Seumas Changed Jezza’s Autocue

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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?

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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. There was bewilderment both in the press room and among Corbyn supporters that Milne hadn’t taken responsibility for such an important briefing – trailing the speech in the press was probably his most important job this week and he didn’t show up. His imminent departure would explain the no-show…

UPDATE: Corbyn’s office are insisting that Milne is not going anywhere. A Labour source tells Guido: “The story about Seumas leaving on Friday is untrue.”

Milne Edited Lewis Speech Without Telling Him


Shadow defence secretary Clive Lewis’ speech was edited to remove a section on Trident – without him knowing. Word is going round that Seumas Milne removed the section at the last moment without telling Lewis. Sources say the first Lewis knew of this was when he read it off the autocue. The Times is even reporting that Milne went into the autocue room and made the alteration, then left a post it note on his podium, leaving the perplexed Lewis furious and shouting in the leaders office. His Ron Burgundy moment…

UPDATE: This looks like the moment he read Comrade Milne’s email.

Milne Likes Tweet Claiming “New World Order Created ISIS”

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Corbyn strategy chief Seumas Milne must have pressed the wrong button by accident, because he has “liked” a tweet claiming ISIS was created by the “New World Order”. It must surely be an innocent case of fat finger, Seumas can’t possibly believe that’s true. Although he did write this for the Guardian last year, claiming the US “incubated” and “fuelled the rise of ISIS”…

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Come on Seumas, get it right, everyone knows it was the Zionists…

Seumas Fails to Support Corbyn

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Around the country Constituency Labour Parties are holding votes endorsing candidates and expressing confidence or no confidence in Corbyn. Last night in leafy Richmond the local Labour Party supported Owen Smith for Labour Party leader. Richmond CLP is of course Seumas Milne’s own Labour branch…

The wraith-like commissar for Corbyn did not show up last night, much to the disappointment of the Blairite counter-revolutionaries in Richmond. Could Seumas have swayed the result on his home patch? Not all those new £25 members will be for Corbyn…

Seumas’ Bad Idea

What is it with Team Jez and letting the cameras in?

Labour Seeking New Cheapo Spin Chief

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Labour are looking for an “experienced” new Head of Press, though they’re offering a measly £41,000 for the role – hardly enough to tempt a top hack or spinner to put up with reporting to Seumas Milne. The new spin doctor’s contract will expire in December, so there’s not much job security either. They will need “experience of dealing with good and bad news stories”, though probably more of the latter. The role will also focus on broadcasting. Just don’t let Vice News in with a camera and you should be fine…

Corbyn is also still looking for a Head of Domestic Policy for the leader’s office. This job was first advertised seven months ago…

Corbyn on Camera: BBC Biased, Freedland “Disgusting”

Vice News have been granted access to film a behind-the-scenes documentary with Jeremy Corbyn and his team. What could possibly go wrong?

Here are the top lines:

  • Corbyn says the BBC is biased against him: “There is not one story on any election anywhere in the UK that the BBC will not spin into a problem for me. It’s obsessive beyond belief. They are obsessed with trying to damage the Labour Party.”
  • In a phone call with Seumas Milne, Corbyn accuses Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland of “utterly disgusting subliminal nastiness” for writing about anti-Semitism: “He’s not a good guy at all. He seems kind of obsessed with me.”
  • Dopey aide Gavin Sibthorpe says of Labour plotters: “If they want to get rid of him the best thing would be to wait and let Jeremy fail on his own. I don’t think he will, but fail in his own time.”
  • Corbyn’s team wanted him to mention IDS’ resignation in his response to Cameron in the Commons, but he overruled them.
  • Corbyn’s despised aide Andrew Fisher opines: “George Eaton is the worst judge of anything.”
  • Seumas Milne overshares that a member of Corbyn’s team regularly leaks his PMQs prep: “It’s very annoying. It only happens about a third of the time but whenever there’s a leak it gives them an advantage.”

Well done to whichever bright spark thought this would be a good idea for Jezza…

Hard Left Silent Over Venezuela Chaos

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The pro-Chavez cabal at the heart of the British left threw their full support behind President Maduro’s socialist tyranny when he took over Venezuela in 2013. Owen Jones, Seumus Milne, Diane Abbott and even Jeremy Corbyn all piled in to support the regime, with Corbyn’s spin doctor Seamus Milne declaring “Venezuela and its progressive allies in Latin America matter to the rest of the world… because they have demonstrated that there are multiple social and economic alternatives to the failed neoliberal system that still has the west and its allies in its grip.” So where do they stand on Maduro now…

Neither Jones nor Milne have mentioned Venezuela on Twitter in a year, while Abbott and Corbyn have remained silent now for three. The failed Maduro regime, now falling apart, was always going to be the tyrannical logical conclusion of Chavez’s policies that these left-wingers ardently advocated at home and abroad. Shortages, hyper-inflation, riots, the regime’s continued crackdown on opposing voices and recent threats to nationalise private industries as a way to radicalise the revolution show all the hallmarks of a desperate regime on the verge of collapse. The Corbynista “economic alternative” model has failed spectacularly in Venezeula…

Seumas Milne Praises Hamas

This video shows Labour Director of Strategy and Communications Seumas Milne praising Hamas’ “spirit of resistance” and saying “they will not be broken“, to huge cheers. Hamas is a proscribed terror group…

The Hamas Charter talks about killing Jews:

“The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'”

It says the banner of jihad must be raised against Jews:

“The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.”

Amnesty International says Hamas is guilty of a “brutal campaign of abductions, torture and unlawful killings against Palestinians”. And Amnesty also says Hamas is guilty of war crimes. PoliticsHome have asked a Labour spokesman to comment on this Labour spokesman’s views, but they don’t comment on staffing matters…

Milne Orders Corbynistas to “Isolate” Moderate MPs

Corbyn’s communications chief Seumas Milne has ordered the Labour leader’s army of social media ultras to “isolate” and “counter” moderate MPs online. According to the Labour Party Marxists group Milne attended the AGM of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy last week, where he called on those present to target moderates:

he correctly pointed to the “symbiosis between some in the Labour Party and elements of the media and the establishment”. We must counter this, using social media to “isolate those who want to create a feeling of confusion and failure”

Not sinister at all. And yes, that is Labour’s chief spinner on secondment from the Guardian decrying links between “some in the Labour Party and elements of the media”.

The meeting also discussed Labour’s anti-Semitism problem, dismissing claims of anti-Semitism at Oxford Labour club and claiming links between those investigating and Israel:

All complaints around the YL election, along with the outrageous charges of anti-Semitism made against the Oxford University Labour Club for its stand against Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians, have been referred to an “enquiry” under Baroness Jan Royall – who, Ann Black reminded us, worked for Neil Kinnock and is a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel. Labour Party ‘enquiries’ can last years, and may never reach a conclusion.

A reminder that Oxford Labour club members face allegations of harassing Jewish students and abusing Jews as “Zios“. This is how Corbyn’s allies respond to claims of anti-Semitism, by defending the perpetrators and claiming conspiracy…

UPDATE: Labour MP John Woodcock hits back:

“Tawdry.. explains a lot. Tactics hallmark of ultra-left apparatchiks, should have no place in British Labour party.”

Seumas Milne Floored in Guardian Game of Chicken

Some Easter holiday reading: don’t miss WikiGuido’s profile of Seumas Milne in this month’s GQ. Read Milne’s extraordinary defence of a self-confessed KGB stooge, the inside story of the ‘revenge reshuffle’ and how he was floored in a game of chicken in the Guardian newsroom:

Former colleagues reveal how, despite his slight figure, Milne had a remarkable habit of refusing to give way in corridors. Over several years, his fellow journalists grew tired of his insistence that oncoming co-workers make way for him. Eventually, one snapped, telling his desk, “I’m not going to do it again. Next time he plays chicken with me, I’m not going to get out of the way.” The whole office waited for the inevitable confrontation. Soon enough, it happened. As Milne walked down a corridor, the six-foot colleague approached from the other direction. They smashed into each other, sending Milne flying, along with the papers he was carrying. “Seumas was in shock,” recalls an onlooker. “No one had ever done that to him before. He expected people to show deference to him. There was a horrible silence in the office. It was a moment that demonstrated how aloof he seemed from the rest of the working environment.”

Read the full profile here

Seumas Milne Calls Labour MP “Mentally Ill”

MILNE ON PHONE

A co-conspirator gets in touch with an account of their mid-morning commute last Thursday, during which they eavesdropped on a conversation a fellow passenger was loudly having on the phone. Guido reproduces their note of the journey verbatim, our annotations are in bold

Travelling on the District Line train from Richmond the other day, I sat opposite Seumas Milne. He was constantly on the phone as he proceeded towards Westminster. I was struck by how indiscreet he was in his conversations to various callers, and in public, about his fellow Labourites. Anyone interested in politics could pick up some useful scuttlebutt on inter-Labour wrangling.

Here is what I picked up:

Seumas castigated John McDonnell for arranging an interview about his budget statement, with an Indie journo, when the latter organ was about to cease hard copy publishing, and had a small circulation. Seumas could not shift John about arranging an interview with another, larger circulation paper, since the latter was ‘very stubborn.’ There was also talk about Heather Stewart but I did not catch the gist because of train noise.

[Heather Stewart is the new political editor of the Guardian. Is this who Milne wanted McDonnell to do the interview with instead of the Indy?]

Someone called Heidi was being difficult over an NHS bill;

[This would be the Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander]

Someone called Lewis was ‘mentally ill’.

