10 Labour Frontbenchers Resign To Support a Ceasefire

10 of Starmer’s frontbenchers resigned last night to vote in favour of a ceasefire in a symbolic vote organised by the SNP. The King’s Speech amendment calling for “all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire” was defeated by a majority of 168. Performative, pointless…

Labour’s front bench resignations were:

  • Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding Jess Phillips.
  • Shadow Minister for Crime Reduction Naz Shah.
  • Shadow Minister for Devolution and the English Regions Paula Barker.
  • Shadow Minister for Local Government and Faith Sarah Owen.
  • Shadow Minister for Exports Afzal Khan.
  • Shadow Minister for Veterans Rachel Hopkins.
  • Shadow Solicitor General for England and Wales Andy Slaughter.
  • Shadow equalities minister Yasmin Qureshi.
  • Shadow treasury PPS Dan Carden.
  • PPS to Angela Rayner Mary Foy.

A total of 56 Labour MPs – over a quarter – rebelled. Starmer’s statement reiterated his support for Israel and added – “I regret that some colleagues felt unable to support the position tonight“. John Healey said this morning that Labour is “acting in these very difficult circumstances as if we were in government“. Oh dear…

mdi-timer 16 November 2023 @ 08:24 16 Nov 2023 @ 08:24 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mary Foy Blames Holden for ‘Ruining’ Professional Relationship Over Beergate

The Guardian’s just published an interview with Durham MP Mary Kelly Foy in which she talks about the pressures she faced from the media over her central involvement in the Beergate investigation. She claims a reporter broke into her office to find materials relating the curry and says she has been “shattered by the media storm”. That’s politics for you…

The one bit of the interview that really grabbed Guido’s attention, however, was where she spoke of her relationship with constituency neighbour Richard Holden, who had been one of the most prominent Tory voices holding Sir Keir and the Labour Party to account for the curry:

“Foy said one of the lasting legacies was a breakdown in the relationship between her and Tory Durham MPs, something she said could affect work in the local area.

“I thought I was quite friendly with Richard Holden – we were all new together,” she said. “We were getting on well with plans for levelling up – what a farce that is – but we had to decide on some projects and we had issues we talked about. Obviously now it’s a working relationship that is really ruined.”

The Guardian failed to mention the more relevant factor that may have hurt her and Holden’s professional relationship: the fact she drunkenly grabbed and furiously berated him on the House of Commons terrace. For those who missed the Mail’s report at the time:

“A Labour MP launched a ‘drunken tirade’ against the Conservative MP leading calls for the police to review claims Sir Keir Starmer broke lockdown rules.

Three witnesses told the Daily Mail that Mary Foy vented her fury at Richard Holden on the Commons terrace on Tuesday night.

She is said to have verbally abused him for asking Durham Police to reopen the investigation into footage of the Labour leader having a beer with officials in her office on April 30, 2021.

Witnesses claim the City of Durham MP grabbed Mr Holden by the arm with both hands and tried to drag him across the terrace before staff restrained her.”

For Mary Foy, any self-reflection of her own behaviour during the political storm appears to be a naan-starter…

UPDATE: Holden tells Guido

I accepted Mary Foy’s unreserved apology for her drunken and unprovoked assault on me terrace of the House of Commons and considered the matter closed.

“I’m sad that Mary considers that our working relationship is ruined. I’d urge her to try and forgive herself, or at least come to terms her actions, and to now work constructively on herself and with me for the people of the county that we were both elected to serve.”

mdi-timer 23 August 2022 @ 15:21 23 Aug 2022 @ 15:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour Send Photo Evidence to Durham Police Over #Beergate

Word reaches Guido that Labour are stepping up their counter-offensive on Beergate. Both LOTO and Mary Kelly Foy, whose constituency office hosted the event, have reportedly sent Durham Police a series of photos this week which Labour are hoping will let Starmer off the hook. This is in addition to the WhatsApp “dossier” the Guardian reported on earlier this month. According to a Labour insider, Southside are spinning that the photos from inside the office on the night of the event will prove everyone was “clearly working [and] tweeting” and will “put everybody in the clear“. Which leads to further questions:

  • Why didn’t Starmer release these photos publicly weeks ago?
  • Why did 20 people need to be in the same room to send tweets?
  • Why was it reported that they deleted contemporaneous tweets from the event?

