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This latest Tory poster looks like an easy hit on Corbyn, except… the Tories are promising an expensive bomb – Trident for the navy, which will mean less for the army. As many in the senior ranks of the army will tell you, the incredibly expensive Trident system, designed for an historic Cold War enemy, means less weapons for the army in the active theatres in which they are fighting.
Are the Tories promising less debt and lower taxes overall? No.
UPDATE: Piers Morgan nuked Jon Ashworth on the issue this morning:
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) 3 May 2017
06.46 and Labour’s first incoherent interview of the day already underway…
From Piers Morgan’s FT interview:
“When Morgan was an interviewer, he boasted about having “no shame about asking anyone anything”. I wonder what that feels like. So I ask him, “What keeps you faithful to your wife?” It feels awful asking this stuff. “Henry, move on,” Morgan says.”
He sadly refused to twerk…
Principled feminist Ewan McGregor pulled out of a TV interview with Piers Morgan this morning, tweeting: “Won’t go on with him after his comments about #WomensMarch.” Worth recalling a different interview McGregor was entirely happy to give: fawning over film director Roman Polanski, who was famously jailed for the rape of a 13-year-old girl whom he drugged and sodomised. McGregor said he was “upset” for Polanski, claiming the convicted child abuser is “not a danger to society in any way“. Polanski is the cause of justified outrage for feminists, so much so that only today he was today forced to step down from hosting the French Oscars in disgrace. Ewan’s record means he is hardly a great addition to the sisterhood…
Jeremy Corbyn has entirely predictably backtracked on the overnight briefing saying he would ditch his commitment to free movement. Speaking to Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain, he clarified that “If the EU says access to the single market requires freedom of movement I would say… economically we’ve got to be able to trade with Europe”. In other words that Britain should prioritise the single market over controlling borders. He then told Today he would not end the “right to travel”, also known as free movement, adding “We’re not saying anyone couldn’t come here”.
As of last night Corbyn was saying “Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens”, this morning he’s ultimately saying he would keep free movement. When Labour sent out the speech excerpts outlining the tougher line on immigration, it was inevitable that Corbyn wouldn’t stick to it. What will he say in his speech? Find out at 3pm…
Labour’s confused response to Trump has seen them favourably compare him to Jeremy Corbyn, then attack Theresa May for seeking an alliance with the President-elect. Meanwhile the Labour Twitterati are mocking the Tory row over whether they should use Farage as an intermediary. Turns out Labour have their own hotline to Trump: on Wednesday morning Tom Watson messaged Piers Morgan asking him to put in a good word:
Not sure which is more bizarre – Labour reaching out to the Donald or doing it via Piers…
Charlotte Edwardes interrogates Piers Morgan in the Times:
Would he still hold celebrities to account? “Where there’s blatant hypocrisy, yes, of course. If you sell your wedding to OK! magazine for £1 million and are having an affair with one of the bridesmaids, do you have any right to say that the press shouldn’t run that?”
He’s less forthcoming about his own indiscretions. How many affairs did he have?
“I never talk about such things. I never talk about marriages, relationships or anything like that.” But why? “I find it vaguely toe-curling. I love the fact that other people do it, and for my entire career, I have celebrated other people spilling their guts about their sexual shenanigans, but you will not lure me into giving you…”
There’s no “luring”. “I understand what you are doing. I’m not going to talk about my sex life with you at all.” How many affairs was it? He tsks. Will he deny having an affair? “I’m not going to say anything more about it.”
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 18, 2016
Both Michael Fallon and John Whittingdale made pre-referendum bets that, should Cameron lose the vote, he wouldn’t resign. Now Piers is calling in his bets, promising to donate the winnings to charity. Pay up, Fallon…
People occasionally ask Guido, with a sense of foreboding, when will the pundit and polling analyst Dan Hodges do his naked Brexit run? Guido will be negotiating the time and location with the sagacious streaker this week. Stay tuned…
UPDATE: Piers wants Guido to remind Whitto as well:
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 18, 2016
“I think that Britain will separate from the EU. I think that maybe it’s time – especially in light of what has happened with the craziness that’s going on, with the migration, with people pouring in all over the place – I think that Britain will end up seperating from the EU.”
“I know nothing about him really. I see him, he looks like a great character and is probably a nice guy, and maybe he thinks politically it’s popular [to oppose Trump]”
“I love the UK, I think it’s an amazing – just one of my favourite places in the world – I love the people… I just think that if I become president, I know that we’re going to have a fantastic relationship…I think the relationship will be better, actually much better, and much stronger than it is right now.”
