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..?

Karen Bradley on Believing What She Says…

Quote of the Day comes from Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Calamity Karen Bradley, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph

“I want to be very clear – I do not believe what I said, that is not my view”

Calamity Karen’s Grovelling Apology

Comprehensively calamitous Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley has put out a grovelling apology statement after sparking an international incident with her astonishingly poorly judged comments about The Troubles yesterday. Bradley told the Commons that killings that “were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes” and “They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.”

Bradley had to go to the Irish embassy for an emergency meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney last night, Coveney has now reported her grovelling apology back to the Dáil and Bradley will travel to Belfast tonight to personally apologise to families affected. Good job there’s nothing politically sensitive going on at the moment regarding Northern Ireland…

The just jaw dropping ignorance of the Northern Ireland Minister is stunning.

Calamity Karen’s Cup Kerfuffle

Northern Ireland Secretary Calamity Karen had a spot of bother spilling her glass of water across the table. Thankfully Shadow Northern Ireland Minister Stephen Pound was on hand with a tissue to squeeze spilled water back into the glass. Yum. Water calamity! 

Arlene Laughs at Karen Bradley



DUP leader Arlene Foster’s response to Karen Bradley’s praise of the BBC is a must see. It appears that Arlene shares Guido’s opinion of the BBC…

NI Assembly Members to have Pay Cut

Karen Bradley has “will take the steps necessary to reduce Assembly Members’ salaries” in light of their failure to form an executive. Northern Ireland now hasn’t had a government for two years. The pay reduction will take place in two stages, commencing in November.

Perhaps we could extend this new performance related pay to all politicians…

Irish Border Camera Problem Solved

A lot of Remainers are agitating around the issue of cameras on the Irish border. Karen Bradley, one of the Remainers on the Brexit sub-committee, has insisted this morning that there will be no new Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras. Remainers don’t seem to realise that there already are high definition cameras at the Irish border with a high speed data link to police computers, which can easily be retasked to connect with customs and excise computers. The video above was taken at the border on the A1 motorway, the main route between Dublin and Belfast along which the vast majority of intra-Ireland trade happens. Problem solved!

NiMo Lands Amber In It

Nicky Morgan says she was contacted by a “very senior” member of the Cabinet who said “she” was appalled by briefings against Hammond. The only “very senior” member of the Cabinet (other than the PM) is Amber Rudd. Oops…

UPDATE: Remarkable hypocrisy from NiMo. Two weeks ago she said Boris “has to go” if he can’t keep quiet on Brexit. Last week she was widely implicated in the plot against the PM. Today Morgan says “it’s not helpful for anybody to have ministers being attacked, whether it’s the Chancellor or the Foreign Secretary” and criticises “self-indulgent” colleagues doing so. Eh?

SpAd Movements: New No.10 and DCMS Hires

A few changes to our SpAd List this morning – Guido hears Karen Bradley’s adviser Aidan Corley has been promoted to Number 10. The Culture Secretary has brought in two new SpAds to fill her team: former IDS aide and Coadec chief Romilly Dennys and the Mail on Sunday’s ‘Girl About Town’ diarist Charlotte Griffiths. Charlotte already has all the goss on the Cabinet, from Theresa May’s meritocracy hypocrisy, to how Boris “humiliated” David Davis and how one top former SpAd dumped his fiance for a fellow Tory aide. Poacher turned gamekeeper at the Ministry of Fun. Lunch?

DCMS Rebranded, Sort Of

DCMS is changing its name to DDCMS, except it will still be called DCMS. Confused? The government explains:

“In a move that acknowledges the way the Department’s remit has evolved, the Prime Minister and Culture Secretary Karen Bradley have agreed a departmental name change. The Department will continue to be referred to as DCMS in all communications, but is now the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.”

Saves paying to have everything in the department rebranded. Though they’ll need to redo that logo, it’s missing a comma…

Worst Jokes Of The Day

jokes

Guido gives you the best of the worst jokes of day two of Tory conference:

Philip Hammond:

“Remember Ed Balls? I know you remember him from Saturday night – I’m asking if you remember him from when he was Shadow Chancellor… You know Ed was not their first choice for Strictly? They were going to ask Corbyn – but then they discovered he’s got two left feet!”

“Yes, I saw Ed on Saturday too – and, not to sound too much like Craig Revel Horwood, I think his Charleston is probably better than his economic analysis!”

“Corbyn’s big idea is to spend an extra half-a-trillion pounds. I just hope he remembers to water that magic money tree every night before he goes to bed!”

“With Andy Street, our fantastic Conservative Mayoral candidate for the West Midlands, now in place, a great future is within the region’s grasp, it will certainly never be knowingly undersold!”

“I suspect the limiting factor may only be our ability to think up snappy titles for new regional projects!”

Andrea Leadsom:

“I don’t know about you, but it seemed to me their leadership election dragged on far too long. If only they’d come to me for advice on how to keep it short.”

“I know so well how frustrating it is to search the house just for a single bar of signal when you’re trying to send a text. Or worse still, if you can’t get on to your Pokemon Go account.”

Karen Bradley:

“Well, I’m really proud I did a maths degree – and I enjoyed working as an accountant. But if you think what I wanted to do after a day of looking at spreadsheets was read more spreadsheets then your grip on reality is as weak as Jeremy Corbyn’s.”

Chris Grayling:

“It’s often tough to get a seat – though not, as Jeremy Corbyn would have you believe, on a mid-morning service to Newcastle.”

“When you leave your home whether you are on a train, in a car, on a bike or walking down the street, if things work, it’s great. If they don’t, I get all the emails.”

It’s the way they tell ’em…

Press Gallery Chairman Craig Woodhouse New DCMS SpAd

A raft of new SpAd appointments is expected imminently and Guido understands the headline move will be Craig Woodhouse joining Karen Bradley at DCMS. It’s a smart hire for the new Culture Secretary to poach an industry insider – Woodhouse is a newspaper veteran, the respected chairman of the Press Gallery and chief political correspondent at The Sun. He is well-liked by MPs of all parties which will help in a notoriously adversarial brief. The long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday fan might even be able to pick up a freebie or two along the way. The Lobby loses yet another leading name to SpAd-dom…

See Guido’s SpAd List in full here.

Beeb Still Offering Ethnic Minority Only Places

BBC hiring

A job advert on W4MP shows the BBC is still selectively recruiting based on race, despite the backlash caused by similar schemes earlier this year. The advert states:

“All roles advertised through Creative Access are only open to UK nationals from a black, Asian or non-white ethnic minority.”

Practices like this were blasted by Sir Trevor McDonald, while Tory MPs called it “racist”…

Another U-Turn: Poppers Unbanned

Victory for Crispin Blunt as Home Office minister Karen Bradley confirms that the government no longer considers poppers a psychoactive drug:

“I understand that the Council has now advanced its understanding of the psychoactivity of the alkyl nitrites group under the Act and concluded that only substances that directly stimulate or depress the central nervous system are psychoactive under the Act. Having given due consideration, the Government agrees with your advice and interpretation of the definition. We do so in the understanding that “poppers” have these unique indirect effects. Our understanding is that this approach does not have any further implications for the operation of the Act and that other substances that the Act intends to cover are not affected.”

That sound you can hear coming from the parliamentary estate: “Wooooooooooooooo!”

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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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