Donor Gives Priti Patel £100,000, Neil Coyle’s Awkward Donor

Stories arising from updates to the MPs’ Register of Interests are like catching a bus: you wait for one and a couple come along at once. Scrolling through today’s updates there are some eyebrow-raising entries: for example, Chris Bryant has received £7,600 for the rights to make a television series based on his book. The book in question isn’t listed, though Guido would be surprised if it’s not The Glamour Boys, about a group of young, gay MPs who helped fight Hitler…

Former Labour chief whip Nick Brown has also registered his departure as a non-executive director of the Mariinksky Theatre Trust – an arts body with links to Russia – though this was less his decision and more a result of the trust closing down just shy of its 30-year birthday following the invasion of Ukraine.

Guido couldn’t help laughing at Neil Coyle’s registering of £3,000-worth of support from the Refugee, Asylum and Migration Policy Project (RAMP), in the form of a policy advisor for 2.5 days per week from January to February this year. According to RAMP’s website they are focused on “re-imagining a world-class migration system for a successful and integrated Britain”. They’re now donating services to an MP suspended by the Labour Party for allegedly making racially charged remarks about a journalist of Asian origin…

The jaw-dropper this month is undoubtedly Priti Patel, who totally puts to shame Geoffrey Cox’s high earnings. She’s just registered a whopping £100,000 donation from Anduyrand Capital Management, “a private fund management company in fundamental commodity strategies with a specialisation in the oil and energy complex.”

Drinks on Priti…

mdi-timer 30 March 2022 @ 16:53 30 Mar 2022 @ 16:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour Whips Know a Thing or Two About Intimidation

Now that William Wragg has accused the whips of “intimidation” and “blackmail“, Labour MPs such as Angela Rayner and Lisa Nandy have immediately attacked the government for “playing politics” over these “serious allegations”, and demanded an investigation. Serious allegations” in this case meaning ‘briefing the press’.

To pretend that any of this is a new form of whipping is disingenuous, and you needn’t look any further than Labour’s own history to understand that: Nick Brown – the former Chief Whip under Blair, Brown, Miliband, Corbyn and even Starmer – was notorious for his fierce discipline over Members. He had the most feared reputation out of almost anyone in the tearoom. Here’s a flavour of the headlines Nick Brown attracted over his tenure:

  • Suggested banning MPs who rebelled from sitting on all-party parliamentary select committees
  • Was described as a “ruthless political enforcer on behalf of Gordon Brown” who would be “hostile” to MPs who didn’t support the leadership
  • Threatened to ban MPs from going on parliamentary trips
  • Named and shamed” 21 rebels who didn’t fall in line with John McDonnell’s opposition to “austerity measures

It wasn’t just Brown, either…

In 2001, then-Labour MP Paul Marsden accused the whips – particularly Jim Dowd and Gerry Sutcliffe – of physically and verbally assaulting him like “thugs” for criticising Blair’s anti-terrorism bill. Then in 2016, Corbyn and Labour whips were also accused of “bullying tactics” by MP Conor McGinn, when McGinn alleged the then-Labour leader had “proposed using my family against me in an attempt to bully me into submission.” A claim which, obviously, Corbyn emphatically denied…

Either way, expecting the whips to entice potential rebels with a handshake and a smile – on either side of the aisle – is pure fantasy. Lobby hacks writing shocked and breathless reports about arm-twisting whips are frankly taking readers for fools.

mdi-timer 20 January 2022 @ 16:17 20 Jan 2022 @ 16:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
McDonnell Takes On Skwawkbox

The Daily Mirror has heard that at the shadow cabinet meeting, Nick Brown lost his train of thought so John McDonnell handed over a piece of paper to help out.

Brown: “You’re really helpful“.

McDonnell: “Yes I am. But it would be great if somebody could tell Skwawkbox that“.

 

mdi-timer 15 October 2019 @ 15:33 15 Oct 2019 @ 15:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
One Line Whip This Evening as Whips Bond at the Theatre

The Commons will be quieter than usual post-PMQs as MPs are on a one line whip, effectively giving them the evening off. Surely nothing to do with the joint Tory and Labour whips office trip to see This House tonight. Gavin Williamson and Nick Brown and their respective teams will be bonding at the Garrick for the play at which fashionable politicos must be seen, set in the Tory and Labour whips offices back in the seventies. The freebie includes drinks on the on stage bar, on a school night too…

mdi-timer 18 January 2017 @ 10:42 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Dawn Butler on Nick Brown Whip Appointment

Dawn Butler refreshingly honest or touchingly naive about Nick Brown’s chief-whip appointment

“It shows Jeremy isn’t scared of putting someone in a position who doesn’t really support him.”

mdi-timer 7 October 2016 @ 11:34 7 Oct 2016 @ 11:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rosie Winterton Sacked, Nick Brown Labour’s New Chief Whip

Reshuffle is on!

mdi-timer 6 October 2016 @ 16:46 6 Oct 2016 @ 16:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments