Security Concerns Over Assange Lawyer’s Access

Seumas Milne’s relationship with Julian Assange’s lawyer has raised security concerns about the confidential intelligence briefings received by Jeremy Corbyn. As a member of the Privy Council, Labour have confirmed that Corbyn has received security briefings about threats to the UK. Given the links between Assange, Wikileaks, hacking and Russia, it is a quite extraordinary situation for the Leader of the Opposition’s main aide to be involved with Assange’s long-term lawyer. Imagine if Theresa May’s top adviser was in bed with someone on the Wikileaks defence team – it would be a national scandal on a par with Donald Trump Jr.

The Hacked Off brigade’s criticism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Hugh Grant, Hugh Tomlinson QC et al argue there is no public interest. The Editor’s Code sets several public interest conditions, including “Protecting public health or safety” and “impropriety, unethical conduct or incompetence concerning the public”. The security concerns easily satisfy the “protecting public health” condition, and no one can argue married Seumas has behaved properly or ethically.

Robertson claims the story fails to meet the Editor’s Code rule that “It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy”. Seumas and Jennifer were in a hotel bar with dozens and dozens of other drinkers. As you can see from the nervous look on Seumas’ “unwilling” face, there was patently no reasonable expectation of privacy. The press haters will have to suck it up – any regulator or judge would throw out a complaint in about five minutes…

‘Friends’ of Seumas are Liars

Robert Mendick in The Telegraph has been speaking to ‘friends’ of Seumas Milne who say he was “not a willing participant” in the hour long public display of affection last Thursday night. Guido’s co-conspirator with the camera-phone says otherwise. The ‘friend’ says “I know the pictures tell a different story… But I know there is nothing going on. I don’t think it’s a quick snog. There may have been a bit of nuzzling on her part but if you look at Seumas’s face, you can see he is not a willing participant.” How did Jennifer Robinson get him to hold her head? Did she suck his tongue out of him against his will as well?

Guido suspects Cristina won’t believe him the ‘friend’ and given that Seumas did not do his usual post-PMQs briefing, he didn’t fancy getting a ribbing from the Lobby lads who also don’t him believe. Or perhaps he is hiding a black eye when he failed to duck a flying plate of pasta?

Talking of pasta here is another picture of the couple snapped by a Guido co-conspirator in Ciao Bella. This time in a more discreet corner behind a pillar in the Bloomsbury Italian restaurant which is popular with lawyers. It was taken late on a Friday night a few months ago. It was March 10, if you are interested, Cristina…

Mrs Milne Lawyers Up

Seumas Milne’s wife Cristina Montanari has taken legal advice – Guido’s betting she didn’t ask hubby if he knew anyone who could help. The Milnes are threatening the press with legal action if they attempt to contact them:

We have been contacted by Howe & Co on behalf of Cristina Montanari & Family.

They say their client will not be making any comments or statements in relation to matters that are currently circulating about her and her family in the press and media. No other member of her family will be making any comments or statements. They ask that press desist from asking questions and refrain from entering onto their client’s property.

They ask that media refrain from calling to the door of the family home (including knocking at the family’s door or ringing the doorbell), as all licences to enter onto the property have been revoked. Any distress caused to their client will result in legal proceedings being issued for damages against those individuals and press or media outlets involved.

They say the attempts by members of the press and media, including repeated attempts, to contact their client and/or members of her family are unwanted. Their client considers the media’s presence outside her family home, despite requests to leave is intimidating and harassing. Media must cease all attempts to contact Cristina Montanari and/or member of her family and must leave the vicinity of her family home.

