Crick on NOLS

Michael Crick on the closure of the National Organisation of Labour Students

“This must be the only case in Labour or Conservative history where a party youth organisation has been closed down for not being extreme enough!”

Media Moan About Missing May

Broadcasters have ignited a media spat with Number 10 over access to Theresa May, with Channels 4 and 5 particularly aggrieved about not getting time with the PM compared to the BBC. An indignant Michael Crick tweeted “if Number Ten is not careful it could soon look like the BBC has become the state broadcaster.”

May’s comms chief and former BBC exec Robbie Gibb was the recipient of a strongly-worded missive from the broadcasters earlier this afternoon:

Robbie wasn’t having any of it, hitting back with a long list of the PM’s recent interviews and challenging them over whether they’d made the same fuss over Corbyn last week:

Over to you, Channel 4…

Mandela: Margaret Thatcher Is An Enemy Of Apartheid

Channel 4‘s interview with the Prime Minister in South Africa has again given rise to the internet myth that Margaret Thatcher somehow supported apartheid. Here’s Nelson Mandela setting the record straight.

“[Margaret Thatcher] is an enemy of apartheid. Our differences are in regard to the methods of inducing the Government to dismantle apartheid.”

Also worth noting that Michael Crick’s accusation that “Mrs Thatcher believed that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist” is nonsense. In fact when she met the leader of South Africa in 1984, official records show that Thatcher told Botha “very firmly” that “apartheid had to be dismantled, [and] Nelson Mandela and other prisoners released”. Anti-apartheid movement president Trevor Huddleston wrote to Thatcher to say her words were “truly all I could have wished for”.

Channel 4 should be better than to peddle comprehensively disproven internet myths.

Michael Crick on Safe Seats

Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

Top May Aide Nick Timothy Gets Crick’d

The long legs of top Theresa May adviser Nick Timothy allow him to run away from Michael Crick’s Tory election expenses questions…

Labour’s By-Election Candidates Dodging Media

Guido has noticed a recurring theme among Labour’s two by-election candidates: they both seem to be avoiding the press. By Guido’s count Gillian Troughton, Labour’s candidate in Copeland, has so far:

  • Declined an invitation to appear on the BBC alongside her rivals
  • Refused an interview with Channel 4 News
  • Sent a ‘representative’ to a local hustings
  • Dodged another public debate altogether

Gareth Snell, the candidate in Stoke-on-Trent Central has so far:

  • Blanked a PA reporter, refusing to answer questions while out and about with Jeremy Corbyn (Guido revealed Snell had previously called Corbyn an “IRA supporting friend of Hamas” – watch them run here)
  • On the same occasion refused to give an interview to ITV
  • Even refused to give an interview to the New Statesman

It’s certainly getting up the nose of Michael Crick, who has been wistfully tweeting about the degree of access he had during the 1997 Wirral South by-election. Almost as if Labour are trying to hide the woeful lack of talent among their by-election candidates…

Labour Spin Buses Were National Campaign, Internal Report Says “Dedicated to Marginal Seats”

Crick covered Guido’s story last night that the Tories had lawyered up in their row with the Electoral Commission. Meanwhile, the Labour press office are spinning a line responding to our revelation that 17 of their candidates failed to declare battle buses. Labour tell the Times:

“This was part of a nationally branded tour so the transport costs are rightly national spend. Labour’s spending is within the law and the rules set out by the Electoral Commission.”

