Andrew Neil, Portillo, and Kendall all Dance for Brexit

Last night on Andrew Neil entirely seriously informed the This Week audience that that he and the show’s guests will be participating in a ‘Brexit Danceathon’ – not stopping until Britain has left the EU. Guido fears that they may be dancing long after This Week has ended as a show…

Friday Caption Contest (Leather Kendall Edition)

May on “The Labour Sisterhood”

Harriet Harman and Liz Kendall would both like that to come true…

Kendall Denies Resigning Rumours

A ripple of excitement spread through elements of the Labour Party last night as Corbynistas based in Liz Kendall’s Leicester constituency spread a rumour that she was set to stand down. Guido can dash their hopes – Liz says she’s not planning on doing a Tristram: “I intend to stay put as long as the good people of Leicester West will have me”. So Labour will be able to have a look at what they could have won for a while to come yet. More Corbynista fake news…

Burnham Blew £338,000 on Failed Leadership Bid

Andy Burnham wasted a total of £338,163 on his doomed bid for the Labour leadership, a Guido investigation can reveal. Our analysis of the final declared leadership donations shows Corbyn raked in almost £370,000 from private donors, the public, trade unions and terror supporters. This includes a £50,000 interest free loan from Unite which the union kindly wrote off in September. If Jez can’t even pay off his own debts…

Burnham and Cooper both blew over £330,000 each, while Liz Kendall received just over £160,000. The losing candidates wasted the best part of a million quid on their failed leadership bids…

Owen Jones Wouldn’t Serve Under Corbyn

Liz Kendall turned the tables on Owen Jones in his latest video, asking the baby faced Guardian columnist if he would serve under Jeremy Corbyn.

Liz “Would you take a job in Jeremy Corbyn’s office?”

Owen “No. No.”

Owen also confirmed to Liz Kendall Guido’s revelation that he was asked to stand to be a Labour MP in the last election. Guido understood that Tom Watson asked him to stand against Nick Clegg in Sheffield. Instead Owen led a throng of left-wingers to knock on doors in the constituency, ensuring that the Tory voters took fright and voted for Nick Clegg in droves to keep Labour out… 

In any event, Owen understandably wouldn’t want to take the pay-cut

Friday Caption Contest (It’s My Party Edition)

Liz-Kendall

Friday Caption Contest: Kendall Bounceback Edition

Entries in the comments please…

Labour Leadership Candidates Dopey Past

Listen to their druggy confessions to LBC’s Iain Dale…

Liz Laid It On Thick

liz-marmalade

Judging from the ferocity of her protest about Mail on Sunday political editor Simon Walters’ ‘unbelievable’ question to her about her weight, you’d think Liz Kendall would have thrown him out of her office where the interview took place. Er, no.

At the end of that interview she larked around taking photos of Walters with the Mail on Sunday photographer’s camera. And she gave him a jar of Granny Cool orange and lemon with ginger marmalade, saying: ‘I was given this but prefer thick cut.’ Walters was slapping Kendall’s ‘Granny Cool’ on his hot buttered Mother’s Pride on Sunday morning when, prompted by the Beeb’s PC brigade, he heard her fulminate against him on BBC Radio 5. Never mind Simon, she’ll soon be toast herself…

Ban This Sick Filth

Liz Kendall memorably told the Mail on Sunday’s Simon Walters to “f**k off” when he asked her if she is “about the same weight as the Duchess of Cambridge”. Liz was so outraged that she told John Pienaar:

“I just think it’s unbelievable that in the 21st Century women still get asked such very, very different questions from men. Can you imagine the Mail on Sunday asking the weight of the prime minister, George Osborne or any other leading politician?”

Well, now you mention it…

Here is Walters’ MoS interview with the Chancellor last year:

“it is more intimate matters that we discuss first. It is impossible not to notice his dramatic weight loss. He is a real skinny malink. ‘Am I?’ he says, modestly patting his slim line waist.

