Tory Minister’s Remain Love-In

Despite Boris’s insistence that all Ministers have to be on board with leaving the EU on the 31st October, deal or no deal, it seems not all of his new appointments are quite so enamoured with his policy. Transport Minister George Freeman this morning appeared on the Huffington Post podcast ‘Commons People’ and launched into an anti-no deal rant, claiming that “WTO long-term” would be an “absolute disaster that would leave my party out of office for decades”. Not exactly the Downing Street line to take…

Freeman freestyling on message doesn’t seem to just be confined to podcasts, his Big Tent Ideas Festival this year has a rather unexpected lineup for an event originally billed as coming from the “small c, pro-enterprise, innovation and reforming branch of Conservatism”. Guido is struggling to tell it apart from a Labour fringe event:

  • Seema Malhotra. Labour MP
  • Lisa Nandy. Labour MP
  • Darren Jones. Labour MP
  • Peter Kyle. One of the chief agitators for a second referendum
  • Ash Sarkar. Literally a communist
  • Damian Collins. Former Carole Cadwalla-borator-in-Chief
  • Nora Mulready. Former Change UK Candidate
  • Ayesha Hazarika. Former Brown, Harman and Miliband advisor
  • Isi Daley and Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson. Full-time Remain activists
  • Miatta Fahnbulleh. CEO of nutty hard-left think tank NEF
  • Jacqui Smith. Former Labour Home Secretary
  • Erica Ramos. NUS and second referendum supporter
  • Rory Stewart. One of the most right-wing people there…

In Freeman’s defence there are some Tory Brexiteers going including Bob Seely, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Halligan, although they’re firmly in the minority. He’s going to need a pretty big tent…

Labour MPs’ Damning Responses to Panorama

Is this the moment when Labour MPs finally stand up and do something about it? Or do they just go back to campaigning to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister anyway?

Hunt Piles Woes on May After Torrid Speech

Jeremy Hunt has done nothing to dig Theresa May out of the hole she dug herself with her tin-eared speech last night. Hunt’s suggestion on Today that MPs had a “special responsibility” to make decisions in a Hung Parliament has gone down almost as badly as May’s actual speech last night. Hunt’s defence of May was that she was under “extreme pressure” and “expressing her frustration”…

May’s speech last night was transparently aimed at the public watching the 10 O’Clock News, it succeeded in entirely alienating the one constituency that will actually determine her future in the next nine days: MPs. This looks like a tactical blunder of the highest order given the incredibly slim chances of May ever facing the voting public again. Guido hears that there was actually one extra page of the speech that May removed after a last-minute meeting with a group of MPs – could it originally have been worse?

The sight of Lisa Nandy – one of the key Brexit-sympathetic Labour MPs that May absolutely needs to win over to get her deal through – tearing into the speech as “disgraceful” is about the worst possible outcome May could have hoped for. The only remotely rational explanation is that May has abandoned any hope of getting her deal through and is preparing the ground for a General Election…

Hunt ruled more or less everything in on Today – no deal, a second referendum or even revocation of Article 50 – before claiming that May had been “absolutely clear” yesterday in ruling out a longer extension, which was news to more or less everyone listening, while also undermining her warning to Brexiteers that they’ll get ‘No Brexit’ if they don’t back her deal. If May actually has a strategy at all, now would be the time to deploy it and stick to it…

40-60 Labour MPs ‘Actively Looking’ To Support Watered Down Deal

Labour’s Lisa Nandy revealed to BBC Politics Live that there are “40 to 60” Labour MPs who are actively looking for ways to support May’s deal. Their condition would be guaranteeing more rule taking from Brussels on red tape for businesses…

Lisa Nandy Will Not Vote For May’s Deal

Leaked Emails Show DfT Officials Lied About Northern Rail

Bombshell from Lisa Nandy at PMQs. She has been leaked emails between officials at the Department for Transport which admit key northern routes are ‘not really valued’:

They admit as early as 2015 that key routes will be axed, despite ministers publicly saying the routes would be saved:

And they discuss spreading false information about route closures to trick the public into backing the government:

Somewhat contravenes the civil service code… someone’s gonna get sacked…

Smith Campaign Chief Insists He’s “Not a Sexist”

Not what Owen Smith’s team wanted to be talking about today…

Corbynistas Believe Watson and Nandy Plotters

According to Corbynista Labour sources, Tom Watson is the coup leader and the plan is currently that there will be a vote of no confidence and then Lisa Nandy will eventually take over. She is said to have Watson’s backing. Labour whip Conor McGinn, who is close to Watson and hates Corbyn, is choreographing resignations. Labour MPs are calling colleagues canvassing support for Nandy. That is the plan from one faction of the plotters: for Nandy to ultimately take over from Corbyn… 

UPDATE: Sam Coates from the Times reckons there are three separate coup groups, all fighting among themselves as to who takes over.

