Crowdpac UK Shuts

Crowdpac, the Steve Hilton backed start-up to crowd fund political campaigns, is shutting down its UK arm today. Having raised only £600,000 since 2014 through the Crowdpac platform, it was losing money. Originally it was non-partisan and the intention was to bring some transparency to political funding.

It switched in 2016 to being a left-wing fundraising platform for Trump-hating Remainers. That might have worked but the management were pretty clueless about marketing and the whole vibe just came over as very US corporate in comparison to Momentum. The crowdfunding sector is very profitable when it works, Crowdpac just never achieved the necessary critical mass…

Steve Hilton to Donald Trump: Give Britain “Big, Beautiful Trade Deal”

Steve Hilton,  Cameron’s former barefoot guru, is dishing out strategy advice on Fox News these days, and this isn’t a bad idea for the President to consider. As recompense for his terrible tweeting last week he should get the UK-USA trade deal done. If the Trump does railroad a good trail deal through, Guido will be waving the US flag on the Mall when he visits…

Steve Hilton: May Should Resign

Downing Street’s former Director of Strategy says Theresa May should resign over security failures rather than seek re-election. Of course Steve was in Number 10 while the police cuts were happening. His new show starts on Fox this week…

Steve Hilton’s Start-Up Named & Listed Foreign Workers

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Steve Hilton was appalled by Amber Rudd’s foreign worker list idea, blasting it in the Sunday Times as “divisive” and “repugnant“. So he’ll be pleased Downing Street have since said that no numbers will be published and the proposal may be voluntary anyway. Odd, however, that Steve hasn’t raised his moral objections to this issue in the past. As CEO of Crowdpac in the States, he must be familiar with the American HB1 visa system, which requires firms to disclose how many foreigners they employ, imposing new rules and restrictions when certain thresholds of foreign workers are met. For example Hilton’s Crowdpac applied for several of these HB1 visas over the last few years and publicly disclosed the foreigners’ personal details. It ain’t that shocking a proposal if Hilton’s own start-up complied with more strenuous rules Stateside…

Campaign Report: 2 Days to Go

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Leave message: Steve Hilton says Cameron knows Britain can’t control EU immigration.

Remain message: George Soros backs Remain.

Cut through: The PM’s appeal to Remain.

Leave social media count: 521,676 likes, 64,715 followers.

Remain social media count: 514,910 likes, 44,499 followers.

Odds: Remain 1/3, Leave 3/1

poll of polls 20062016

Latest poll: Remain 42% (-2), Leave 44% (+1) (Survation, phone). Poll of Polls is now Remain 50% (+2), Leave 50%.

Who is on Question Time Tonight?

BBCQT 26052016

Possibly actually worth watching.

Hilton on Treasury Figures

Steve Hilton on government Brexit numbers…

“They are made up. I know because I used to do that stuff”.

Steve Hilton Backs Brexit

Cameron’s closest friend in politics Steve Hilton backs Brexit:

“A decision to leave the EU is not without risk, but I believe it is the ideal and idealistic choice for our times. Taking back power from arrogant, unaccountable, hubristic elites and putting it where it belongs. In people’s hands.”

Uber, But For Brexit

whetstone

Isabel Oakeshott’s write up of working the room with Arron Banks at the White House Correspondents Dinner is filled with nuggets. She reveals the Uber app comms chief Rachel Whetstone is backing Brexit:

“Hovering at entrance to the 30,000-square-foot ballroom, we are surprised to bump into David Cameron’s former policy chief Steve Hilton, now US-based. He greets us exuberantly but his wife Rachel Whetstone looks like she’s swallowed a fly. She warms up when Hoey gets her talking about Brexit, saying she supports Out and wishes she could do more for the cause. Hilton keeps his powder dry but I know he was deeply unimpressed by Obama’s intervention in the debate.”

Whetstone’s grandfather Antony Fisher founded the IEA and the ASI. She is also of course married to Steve Hilton and is one of the PM’s closest friends…

Dave Meets UKIP

Guido is very hungover after last night’s Speccie bash. It was very hot and there was a lot of Pimms involved, also an inexplicable number of pretty models there…

Sadly no Miliband this year, instead it was Harman’s turn to pretend she wanted to be there. Osborne took a couple of hours off from preparing for the Budget while Michael Fallon was bullish about the jihadis. Liz Truss was flirty and Nicky Morgan wandered around looking for someone to talk to. Boris was banging on about some airport…

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Most amusing was the PM’s drive by, where he immediately got locked into conversation with UKIP spin supremo Gawain Towler. Apparently Dave’s defence was that the smaller European nations are going to support his renegotiation plans. There are about four million reasons why that conversation looked painful. 