Preparing the ground for a 2020 Trump/Boris love-in?
In his first UK interview since running for President, Trump talks ISIS, Brussels, David Cameron, and his unpopularity in the UK. Piers is a friend and fan…
Piers: Do you want a bet? Let’s have a bet John. I’ll bet you £1,000 to charity that if you guys win, and you may well, David Cameron has two hopes of remaining Prime Minister: no hope and Bob Hope. There’s my hand. For charity?
Whitto: Alright, go on then.
Piers: £1,000 that David Cameron is still Prime Minister after losing the referendum. We’ll see what happens. We’ll get you back on the sofa for when you pay up.
By contrast Owen Paterson suggested on Westminster Hour last night that Dave would have to go…
Piers Morgan enjoyably skewered Jack Dromey over his tedious support for the Trump ban on Good Morning Britain.
On whether he’d ban Putin, Dromey replied: “No I wouldn’t.“
On a ban for head-chopping Saudi King Salman: “No, I wouldn’t ban him.”
What about Robert Mugabe? “No.”
Almost as if the ban-happy crowd haven’t thought this through.
The Crown Prosecution Service have signalled the end of phone hacking trials after dropping their investigations into ten individuals at Mirror Group:
“The CPS has looked in great detail at the comprehensive files submitted to us by the police, both in relation to corporate liability at News Group Newspapers and against 10 individuals at Mirror Group Newspapers for alleged phone hacking.
“After a thorough analysis, we have decided there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and therefore no further action will be taken in any of these cases.
“There has been considerable public concern about phone hacking and invasion of privacy. Over the past three years, we have brought 12 prosecutions and secured nine convictions for these serious offences. These decisions bring the CPS’s involvement in current investigations into phone hacking to a close.”
Someone is very happy:
So no more embarrassments in court for the embattled CPS. Worth noting that Mirror Group have paid out huge sums in settlements to people accusing them of hacking. Yet the CPS say there is insufficient evidence to prosecute…
UPDATE: This is the CPS statement on Mirror Group. They say their activities were “suspicious” but they couldn’t put forward whistleblowing former staff as witnesses:
Ten files were considered by the CPS as part of Operation Golding, relating to allegations of phone hacking at Mirror Group Newspapers. These files concerned ten individual journalists who worked at Mirror Group Newspapers. It has been determined there is insufficient evidence against any individual suspect to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for phone hacking.
In reaching this decision, we considered a number of strands of evidence, including scrutiny of suspicious call data. The call data showed a regular pattern of two calls being placed to the same number (double tapping) and also a large number of calls placed to voicemail platform numbers. However, it is not possible to prove the fact that the ‘double taps’ and calls to voicemail platform numbers are definitely instances of phone hacking. In addition, it was common practice at Mirror Group Newspapers for journalists to use one another’s telephones, and so it is not possible to determine which individuals were responsible for making specific calls.
Whilst the call data was deemed suspicious it could not be said with certainty that it showed instances of phone hacking by any specific individual and was ultimately found to be insufficient to bring a prosecution.
We considered statements from two potential witnesses, both former employees of the Sunday Mirror, who made direct allegations against certain individuals. Following thorough scrutiny of the allegations we decided we were unable to put either forward as a prosecution witness.
The first stage of the Full Code Test is that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against each suspect on each charge. Without the evidence passing the first stage a prosecution in any individual case cannot take place.
Piers Morgan versus Jeremy Paxman…
“I currently harbour a visceral loathing for him for the way he tried to deliberately and disingenuously chuck me under the bus during the Leveson Inquiry into phone-hacking.
I can’t explain why at the moment, for legal reasons, but there will be a time when I can, and I will. Suffice it to say that I’ve publicly stuck it to him on Twitter and other media outlets every chance I’ve had since, and he’s clearly getting rattled. Here he was, the supposed great interrogatory Rottweiler of our time, crouched in front of me like some fawning, trembling knave begging the King for clemency.
‘Well,’ I replied, ‘you have a very strange way of showing it.’
Paxman erupted with comically indignant rage, his benign, smiling face suddenly crunching into the ferocious scowl of a scorned lover refused permission for a second chance.
‘OH DO F*** OFF!!!!!!’ he howled.
I watched him throwing his little tantrum for a second or two and then responded in kind: ‘No, YOU f*** off.'”