Of course this also doesn’t explain why Starmer’s maths has been so poor over the last few months either. He could surely take a look at these pictures and count the number of people sharing a korma. Today the Mail also ran a photo of Starmer posing with a football shirt in Foy’s office on the night of the gathering, which would suggest the team weren’t exactly at the coalface all night long… or why they pretended the dinner wasn’t pre-planned. Guido contacted Foy’s office for comment this morning with no response. She has been pretty quiet recently – even missing Levelling Up questions on Tuesday despite being top of the order paper…

See also: Questions Durham Police Should Ask Keir Starmer 

mdi-timer 19 May 2022 @ 14:09 19 May 2022 @ 14:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mary Foy Changes Tune on Lockdown Rule-Breaking

Now that Sir Keir is feeling the heat from his boozy lockdown curry night, Labour MPs are bending over backwards to explain why their leader’s Covid rule-breaking is somehow completely different to Boris’s, and why it’s right that Starmer remains in post provided he isn’t fined. One particular MP who might have some trouble with this is none other than the Honourable Member for Durham, Mary Foy…

Foy is probably best known for hosting the Beergate bhuna session in her constituency office, laughing and drinking merrily with her colleagues while the country was still in stage two of lockdown. She then went on to scream at Richard Holden for his asking Durham Police to reinvestigate the event. It turns out, however, that when Durham Police announced they wouldn’t fine Dominic Cummings over the infamous Barnard Castle trip, Foy had a few ideas about what should happen next. None of which involved Cummings keeping his job…

Here’s what Foy wrote in a public letter to Boris after the Cummings story:

“The vast majority of constituents who have contacted me have expressed the view that Mr Cummings’ actions have been insensitive and unacceptable at best, and many feel that they warrant further investigation by the police.”

While I understand today’s decision by Durham Police to take no further action, many of the constituents who have written to me would like Mr Cummings to resign or be sacked. Clearly, whether you stick by him or not is a matter for you, but the perception from my constituents, and I would hazard a guess that this is a common view across the North East, is that you are currently putting the interests of your chief adviser above that of the people of the region and the country as a whole.”

Even though Cummings received no fixed penalty, and the police decided they’d take no further action, Foy still took the time to write a two-page letter informing the Prime Minister how upset her constituents are, and politely suggested Cummings lose his job. Presumably her office is inundated with similar letters now, all demanding Sir Keir does the honourable thing…

Read Mary’s furious letter in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 11 May 2022 @ 10:43 11 May 2022 @ 10:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Full Timeline of Starmer & Angie’s Big Day Out in Durham

Given press scrutiny into Sir Keir and Angie’s party night in Durham last year is now quite rightly hotting up, Guido thought co-conspirators might like a fully-researched timeline as to what the LOTO team got up to that day. Strap in…

Early morning: Starmer begins the day campaigning in Hull

14.40: Tours Hull Fruit Market with Diane Johnson and Emma Hardy

Mid-afternoon: Starmer gets the train to Durham. A Twitter user snaps Sir Keir and posts it at 19.03.

Late-afternoon: Starmer travels to the Labour Party’s Durham offices at the Miners Hall, and records a social media video for Labour – posted the next day – alongside unmasked members of the public with no social distancing. By this time Rayner and Mary Kelly Foy have joined up with Starmer. Rayner appears in the video, once again proving her attendance at the event.

19.00: Durham Constituency Labour Party host a “Pre-election CLP QUIZ and Social”. Labour have refused to say where this was hosted, though Guido’s money is on the Labour constituency offices where Sir Keir and Angie were now enjoying a post-campaign drinks and food session. In December 2021 Sir Keir was waxing lyrical about how it was “very hard” to see how a No. 10 virtual quiz was “compliant with Coronavirus rules”

20.30: Starmer and Rayner both participate in a “Get out the vote rally!” via Zoom from the same office, for the first time confirming Rayner’s attendance well into the evening.

Late evening: Keir and Mary Foy are filmed socialising while the Labour leader swigs beer. Another empty bottle is seen on the windowsill. Guido speculates the female head at the bottom of the window frame is Angela Rayner’s. This was against campaigning law at the time, which effectively said you could only enter an indoor space to get leaflets…

April 20, 2022: Angela Rayner is asked “If Keir Starmer, had been fined for the beer and sandwiches that he had or was perhaps it was just beer. Should he have resigned?” Rayner replies “If Keir Starmer had broken the law, then Yes.”

mdi-timer 29 April 2022 @ 12:48 29 Apr 2022 @ 12:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour MP’s Drunken Rant at Tory Over Starmer Lockdown Beer Probe

The pressures of beergate are obviously getting to Labour MPs more than they’d like to admit: Labour MP Mary Foy launched into a furious drunken tirade against Richard Holden in the Strangers’ Bar on Tuesday night, after Holden asked Durham Police to reinvestigate Starmer for his lockdown beer drinking. Which isn’t exactly surprising, given the infamous event took place in Foy’s own constituency office…

Foy allegedly grabbed Holden’s arm and hurled so much abuse at him that her staff had to pull her away. Having had a skinful, she growled “how dare you name me and my office in this?” as apologetic staffers tried to calm her down. A witness told the Daily Mail she was “feeing the pressure”. Guido can’t imagine this morning’s revelations about Angela Rayner will do much to soothe her…

Holden threatened to take the matter to the Speaker unless she apologised the following morning. Lo and behold, on Wednesday morning Holden found “I unreservedly apologise for my behaviour on the terrace last night” in his inbox. Holden tells Guido she then went on to talk about how they could work together as Durham MPs. First Coyle, now Foy. Labour MPs obviously can’t handle their chardonnay…

mdi-timer 29 April 2022 @ 10:11 29 Apr 2022 @ 10:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments