Corbyn’s New Chief of Staff’s Love-In with Jo Swinson

As Guido reported yesterday, Corbyn has a new Chief of Staff following the unceremonious removal of Karie Murphy two days ago. Whilst we know the new appointment, Helene Reardon Bond, is a married woman (purely on the basis her husband also works for Corbyn as his chauffeur), it looks like Bond has been flirting with someone else: Jo Swinson.

A quick scroll through Helene’s twitter shows a long history of overtly friendly messages with the Lib Dem leader, including “that’s the @joswinson I know!” and buying a signed copy of her book (apparently she has written one…)

Helene’s flirting with the Lib Dems shouldn’t come as a surprise though. Half of Labour’s voters are also doing it…

Remainers Turn on the Lib Dems

After years of pushing to cancel the result of the 2016 referendum, it turns out there is a line some Remainers don’t want to be seen to cross – and the Lib Dems have crossed that line. 

Yesterday, Anna Soubry’s sent an email attacking the Lib Dems’ new extremist position, and over the course of today a number of fellow second referendum-supporting MPs have also come out to attack Swinson, including the ‘Independent Group for Change’s Chris Leslie and Greens’ Caroline Lucas who launched a blistering attack of the Lib Dems’ new policy, saying:

The revolution eats its own…

UPDATE: Anna Soubry’s attack is particularly audacious, given that she herself called for revoking Article 50 during the EU elections.

Boris’ Popularity Up Since Prorogation

New YouGov polling has shown Boris’s popularity has risen since he prorogued Parliament. Further revealing the gap between Westminster Bubble outrage and public perception…

The new polling also shows Corbyn’s unfavourability rating has risen by 2 points since the question was asked three weeks ago, and the public are beginning to notice Jo Swinson, with her ‘don’t know’ ratings falling by 11%.

The poll also dismisses the idea that Boris’s pro-Brexit policies will scare off ‘millions of remain Tory voters’, with 91% of current Tory voters approving of his leadership, compared to Corbyn’s 75% approval among Labour voters and Swinson’s 78% with Lib Dem supporters. Perhaps another prorogation will edge Boris’s popularity up even further…

Ghost of Paddy Haunts Jo Swinson’s Speech

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson lent on the memory of Paddy Ashdown in her keynote speech this afternoon. Swinson mourned “I wish he could see our party now.” Guido is happy to provide some words of wisdom from the former leader…

Lib Dems Axe Candidate who Called for Boris’ Execution

A Lib Dem parliamentary candidate who called for Boris Johnson and other top ministers to be hung, drawn and quartered before being burned at the stake, has been axed by Jo Swinson. With Guido keeping you in the loop, he was always beheaded for deselection…

Galen Milne – who was due to stand in the Scottish seat of Banff and Buchan – made the comments on Facebook, where he also called Tory MPs “rats” and advocated a “final solution” to split the Tory Party.

Taking the graphic comments in his stride, earlier Jacob Rees-Mogg Tweeted:


Looks like Milne was the only one who lost his head after failing to get the hang of politics…

Jo Swinson’s Brexit Referendum U-Turn

Damning vintage footage of Jo Swinson calling for an in-out EU referendum has emerged today, reminding Guido of a time when the Lib Dems were both liberal and democratic… 

Watch the excruciating u-turn here:

The footage emerged just one day after the Lib Dem’s new party leader said she doesn’t “forgive David Cameron for calling the referendum”. Vintage footage also shows Swinson criticising the undemocratic systems of the EU.

Give it another decade and she might have flopped back to being a eurosceptic again!

H/t: Adam Heilbron

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Swinson More Popular than Corbyn With Labour 2017 Voters

New Opinium approval ratings for party leaders has shown that Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson is 8% higher than Corbyn… among Labour’s 2017 voters. 

The news of this reality was responded to by utter disbelief by members of the Absolute Boy’s Fan club, naturally.

By comparison, Tory 2017 voters are very much behind the Prime Minister, on +43pts. Versus Corbyn’s -85…

Corbyn’s Backdoor Bid to Become ‘Temporary’ PM Bombs

Jeremy Corbyn has finally made a move of sorts on Brexit, in the form of a letter to various MPs which is less about stopping no deal and more about making himself Prime Minister. Corbyn says he will “seek the confidence of the House for a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a general election, and securing the necessary extension of Article 50 to do so.” In the same way the dictatorship of the proletariat is only meant to be temporary…?

Funnily enough opposition MPs haven’t been buying it, most importantly including Jo Swinson, who now leads 14 MPs after serial defector Sarah Wollaston finally joined the Lib Dems last night. Swinson says Corbyn is “not the person who is going to be able to build an even temporary majority in the House of Commons for this task”. This is a serious electoral headache for the Lib Dems, back Corbyn and they’ll be seriously tainted by his toxic brand, fail to back him and they’ll be accused of allowing no deal to happen. Choices, choices…

The reaction from other non-Labour opposition MPs was even less positive:

Ultimately Corbyn’s letter changes nothing, we are still fundamentally stuck in the position where Corbyn will not back anyone else for ‘temporary’ Prime Minister while there isn’t even close to a Parliamentary majority of MPs who would back him. Pundits and commentators have got a whole two weeks left of August silly season to fight out amongst themselves who the best alternative would be, the bottom line is that it’s simply not going to happen…

