Today Programme Tried Stitching Up Live Resignations

If Boris was hoping for a quieter day after yesterday’s drama, he was hopelessly misguided. Breakfastime brought two more resignations – Laura Trott as a Transport PPS and Will Quince the Children’s minister – taking the total of quitters up to 12. Awkwardly both happened while the new Chancellor was live on air. Nick Robinson enjoyed breaking the news…

Unfortunately for The Today Programme, neither resignee had the courtesy to go on the show and make the announcement live on air, given – thanks to Health Minister Maria Caulfield – we know the programme has been actively trying to stitch up on air resignations for maximum impact.

Late last night Caulfield received a message from a name some long-time co-conspirators might recognise: Tom Smithard. Smithard, a Today producer has been asking round ministers to see whether they’d be willing to announce their resignations live on the show.

Tweeting out the message screenshot Caulfield accused the BBC of playing “one big game”.

This is far from the first embarrassing communique from Smithard that Guido’s reported on. Back in 2015 Smithard was working for – unsurprisingly – LibDem HQ under the pompously titled job of “Parliamentary Campaigns & Intelligence Analyst”. During his time in the job he strangely emailed Lynton Crosby to ask whether – following his successful advice to the Tories about how to clobber the LibDems at the election – they’d be willing to “unlock some of the secrets of your targeting strategy, polling work, ground campaigning” – a request the LibDems admitted to Guido was somewhat naive. For now the Today programme will have to cope with watching resignation play out from the sidelines – not everyone can be TalkTV

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Tory MPs Fall for Doctored Starmer Video

Minister Nadine Dorries and MPs Maria Caulfield and Lucy Allen were caught out this morning when sharing an edited video of Sir Keir supposedly explaining why he didn’t prosecute grooming gangs when he was head of the CPS. Dorries and Allen both deleted their shares, with Caulfield going one step further and deleting her Twitter account altogether. Good advice to MPs is make a habit of blocking accounts like this to avoid future screw-ups…

Momentum hordes have naturally piled in on the mistaken trio, who thus far haven’t shown the same concern over Momentum-doctored videos when sharing the disingenuously spliced Boris This Morning “take it on the chin” clip in their droves.

Guido doubts those same lefties will be making their fake news concerns consistent any time soon…

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Tory Vice Chairs Quit in Protest at PM’s Brexit Deal

Two more resignations: Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley have quit in protest at the Chequers deal. Their letters:


A party divided…

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Tories Make Plans to Scrap 2019 Euro Elections

A Brexit-backing Tory MP has put forward plans to repeal the European Parliamentary Elections Act and scrap the 2019 Euro elections, something which obviously needs to happen sooner rather later. Maria Caulfield says she will launch a backbench campaign to repeal the Act as soon as possible after June 8. The fate of Britain’s 73 MEPs is still undecided – they have the right to sit in the European Parliament while we remain members, Barnier says he wants us out by 2019, he is more optimistic than Guido that we will have fully Brexited by then. Caulfield says get on with it:

“Given we are due to be leaving the EU in 2019 it seems obvious that we need to repeal this act so that the elections are not held as we will no longer have the need for MEPs in this country. This is not only a necessary part of our withdrawal from the EU but it will save the UK Government hundreds of thousands of pounds for the cost of running an unnecessary election.”

Gravy train hits the buffers…

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