of a referendum“. When Nick Robinson brought up his comments over the weekend backing a second Scottish referendum, Corbyn claimed he had been misreported:

“No, there was a bit of mischievous misreporting going on there…”

Let’s have a look at what Corbyn actually told Press Association just three days ago:

“Well if a referendum is held, then it’s absolutely fine, it should be held, I don’t think it’s Westminster or the Labour Party to prevent people holding referenda.”

This is really poor from Corbyn. Sean Spicer levels of alternative facts…

UPDATE: Press Association has not taken kindly to its integrity being questioned. Its editor-in-chief Peter Clifton says:

“The only mischievous thing about this episode is the suggestion that PA has done anything beyond what it always does – accurately report what politicians say to us in an entirely impartial way.”

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Two New Top Government Hires

Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policy chief Mike Hatchett has defected to the government’s Department for Exiting the European Union. Yep, a senior Corbyn aide has just joined the Tory government apparatus…

Corbyn signed up Hatchett less than a year ago, now he will work for David Davis. A former Treasury mandarin, Hatchett brought a modicum of respectability and considerable experience to Corbyn’s team. Politico report:

“Asked about Hatchett’s departure, a spokesman for the Labour leader declined to comment. However Corbyn’s allies, speaking on condition of anonymity, rejected the accusation that Hatchett had become disillusioned.”

Meanwhile Number 10 has hired Mike Crowhurst as their new Education adviser. Crowhurst was formerly a history teacher in Birmingham and recently a director of Downing Street’s chief of staff Nick Timothy’s old organisation the New Schools Newtork, May tightening her control on new Number 10 hires…

PMQs & Budget Double Bill


Jeremy Corbyn kicked PMQs off today by bragging about his party’s impeccable record on gender equality, boasting more women MPs than all other parties in this House combined”. One of which he’d even bonked himself and then promoted to the front bench![…] Read the rest

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PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 8 March.

Q2 Maggie Throup (Erewash)

Q3 Chris Green (Bolton West)

Q4 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) What recent assessment she has made of the (a) performance of the economy and (b) adequacy of provision of public services in the Midlands Engine region; and if she will make a statement.[…] Read the rest

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Stephen Hawking on Corbyn ‘Disaster’

Stephen Hawking speaking to today’s Times:

“I regard Corbyn as a disaster. His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist. I think he should step down for the sake of the party.”

A universal exclusive…[…] Read the rest

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Corbyn Avoids Snap Election Question SIX Times

Corbyn coy on whether he would welcome a snap election and on whether he would win it. “We will try our very best” eventually became “we believe we can win”. Doesn’t sound like it – he wouldn’t give a yes or no answer…[…] Read the rest

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Corbyn’s Next Budget Balls Up

This morning Jeremy Corbyn tweeted out a link to the donations page on the Labour website asking people to sign up if they oppose the Budget:

Just one problem: the page says that the Chancellor is George Osborne.

Corbyn has deleted the tweet, but the webpage is still live and wrong here.[…] Read the rest

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Corbyn Blames Tax Row on Media / Cabinet Office Conspiracy

It has been a long day of spin, claim and counter claim, rebuttal and pre-buttal, three on-the-record statements, multiple off-the-record briefings and questions to three government departments. Finally Jeremy Corbyn has tried to clear up his tax return, sort of. Guido takes you through it, blow by blow…

9pm last night: Journalists first began to query whether Jeremy Corbyn’s tax return included his salary as Leader of the Opposition.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tobias Ellwood speaks following his efforts to save PC Keith Palmer last week:

“I am heartbroken that I could not do more for PC Keith Palmer who gave his life in holding the line against terrorism and defending democracy. I shall be writing to the family of PC Palmer to offer my sincere condolences. My thoughts remain with his family and friends and with the loved ones of all those who were killed or injured in such a despicable act of terror.

I am deeply humbled and overwhelmed by the messages of support. I played only a small part that day, doing what I was taught to do, and am honoured to have been invited to join the Privy Council afterwards. It is right that we concentrate our thoughts on the victims as we stand side by side to protect all that we hold dear, including our precious values and way of life which will always prevail.

As the Prime Minister said in her statement to Parliament last Thursday – “We are not afraid. And our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.”

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