UPDATE II: Lisa Nandy has now resigned and said Watson should take over as caretaker leader.

Shadow Cabinet Split: Lisa Nandy Tells Corbyn to Sack Naz Shah

Shadow Cabinet minister Lisa Nandy demanded live on the Daily Politics that Jeremy Corbyn withdraws the whip from Naz Shah:

This is not going to go away until Labour take action…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

bbcqt 1802

Tonight’s episode will be from Stratford-upon-Avon. Finally, with June Sarpong the BBC have given us a real political heavyweight…

Labour Leadership Beauty Contest at Fabians

It will be worth keeping an eye on the Fabian New Year conference on Saturday, where several of those tipped to be the next Labour leader are vying for grassroots support. On a panel discussion titled “Future Left”, left-wing darling Lisa Nandy will debate action man Dan Jarvis and ambitious North London idol Sir Keir Starmer on “how Britain is changing and how the left should respond”. All three have been strongly linked to post-Corbyn leadership bids. 

Meanwhile Chuka will discuss Labour’s “vision in the 2020s”, by which time he might have stumped up the courage to run. Stella Creasy will debate with Owen Jones on “Winning battles, winning the war”. Labour MPs are expecting the event to be box office. Corbyn’s ears will be ringing by the time he turns up to deliver the keynote speech…

Nandy Backtracks on Energy Nationalisation

Lisa Nandy

Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary and rising star Lisa Nandy has today distanced herself from Jeremy Corbyn’s calls to take the big six energy firms into public ownership. Speaking today, Nandy said that:

Jeremy and I don’t want to nationalize energy…we want to democratize it…There should be nothing to stop every community in this country owning its own clean energy power station…generating power and heat for their own use.

In little over a month Labour’s gone from nationalising the big six to installing solar panels on school roofs. Are there any Corbynites that will stick to their guns?


Nandy Doesn’t Deny Leadership Rumours

On Sunday Guido brought you rumours doing the rounds in Labour circles that – don’t laugh – Lisa Nandy is the left-wing choice to be the next Labour leader. “She is young, northern, a woman, good-looking and an ethnic minority,” noted one backer.

In today’s Telegraph Sophy Ridge also tips Nandy for the job and asks her whether she has leadership ambitions. She doesn’t deny it:

“I was asked if I was plotting about a leadership bid when I had a one month baby, and just getting dressed in the morning was an achievement. I came into politics because I wanted to make a positive difference. That’s still what I’m about now.”

Nandy is hardly the party’s most talented rising star, and surely they would learn the lesson from making a lefty, uninspiring TV performer their leader. Though the massive new Corbynista membership base means the chosen lefty successor, whoever it is, will be tough to beat…

Corbyn Climate Change Secretary’s “Ambiguous” Voting Record

Newly appointed Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Lisa Nandy is an interesting choice for the post: she appears to have a very limited interest in climate change. According to Public Whip, Nandy has “voted ambigiously” on stopping climate change. She even voted against:

“Establishing the UK Green Investment Bank which invests in projects which further the “green purposes” set out in the Bill, which include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; the advancement of efficiency in the use of natural resources; the protection or enhancement of the natural environment; the protection or enhancement of biodiversity; and the promotion of environmental sustainability.”

Gaia has been browsing through Hansard and it seems Nandy has asked just three oral or written questions related to climate change. Ever.

So what was it that qualified her for the role? As Guido revealed in the Sun on Sunday, Nandy is being tapped up by Corbynistas as the left wing choice to be the next Labour leader once Corbyn stands down. Promoting her to the Shadow Cabinet is the first step along the way…

Corbyn himself is more interested in reopening the pits than global CO2 emissions. He had a long list of climate change radicals he could could have picked for the role, yet chose a darling of the left. Is he paying more attention to his climate change denying brother Piers than he lets on?

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