Tory members will vent their election campaign frustrations at senior party officials during a post-mortem scheduled for the first hours of conference. The agenda for the meeting of the National Conservative Convention, the most senior body in the voluntary party, centres on the “General Election Review”, which insiders say will deliver a heated and withering verdict to party chairman Patrick McLoughlin and CCHQ colleagues. An email to party activists said:
“The Convention will receive a presentation from the Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles on the feedback gathered from Party Members over the three months since the General Election in June.”
A Tory source who contributed to the feedback said: “I don’t know of anyone who wrote anything positive”. The NCC, slated for Sunday 1 October, is usually attended by the party leader and chairman. It consists of association chairs, local officers and youth and women’s representatives. Worth reading Mark Wallace today for a taste of what they can expect to hear. Winning Prime Ministers have previously attended post-election reviews, will Theresa May?
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 16, 2017
Tory chairman Patrick McLoughlin not happy with Sky’s Darren McCaffrey asking questions about the Tory election fraud, grabbing his phone in a vain attempt to prevent him filming. McLoughlin is usually pretty amiable, tensions must be high in CCHQ…
— Nick Hilton (@nickfthilton) November 2, 2016
Plenty of bewilderment among the general public at the beginning of PMQs – let Guido explain.
And they say PMQs is becoming ever more pointless.
The leader of the Europhile rebel alliance is, to the disappointment of her Remain colleagues, Nicky Morgan. Sacked NiMo is ridiculously claiming that a ‘hard Brexit’, which in reality means controlling borders and delivering the referendum result, will encourage “intolerance and bigotry”. She’s also been attacking selective education despite looking round private schools for her own son. Patrick McLoughlin uses the first interview by a Tory Cabinet minister with the Mirror in two decades to issue a public slap down:
“Nicky Morgan when she was Education Secretary very rightly allowed grammar schools to expand in the areas they have got them… So with the growing numbers you have got to allow this sort of opportunities to be there and that is what I would point out to Nicky Morgan, as I say she was Education Secretary that allowed grammar schools to expand.”
This should be seen as an indicator of the regard in which No. 10 now holds Morgan.
Worth remembering that this time last year Morgan nakedly declared her desire to lead the party. When Guido text one MP asking if she had a chance, they replied simply: “Haha”. Tory Leavers are privately referring to the Remain awkward squad of Morgan, Soubry, Herbert and Clarke* as the “New Bastards”. NiMo kneecapped her chances with the party long ago…
*More affectionately known as “that ol’ bastard.”
Theresa May has hired Patrick McLoughlin’s spinner Tim Smith as her final Downing Street press SpAd. Another alumnus of the CCHQ press office, Smith has been a SpAd at Transport for the last year, taking a short sabbatical to fight the good fight during Zac’s battle against Sadiq. Smith going to Number 10 means the Tory chairman’s chief of staff job is up for grabs…
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Corbyn’s new Shadow Transport Secretary Lilian Greenwood has put out a punchy statement on the VW emissions scandal, blaming the Tories for “dangerously high levels of nitrogen oxide emissions” and insisting: “Poor air quality is a growing problem in our towns and cities but the Government is in chaos on this issue”. What Lilian fails to mention is that someone has already taken full responsibility for the UK’s high levels of nitrogen oxide emissions:
“Hands up, can I say there’s absolutely no question that the decision we took was the wrong decision? … Certainly the impact of that decision has been a massive problem for public health in this country.”
The words of Barry Gardiner, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, speaking earlier this year…