DD: Government Must Release “Complete” Legal Advice

David Davis has added his voice to calls for the Government to release the legal advice they have received on the Irish backstop. Davis told Today that there was “no argument whatsoever” that at the very least the Cabinet should have access to the full information before making their decision on the deal, while rejecting Matt Hancock’s suggestion on Peston last night that Geoffrey Cox answering questions in Parliament would amount to sufficient scrutiny:

“What we must see is the complete legal advice, not a summary, not something that just glides and glosses over the difficult issues, but the actual legal advice.”

Interestingly, Hancock did add that it would be a “decision in exceptional circumstances for the Prime Minister”. Under the Ministerial Code, the legal advice can be released if the “law officers” i.e. the Attorney General agree to it. May herself attacked Brown and Blair for not showing legal advice they had received on the Iraq War to the Cabinet and MPs, labelling it a breach of the ministerial code. The circumstances of Brexit are at least as exceptional as those of the Iraq War…

In any case, MPs may seek to take the decision out of her hands, with Tory rebels considering supporting a humble address motion from Keir Starmer in Labour’s opposition day debate next Tuesday which could compel the Government to release the advice. If there is nothing to hide in the advice, the Government can avoid the whole row by simply agreeing to release it in full…

Hancock: I “Hope” Customs Union Will Be Time Limited

SpAd Moves: Hancock Gets Fighting Fit Team

New Health Secretary Matt Hancock is beefing up his SpAd team – experienced SpAd Lottie Dominiczak is off to the private sector, with two new hires coming in to partner renowned chess hustler and late-night Tory Conference musical entertainer extraordinaire Jamie Njoku-Goodwin. Richard Sloggett is joining from Hanover Communications as Hancock’s policy SpAd – Sloggett has worked on health issues for years and knows the health world inside out.

Allan Nixon is joining from Hancock’s parliamentary office and will lead on parliamentary liaison. Also joining Team Hancock on the civil service side is former Evening Standard hack Rashid Razaq who will be Hancock’s speechwriter after being poached from DfID. Hancock getting his team leadership fighting-fit…

Outside the Department of Health, former Gove SpAd Beth Armstrong is making a return to Government, joining Nick De Bois and Steph Lis at DExEU. They will have their hands full over the next few weeks…

Get in touch with any updates…

Hancock Jumps on a Wall

Matt Hancock has tweeted a video of himself jumping onto a 2 foot high wall and claimed it shows him demonstrating the military training discipline of parkour:

This follows him attempting to moonwalk last week:

Is he worried about Liz Truss?

“Kay Burley Will Stand Against Matt Hancock in West Suffolk”

Labour MP Chris Bryant reckons Kay Burley could stand against Matt Hancock in West Suffolk if the future of Sky News is threatened under proposed merger plans. Kay would win…

Hancock: 4 Out of 14 Social Media Companies Turned Up to Meet Me

Not including Matt Hancock of the Matt Hancock App, presumably…

“Give Me Sexy” Matt Hancock

He can sing, he can dance, he can defend the freedom of the press, is there anything Matt Hancock can’t do?

Stakes Cut is Big Win for Casino Industry

The announcement this morning by Matt Hancock that stakes on gaming machines (FOBTs) in bookies’ shops are to be cut to a maximum of £2 is being spun as a victory for anti-gambling campaigners and social justice warriors from across the political spectrum – uniting IDS and Tom Watson. It is actually a victory for casinos and amusement arcade owners who lobbied hard to hobble their competitors.

One of the main lobbyists for the change was Gabino Stergides, of the trade association for the amusement and gaming machine industry, with whom Matt Hancock is pictured above. Among the other funders of the anti-gaming machines campaign were the casinos Genting, Les Ambassadeurs Club, The Palaces and the Hippodrome Casino. Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on FOBT, has been wined and dined by Simon Thomas – the owner of the Hippodrome mega-casino. The whole campaign has basically been funded by the bookies’ gambling industry rivals.

