Seb Payne Narrowly Misses Out on “Knife-Edge” Selection as Nick Timothy Takes Hancock’s Seat

Seb Payne’s political ambitions faced yet another setback over the weekend, as he came second in the race to represent the safe Tory seat of Bromsgrove. Seb, who described himself as a “part-time Michael Gove stunt double”, can take some positives from his defeat in the Battle of Bromsgrove. Insiders say he performed well and came across as credible in a very tightly fought race – with the winner being decided on a “razor-fine” margin. Winner, Bradley Thomas’s local links gave him the edge.

There was some discontent in the association, as reported by Michael Crick, as a ‘refer back motion’ to restart the selection was proposed – though eventually defeated. Over the weekend another Westminster insider did get one step closer to the green benches, as Nick Timothy won selection in Matt Hancock’s West Suffolk seat. Guido’s heart bleeds for Neil Hudson

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Muslim Council of Britain Loses Telegraph IPSO Complaint

Humiliation for the Muslim Council of Britain, as their media spokesperson has lost an IPSO complaint against the Telegraph. Miqdaad Versi had made a complaint that an op-ed entitled “We’re not drifting into segregation, we’re hurtling perilously towards it”, written by Nick Timothy, breached Clause 1 (accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complaint has now been thrown out.

In the article, Timothy referenced a letter to schools from Gavin Williamson, “warning that while pupils are allowed to express political views, anti-Semitic language and threats must not be tolerated”, going on to state:

“In response to the Williamson letter, Miqdaad Versi, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, complained that the Government was being ‘one-sided’. The letter, of course, was not about events in Israel, but the harassment of British Jews. In suggesting there might be two sides to racism, Versi revealed more than he intended about why the Government refuses to engage with the MCB.”

Versi argued that Timothy’s interpretation of his views was “based on misinterpretation of a Twitter thread he had posted” and claimed “he was calling on the government to also take action on the discrimination and racism encountered by Muslim children”

In the end neither party disputed that the alleged breach of Clause 1 had appeared in the context of the op-ed, merely disputing whether the alleged breach was presented as fact or comment within the comment piece. The body ultimately commended the Telegraph for publishing a letter from Versi, allowing him to put his point of view across…

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Theresa May Risks Becoming New Ted Heath

Former Number 10 Chief of Staff, Nick Timothy, produced scathing criticism of his former boss’s conduct this morning in the Institute for Government podcast. Referencing May’s tirade in Wednesday’s Daily Mail, Timothy said she risks becoming the new Ted Heath…

“I think she needs to be careful [about how she criticises]. She doesn’t want to give the appearance of being a little bit bitter about her experience and Boris’ electoral success and so on in the way that maybe Ted Heath did about Margaret Thatcher.”

Timothy went on to explain the “green credentials” she brandishes now were not particularly apparent in Government, when she was “quite hard on Greg Clarke as the Secretary of State for being a bit too green.” What’s more, Timothy revealed that in Government May contemplated the very same foreign aid cuts she chastised Boris for as a “moral failure”…

“There were certainly conversations when I was in government about whether the 0.7% aid target should be retained in all circumstances and now she criticises them for making the decision she once contemplated.”

If May wants to alienate herself on the back benches she’s going the right way about it…

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Nick Timothy Seeking Tory Safe Seat

ConservativeHome are reporting Theresa May’s former Joint Chief-of-Staff is standing for the Tory candidacy in the safe seat of Meriden (a 19,198 majority). It already looks like he’s got a hand in writing the Tories’ cash-splashing manifesto…

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Nick Timothy: Theresa May Sees Brexit as a “Damage Limitation Exercise”

The inexorable truth straight from the mouth of the adviser who knew her best. Much as Timothy rightly took much of the blame for the 2017 election debacle, if anything the long-term damage done by removing the true Brexit believer from May’s inner circle has been far greater…

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Nick Timothy Tells May to Back Max Fac

Another important intervention from Nick Timothy in the Telegraph today, who directly advises his old boss to drop her customs partnership and back the Brexiters’ Max Fac option. Last week Timothy savaged the NCP, today he makes the case for Max Fac and tells Number 10 to “get on with it”. Theresa May still listens to her former chief of staff, it is also significant that Max Fac is being pushed by someone in the PM’s trusted inner circle, not just Cabinet Brexiters and the ERG. Timothy says Max Fac:

“…can be made efficient by sensible policy and technology, and the costs can be offset by the opportunities provided by trade deals with the world’s fastest growing economies…

Downing Street’s reluctance to choose “max fac” is driven by concern about the Northern Irish border. But “max fac” does not demand a hard border. Checks do not need to be conducted along the border: the administration can be done in advance through pre-registration and trusted trader schemes, and monitoring can be conducted in each country. Small businesses can be exempted, more powers devolved to Belfast, and more all-Ireland governance arrangements can be agreed to facilitate trade.

The Commission says this is impossible, but their negotiating stance is hardly surprising when they believe Parliament might force the Government into a customs union. And whatever Barnier says, “max fac” would be no anomalous lacuna in the EU’s border. Two years ago, more than a million migrants simply walked into Europe. And as anybody who has driven into France from Switzerland knows, there are no checks along whole sections of the EU border.

The EU is ignoring its own negotiating guidelines. They say “the unique challenges of Ireland will require flexible and imaginative solutions”. The responsibility to find these solutions is not only British but European too.

If there is a compromise to be made, ministers might accept that “max fac” will take longer to be introduced than the current implementation timetable suggests. But to get its way with Brussels, and to convince Parliament that there is an alternative to a customs union, the Government needs to get on with it, choose “max fac” – and start making its case.”

The crunch meeting is now on Tuesday next week. If Timothy was still in Downing Street May would be backing Max Fac, instead she has been captured by Remainers. Five days to see sense…

mdi-timer 10 May 2018 @ 08:03 10 May 2018 @ 08:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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