Meet the Candidates: Team Raab

The Tory contenders are gearing up for what might well become the most protracted Tory leadership contest ever – it could be another 8 months before the race officially starts if May clings on ’til December. That hasn’t stopped the candidates from starting to get their teams together already…

Dominic Raab has assembled a number of key Vote Leave figures behind him – James Starkie joined Team Raab last month, Beth Armstrong was Raab’s SpAd as Brexit Secretary but stuck with her boss after his resignation. Arbuthnot Banking Group have donated £44,259 to Raab to cover her salary for 6 months. Both are former SpAds for Michael Gove…

Spinning for him is the formidable Paul Stephenson, Vote Leave’s former Director of Comms and co-founder of Hanbury Strategy. Officially, Stephenson only has an informal advisory role…

A number of MPs are also already said to be on board the Raab train, including former Brexit Minister Suella Braverman. Raab is said to have provisionally lined up former ministers Sir Hugo Swire and Shailesh Vara to propose and second him. Braverman and Vara both resigned alongside Raab last November…

Raab’s main problem is that he and Boris will likely be fighting over the same MPs and the same endorsements from the Brexit-supporting press. Here’s how his other key stats compare:

Social media support: Ready for Raab has 1.7k followers, Raab himself has 44.1k followers and his Facebook has 3.4k.

Mainstream media support: None as yet, though Stephenson is close to the Sunday Times’ Tim Shipman. In the last few weeks Raab’s had a few op-eds for The Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday.

ConservativeHome members survey: 18% (2nd)

YouGov public recognition: 19% (7th)

PaddyPower odds: 9/1 (4th)

Suella: UK Can “Thrive” With No Deal

Brexit Minister Suella Fernandes says it won’t be a “walk in the park” but the UK “can thrive in a no deal scenario”. As long as the government has done the ground work to prepare…

Suella denies being a Brexiteer sleeper agent. Ironically many Brexiteers think she was asleep on the job when she headed up the ERG and the Northern Irish backstop was slipped through…

Suella Denies Telling Sky She’d Resigned

JoCo: “Did you, Suella, talk to the Sky reporter Lewis Goodall and say that you would be resigning in the morning after David Davis had handed in his resignation?”

Suella: “No.”

JoCo: “You didn’t?”

Suella: “Not at all. I’d love to see some proof of that conversation. That never happened.”

It was Russia Today fake news merchant Afshin Rattansi that first claimed Suella had quit:

More fool any Lobby hack who copies RT…

Suella Last Brexiter in DexEU?

Suella appears to be in some kind of “Brexit Minister Protection Programme”. Escorted by Theresa May’s director of communications Robbie Gibb. Is that a thumb screw in Robbie’s pocket?

Hat-tip: Clip via Tom Rayner @RaynerSkyNews

Braverman For Brexit

Congratulations to Dexeu minister Suella Fernandes, who following her marriage has changed her ‘Commons name’ to Suella Braverman. Her parliamentary profile, Twitter and her personal website have all been updated accordingly, though unfortunately that means all the links are dead on the now deleted suellafernandes.co.uk. She’s also lost her blue verified tick on Twitter. It’d take a Braverman than Guido to point that out to her…

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