Committee Chairmanship Battle Lines Drawn

A new Parliamentary term means new Select Committee Chair elections, and the races are already hotting up. Two of the more interesting battles are shaping up to be the Health and Social Care Committee, vacated by Sarah Wollaston, and the Transport Committee, which switches from Labour to Tory due to the size of the Government’s stonking majority. The formerly Lib Dem Science and Technology Committee is turning Blue too…

On the Health Committee, Guido hears that Jeremy Hunt is angling for the top job, but is facing a strong challenge from Dr Dan Poulter who has been sounding out colleagues about standing for the role.

Guido understands that former Transport Minister Robert Goodwill will be standing for the newly Tory role of Transport Committee Chairman, against Tory wet Huw Merriman.

Crispin Blunt is also staging a re-match against Tom Tugendhat who beat Blunt to take the role in 2017.

With every Government bill almost guaranteed to pass, Committee Chair races are set to become the biggest source of scrutiny…

mdi-timer 13th January 2020 @ 3:00 pm 13th Jan 2020 @ 3:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
Jeremy Hunt: 21 Rebels Must Accept Boris has a No Deal Mandate

Jeremy Hunt has returned to our airwaves this morning, appearing on Radio 4’s Today in his first interview since his post-leadership election holiday. Boy, how Guido missed the charismatic interventions of this political titan…

Whilst the interview focussed mainly on the tensions with Iran, Hunt did proffer some thoughts on Boris’s expulsion of 21 rebels for voting for Corbyn’s “surrender bill”. Whilst calling for the party to stay united in the face of Labour’s shambolic 2019 conference, he said

“There also needs to be generosity from the 21 themselves; they stood on a platform at the last election that said ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, and they need to understand that Boris has a mandate to take us out of the European Union. And if in the end no deal is the only way to do that, that might be what happens.”

Hunt also defended Boris’s prorogation – perhaps he is missing cabinet too much…

mdi-timer 24th September 2019 @ 8:30 am 24th Sep 2019 @ 8:30 am mdi-comment Comments
Jeremy Hunt Apologises for Accidentally Missing Key Vote

It turns out PM hopeful Jeremy Hunt wasn’t paired after all for the Government’s heavy defeat, he’s now apologised for missing the votes as “I thought I was slipped and it turns out I was not”:

He’s a details guy…

mdi-timer 18th July 2019 @ 3:13 pm 18th Jul 2019 @ 3:13 pm mdi-comment Comments
Did Hunt Mention He Was An Entreprenur?


As the philosopher and linguist George W. Bush once observed, “The French have no word in their language for ‘entrepreneur'”…

mdi-timer 16th July 2019 @ 3:21 pm 16th Jul 2019 @ 3:21 pm mdi-comment Comments
Team Hunt Mixing Business and Pleasure

Party political campaigns raise tricky issues for serving Cabinet Ministers and their Special Advisers. There are stringent rules in place to prevent official residences, resources and staff from being used for party political purposes, so Guido was slightly surprised to see this report last night:

“The Sun can also reveal that the senior Cabinet minister’s official residence, 1 Carlton Gardens, was taken over on Monday by a large support team to help him practice.”

Hacks were also bemused to find their morning Hunt campaign WhatsApp blast from Hunt’s SpAd Tim Smith including information about a Foreign Office media trail ahead of a conference starting tomorrow. Alongside a range of highly personal attack lines on Boris…

SpAds were informed in no uncertain terms last month that “you are permitted to take part in leadership campaign activity whilst remaining in post, but any campaigning should be done in your own time and not using departmental resources.” If a SpAd is doing ministerial work they shouldn’t be doing leadership campaign work, if they’re working on leadership they shouldn’t be doing departmental business – or getting paid. The Cabinet Office might not be too impressed by Team Hunt mixing business and pleasure like this…

Read the SpAd guidance in full below:

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mdi-timer 9th July 2019 @ 2:19 pm 9th Jul 2019 @ 2:19 pm mdi-comment Comments
Hunt Reported to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Over MP Mailshot

Entrepreneur Jeremy Hunt has been coming up with some enterprising strategies to try to reach as many voters as possible in the Tory leadership election. Tory Association Chairmen across the country have been receiving an email from his campaign manager Philip Dunne MP, asking them to forward on two attachments detailing his ten policy pledges to their local memberships. A savvy way to get round GDPR regulations, if the Association Chairmen oblige…

Now he’s found himself in a bit of hot water over a letter he sent to all Tory MPs earlier in the campaign, on the 10th June when the MP voting stage was still in full swing. Hunt used official House of Commons headed letter paper complete with his picture and official campaign slogan in the corner – he’s now been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards by Priti Patel for misuse of Commons stationery. Priti says it could be a “clear breach of Parliamentary rules” which specifically prohibit its use for party political purposes and has asked them to clarify the matter. Awkward…

Read the letter in full below…

UPDATE: Sam Coates has got hold of a separate set of emails which appear to show Hunt’s campaign directly violating data rules. Hunt’s team have been sending out apologies and removing people from distribution lists and say the emails were sent out “mistakenly”. Did they “mistakenly” gather the private phone numbers and email addresses too?

UPDATE: Andrew Bridgen has reported the Hunt campaign to the Information Commissioner’s Office over the alleged data breach. Team Hunt already did the same thing to Team Boris earlier this week via Harriett Baldwin, leadership contest getting dirtier…

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mdi-timer 5th July 2019 @ 5:25 pm 5th Jul 2019 @ 5:25 pm mdi-comment Comments
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