Despite the heat the PM’s old pal Steve Hilton got a proper hug, though the hippy chat was soon troubling Dave:

unnamed (4) Blogging may be light…

Hilton’s Hipsters & High Tories

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Tonight’s launch party for Steve Hilton’s new book More Human brought out an A-list crowd of high Tories and hipsters. Held in Rohan Silva’s SecondHome tech hub in East London it was more a Cameroon re-union party than a book launch. In the wigwam Hilton, dressed appropriately in guru colours of yellow and orange, held court to a crowd including David Cameron and George Osborne as well as Cabinet ministers from past and present. Jeremy Hunt mingled with the likes of Lord Heseltine and Lord Howard among internet hipsters whilst entertained by a Hungarian folk band – much to the amusement of Steve Hilton’s mum. This was the authentic über-modernisers wigwam in which Rohan invited the assembled great and the good to wander barefoot…

Hilton’s speech was one of thanks and a lighthearted powerpoint remembering his time on Team Cameron. He spoke of the stream of emails he received in California before the election complaining about the negativity of the Tory campaign, all imploring him to come and bring some sunshine into the Tory message, “I said, look Dave, you hired Lynton Crosby…”.  The PM laughed…

https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/600735366556057601/photo/1

The Hungarian band played on – with the crowd joining in to sing “Happy Birthday” to Oliver Letwin. Heseltine flirted with twentysomethings, Samantha Cameron beamed at Gabby Bertin. All is well now Miliband’s red terror has been defeated. Apart from Steve Hilton wanting to overthrow global capitalism…

Watch also: Steve Hilton’s Trippy Newsnight Segment 

Steve Hilton’s Trippy Newsnight Segment

Newsnight invited Steve Hilton into the wigwam of trust last night to promote his book “More Human“. Laterz, Legislators…

Steve Hilton on Stewart Pearson

The Thick of It’s Steve Hilton was asked by Newsnight about his former No. 10 adviser alter-ego Stewart Pearson:

He thinks it’s funny. Really, really funny…

Uber Poach Rachel Whetsone

uber rachel

Uber have lured Rachel Whetstone away from her position as SVP of communications and public policy for Google, to take on the same position with the private car hire company. Whetstone who is married to Dave’s former guru Steve Hilton, has close links to the Camerons and despite being in charge of Uber’s global comms, will no doubt prove invaluable to Uber’s operation in the largest taxi market in the world – London.

Uber is facing legislative challenges on an almost daily basis as politicians fight to protect the vested interests of cabbie unions – last month they even found themselves banned completely in Portugal. Let’s hope Uber UK are in for an easy ride…

Revolving Dawes

With the sudden, and possibly unwilling, departure of Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary Ian Watmore, the job has been given temporarily to Melanie Dawes. AKA “her in doors” to one Ben Brogan…

The switch-over makes today’s column by the Telegraph’s Deputy Editor about Steve Hilton versus the civil service all the more interesting:

 “Without Mr Hilton, how much will survive? His [Dave’s] proposed public sector reforms, let alone his ideas for slashing the Civil Service, are likely to stall..”

Slashing the civil service doesn’t look to be stalling this afternoon…

More Mayor Hilton Speculation

Guido never had Matthew d’Ancona down as a Daily Star Sunday reader but you learn something every day. He writes this afternoon: “Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister’s closest adviser, has indicated that he may run for mayoral office when he returns from sabbatical, on the grounds that this will enable him to make a real difference at street level.” Confirming what we said back in February:

“…few believe he will return to Downing Street – rumour has it that he wants to try out his big ideas directly by running a city as mayor.  Given that he got nicked in 2008 for losing his rag with a train ticket inspector in Birmingham, we can cross Brum off the likely list.”

Guido’s money would be on Brighton for the former Green voter, but it’s hardly a big budget executive…

On Yer Bike Steve Hilton is a Guru Going West

Downing Street says:

With his wife and young family, Steve will be moving to California. He will join Stanford as a visiting scholar at the university’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and will also be a visiting fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He will spend his year on campus teaching, researching and writing, and will focus on innovation in government, public services and communities around the world.

He will work with a wide range of centres and organisations across the university, including FSI’s Centre on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law and The Europe Centre; the Graduate School of Business’ Centre for Social Innovation; the Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society; and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

That sabbatical likely to turn permanent…

Miliband Twists the Hilton Knife

Asked if he was accusing the Prime Minister of lying about what he knew regarding the information passed to Steve Hilton, the increasingly confident Labour leader said “I’m not going to throw around allegations, but… what I’m saying is the Prime Minister has a whole series of unanswered questions on this issue.” And he’s right…

If they want this angle to die down, Number 10 need to get their line on this clear today. The longer they leave the speculation of who knew what, and when, the longer it looks like they cannot, or are not willing to, provide an accurate narrative. It’s very simple – did Steve Hilton discuss the two Guardian contacts with his boss. Yes or no?

Muesli-gate

Further to Guido’s speculation earlier about whether Steve Hilton had passed information about Coulson, given to him by Alan Rusbridger, on to Cameron. Downing Street have confirmed this afternoon that Rusbridger discussed the hacking scandal “in general” at a breakfast with Hilton on 12th November 2009, and deputy editor and Mr Mumsnet Ian Katz called him on 25th February last year regarding an imminent story going to print.

This is hardly the specific warnings Rusbridger claims he gave, but it beggars-belief that Hilton would not mention it…

Is Hilton Going On His Bike?

As Downing Street’s Digital Communications guru takes the money and flies off to Dubai to work for mega-spin-shop Hill and Knowlton, speculation turns to policy guru Steve Hilton’s future. Sam Coates in The Times suggests that there is a “50-50 chance” of Hilton walking out within six months, disillusioned with the realities of governing from Downing Street and having lost key battles to Osborne.[…] Read the rest

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