Starmer’s Beergate Resignation Contingency Planning Ramps Up

There are now just two weeks to go before Durham Police are expected to conclude their investigation into Beergate. Having waited 18 days for Starmer and Rayner to return their questionnaires – a task which took the PM significantly less time – the force now has all the evidence it needs to wrap up the probe just before recess. Guido hears there are now six detectives working round the clock on the case, which was prolonged by Starmer’s tardiness…

The Sunday Times has already reported on Starmer’s contingency plans if “the worst comes to the worst”, allegedly telling the likes of Streeting and Nandy to gear up for a leadership bid if necessary – something Nandy later denied, although it’s not like she needed to hear that anyway. It turns out Sir Keir’s not the only one weighing up what to do if he’s whacked with a fine. Guido hears that an exasperated Speaker Lindsay Hoyle is also getting nervy about the prospects of having to deal with an interim leader of the opposition… 

mdi-timer 23 June 2022 @ 13:06 23 Jun 2022 @ 13:06 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Commons and Lords at War Over Terrace Access Rights

Not content with blocking parliamentary staffers’ access rights to Strangers’ bar, Guido hears a fierce turf war has kicked off between MPs and Lords over terrace access rights. Speaking to a noble friend last night, it emerged they had recently been told they didn’t have permission to be served in Strangers’, leading to awkwardness in front of the guest for whom they’d tried buying drinks. By coincidence, a co-conspirator got in touch at the same time claiming that earlier this week, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle was asked to leave the Lords’ terrace because he didn’t have access privileges…

It was apparently in retaliation to this that Hoyle issued the reciprocal edict for Lords attempting to enjoy the Commons half of the terrace. The battle spilt out into the open when Commons doorkeepers assumed their new role as terrace bouncers, blocking peers from entry. Peace talks are said to be scheduled today…

mdi-timer 23 June 2022 @ 11:01 23 Jun 2022 @ 11:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rent-A-Quote Rayner Loses Interest in Lebedev Row

On 12th May, Angela Rayner accused the government of a “cover-up” after they released redacted documents relating to Evgeny Lebedev’s peerage. The government had been forced to release the documents after Labour used an opposition day in the Commons to issue a humble address, a key tool of the opposition discovered during the Brexit disputes. Responding to the redaction, Rayner told the press:

“This looks like a cover-up and smells like a cover-up because it is a cover-up. If the Prime Minister is claiming he was not involved in forcing through the award of a peerage to an individual of concern to our intelligence services, he should come clean and publish the documents as parliament instructed.

“The government has not provided a single piece of information in these heavily redacted documents, failing to comply with a direct instruction from parliament. The government is once again seeking to hide in the shadows from the sunlight of scrutiny. We will take steps to rectify this contempt of parliament.

Now, however, it seems Labour we’re not really that interested after all. A letter published from Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to Michael Ellis this afternoon says the minister will be aware that members have “expressed concerns” about the redactions, however notes “no such complaints have been made”. 

He does warn the Cabinet Office that this doesn’t mean the “Government has a right to supply only the information it pleases”. Turns out Rayner wasn’t that bothered to apply the “sunlight of scrunity” after all…

mdi-timer 23 May 2022 @ 15:13 23 May 2022 @ 15:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hoyle: Don’t Name MP Accused of Rape
mdi-timer 18 May 2022 @ 11:42 18 May 2022 @ 11:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hoyle to “Look Into” Whether Starmer Misled House Over PM’s 1922 Comments

Despite coming across as calm and collected during PMQs, things have rather unravelled for Labour in the last hour. Having just published the party’s motion for tomorrow attacking the PM for misleading the house, it now looks like Starmer himself may have misconstrued the PM’s words from last night’s 1922 committee. Here’s what Starmer said:

“The PM also accused the BBC of not being critical enough of Putin. Would the PM have the guts to say that to the face of Clive Myrie, Lyse Doucet and Steve Rosenberg who have all risked their lives, day in day out, on the front line in Russia and Ukraine uncovering Putin’s barbarism”

It was this claim that caused Boris to say Starmer must be “out of his tiny head” and called on him to withdraw the accusation. During the post-PMQs lobby session, Boris’s press secretary insisted he “did not attack the BBC for its coverage of Ukraine” and last night was referring to their coverage of the Rwanda policy – saying it did not differentiate between refugees and illegal migrants. It looks like Even Pippa Crerar is buying this version of events now…

Raising a point of order after PMQs, Sir David Evennett accused Starmer of misleading the house, something Hoyle says he will now look into. As Dan Hodges tweeted, “this was the worst possible moment for Keir Starmer to inadvertently mislead the House over something Boris didn’t actually say.”

mdi-timer 20 April 2022 @ 13:33 20 Apr 2022 @ 13:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hoyle Strips Telegraph Hack of Parliamentary Pass

Yesterday’s Sunday Times made a passing reference to an unnamed “Lobby journalist” being “stripped of their parliamentary pass last week following reports about their raucous behaviour”.  The fearless Lobby cartel’s “rule of omerta” when it comes to their own is in play. Guido understands it was a Telegraph Lobby journalist who was stripped of their pass last week following a row in a bar. No one at The Telegraph is willing to comment…

This will reduce the number of Telegraph journalists with passes giving them access to Parliament from 23 to 22. They’ll just have to cope somehow…

UPDATE:  A Telegraph spokesman gets in touch “We are aware of an incident, we take the matter of parliamentary security seriously, and are dealing with the matter accordingly.”

mdi-timer 4 April 2022 @ 15:30 4 Apr 2022 @ 15:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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