Olney Wins Re-Selection

The LibDems have finally re-selected MP-for-five-months and Ed Davey supporter Sarah Olney to fight her old Richmond Park seat. The party had forced their candidate to go through another selection process following her incredibly short stint as Vince Cable’s Head of Staff and a police investigation into her campaign spending. Last night a relieved Olney said…

“I’m honoured to have been re-selected by our local members to fight this seat. Thank you to everyone involved for a great contest.”

Guido understands that a contested selection like this is unusual practise for LibDem former MPs who want to stand again. In 2017 previously defeated candidates like Vince Cable, Jo Swinson, and Ed Davey were nodded through. Olney didn’t face such good grace from her local membership…

Lib Dems Deselect Sarah Olney

Poor old Sarah Olney hasn’t had the best of times since her fleeting stint in Parliament was brought to an unceremonious end in 2017. After being dumped back out by Zac Goldsmith, she got a cushy job as Vince Cable’s Head of Staff, only to lose it after just six weeks. She briefly held on to her bumper £68,000 pay packet despite going part time, only to lose that too after another four months. Then she had a visit from the Old Bill a month later over her criminal breach of spending laws in the 2016 by-election. Her one stroke of luck was that the police bizarrely decided not to press charges despite evidence she had been deliberately dishonest, would they have been this lenient with a Leaver?

Olney was hoping to waltz straight back into the role of Lib Dem candidate for Richmond Park – it turns out the local Lib Dems have other ideas. Despite her only losing by 45 votes last time, they’ve deselected her as the candidate and are forcing her to fight against two other candidates if she wants the position back, including David Campanale, an NUJ rep who works for the BBC. Olney’s website expired last month on ‘Europe Day’ – saraholney.org.uk now redirects to the Kingston Independent Residents Group. Looks like it’s not just the local Lib Dems who are happy to see the back of her…

Met Say Olney Committed Criminal Offence Over Spending Breach

The Metropolitan Police has has found “discrepancies” with the election spending return of former LibDem MP Sarah Olney, which it says amounts to a criminal offence. Olney has been interviewed by cops under caution. Yet, despite an offence being committed, the CPS has decided not to charge Olney because “it would not be in the public interest” as there is no evidence Olney has been deliberately dishonest. This looks to be an error on the part of the CPS. Olney declared on her expenses form that she became a candidate on 31 October, but she announced herself as the candidate on 26 October. By declaring a false start date, Olney was able to cut several days of spending out of her regulated period. How is that not dishonest?

The police are showing it’s one rule for politicians and another rule for everyone else – would they treat a benefits cheat with the same leniency? The Met and the CPS giving the LibDems the green light to break the law at will…

Lol-ney Out at LibDem HQ

Guido hears Sarah Olney is leaving her plum job as head of “special projects” at LibDem HQ. It is the third job change in nine months for Olney after she lost her seat last year, then lost her job as Vince Cable’s chief of staff after just six weeks in the role. The “special projects” gig was a four-day week yet paid several times more than other LibDem HQ staff, something which, well, did not help morale. It’s fair to say Olney did not succeed in turning around the dire state of affairs at HQ. She was also forced to reimburse the taxpayer £2,000 after breaking expenses rules. Olney had leaving drinks at the Two Chairman last week, a source says: “About five people went, fortunately she forgot to book and she got crowded out by Formby. Probably the worst staff member HQ has ever employed and that’s not a high bar”. Heads up Richmond residents: word is she is threatening to spend more time back in your constituency…

Olney Charged Taxpayer £2,000 For Party Political Letters

Sarah Olney has been found guilty of breaching the Members’ Code of Conduct after the Standards Commissioner ruled she spent nearly £2,000 of taxpayers’ money on letters which solicited donations to the LibDems. Olney billed voters £1,941.63 to send over 3,000 of her constituents letters which told them to visit a website which was “explicitly published and promoted by the party and on which financial support for the party was solicited”. She has apologised and agreed to reimburse the taxpayer. Worth remembering what the LibDems told us when Guido first reported the story: “This is an utterly spurious allegation without any basis. We are confident this complaint will be rejected at the first opportunity.” Turns out the Standards Commissioner did not agree…

Olney’s Remain Trolls Wish Zac a “Cancerous New Year”

This is what Zac Goldsmith received in the post this morning. It ain’t just Remain MPs receiving abuse…

LibDems Livid at Olney’s £68,000 Salary For Four Day Week

There is near mutiny in LibDem HQ after party staff discovered Sarah Olney is being paid £68,000 for a four day week. When Olney quit as Vince Cable’s chief of staff after just six weeks, she was given a cushy non job as head of “special projects”. LibDem sources in the office are bewildered as to how Olney fills her days, she doesn’t appear to do any work and the only email staff remember her sending is the HQ “Hero of the Year” award, which in previous years was done by the PA. Most of the aides in LibDem head office are on £20,000-£30,000, there is outcry among the troops that Olney is on triple their wages for what is ostensibly a nothing job, and for which she only does a four day week. Members’ subs being well spent…