‘You reach that point in your mid-40s where suddenly the weight doesn’t drop off and you have to … it’s a hard fact of life. I found myself putting on weight being stuck in here [No 11] and the Treasury. I asked my doctor which diets he thought worked. He recommended the 5:2.’ Is he still on it?

‘No, the 5:2 diet helps you get down the weight – I lost a couple of stone – and once you’re there, you just have to be careful. I just eat less and go running round the park.’”

In fact the men of Westminster get scrutinised just as much as the ladies…

Liz Kendall For UKIP Leader

This is just getting silly, now:

When will the smears stop?

That escalated quickly:

No word yet on whether it was a Corbyn or Cooper backer who set it up. Though Guido suspects it is too witty to have been created by a Labour supporter…

Kendall: I’m Not a Tory, Honest

How better to respond to your rivals smearing you as a Tory than by listing all the things you don’t like about George Osborne? Liz Kendall has mastered the art of subtlety this morning:

“Let’s start with a quiz. Which part of George Osborne’s budget last week did The Economist describe as “perhaps the daftest economic policy of the decade”?

Could it be Osborne’s con-trick on the living wage, which in reality is no such thing, or his claim that Britain is getting a pay rise, when low paid families and public sector workers are in fact getting a pay cut? You might have expected greater cynicism from media commentators about the Chancellor’s apparent conversion to the cause of tackling low pay. But it’s not that.

Perhaps it was Osborne’s confession that he has failed once again to keep his promises on the deficit, and will take one whole extra year to close the gap in our finances, despite all his rhetoric?

No. The answer is neither of the above.

It’s Osborne’s sop to the all-ready lucky inheritors of property. His inheritance tax cut, which will benefit fewer than one in 1000 families a year, but costs nearly £1billion of tax-payers’ cash by 2021.

As The Economist puts it, this announcement in the budget was the point at which “things took a turn for the barmy”.

You couldn’t make it up. A Chancellor who is happy to see those with the least income lose most, yet with the same stroke of his pen, gives those who are already fortunate in life another bung.”

Unfortunate that she chose one of more sensible and popular parts of the Budget for her differentiation strategy, but still. Ok Liz, we get it…

“Tory” Witch-Hunt: Kendall and Harman Smeared

If the Labour leadership contest wasn’t already a spiralling descent into insanity, Diane Abbott has now accused Harriet Harman of “voicing a Tory agenda“:

The increasing use of the “Tory” smear is becoming a hysterical, McCluskeyite witch hunt, rooting out any sign of moderation among the leadership candidates. The language and rhetoric of the Unite-Zombie-Socialist tendency is becoming prevalent… 

Yvette used it in a barely disguised attack on Kendall:

“I will set out ideas for the future that don’t just involve swallowing the Tory manifesto and set out a Labour vision for the future.”

Then Burnham used the same line in a direct slap at Liz:

“This doesn’t mean copying the Tories. Labour wins when we are better than they are.”

It’s clearly cutting through to the Labour grassroots, providing Kendall’s tensest moment at this morning’s hustings:

Her comeback was a zinger:

“If you believe that a strong economy, sound public finances and backing businesses are simply Tory values, the Tories will be in power for ever.”

The blue menace is real, report all suspected Tory activity…

Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall responds to the ‘Tory’ smears:

“If you believe that a strong economy, sound public finances and backing businesses are simply Tory values, the Tories will be in power for ever.”

Kendall Backs Harman in Welfare Row

All eyes on Liz Kendall after Burnham, Cooper and Corbyn all rejected Harriet Harman’s call to support the Tories on curbing tax credits yesterday. The Blairite candidate prevaricated at this morning’s never-ending Victoria Derbyshire hustings, but she did broadly support her interim leader:

“Where there are things in the welfare bill that are wrong we should oppose them, like the cuts to tax credits without putting in place a real living wage that we can afford.

But I think Harriet was right to say that we have to provide an credible alternative. You said to us, we don’t trust you on the money, we don’t trust you on welfare reform. If we carry on making the same arguments as we have over the last five years we’ll get the same results. Harriet was absolutely right to say that.

