New Independent Group in Parliament Launches

Just in case things weren’t confusing enough after the Change UK/Independent Group split, a new grouping called The Independents has now launched, including some – but not all – of the rump of the Independent Group. Rather than being a party they say they are structured as a “co-operative” instead. Hopefully they manage to work together more cooperatively than Change UK did

At launch they have five MPs – Independent Groupers Heidi Allen, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith plus former Labour MP John Woodcock, although there’s no sign of Sarah Wollaston. Looks like they won’t be following Chuka to the Lib Dems just yet…

They are making a big feature of their values, rather than political positions, and their independent complaints procedure which Woodcock has already referred himself to in order to resolve the outstanding Labour complaint which Labour deliberately left hanging over him. Can they succeed where TIG/CUK/RA/FC_N failed…?

UPDATE: Even more confusingly, they’re separate from another pet project launched today by Heidi Allen called “Unite to Remain” which will try to get the unruly mass of pro-Remain parties to work together. Or alternatively, try to maintain any sort of media relevance for Heidi herself…

PA’s Woodcock Replacing Indy’s Watts

Guido hears Andy Woodcock from the Press Association has been appointed political editor of the Independent to replace Joe Watts. More when we have it…

UPDATE: Following Guido’s story, Woodcock has confirmed the move. Guido hopes he gets speedier once he has moved to the digital-only Indy…

Woodcock Won’t Back No Confidence Motion, Says Corbyn “Unfit to Lead the Country”

Ex-Labour MP John Woodcock has told MPs that he won’t be backing the no confidence motion in Theresa May tonight, instead dropping a truth bomb about Corbyn’s total unfitness to be Prime Minister:

With a heavy heart I have to tell the House that I cannot support the no confidence motion tonight. Some of my friends mutter disgrace, I hear some of them tutting, I have to say that many of them have privately said “Thank God that you have got the freedom to actually not support this”. Because they are wrestling with their consciences of wanting definitely a Labour Government, knowing that the leader of their party is as unfit to lead the country as he was when they voted against him in the no confidence motion of the party those years ago.

More than a few of his former Labour Party colleagues know he’s right…

Labour’s Saudi Squad

Yesterday Guido brought you the Tory MPs who have been the beneficiaries of Saudi largesse. Of course the Tories weren’t the only ones – there are numerous Labour MPs who have also enjoyed the generous hospitality of the House of Saud. Five Labour MPs enjoyed lavish all-expenses-paid trips to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Who were the lucky five…

  • Mike Gapes (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762
  • Kevan Jones (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 8-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Value: £8,762
  • John Spellar (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762
  • Paul Williams (Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762
  • John Woodcock (Ind, formerly Lab) Visit to “deepen understanding of Saudi Arabia.” 9-13 April 2018. Paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shura Council. Value: £8,762

John Spellar has since interrupted Emily Thornberry in a recent Commons debate to object to her opposition to the UK selling planes to Saudi Arabia, without declaring his interest. The total value of the MPs’ junckets came in at a cool £43,810. It’s safe to say that they got better treatment than tortured and murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi…

John Woodcock Resigns From Labour Party

Labour strongly disputes the claims in the letter and a source points out that Woodcock’s resignation handily means his sexual harassment investigation cannot be concluded, denying justice to the complainant.

Guido has been told Woodcock was informed a few days ago of the date of his hearing by the National Constitutional Committee. And he has resigned before that hearing could take place…

UPDATE: Woodcock has gotten in touch to say that it is a lie to say he was given a hearing date. We have asked Labour for substantiation of the claim… developing…

Via Laura K

Woodcock Suspended Over Sex Harassment Claims

HuffPo with the scoop. A Labour Party spokesman said:

“John Woodcock has been suspended from the Labour Party pending due process. It would not be appropriate to comment further on an ongoing case.”

Woodcock had been rumoured to be considering quitting in protest at Corbyn’s leadership… Instead he has been booted out…

UPDATE: More on the sex harassment allegations – which Woodcock denies – here.

UPDATE II: Woodcock says he has been stitched up by the leaking of details of the allegations at a “politically charged time”:

In November last year a complaint was made against me alleging sexual harassment. The following month, after considering initial evidence, I was informed that Labour’s harassment panel had referred the complaint to the party’s national constitutional committee and I should expect a hearing ’early in the new year’. I was advised to maintain the confidentiality of the case to ensure the fairness of the process and to reassure other complainants that they could bring forward cases without being exposed to unwelcome publicity.

I do not accept the charge being brought against me but have been cooperating fully with the process and remain committed to a thorough and fair investigation of the case. I am therefore very concerned that one of the very few individuals with knowledge of the case chose to place selective details of it in newspapers this weekend. Labour’s new general secretary has cited this publicity as a reason to suspend me from the Labour whip.

The decision at this politically charged time to place details of my case in the press and then suspend me places a serious question mark over the integrity of the process, which serves neither those making complaints nor those facing allegations.

I want this complaint to be judged in a way that is seen to be fair. In the meantime, I will continue working hard for my constituents in parliament and in Furness, and will continue to speak out when I believe it is right to do so.

Curiouser and curiouser…

Woodcock on Williamson

John Woodcock:

“Last week Chris Williamson told me I belonged to the wrong party. He appears to believe he belongs to the wrong country.”