Notable that Seumas isn’t actually mentioned in the legal threat. A situation where the press aren’t allowed to phone up a Director of Communications would be somewhat unorthodox…

Kath Viner Not Keen on Seumas Affair Story

A Guardian source tells MediaGuido those photos of lefty lothario Seumas Milne were the talk of the newsroom yesterday. Hacks at Kings Place spent the day speculating about the identity of their former colleague’s blonde companion. Yet for some strange reason the tale doesn’t make today’s paper, despite being all over rival broadsheets. Seems editor Kath Viner is not keen on Seumas affair stories… 

Assange Lawyer Named as Milne’s Mystery Blonde

Seumas Milne’s mystery blonde is Julian Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson, according to The Times. 36 year-old Australian Robinson has represented the Wikileaks founder since 2010. A source told The Times Seumas has visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in the last 16 months. Jen’s tweets show her public support for Seumas and Corbyn:

Robinson didn’t respond to requests for comment. The identity of the lady canoodling with Milne at the plush Courthouse Hotel was the subject of fevered speculation yesterday, with Labour colleagues pointing the finger of suspicion at each other. From Twitter it looks like Jen has been a fan of Seumas’ column for years…

Danczuk to Seumas: “Call Me For Advice”

Simon Danczuk – hounded by the Corbyn wing of the Labour Party on account of his love life – has seen this morning’s revelations about Seumas Milne, and he has some words of advice for the spin chief who worked against him. Simon tells Guido:

“I see Jeremy Corbyn’s right hand man has been photographed with a young lady who is not his wife. I was under the impression that dating younger women wasn’t permitted in Corbyn’s morally pure Labour Party. But for those at the top of the party machine it seems it’s fine to have a colourful love life – just as long as it’s conducted in secret. I’m sure when browsing his morning copy of The Sun Jeremy will have been offended by Seumas’s conduct, will have called him in for a quiet word this morning and will sack him by this evening. If Seumas needs any advice on how to handle these situations he can always give me a call.”

He has a very fair point…

“Seumas, I’m Not Sure This Is a Great Idea”

Pictured on the terrace of a 5-star hotel on Thursday evening, married Labour spin chief Seumas Milne getting hard left with a mystery blonde. The photos show shameless Seumas at the plush Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch – the opposite side of London to his Richmond family home – where a standard room costs £300 per night. Milne can be seen leaning in for a passionate kiss, before hugging his lady companion and sitting with her legs draped across him.

A bystander said:

“They had a table to themselves. He was drinking a pink cocktail type thing. She looked younger than he is, I would say in her early thirties, early-to-mid thirties. They were there for a good hour or so. They were very hands on, full on heavy petting. There was a lot of hugging, stroking, kissing and intimate talking going on. The photo where her her head is nestled into him – that was them getting off, that was them mid-snog. We saw them leave together down the walkway back inside the hotel.”

Asked if he wanted to comment when doorstepped by The Sun last night, Seumas, who is married to 60 year-old Cristina Montanari, replied: “I don’t think so“. When the spokesman needs a spokesman…

Call 0709 284 0531 for picture syndication.

Rich’s Monday Morning Cartoon

Seumas Ordered Corbyn to Spin His Real Views on Defence

Seumas Milne ordered Jeremy Corbyn to spin his real views on defence in order to “close down” criticism in the last few days of the election. In the Mail on Sunday’s recording of Seumas having a loud conversation with Jezza on a train, Labour’s strategy chief says:

“We need to find, I think overnight, without looking defensive of trying to seal down the Trident thing so it doesn’t keep intruding in the next few days… It might be worth thinking in the morning how when you do this thing in Lincoln… then maybe do a clip later where you will be asked about it.  We should maybe find a formula to close it down… We just, I think we just need a form of words.”

Corbyn found that “form of words” in his response to the London Bridge attack:

“I will take whatever action is necessary and effective to protect the security of our people and our country. That includes full authority for the police to use whatever force is necessary to protect and save life as they did last night, as they did in Westminster in March.”

Corbyn’s overnight conversion on defence is not a reflection of his true views. It was a “formula” conceived by Seumas to fool voters…

CCTV Footage Shows “Caged Tiger” Seumas Milne

CCTV footage obtained by Guido shows Corbyn’s left-hand man and chief of spin, Seumas Milne, making a call across the road from Labour’s HQ that he does not want overheard by his co-workers (after all, moderates have ears). What struck Guido was how he paced up and down for a very long time, in the way that caged zoo animals do when stressed. This is a short excerpt from footage of what was a very long, animated and stressed call. Message from the ground not tallying with the polls?