I want to support what Harriet said, we have to listen to what people have said to us, that they didn’t trust us, and we have to change as a party. 

I think many parents who are on tax credits have to make difficult decisions about how many kids they can have and how many kids they can afford.”

The implication being that she supports curbing tax credits if Labour “put in place” a “credible alternative”. They’ll be mocking up new ‘Tory Liz‘ graphics before the hustings are over…

Jake Lies About Faking “Tory Liz” Facebook Smear

Quick follow up to this morning’s exclusive story that Yvette supporting graphic designer Jake Johnstone was one of those behind the “Liz for Tory Leader” Facebook page that got so much coverage in the last week:tweets

And then Guido replied…

There was also this bit of evidence we were holding back…

thanks-jake

Then Jake Johnstone removed the “I’m Backing Yvette” banner on his Twitter, privacy protected all his tweets and deleted his tumblr blog with all the graphic work he had done for  Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls. For an innocent man he sure deleted everything and disappeared from social media in a hurry…

Team Yvette officially disowned him:

“… this labour activist isn’t part of the campaign team and as such we have no idea how he spends his time. In the spirit of comradely debate we hope all members and supporters – including online – respect every candidate. He hasn’t worked for Yvette. He did some voluntary Social media stuff to promote a garden party once a few years ago…”
Of course now he has deleted everything off the web, when future employers Google “Jake Johnstone” what they will discover is that he smeared a good woman, lied about it and then tried to cover his tracks. The internet never forgets…

Revealed: Yvette Supporter Behind “Tory Liz” Facebook Smear

jake-johnstone

Guido can reveal that a young Labour activist called Jake Johnstone is producing material smearing Liz Kendall as a Tory. Jake is supporting Yvette Cooper in the leadership campaign and has in the past been employed by both Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper to design promotional material. 

Jake has been using the skills he learnt on Yvette’s campaign to provide the graphics for a fake Facebook page called “Liz Kendall for Conservative Leader“, a smear operation that has gained almost as many likes as Liz Kendall’s real Facebook page. Stories about the Facebook page have appeared widely and successfully focused derision on Liz Kendall who is the centrist candidate for Labour leader that left-wingers like to describe as “Tory-lite”. Yvette herself accuses Kendall of “swallowing the Tory manifesto”. Which is why this smear chimes in so well with her own campaign theme:

jake-liz

What happened to the Yvette Cooper campaign’s ‘no negative briefing‘ promise?

So, on behalf of Yvette’s Leadership Campaign, I am today making these promises:

If anyone is speaking on behalf of the campaign, they will do so explicitly on the record. There will be no unattributed negative briefings about other candidates because that’s not the kind of politics Yvette has ever wanted to champion
If anyone else is speaking to you and claiming to do so on Yvette’s behalf and wants to criticise opponents – you can take it from me that they do not speak for the campaign or Yvette – and if she or I get to hear about it they will have lost our trust and our respect. I hope that all of the candidates will join me in making that pledge
If Yvette disagrees with things the other candidates are saying she will say so herself – on the record or in interviews.

We want this campaign to be about the best Labour has to offer. Negative briefing has no place in this debate.

Either Jake Johnstone is disowned by Yvette Cooper or we can assume she implicitly approves of the smears which reinforce her own campaign theme…

UPDATE: See follow up Jake Lies About Faking “Tory Liz” Facebook Smear

Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall warns the Labour left:

“Trying to turn Labour into some kind of Syriza or Podemos, or simply saying what we’ve said over the past five years, albeit with a leader with a different gender or a different accent, will not cut the mustard… If Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader, we will be out of power for at least 15 years.”

Kendall Swipes Back Over #ChildGate

The row between the Kendall and Cooper camps rumbles on. After Yvette’s team allegedly made an issue out of Liz not having children, causing fury among her campaign team, Kendall has spoken out for the first time:

“I want to have a politics where women are treated the same as men and they are not asked those kind of questions.

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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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