John Whittingdale and Tom Tugendhat have just emailed Conservative MPs with invitations to join the newly-established Conservative Friends of Ukraine. Whittingdale will become President, with Tugendhat sitting as Vice President. Read the full email below:
I am writing to ask whether you would become a member of Conservative Friends of Ukraine. Other parties already have similar groups and following the Russian invasion, we felt it was important to ensure that Conservative colleagues from across the Party could come together to show our support for Ukraine. This will also enable us to highlight the wide range of ways that the Government is supporting Ukraine.
At least 100 members are needed to qualify for formal party affiliation and we are approaching colleagues in Parliament first as this will hopefully allow us to reach the this threshold quickly. The Chairman and CCHQ are very supportive and have promised to expedite the Group’s approval.
In order to register as a member, please contact the secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
While becoming a member does not involve any further demands, if you would be interested in being listed as an Officer then please let us know.
We look forward to working together to show our support for our friends in Ukraine.
With best wishes
Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP – President
Tom Tugendhat MP – Vice President”
Guido is happy to give the group a boost…
Co-conspirators’ favourite no-nonsense Tory MP Lee Anderson had another barnstorming outing in the Commons yesterday, professing that he has torn up his TV Licence following the Martin Bashir scandal, and the corporation “won’t get another penny” out of him “ever“. The Ashfield MP told fellow MPs the BBC is “rotten”:
“In my opinion, the once-great BBC is rotten, and my constituents should not have to pay for a service if they don’t use it.”
He ended his intervention with a call to the minister to transform the BBC into a subscription service. Whittingdale didn’t fully avoid the point, saying “I have no doubt that that is a debate that has already started and will continue.” Guido will make sure of it…
Former Cabinet Minister John Whittingdale has given a frank assessment of Olly Robbins’ track record as Theresa May’s top adviser on Politics Live. And May went along with it all…
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 18, 2016
Both Michael Fallon and John Whittingdale made pre-referendum bets that, should Cameron lose the vote, he wouldn’t resign. Now Piers is calling in his bets, promising to donate the winnings to charity. Pay up, Fallon…
People occasionally ask Guido, with a sense of foreboding, when will the pundit and polling analyst Dan Hodges do his naked Brexit run? Guido will be negotiating the time and location with the sagacious streaker this week. Stay tuned…
UPDATE: Piers wants Guido to remind Whitto as well:
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 18, 2016
John Whittingdale was spotted sporting a nasty looking black eye on his way into work this morning. Nothing to do with him discussing the violence at the Euros with Russia’s sports minister yesterday, Guido is assured:
“John has a black eye from walking into a lamppost. It was incredibly painful at the time but he’s fine now. He hasn’t been throwing punches in Marseille.”
Fifty years of hurt, and by the looks of it another couple of weeks for Whitto…
John Whittingdale on the BBC’s charter…
“…if we don’t renew it, it may be that the BBC will cease to exist, which is occasionally a tempting prospect”.