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…

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…

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'”…

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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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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Revealed: The Major Remain Campaign Donors Bankrolling Hunt’s Campaign

Jeremy Hunt has been doing his best to bolster his pro-Brexit credentials during the leadership campaign, despite going off-script on occasion. As the Mail notes this morning however, the people bankrolling his campaign don’t exactly share his newfound enthusiasm for Brexit. Of the nine major donors to Hunt’s campaign in May, seven have also donated to pro-Remain groups and parties in recent years, accounting for almost £75,000 of Hunt’s £104,000 raised. Almost three quarters of Hunt’s total funding in May…

Some have even donated to the Lib Dems and a Labour Remain MP within the last two years:

Overall that’s over £225,000 Hunt’s backers have donated to anti-Brexit campaigns, parties and politicians, before sticking their financial clout behind him. Tory members might well be wondering what he’s telling his hardline Remain donors that he isn’t telling them…

Boris Leading Hunt by Over 2:1 in Final ConHome Poll

Not much to celebrate for Hunt in what was meant to be the final ConHome members’ survey before ballots go out – except many ballots have gone out already. He trails Boris by more than 2:1 on just 29% compared to 67%. There’s 3.6% of Tories who still back “other”, looks like they haven’t given up hope that Rory walks again…

Where’s Wally: Hunt Hunt Edition

Can you hunt the Hunt..?

Hat-tip: Laura K

Hunt Foxed Over Fox Hunt Ban

Hunt’s fox hunt stunt has not exactly gone to plan in the, er, hunt for Number 10. After desperate attempts to quell the row by releasing the transcript and late-night efforts to change the Telegraph headline, Hunt was like a fox on the run as he repeatedly performed screeching U-turns on the Today Programme. Hunt now says he was “just giving a straight answer to a straight question but the law is not going to change.” Which isn’t quite a straight-up reflection of what he said last night…

Hunt tries to escape questions about whether he personally thinks it’s cruel with the line that “my view is a matter of public record”, it’s not enough to save him from a hounding by the presenter. He repeatedly insists “this is not something I will seek to change as Prime Minister”, despite having told the Telegraph that he would hold a vote if a majority existed in Parliament for it and vote in favour of repealing it – and that it would even be part of his next general election manifesto. First abortion and now this, Hunt says he thinks the laws are wrong but doesn’t want to change them. Which makes you wonder why he even wants to lead…

Why Have Hunt’s 2016 Photos Disappeared?

Jeremy Hunt’s official Facebook page has an expansive public photo library dating back to 2013. Strangely one year doesn’t feature at all. A regular uploader in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019, Hunt seems to have missed out one key year, 2016. Must have been an uneventful year…

Or could it be the case that Jeremy has engaged in some revisionism, deleting all the photos taken after July 2015, and before 2017? Like the one above which Guido retrieved from the memory hole? The internet never forgets…

Hunt Announces First Cabinet Pick: Karen Bradley

Last night Jeremy Hunt told an audience in Northern Ireland that he would keep Karen Bradley as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Bradley, a May loyalist, is widely understood to not be liked by the DUP. Frosty relations on that front are not wise when the current Tory-DUP majority in the Commons is just three votes. It’s also highly unusual to openly promise jobs in the middle of a campaign. Will Hunt be publicly appointing the rest of his fantasy cabinet over the next few weeks..?

Hunt: No Deal Could Be Almost As Bad As 2008 Recession

Jeremy Hunt has told ITV he believes a WTO exit could be almost damaging for the UK as the 2008 financial crisis was, which saw unemployment rise by 50% more in less than three years. Worse than even George Osborne was predicting before the referendum…

He replied to Peston citing Bank of England studies saying that they argue “it could be very serious.” In 2016 these same kinds of studies predicted a vote to leave would cause a recession. Instead wages, employment, and the economy all grew. He just can’t help himself…

Hunt Calls for Ramping Up of ‘No Deal’ Preparations, a Policy Last Year He Called “Deeply Damaging” that “We Would Regret for Generations”

Jeremy Hunt has just given a speech on ‘No Deal’ preparations at Policy Exchange, setting out his ten point plan to leave. It is well known that Hunt campaigned for remaining in the EU in 2016, Hunt now says he accepts the outcome of the referendum and Brexit must be done. Today he is going further and says he wants to ramp up planning for no deal, yet even over the course of the last few months, he has repeatedly hit out at ‘No Deal’ – a course of action he is today saying he would be willing to deliver. He’s described it as a victory for Vladimir Putin, ‘deeply damaging’ and in the last year he said that this country would “regret [it] for generations”…

  • July 23, 2018 “Only person rejoicing [about No Deal] would be Putin.”
  • January 2, 2019 “A no deal Brexit would cause disruption that could last some time. Even if you are someone who believes that Britain will flourish and prosper, whatever that disruption might be, that is not something that any government should willingly wish upon its people”
  • February 20, 2019 “So none of us should have any doubt that failing to secure a ratified Withdrawal Agreement between Britain and the EU would be deeply damaging, politically as well as economically.”
  • July 17, 2018 “[No Deal] would be a mistake we would regret for generations”

Who to believe? Jeremy Hunt of a few months ago, or the Jeremy Hunt who is today desperate to burnish his Brexit credentials to an electorate sympathetic to ‘No Deal’?

Marr Splutters as Hunt Says He Would Do No Deal “With a Heavy Heart”

Marr declares that entrepreneurs “will lose their companies” if no deal happens, before literally spluttering with incredulity as Hunt gives him a measured and thoughtful answer to his question. Not even pretending to be impartial…[…] Read the rest


Boris Promises Not to Lock Hunt in a Dog Kennel if He Wins

Ever magnanimous…[…] Read the rest


General Public Now Rates Hunt & Boris Equally

Jeremy Hunt will be pleased with this YouGov poll which suggests the public is warming to him. In a post-Brexit election both leadership hopefuls will score 33% – which is news – last month Boris scored 34% to Hunt’s 30% – this tie is of course statistically within the margin of error.[…] Read the rest


Hunt Slammed In Digital Hustings Comments

The Tories streamed last night’s digital hustings live on Periscope, and while both candidates delivered strong performances the comments section revealed one of Hunt’s biggest flaws as a candidate – the enthusiasm gap. His low energy levels appear to not have been able to galvanise a support base in the style of Jeremy Corbyn, Nigel Farage, or even Rory Stewart, meaning the comments were almost universally hostile to him.[…] Read the rest


Hunt’s BoJo NoShow LiveChat: What We Learned

While Boris was busy wooing the Conservative Friends of Israel at a dinner last night, as first revealed by Guido, Jeremy Hunt spent an hour answering questions on Twitter in place of the debate Sky News had wanted to hold. Hunt was keen to stress his entrepreneurial credentials while taking a few gentle potshots at his rival.[…] Read the rest


#BoJoNoShow To GoTo CoFoFI

Jeremy Hunt has been ribbing Boris all afternoon for not agreeing to do the Sky News debate tonight, he’s got the hashtag #BoJoNoShow trending and he’s fired straight back at Boris’s October 31 challenge by telling him to turn up to Sky tonight to debate it there.[…] Read the rest


Boris Challenges Hunt to October 31 Brexit Commitment

Boris ups the Brexit ante on Hunt again with a direct challenge to commit to leave on 31 October “come what may”. Team Boris have certainly delivered on the ‘media blitzkreig’ after a bumpy few days…

[…] Read the rest


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