The irony is that in a casino £2 is likely to be the minimum not maximum stake. You can lose much more than £100 on the spin of a roulette wheel…

Hancock: We’ll Be Staying in Eurovision

Guido is usually aligned with the demands of the ERG group of Tory Brexiters, but this time they’ve surely gone too far. Flamboyant Tory MP Michael Fabricant has suggested the UK should withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest after Brexit, asking Culture Secretary Matt Hancock:

“Does my right hon. Friend share my dismay that Brexit does not mean that we are leaving the Eurovision song contest?”

The Secretary of State shot down the idea:

“We should apply to the Eurovision Song Contest a principle that I try to apply to my life: whenever something goes wrong, we should try, try and try again, and maybe we will eventually get there.”

Karaoke lover Hancock must be tempted to enter himself…

Rudd Wrong About Migrant Removal Targets

Amber Rudd told the Home Affairs select committee yesterday: “We don’t have targets for removals… if you’re asking me are there numbers of people we expect to be removed, that’s not how we operate.”

Note the subtle change in line from the Home Office last night: It has never been policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet a target.

… Repeated by Matt Hancock on the Today programme this morning: “As far as I understand it, it has never been Home Office policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet the target.”

Because… this 2015 report sent to then Home Secretary Theresa May by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration shows: “For 2014/15 (10 full months) the Home Office set a target of 7,200 Voluntary Departures, an average of 120 per week, with the weekly target rising to 160 by the end of March 2015. For 2015/16, the annual target was raised to 12,000.”

You would have thought that, between them, the current and former Home Secretaries would know if the Home Office had migrant removal targets. Guess who is scheduled for today’s Press Gallery lunch…

Ofcom Boss Sacked For Opposing Brexit Wins Huge Pay-Off

An ultra-Remainer former quango chief will receive a huge pay-off from the taxpayer despite being sacked for openly criticising the government on Brexit. Former Economist editor Bill Emmott became head of Ofcom’s Content Board in 2015; as a journalist Emmott proposed extending the single market, advocated a new EU ‘energy union’ and made an anti-Brexit film for the BBC called The Great European Disaster Movie. He is a properly fanatical Europhile… 

The following year Emmott was let go having given an interview to an Italian newspaper headlined: “Outside Europe the UK dies”. He had also tweeted: “Prediction: Jeremy Corbyn will be Britain’s PM by 2020. Boris’s legacy” and “Gove scaremongers on migration free-for-all”. Ofcom bosses are subject to strict impartiality guidelines, all the more crucial in a referendum year…

Emmott took the government to the High Court over the circumstances of his departure and was granted a judicial review. Last month DCMS sneaked out a backpedalling statement:

“The parties now recognise that his departure from the post reflected changed circumstances since his recruitment and have agreed formal terms to resolve the dispute between them.”

Matt Hancock’s department has now agreed to pay a substantial sum in compensation, which Guido understands could be up to £80,000. An arch-Remainer paid off with your cash despite clearing bringing Ofcom into disrepute with his blatant anti-Brexit bias…

Matt Hancock: ‘I’m Sorry I’m Not the Prime Minister’

Silicon Roundabout’s Matt Hancock spoke at the 10 Downing Street charities reception on Monday night. Guido’s co-conspirator recounts his opener:

“Hello and welcome to Number Ten.

“Firstly, I’d like to apologise that I’m not the Prime Minister… [laughter]

“But it’s an honour to address so many people who do so much, working tirelessly every day, to make life better for the citizens of this country.”

If only there was an app where we could all share these gems…

Matt Hancock Calls App Britain

They may have the Silicon chip but we have the Silicon chap: Matt Hancock. The Culture Secretary is calling app Britain – he has created a new social network where fans can keep up with his every move. It’s basically Facebook, but just Matt Hancock’s feed. Anyway, the internet is loving it:

It’s trending on Twitter, but who uses that anymore?