[There aren’t many Lewises in the PLP. He could be talking about Ivan Lewis, but more likely it’s a comment on Clive Lewis, the… err, interesting, Corbynista MP]

Seumas Milne was renowned during his time at the Guardian for striding through the newsroom while talking loudly on his mobile, much to the consternation of fellow journalists who were trying to concentrate on their work. Did Seumas really describe a fellow Corbynista as “mentally ill”? Being overheard on the train is the mark of a rank amateur…

UPDATE:

Quote of the Day

Labour source on Seumas Milne:

“The real question is why has John Whittingdale kept these documents for 42 years?”

H/T Kevin Schofield

Milne’s “Vote Maoist” Poster

John Whittingdale, who attended Winchester College with Seumas Milne, reveals the now Labour comms chief’s election pitch from their schooldays. Read Milne’s Maoist manifesto here

Pic via Sam Coates

‘Senior Labour Source’ on Putin

Wonder what a “senior Labour source” thinks about the Litvinenko findings?

Here is an idea of Seumas Milne’s view…

Boys Keep Spinning: Corbyn’s Today Programme Porkie

Jeremy Corbyn told the Today programme that he did not know which member of his team briefed the press that he intended to sack Hilary Benn: “I’m not sure where the briefing came from”. Seumas Milne is widely believed to be responsible for the first two anti-Benn briefings that appeared, in the Telegraph on Christmas Eve and in the Sindy three days later. Yet when rumours persisted on the Monday of the reshuffle that Benn was set for the chop, a furious Corbyn ironically tasked Milne with identifying the source. He reported back that it was John McDonnell’s office which was responsible. So Corbyn was spinning about the spin of his spinners this morning…

What Does Dan Jarvis Think?

On the left, Company Commander Dan Jarvis. On the right, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Tugendhat, who has written this remarkable letter to Jeremy Corbyn published by the Sun about Seumas Milne’s slur that British soldiers in Afghanistan were “occupiers“:

Dear Jeremy,

I am writing today with regards to reported comments made by the Labour Party’s Director of Strategy and Communication, Seumas Milne. The Sun newspaper reported this morning that Mr Milne had dismissed well-founded and valid concerns about equipment shortages as a ‘red herring’, instead suggesting that British soldiers themselves were to blame for dying in Afghanistan ‘because they are occupiers in another Muslim country where they’re not wanted’.

Not only are these remarks ignorant and ill-informed, they are deeply disrespectful to those who served in Afghanistan at the time and to the friends and families of those who lost their lives in the conflict.  Furthermore, and perhaps most absurdly, they recognise the authority of the Taliban, violent extremists who murdered thousands across the country, as more valid than the lawful government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the UN recognised, democratically elected government of the Afghan people.  More sadly still, it ignores the courage of our allies in the Afghan Armed Forces alongside whom we served and in support of whom too many died.

This is not an isolated incident. Not only has Mr Milne suggested 9/11 was America’s fault and appeared to support armed resistance against British troops in Iraq, he is also on record claiming that the murder of Lee Rigby, an innocent man murdered on a London street, wasn’t “terrorism in the normal sense” because Mr Rigby was a member of the Armed Forces. By extension, am I to understand that this means that Mr Milne believes that I and other former servicemen and women on both sides of the House are also valid targets because of our records of military service?

You have spoken eloquently about wanting to see a ‘kinder politics’ and I welcome this.  It would make our county a more inclusive democracy. This is your opportunity to lead by example. As the leader of the Labour Party and Her Majesty’s Opposition, I urge you to consider the implication of having people on your team whose views support violent extremists rather than democrats.  Our history is littered with despots whom British soldiers, sailors and airmen have fought against to secure the liberties we enjoy today, it seems sad that such anti-democratic elements should find voice in one of our important national political parties. I know that many on all sides of the House wish it were not so.

I hope you will take this opportunity to condemn Mr Milne’s remarks.  To stay silent would be wrong and may be seen as endorsing the views of those who choose violence instead of political debate.  Neither we, nor the Afghan servicemen I was proud to serve alongside, were occupiers.  We were both doing what I know you would support – serving the lawful wishes of the democratically elected governments of the countries we each served.  To forget that would be an insult to the  memories of our brave serviceman and women and to treat democracy as an inconvenience when it is, in truth, the sole legitimate source of power.

I would appreciate a response at your earliest convenience indicating what steps you intend to take.

Yours,

Thomas Tugendhat MBE MP

What does Jarvis, who served with Tugendhat in Afghanistan, think about the comments of his party’s Director of Communications?

Photo via The Sun/Armed Forces Learning Resources

Seumas Milne Bragged About Going to a PFLP Camp In His Gap Year

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Guido is assured by a former colleague of Seumas Milne that he bragged about going to a PFLP training camp in the Lebanon in his gap year (circa 1979). The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was founded by George Habash in 1967, as a Leninist armed revolutionary organisation which, in Habash’s own words, “held the ‘Guevara view’ of the ‘revolutionary human being’.” Specifically Seumas made the claim in an act of one-up-manship when the colleague said he had met a Middle-Eastern terrorist.   […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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