Top Corbyn ally Rupa Huq has been caught conceding the election a week out to Boris Johnson.
Addressing a 200-strong husting in her Acton constituency after the launch of the election, Huq said “Realistically… it’s going to be a Johnson victory, a Johnson majority” and boasted of being a thorn in the side of three PMs. Looks like it’ll be Corbyn feeling her thorns today…
Lady Hale only delivered her constitutional blow half an hour ago, but already MPs are returning to Parliament. Not an arduous journey for the cabal of London-based remainers…
Some MPs have already arrived, with Tom Tugendhat tweeting a selfie from the chamber. He is not sure whether being first back now legally makes him PM…
We’re sitting… pic.twitter.com/GdApCgcpbp
— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) September 24, 2019
Rupa Huq tweeted that she’s already at her desk, “ready for proroguing the prorogation”
I’m at desk in my office in Parliament now, ready for proroguing the prorogation
Chamber not seen any action for a while, time to get back to scrutinising the government pic.twitter.com/7hqFy2q8fE
— Rupa Huq MP (@RupaHuq) September 24, 2019
Guido also spotted veteran former Labour MP, Frank Field, arriving at the Carriage Gate entrance at Parliament
As other MPs begin their journeys back to work, the main journey anyone’s worried about is when Boris will be travelling back from New York. PMQs tomorrow should be fun…
While Theresa May hasn’t managed to bring a meaningful vote to Parliament thus far, she did succeed in delivering what must be one of the most salacious lines ever uttered by a sitting Prime Minister in the House of Commons, telling Rupa Huq: “if she looks carefully I think she’ll see that I’m not capable of a Parliamentary ejaculation.” For once, even Bercow is lost for words…
UPDATE: Iain Dale points out that Rupa Huq has form:
Rupa Huq has form here. Remember her outburst on C4 News on Boris 'shagging'? On my show she once said of the Tube: "It’s so overcrowded you might as well give the person next to you a handjob…” My producer pressed the dump button. Mr Speaker doesn't have the option! Good times. https://t.co/TOH5TK5j8z
— Iain Dale (@IainDale) December 10, 2018
Police are dealing with another “suspicious substance” incident in Parliament less than 24 hours after Labour MP Mohammad Yasin’s office was targeted with a package containing a non-harmful liquid. Guido understands Rupa Huq’s office has been evacuated as have other offices on the first floor of Norman Shaw North building. The incident involves two packages. Specialist police and ambulance crews are in attendance. Police said they were investigating whether yesterday’s incident – which saw two people taken to hospital as a precaution – was linked to threats against Muslims. Now Parliament says police are probing whether the two incidents are linked:
“The Met Police are currently investigating suspicious items of mail in Norman Shaw North. We cannot provide any more details at this stage. This is further to the two items investigated yesterday, both of which were found to be non-harmful. The Police are investigating the content of the letters to identify any potential links.”
UPDATE: MPs, researchers and Parliamentary staff have received an email warning them that there have been four unknown substance incidents in two days. It reads:
“The Met Police are currently investigating two suspicious items of mail in offices in Norman Shaw North…
“Yesterday a suspicious substance in an office in Norman Shaw North was investigated by the Met Police and was found not to be hazardous. The affected area was temporarily cordoned off but no evacuation was necessary… A further letter was investigated in an office in Portcullis House yesterday evening and found not to be harmful. This makes a total of four incidents in two days at time of writing.”
There is a lot about the Tory campaign that has caused huge anger among MPs. Though little provoked more fury than the decision by CCHQ to divert resources away from supposedly ‘safe’ seats that the Tories then went on to lose. Guido has heard from several defeated MPs who were continually assured by HQ that their seats were safe. The decision was taken centrally to pull resources out of these constituencies and divert them to target seats like Ealing Central. Some MPs themselves were even sent to knock up in others seats on polling day. This complacency was fatal for several MPs. They ended up losing their seats by small margins, while in Ealing Rupa Huq increased her majority from 274 to 13,807.
MPs repeatedly warned CCHQ that large numbers of Labour and Momentum activists were flooding their perceived safe seats, while their local Tory campaigners had been relocated elsewhere. They were told not to worry. Then they lost their seats. What an extraordinary clusterf**k.
Labour Friends of Israel have signed up some interesting characters as it rebrands ahead of conference, none more so than Rupa Huq. The Labour MP has hardly been a friend in the past – earlier this year she was caught telling an extreme pro-Palestine group that Britain should apologise for helping create the State of Israel:
“1948, that happened under a British government. To my mind, an apology – yes. You could do one. A Labour Government could probably get that through.”
She later retracted her comment.
Her record on anti-Semitism isn’t great either. Huq defended Naz Shah, arguing she “did not write any anti-Semitic tracts”. (Shah had written about “Jews rallying”.) Huq also bizarrely claimed that tweeting a graphic of Israelis being transported out of the Middle East was the same as tweeting a funny photo of Boris Johnson on a zip-wire. She never apologised. A curious choice to be LFI’s new star supporter…