UPDATE: The LibDems have launched an investigation to find who leaked details of Sarah Olney’s salary to Guido. Our mole in the office says it is being carried out by the party’s head of fundraising Emma Cherniavsky. Good luck…

Local LibDems Don’t Want Olney Back

Sarah Olney says she has quit as Vince Cable’s chief of staff because she has been “lobbied intensively” by local members to run again in Richmond Park. That isn’t what local LibDems are saying this morning. Members of Olney’s local party say they are distinctly unimpressed by her simply announcing that she is going to be the candidate again next time round. They say she resigned as a PPC when she took the job with Cable and so should face full selection like anyone else. Complaints have been sent by Richmond LibDems to party HQ protesting the situation and demanding the local party is able to choose its candidate. 

It’s not hard to see why they feel this way. Olney was the only MP in Greater London to lose her seat to a Tory. There is no way she should have lost that seat given the London backdrop. She lost because she had not used her six months to deliver anything for her constituents. There is also the question of her expenses, which are still the subject of a police probe. The Richmond Park result was the upset of election night, what makes Olney think her local party are going to want her back?

Olney Quits After Just Six Weeks As Vince’s Chief Of Staff

Former Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney has quit as Vince Cable’s Chief of Staff after only six weeks in the role, Guido understands. ‘LOLney’ only managed to survive five months in the Commons before being ousted by Zac Goldsmith. There is speculation tonight that she has quit over an issue related to her expenses…

Lol-Ney Simply the Best

Simon Hughes and Sarah Olney singing Simply The Best at Lib Dem conference. Since Simon and Sarah both lost in June it seems the voters disagree…

Return of the Lol-ney

You’d have thought she could do with a break (not that kind of Brake) but no, Sarah Olney is back in Westminster. Guido hears she is Sir Vince Cable’s star hire as his new chief of staff. Lol-ney’s CV clearly blew all other candidates out of the water: who can forget her Julia Hartley-Brewer brain fade, her even worse Evening Standard interview, the time she told LibDems to vote Labour, her boasting about her “nice house”, her campaign porkies, her backing Brexit and then fibbing about it, and her Zac Goldsmith marmite row. Did no one else apply?

UPDATE: Sir Vince confirms our story:

Harsh Delivery For Sarah Lol-ney

The cruellest of timing – deposed LibDem Sarah Olney has revealed she received her P45 in the post in the same delivery as a thank-you leaflet from Zac Goldsmith. At least she can laugh about it…

Olney Just the Ticket

Sarah Olney’s campaign car ticketed outside the North Kingston polling station. Don’t forget to put it on the election expenses…

Sarah Olney Reported to Police Over Election Expenses

Richmond LibDem Sarah Olney has been reported to the police over her election expenses. Stuart Coster, a local independent researcher who is not affiliated to any party, has sent a dossier to the Met detailing what he claims is evidence that Olney failed to declare between £5,157 and £15,414 of expenses during last year’s by-election. […] Read the rest

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Sarah Olney’s Leafleting Lie

When a candidate knocks on your door and you aren’t in, they often stick an “I called to see you today” leaflet through your letterbox to show they made the effort. In Richmond Park however, LibDem Sarah Olney is being very naughty.[…] Read the rest

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Labour-LibDem Alliance in Richmond

These placards have been going up outside homes in Richmond Park over the last few days. After Sarah Olney told LibDems to vote Labour in some seats to defeat the Tories, now Labour supporters in Richmond are voting Olney to fight Zac.[…] Read the rest

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Cable and Olney Recorded Secretly Plotting to Help Labour

Publicly the LibDems are telling voters they cannot work with Labour because Jeremy Corbyn is “toxic“. This bombshell tape from LBC and Sky News exposes that fib for what it is. Vince Cable and Sarah Olney have been recorded telling members they should collaborate with Labour – Olney says she wants Labour’s Rupa Huq to win in Ealing, meanwhile Vince Cable says the LibDems should be “tactical” to help Labour in some seats because, in the case of Huq, “on almost every issue our views were almost identical”. […] Read the rest

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Olney Standards Investigation Three Months Into Job

New LibDem MP Sarah Olney is facing an investigation by the standards commissioner just three months after coming to Westminster. Guido understands the complaint relates to using her website for party political purposes, though the LibDems say there are confident it will be dismissed: “This is an utterly spurious allegation without any basis.[…] Read the rest

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Sarah Lol-ney Latest

Guido is not sure what is going on in this new LibDem video with Sarah Olney and Tom Brake. It’s like the beginning of a badly acted porno…[…] Read the rest

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Olney Summed Up

Sarah Olney is looking for your support, something doesn’t add up…[…] Read the rest

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