Below is taken from page 25 of Harriet Harman’s official internal Labour General Election Report. In their own words, Labour admit that the four buses were “dedicated to supporting marginal seats”, not the national campaign. The report explains how campaigners worked “with nearby marginal seats and given incentives to prioritise work in those areas”.

lies

There it is in black and white: Labour’s buses worked to support marginal seats, not the national campaign. Electoral Commission rules are clear, this should have been declared as part of each local campaign. Bang to rights…

Crick Crick’d

Michael Crick finally touched on the Labour expenses fraud on Wednesday, having previously devoted his coverage to the Tory version of the story. After a brief chase around Smith Square, Guido caught up with him for a chat. On the other parties, he promises “more in the next few days”…

CPS Says Up to Cops to Pursue Tories

battlebus

The Tory expenses affair takes another turn, the CPS says:

“Following a constructive meeting with the police and Electoral Commission, it has been agreed that each relevant police force will consider what action to take. This may Include making an application to the court under s.176 of the Representations of the People Act 1983 to extend the time allowed to bring a prosecution.”

Looks like the curse of Mark Clarke has hit a wall despite his best efforts in briefing Michael Crick… 

Feldman Gets Cricked

An out of breath Michael Crick at his best…

Electoral Commission: We Can’t Stop Expense Fiddles

Crick Electoral

The impotent Electoral Commission have pleaded for greater authority to investigate election spending fiddles in the wake of the Tory overspend exposed by Michael Crick:

“The Electoral Commission has called again today for greater fairness and clarity around the current regulatory framework for candidates at elections. The law currently stops short of giving the Commission the power to enforce candidates’ spending rules and only the police can investigate if there’s a problem. It’s time to end that anomaly and give us the power to investigate and sanction.”

So they are effectively saying they can do nothing as the current rules stand. Does this mean the Tories have got away with it?

Crick Reveals More Tory Expense Fiddles

Channel 4 News last night exposed more allegations about Tory overspending in South Thanet. Michael Crick’s investigation revealed:

  • More hotels booked that were not declared.
  • CCHQ Campaign Specialist Marion Little personally booked hotel rooms in her name, registered to her home adress in Hertfordshire.
  • Allegedly over 770 nights of hotel room bookings made, covering all three by-elections, were linked to Little.
  • An email in which Little coordinated moving equipment and activists between undeclared hotels.
  • The Tories legal agent for the whole campaign, Victoria Goff, signed off on an election declaration that omitted hotel overspends. This is despite her staying in a room at one of the undeclared hotels.
  • Local Conservatives working for the Tories in Clacton have now demanded an inquiry into potentially illegal by-election spending.

That’s plenty for the Electoral Commission to investigate then…

Robert Jenrick Gets Cricked Over By-Election Expenses

The boys in blue are investigating the Tories.

The allegations are not going away…

Tory Overspend in UKIP By-Elections

Michael Crick reckons he has enough to call in the cops on alleged Tory by-election overspends. Did the Tories break the rules with their hotel bills in Newark, and while fighting UKIP in Clacton and Rochester?

Could South Thanet’s Result Be Overturned?

Crick is alleging that the Tories smashed the spending limits in an effort to defeat Nigel Farage.  It was treated by CCHQ like a by-election.  Even if UKIP prove it, would the Electoral Commission do anything about it? 

UPDATE: A legal source reminds Guido

The South Thanet misspending a not an Electoral Commission matter. It is a police matter and a criminal offence under sections 81, 82 and 84 of the representation of the people act 1983. If only someone could get the police to take it seriously.

Tory Corbyn Spy Crick’d

To be fair to “Mr Watkinson from the Conservative Party”, he doesn’t half make a quick exit…

Faster than Crick could manage…

He doesn’t like it up him…

Prince Charles Gets Crick’d!

Watch Charles’ aide, the woman on the left, grab the microphone as it kicks off…

UPDATE: Guido understands the Charles aide who took Crick’s microphone cover is Kristina Kyriacou, who used to advise Cheryl Cole. Her nickname, given to her by Gary Barlow, is “The Colonel”.

UPDATE II: Kyriacou also directed Gordon Brown’s ‘No to Knives’ coalition.

Crick Gets Paxo’d

See you at 9…

You’ve Been Cricked

Al Murray Gets Cricked

Something tells Guido that Al isn’t finding politics that much of a laugh…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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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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