Labour MPs Accuse Corbyn of “Deliberately Baiting” British Jews

Labour MPs are queuing up to condemn their leader in response to our scoop last night. Wes Streeting tells Guido it was a “deliberate affront to the majority of British Jews”:

“What on earth was he thinking? This demonstrates either extraordinarily bad judgement or a deliberate affront to the majority of British Jews. Probably both. It calls into serious question the sincerity of every public statement Jeremy Corbyn has made on antisemitism during the past week, just as many of us hoped we had begun to make progress.”

John Woodcock accuses Corbyn of “deliberately baiting” mainstream Jews:

Angela Smith says:

Jewish Labour Movement:

“Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to spend his evening with an organisation that said “F *** you ” to Jews who have serious
and well founded concerns over antisemitism within the Labour Party, has truly topped off the worst week on record of awful relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community.

When we called on the Leader of our Party to show moral leadership, and take decisive action to stamp out antisemitism, this is not what we had in mind.

Jewish Party activists have spent the weekend knocking on doors for local candidates for Council elections across the country. They do not deserve the indignity of our Leader making this situation even worse.”

Elsewhere, Karen Pollock of the Holocaust Educational Trust is even more damning:

Stay tuned – more on the group Corbyn chose to meet coming up…

Woodcock v Corbyn and Williamson

As John Woodcock lays into Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons, Chris Williamson tells him to go and join the Tories. Keep an eye out for Woodcock cupping his ear…

Richard Burgon’s Weekend Hat-Trick of Idiocy

Labour dunce Richard Burgon had a tough weekend. The Corbynista simpleton began by appearing once again on Putin mouthpiece Russia Today, a baffling decision particularly for someone with the justice brief. Then he warned “what risks faith in democracy is political class as a club”, forgetting that he is only an MP because his uncle Colin was too. He then attacked Hillary Clinton for hugging George W. Bush, not realising the photo was taken at Nancy Reagan’s funeral:

As John Woodcock put it:

Richard Burgon: bad for his constituents and “faith in democracy”, great value for the rest of us…

Woodcock Knocks Out Handjob on Twitter

Nina Warhurst, the BBC’s political editor for the North West, was shocked to discover the cost of living down south in London. Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock boasted about what he could get for that in his constituency.

For some reason he subsequently regretted tweeting the promotional boost to the tourist industry in Barrow. He’s knocked it out of his Twitter feed now…

UPDATE: Blimey now Woodcock’s had to do a full mea culpa:

Woodcock’s Comedy Legal Threat

Shouty-crackers Corbyn hater-in-chief John Woodcock got very upset with former Corbyn spinner Matt Zarb-Cousin last night. Zarb-Cousin wouldn’t take Woodcock’s pious whinging and accused him of briefing against Corbyn “pretty much every day”. Woodcock responded by calling the tweet “defamatory” and threatening Zarb-Cousin. Handbags…

Strange Woodcock is claiming he hasn’t briefed against Corbyn. His pinned tweet is literally a video of him slagging Corbyn off…

Woodcock’s Loyalty Rewarded With Re-Selection

Just last week John Woodcock posted a video on Facebook making clear he was the “independent Labour candidate” firmly against Jeremy Corbyn in Barrow and Furness, and that he would work with the Tory government. Despite hopes from Corbynistas that he would be deselected, Woodcock has been confirmed as the Labour candidate. More Tory ammo… 

Woodcock: I Can’t Endorse Corbyn, Still Time For Him to Stand Down

Corbyn-hating Labour moderate John Woodcock, who has a majority of just 795, has said he cannot endorse his party leader to be Prime Minister and called for him to step down:

“I will not countenance ever voting to make Jeremy Corbyn Britain’s Prime Minister… I cannot countenance endorsing him for a role which I think even he does not think he is fit to carry out… There is still of course time for Jeremy to stand down rather than lead Labour to defeat.”

Expect that won’t be the last he hears of this from the Corbynistas…

John Woodcock’s Fake News

Labour MP John Woodcock tells his 26,000 Twitter followers this morning that “Brexit campaigners promised we would stay in” the single market:

This is just a lie. Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom from Vote Leave all said Brexit meant leaving the single market. Cameron and Osborne on the Remain side said the same thing.

Woodcock’s Barrow-in-Furness voted 60% to Leave. His voters should know that their MP is lying to them.

Popular SW1 Figures Caught Up in Nice Attack

The Speccie’s Isabel Hardman was in Nice at the time of the attacks last night, her report can be read here:

The Mirror meanwhile reports that Labour MP John Woodcock, also in Nice, gave shelter to a Parisian family in his flat:

Stay safe.

John Woodcock Deletes Another Social Media Post

A very generous offer from the MP for Barrow and Furness now withdrawn:

Two in two days…

John Woodcock’s Deleted Tweet

John Woodcock tweets and deletes:

“F*cking disaster. Worst week for Cameron since he came in and that f*cking stupid list makes us into a laughing stock.”

John Woodcock’s Deleted PMQs Summary

You can probably call that “hostile”…

John Woodcock on Labour’s 9/11 Apologist

John Woodcock on Labour’s 9/11 Apologist:

“I feel sick but please stay and help us fight this disgusting madness”[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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