Mark Spencer Promises “Better” Tory Candidates at Next Election

Mark Spencer promising to select a “higher calibre” of candidates than in 2017 and 2019 for the next general election:

“I think we’ll be in a much better place at the next general election, certainly in the [Conservative] party as we will have taken much more time to scrutinise people. There will be a much longer process. I don’t think having two rapid general elections in a row has helped parliamentary parties.”

mdi-timer 11 May 2022 @ 16:46 11 May 2022 @ 16:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government Tells Bryant to Shove his ‘Respect’ Principle Proposals

Yesterday it emerged the government’s dropped plans to limit MPs’ earnings from second jobs following the Geoffrey Cox row last year. Beyond their opposition to this proposed reform, Guido spots the government has also stuck two fingers up at another proposal from Chris Bryant – to add “respect” to the parliamentary behaviour code, to “demonstrate anti-discriminatory attitudes and behaviours through the promotion of anti-racism, inclusion and diversity”. All very wet…

Looking through the government’s response, Guido notes Stephen Barclay and Mark Spencer have strongly rejected the proposal on the grounds of free speech:

“we think it is of overarching importance to emphasise tolerance of different viewpoints and protect free debate when considering any changes.

We would not want to stifle legitimate debate on politically contentious issues which are important to our democracy – as an indirect consequence of the proposed new requirement for ‘anti-discriminatory attitudes’ or demonstrating ‘inclusion and diversity’. This could have a chilling effect on free speech on contentious and polarised political issues. This has recently been illustrated in the Lords, in the controversy over the role of the Lords Standards Commissioner in relation to a complaint made against four peers for comments they made in a debate. Even if a Members’ views or opinions are not in scope of the standards process, such a provision risks generating partisan complaints that could ultimately discourage Members’ free speech on highly contentious matters of public policy.”

This point is something supported by the Free Speech Union, who submitted evidence as part of the consultation arguing against adding the ‘respect’ principle, which would “attempt to regulate the ‘attitudes’ of MPs, i.e., their views and opinions.” Presumably it would also prevent Boris from correctly calling out Starmer’s role in the CPS’s failure to prosecute Jimmy Saville…

mdi-timer 18 March 2022 @ 12:10 18 Mar 2022 @ 12:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mark Spencer and Theresa May’s Festive Greetings

Guido’s got his hands on more parliamentary Christmas cards, this time from both the Chief Whip Mark Spencer and Lady May. Here’s Mark Spencer’s, which has gone down well with colleagues…

Theresa’s, meanwhile, was a bit more tame…

T’is the season…

mdi-timer 8 December 2021 @ 11:23 8 Dec 2021 @ 11:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tories’ Post-Paterson Poll Plummet

For those claiming the Paterson row wouldn’t cut through with the public, look away now: the first poll to be conducted after the fiasco is out and the Tories have crashed to a 1% lead. The 2.5% swing sees Labour up two points to 35% and the Tories down three to 36%, the smallest Tory lead for The Times since Rishi’s social care tax rise in September. 22% of 2019 Tory voters are now undecided about who to vote for…

The dust is still settling on the explosive affair, with outlets following up Guido’s first report yesterday of mass outrage directed at the Chief Whip. Last night Downing Street said they were standing by Mark Spencer, which is a more likely sign than any that the death knell tolls for his job. Meanwhile The Times reports Boris resorted to asking SpAds last night how he had been put in this position. A PM should not have to ask that question…

mdi-timer 5 November 2021 @ 08:52 5 Nov 2021 @ 08:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory MPs Furious at Chief Whip

Word reaches Guido of a large swathe of fury from Tory MPs now being directed at the Chief Whip Mark Spencer over the Owen Paterson farce. One senior MP tells Guido that Boris has “blown up” the Chief Whip’s credibility during the farce, with the sacking and re-appointment of Angela Richardson being the cherry on top of the cake. There’s now a view swirling around a chunk of the party that the actions of the last two days have undermined the credibility of the Chief Whip and the integrity of three-line whipping as a whole; pointing out that from now on if enough Tory MPs break the supposedly strict whip they’ll be able to force a policy u-turn and keep their jobs. The PM’s PPSs aren’t escaping the chaos smelling of roses either…

mdi-timer 4 November 2021 @ 14:12 4 Nov 2021 @ 14:12 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Geography with the Chief Whip

Last week, Grant Shapps came out with the line, “we’re an island nation unlike, you know, say Australia”. Not to be outdone, Chief Whip Mark Spencer recently told a Zoom audience that Britain is uniquely placed to lead on global trade because:

“We’re smack bang in the middle between the two big powers of China and India, in terms of time zones we’re uniquely placed right between those two big trading nations”

Technically Mark could be correct, provided you circumnavigate the route from India to China westward…

Tory MPs: never ask Mark for directions…

mdi-timer 11 February 2021 @ 16:59 11 Feb 2021 @ 16:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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