“So, Boris Can Wait…” Tory Karaoke in Full

Tory conference finally saw the energy and passion it has been lacking this week courtesy of the InHouse Communications karaoke night. Partygoers witnessed peak Matt Hancock as he took to the stage to sing Happy Birthday to himself, before performing a high octane duet of Don’t Stop Me Now with Therese Coffey (watch above). James Cleverly and Kelly Tolhurst attempted Don’t Go Breaking My Heart before Clevz redeemed himself with a more impressive rendition of Twist and Shout, complete with memorable hip action. Will Quince demonstrated surprising depth as he had the room hand-waving to My Way. Nigel Evans gave us Delilah, David Mundell just about made his way through 500 Miles and a Brexit-backing cross-party trio of Paul Scully, Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Ian Paisley Jnr had the room rocking to Sweet CarolineThen it was the turn of the Lobby…

Faisal Islam took great pleasure in adapting the lyrics of Don’t Look Back in Anger to belt out “So, Boris can wait” – just the latest MSM smear. Dan Hodges and Glen Owen teamed up with Number 10 Sunday Lobby specialist Kirsty Buchanan to murder Mr Brightside. An emotional David Wooding, one arm raised aloft, sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, the only time he’ll be able to do that in Manchester. The night ended with Number 10’s Richard “Tricky” Jackson nailing You Raise Me Up. Hic…

Now Hancock Gets Copeland Tory’s Name Wrong Too!

Last night Matt Hancock was unable to name Stoke Tory candidate Jack Brereton when asked by Andrew Neil. His excuse was that he had been up in Copeland…

This afternoon Hancock did the double, getting new Copeland Tory MP Trudy Harrison’s name wrong on Radio 2, repeatedly calling her Judy Harrison. When challenged and corrected by Jeremy Vine, Hancock shamelessly tried to bluff it. For goodness sake man, go to bed.

Hancock Can’t Name Tory Stoke Candidate

Poor old Jack Brereton…

Hancock-Up: Superfast Broadband’s 0% Success Rate

hancock-up

Digital minister Matt Hancock has emailed MPs to update them on progress being made with superfast broadband in each of their constituencies. It has been less than a stunning success in North Cornwall, where the £3 million funding has not been well spent:

“Your constituency is located within the Cornwall project. The project has been allocated over £3.0m of government funding for Phase 1 and/or 2 of the Superfast Broadband Programme.

In North Cornwall Constituency the BDUK scheme has made superfast broadband available to 0 more premises.

Average take up of superfast broadband in the BDUK Cornwall project area is 0%.”

Instead of sending the awkward North Cornwall email to North Cornwall MP Scott Mann, Hancock mistakenly sent it to Labour’s John Mann. Guaranteeing it would be publicised in superfast time…  

Matt Hancock: “Cock Gobbler”

cock-matt

Away from Liverpool, a screen malfunction meant Matt Hancock was forced to read an entire speech at the Radio Festival staring into the words “cock gobbler”. Apparently Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills had been playing “innuendo-bingo” on the podium before his speech which is why the message was left on the screen.

Posted without comment.

Hancock Follows Mak, Backs May

v2.mak+hancock

The Tory MP’s endorsement awaited with baited breath almost  as much as was that of Alan Mak was undoubtedly Matt Hancock’s. On Newsnight George Osborne’s former lackey last said he backed Theresa (as did Mak). Suspicion among Tory MPs is that he must have been promised a cabinet-level job for backing her. That’s bound to raise the eyebrows of those in SW1 who suspect Osborne is behind Theresa…

At Last! Automatic Union Funding Faces Axe

The reforming zeal of Francis Maude may be elsewhere post-election, but there are early signs of encouragement from his successor. Matt Hancock today announces the abolition of trade union ‘check-off’, the archaic system where union subscriptions are automatically taken from civil servants’ pay packets in a process funded by the taxpayer.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Dominic Raab wrote in his letter of resignation…

“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.