Len and Seumas’ Champagne Celebration

Allies of Len McCluskey mocked Gerard Coyne and Labour Blairites earlier by claiming they would be drowning their sorrows with “Peroni and chablis”. Well, tonight Red Len is drinking champagne at a victory party with Seumas Milne and a who’s who of lefties at Boot and Flogger by London Bridge. A bar in the heart of the City, famous for serving champagne in tankards…

UPDATE: The cheapest bottle of champagne at Len’s victory party is £51. The group have got through 20+ bottles of bubbly as of 8:52pm.

Seumas on Extremists

Via the FT’s Jim Pickard: Seumas Milne’s idea for Labour election catchphrase:

“The Tories are the real extremists.”

Seumas Officially Leaves Guardian

Guardian editor Kath Viner emails staff:

“I’m writing to let you know that, following a period of unpaid leave from Guardian News & Media, Seumas Milne has decided to continue in his role as the Labour party’s strategy and communications director, and is leaving the staff of the Guardian.

I would like to thank Seumas for his brilliant Guardian journalism, and we hope he’ll write for us again in the future.”

At last…

McCluskey Plans to Shaft Corbyn

Back in October last year Guido reported that:

“After Unite’s internal elections in 2018 the expectation is that McCluskey, having secured his own re-election, will decide to flex Unite’s financial and organisational muscle to put someone more competent and electable in as Labour’s leader.”

It was pretty much an open secret in Labour Party circles, today confirmed by Len to the Mirror:

“Let’s suppose we are not having a snap election. It buys into this question of what happens if we get to 2019 and opinion polls are still awful. The truth is everybody would examine that situation, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. These two are not egomaniacs, they are not desperate to cling on to power for power’s sake.”

Given the public have made their mind up about Jezza, who might succeed him? Guido is not as sure that about John McDonnell’s lack of ego as Len. Clive Lewis is the preferred option of the likes of Paul Mason – that we know due to the audio exposure of his two-faced support. Guido detects Lewis also has leftie luvvie media support from the likes of Owen Jones. Lewis himself has been publicly shifting his position on two litmus test positions; Trident replacement and immigration. Conventional Labour Party wisdom outside the Corbynistas is that they are unelectable if they don’t shift on these two issues. Remember Lewis was humiliated by Seumas Milne, a humiliation that may prove costly.

Guido wonders if Jezza might not be relieved to surrender the leadership to Lewis. McDonnell on the other hand…

This will all play into May’s general election timing calculations. She will thrash a Corbyn led Labour Party. Will she thrash a younger more vigorous Labour Party leader repackaged as Britain’s version of Obama? Would that prospect have her make an election dash…

Old Wykehamist News

capture

The Winchester College Society’sThe Trusty Servant magazine doesn’t really cover politics as a rule. Though there is some radical debate within its pages, such as should computer programming eclipse compulsory latin? Nevertheless the school rag does like to keep up with the progress of OWs…

Chaos in the Court of Corbyn

Curiously Paul Mason’s confidante to whom he slags off Corbyn is the Podemos’ foreign affairs chief, Pablo Bustinduy. Podemos is Spain’s radical left party, where we have just seen the ousting of the rival socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez by his own party. In Spain socialists can apparently organise a coup.

Mason is tweeting all manner of excuses and throwing up all kinds of diversory chaff to cover his embarrassment. His timeline is a joy to behold.

The ramifications of this for the Court of Corbyn are magnificent. Milne will now be able to cite Mason’s disloyalty and lack of faith as a means to marginalise him. McDonnell will seethe that an ally like Mason is now without doubt passing him over for the younger, prettier Clive Lewis to be Corbyn’s successor. After Unite’s internal elections in 2018 the expectation is that McCluskey, having secured his own re-election, will decide to flex Unite’s financial and organisational muscle to put someone more competent and electable in as Labour’s leader. That is what Owen Jones means when he caveats his support for Corbyn as conditional….

