Rumours are swirling about Westminster over the Brexit Party candidate for the upcoming by-election in Peterborough abounds – it just so happens the Brexit Party are holding a large rally in Peterborough tonight. Although there is speculation that they’ll hold off for electoral spending reasons, can Nigel resist the opportunity for a big set-piece announcement?
Names have been bandied about from Annunziata Rees-Mogg to Farage himself. The name Guido has been hearing is Stewart Jackson…
Jackson was Tory MP for Peterborough from 2005 to 2017, he then became David Davis’ chief of staff after losing to Fiona Onasanya by just 607 votes. Last week he denied he would be standing for any party in Peterborough, although he’s been more coy with Tory MPs when they’ve asked him directly. He has certainly been showing some leg with his recent tweets:
Guido hears that some eurosceptic Tory MPs have been seriously mulling a defection to the Brexit Party after the EU elections. If Jacko moves first it could start a chain reaction, on the other hand would Brexiteers really want to lose their say over next Tory leader?
UPDATE: Jackson has poured cold water on the chances of him becoming the Brexit Party’s candidate. Farage says the candidate will be announced in the next 24 hours or so…
Like many Conservatives I'm appalled by Theresa May's disastrous & dishonest handling of Brexit & coming stitch up – In order to save party good Conservatives need to stay put. I WON'T be Brexit Party candidate in #Peterborough. https://t.co/6apcXFa2S8
— Stewart Jackson (@BrexitStewart) May 7, 2019
Sad news for Peterborough residents after Stewart Jackson, who served as the area’s MP from 2005-2017, has announced he will not be seeking the Conservative Party nomination to stand again. He narrowly lost his seat last year to Labour’s Fiona Onasanya, who has now been charged with perverting the course of justice.
The Tories will be selecting their new candidate for this top target next month. Jackson will be looking for a seat elsewhere…
Scoop from Patrick O’Flynn: Number 10 has blocked the reappointment of David Davis’ former chief of staff Stewart Jackson as Dominic Raab’s SpAd at Dexeu:
BIG EXCLUSIVE from me (ie I think I’m first with this): Downing Street blocking the reappointment of stout Leaver Stewart Jackson @BrexitStewart as SpAd at DexEU despite Dominic Raab wanting him to carry on. Leavers not welcome in this Government. Shocking stuff.
— Patrick O’Flynn (@oflynnmep) July 10, 2018
Confirmed by Jacko’s wife Sarah O’Grady:
Unfortunately yes. Gutted for Stewie. Backroom boys using the PM’s name. Am sure she doesn’t know. She’d never maliciously put Izzy’s dad out of work. https://t.co/fAThllqRg9
— Sarah O’Grady (@ExpressOGrady) July 10, 2018
This is going down very badly in the Commons tea room. Brexiteers not welcome…
Guido can reveal a raft of new senior special adviser appointments. The new Number 10 press secretary is Paul Harrison, an experienced SpAd who moves from the Department of Health. He is well-respected and a grown up who knows the Lobby. Harrison will be joined in Downing Street by Kirsty Buchanan, formerly a SpAd at the Ministry of Justice and a former political editor of the Sunday Express. She will be working on Number 10’s political press team. A significant beefing up of Theresa May’s spin operation.
Tim Smith, currently a Number 10 press aide, is moving to the Brexit Department to be David Davis’ new media SpAd. A very important job for the next few years and an appointment which shows the close relationship between DexEU and Number 10. Guido is happy to confirm Stewart Jackson is also joining DexEU as DD’s chief of staff – you read it here first. A true Brexit believer and a very encouraging appointment for any Leavers worried the department is going soft – sorry Remainers.
The new Downing Street regime is quickly getting on the front foot. As well as the new personnel, there has been a steady stream of positive government announcements and news stories over the last couple of weeks – the ban on petrol and diesel cars today the latest example. It’s as if Number 10 has a proper grid for the first time in a long time. The Tories and CCHQ also successfully weaponised the Corbyn student debt shambles – this has been one of their best weeks in ages, a few more weeks like this during the election campaign and the result might have been very different. Punchy, aggressive… a welcome, much-needed change of tempo…
Guido hears ousted MP Stewart Jackson is in talks to become David Davis’ chief of staff in the Brexit department. Davis is yet to replace his departed spinner James Chapman, an arch-Remainer who has nonetheless left former colleagues perplexed at his relentless determination to damage the government. Several Tory aides have been approached for the job at DExEU. The Brexit Secretary is believed to want a fully on board chief of staff to fulfil a wider ranging role, rather than a reluctant media SpAd misfit. Guido understands talks have been held with Jackson, DD’s PPS before he lost his seat at the election, potentially taking the job. Stewart is as sound as they come, a true believer. His appointment would calm the nerves of Brexiters and focus minds among civil servants at DExEU. Something which needs to happen as soon as possible…
Tory MP Stewart Jackson on Bob Geldof:
“Now loudmouth multimillionaire soapdodger Bob Geldof is supporting the LibDem campaign in Richmond Park. Haven’t the voters suffered enough?”