Comrade Rayner Defies the Labour Leadership

Discipline is increasingly breaking down in the senior ranks of the Labour Party politburo, this morning previously loyal Comrade Angela Rayner shamelessly defied her party leadership not once but twice live on state television. Counter-revolutionary treachery…

First Rayner contradicted John McDonnell’s incendiary comments on a second Scottish Independence referendum, then – even worse – she sided with calls from Enemy of the People #2 Tom Watson for Labour to work together with Enemy of the People #3 Jo Swinson to block no deal. Next she’ll be saying she likes Tony Blair…

Jolyon Given Another Chance to Waste Remainers’ Money

Twitter QC Jolyon Maugham is at it again, this time up in Scotland where he’s brought a yet another anti-Brexit case. This time the famously successful litigant has teamed up with Parliamentary luminaries Joanna Cherry and Jo Swinson to try to get judges to bar Boris from proroguing Parliament to allow Brexit to happen on October 31 if MPs attempt to block it again. Of course, as the Telegraph’s poll found last night, public opinion is on the side of Boris…

The judge at the initial hearing today has now agreed to grant the case a full hearing on September 6, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Giving Jolyon almost another four weeks to keep fleecing yet more money out of gullible Remainers…

Chris Rennard Back Campaigning with Lib Dems Despite Swinson Calling for His Expulsion

The Lib Dems’ answer to Harvey Weinstein, Lord Rennard, has been out on the campaign trail with them yet again – despite leader Jo Swinson previously calling for him to be kicked out of the party. The noxious Rennard has been embroiled in one of the Lib Dems’ most long-running scandals since over 40 separate sexual harassment claims from multiple Lib Dem staffers first emerged years ago. Yet the Lib Dem leadership has repeatedly failed to fully freeze him out due to his decades-long role masterminding Lib Dem ground campaigns…

Now he’s resurfaced in the Lib Dems’ by-election campaign in Brecon and Radnorshire, receiving a warm welcome from the Lib Dem old guard including MEP and former MP Chris Davies (who confusingly shares a name with the Tory ex-MP and candidate). As one furious former Lib Dem staffer puts it, the “human octopus” just can’t resist sticking his tentacles back in…

New Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson wrote a searing article two years ago about Rennard declaring him “not welcome” in the party:

“That Lord Rennard remains in the party, showing no remorse or contrition, while many of the women involved have left, fills me with sadness and anger. When I hear suggestions that the women who spoke out should not be believed, or that they were somehow manipulated, it makes my blood boil.

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

Now the buck stops with her there is no excuse, will she finally take action?

Every Party Has Had a Female Leader… Except One

This one really winds Labour up…

Jo Swinson: I Won’t Accept Result of Second Referendum

Speaking to BBC News this afternoon, newly elected Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson (or should that be Joanna Swanson?) revealed she would only accept the result of a second referendum if Remain won. If Leave won she would continue to work to block the result in Parliament. 

“Would you vote for [the result if Leave won] in Parliament?”

“No.”

Totally takes apart the People’s Vote campaign’s pledge that a hypothetical Second Referendum would be the ‘final say’…

Jo Swinson Wins Liberal Democrat Leadership Election

Jo Swinson has comfortably beaten Ed Davey to become the next leader of the Liberal Democrats. Swinson won with 47,900 votes to Davey’s 28,021 – 63% to 37%. The turnout was 72% with 76,429 votes cast out of a total of 106,075. Not quite the knife-edge 50:50 result that was being predicted by some…

Who Are You LibDem Leaders?

Only one in five LibDems can identify who the likely next leader. Only 1 in 12 normal people can guess who will lead the yellow party…

Jo Swinson Apologises for Mailshot Breach

Jo Swinson’s in a bit of hot water after reports her campaign spammed a load of Lib Dem members with a mailshot when they’d specifically opted out of being contacted. No doubt the ICO will take this breach as seriously as if Brexiteers had done it…

Jo Swinson Took £14,000 Donation from Fracking Boss

The Lib Dem leadership content is so firmly in the Tories’ shadow that even Ed Davey is writing op-eds about the Tory race rather than the one he’s competing in himself. Meanwhile his rival Jo Swinson has been busy doing a Gove-style hypocrisy tribute act by taking £14,000 in donations from a fracking boss while claiming to have “campaigned tirelessly” for the environment. Awkward…

The number two pledge on Swinson’s campaign website is her environmental credentials, she even boasts about how “she took to the streets with Extinction Rebellion”. Coincidentally as well as taking two donations totalling £14,000 from fracking boss Mark Petterson, she’s also voted against a moratorium on fracking permits, in favour of cutting renewable subsidies and against CO2 targets in the past few years. Sensible positions which will likely be better for the environment in the long run, her own Lib Dem selectorate may not quite feel the same way…

Swinson: There is No Limit on My Ambition

JoCo Quizzes Mogg on His Catholic Beliefs

Extraordinary line of questioning to Jacob Rees-Mogg from JoCo on the Daily Politics, repeatedly questioning if an abiding Catholic can take high office in politics. We had the Catholic emancipation in 1829…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Seen Elsewhere