James Schneider Joining Corbyn’s Office

schneider

Momentum spokesman James Schneider is joining Jeremy Corbyn’s office in a strategic communications role. Guido also understands Seumas Milne will not be leaving in the immediate future and that Schneider will be working under his fellow old Wykehamist in a mid-level role. A Labour spokesman says they do not comment on staffing matters and Schneider has not responded to Guido’s text. Though the move is definitely on…

Seumas Changed Jezza’s Autocue

60k-12k

In the briefing to the Lobby huddle – which is still ongoing – Seumas corrected a figure in the briefed out printed copy of Jezza’s speech from 60,000 new council homes to 12,000. With a smile Seumas told the Lobby hacks that Corbyn had delivered the correct figure because “it was changed on the autocue”…

Who Will Replace Seumas Milne?

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-59-40

Kevin Maguire, an impeccably connected old comrade of Seumas Milne, reports that Corbyn’s Director of Communications WILL be leaving next month. That would explain the leader’s office denying only that he would quit this week. As ever, Guido gives you your runners and riders for Seumas’ successor…

  • Kevin Maguire – Might the man with the inside track be after the job? Kevin’s coverage of Jezza has always been generous and he at least understands the Lobby. Work rate might be an issue. And he’d never take the pay cut.
  • Owen Jones – Reportedly tapped up for the job last year, Owen has offered his helpful thoughts on Labour’s media strategy over the last few months, though that has not endeared him to Twitter Corbynistas who now think he’s a Blairite MSM sellout. Owen tells Guido he does not want the job.
  • Paul Mason – The leather jacket-clad former BBC man is Jezza’s most vocal media cheerleader, he could step into Seumas’ shoes with his chat about neoliberalism around the water cooler in Norman Shaw South. Corbynistas tell Guido to expect to see more of Mason in the future. He has however publicly denied he’s interested.
  • James Schneider – Momentum’s spokesman is a true believer and gets on relatively well with journalists. He’s one of their more competent media performers though, and taking the job would mean he’s off the telly.
  • Sam Tarry – Ran Corbyn’s leadership campaign, key in Momentum and political officer for the TSSA union. One of the most important behind-the-scenes Corbynistas.
  • Alex Flynn – Len McCluskey’s right hand man, Flynn is the head of media at Unite. He wants to be an MP so a stint doing comms for Jez would put him in a strong position come 2020. Ambitious. 
  • Rachel Shabi – You’ll probably recognise Rachel from her regular TV appearances spinning for Corbyn as a journalist. Would be unlike Jez to appoint a woman though.
  • Ben Chacko – The editor of the Morning Star, the one paper you’ll see laid out on the desks in the leader’s office every morning. Might Ben and his luscious locks fancy the gig? Actual commie.
  • Aaron Bastani – One of the leaders of the Corbynista new media revolution, amateur bodybuilder and former Tory sympathiser Bastani runs Novara, a weird pro-Corbyn blog. Aaron did unfortunately once smash up a bank, so it’s doubtful he’d pass parliament’s security checks.
  • Liam Young – The New Statesman blogger who is your go to guy for student-level Jez fanboy copy. Only 16 years old.
  • Steve Topple – Surely it’s time for the Canary to make it official. Topple was the loony blogger who came up with the Portland conspiracy theory. He also shares Seumas’ views on Russia. He’d root out the Zionists in the Lobby.
  • Dr Eoin Clarke – Don’t be silly.

Who’s your money on?

Missing Milne Set to Quit?

The word going round the Mirror party at Circo Bar in the early hours was that Seumas Milne is to leave his role in Corbyn’s office imminently. Milne went missing for the key pre-leader’s speech briefing delivered to journalists yesterday afternoon, bizarrely sending out junior spinners to do the job instead.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

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