IEA Hires Former Tory MEP Leader Syed Kamall

The Institute of Economic Affairs has hired top-Brexiteer, and former leader of the eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, Professor Syed Kamall. Guido readers will know him for his punchy performances

After leaving the European Parliament in July, Kamall took up the role of Professor of International Relations at St Mary’s University, London. Tomorrow, Kamall will join the IEA as Academic and Research Director. Congratulations!

Tory EU Election Leaflet Doesn’t Mention Brexit Once

Theresa May launched the Tory EU Election ‘campaign’ last week with the inspiring message: “to vote for a party that will can deliver Brexit, vote Conservative.” Voters in London will have a hard time spotting that message on the party’s EU Election leaflets. The word Brexit literally doesn’t appear once, it reads like the MEPs are planning full 5-year terms…

Bemused Tory activists suspect that uber-Remainer Charles Tannock has had a hand in the design. To be fair to committed Brexiteer Syed Kamall, word on the street is that he’s only running for re-election to keep Tannock out…

Kamall Savages European Socialists

Tory MEP boss Syed Kamall had a punchy exchange in the European Parliament this morning, when he hit back at socialist MEPs for their focus on right wing nationalism. Kamall reminded German SDP MEP Udo Bullmann that extremism can also come from the left…

“When you talk about right wing extremists we have to remember that nazis were national socialists.”

“It a strain of socialism. It is a left wing ideology. They want the same things as you. You don’t like the truth do you? C’mon its national socialism.”

“I’m telling you it is a left wing ideology. Don’t pretend!”

Get this guy in the Commons…

Cleverly Rules Out Mayoral Bid

James Cleverly joins Justine Greening, George Osborne and Ed Vaizey in ruling himself out of the Tory mayoral nomination:

Which leaves the remaining runners and riders:

  • Shaun Bailey: London Assembly Member who is one of the few candidates with a backstory to rival Khan’s. Has been effective in his criticism of the mayor over knife crime. 
  • Syed Kamall: Time for a Brexiter mayor of London? Came second to Zac in the Tory nomination stakes last time round. Popular with true believers.
  • Kulveer Ranger: Another former Boris adviser who was very effective in City Hall.
  • Duwayne Brooks: Friend of Stephen Lawrence who was with him when he was murdered. Joined the Tories a couple of weeks ago and is being talked up by insiders. Has branded Sadiq “the worst mayor ever”One to watch.
  • Andrew Boff: Perennial candidate. Ladbrokes favourite…
  • Richard Tice: The businessman who co-founded Leave.EU is an accomplished media performer – readers will remember his punchy Question Time appearance. Would be bold to choose a Brexiter in London, though.
  • Rohan Silva: Former blue sky digital tech guru to Cameron and Osborne, Silva went on to found the Second Home workspace in Spitalfields. His name has been doing the rounds, he’s a Remainer but would be good for the youth vote and a more interesting candidate than some of those below. 
  • Munira Mirza: Former deputy mayor to Boris, she wrote compellingly for the Speccie a couple of months back about how stop and search is the best weapon in the fight against knife crime. The Tories have a real shortage of strong female candidates – indeed Mirza might be the only one.
  • Gavin Barwell: Was sniffing around last year when he thought things were falling apart in Number 10. Would someone who couldn’t hold Croydon be able to win London? There are local whispers that Barwell now has his eye on Bob Stewart’s 15,000 majority Beckenham seat instead…
  • Nick de Bois: Former Enfield MP. CCHQ took his advice on bringing the selection forwards. Has outlined how he would beat Sadiq here.

The big names shunning a doomed campaign…

UPDATE: Syed Kamall rules himself out too, “The announcement of hustings so soon means I cannot take part and still fulfil my role in helping to get the best possible deal between the UK and EU.”

Tory Battle For Hornchurch and Upminster

Dame Angela Watkinson, the Tory MP in Hornchurch and Upminster, will be 79 in 2020 and is expected to retire after nearly two decades in the Commons. A string of top Tories are already sniffing round the cushy 16,000 majority seat. Hotly tipped is Nick de Bois, the popular former Enfield North MP who lost his seat in 2015. Local Tories have noted that former Cameron adviser Shaun Bailey, now a London Assembly member, has moved to the area and is flaunting his newly-discovered pro-Brexit credentials. Syed Kamall, the Leave-backing Tory MEP leader, has also been turning up to local association meetings. Kamall should be popular, having stood up to intense career-ending pressure from Cameron. Havering has been dubbed “the most Eurosceptic place in Britain” and voted 70% to Leave. It is a very Brexit-y seat for life…

Suzanne Evans Meeting With Top Tory MEP Tonight

The EyeSpy.MP Twitter account has chanced upon an intriguing meeting between Suzanne Evans and the Tories’ main man in Brussels Syed Kamall, which took place just hours after the UKIP leadership announcement. Guido is sure it was an entirely innocent chance encounter… 

Tory MEP’s W*nker Sign in European Parliament

Pro-Brexit Tory MEP leader Syed Kamall responds to Guy Verhofstadt’s calls for further integration. Superb.

H/T Peter Spiegel

Tory MEP’s Ides of March

tory-meps-backstabbing

Today is the Ides of March and Europhile Tory MEPs are preparing for the referendum aftermath. Syed Kamall backed Brexit despite intense pressure from Downing Street to join the Remainers. Now Kamall’s enemies among the 20 strong group of Tories – most of whom are Remainers – are circling. Ashley Fox is positioning himself to take over, according to Politico Europe, though others tell Guido it is actually being driven by Charles Tannock (who also ran against Syed for Chair of the ECR political group) and the Tory MEPs who favour remaining in the EU. Sajjad Karim is also said to be involved, though his LibDem roots may hold his personal ambitions back. If the Leavers win Syed will play a crucial role in the Brexit negotiations, if the Remainers win there will be a concerted effort to oust him from his leadership role…

UPDATE: Ashley Fox MEP would like us to point out that he is a friend of Syed Kamall and loves him very much.

Tory MEP Leader Backs Brexit

Capture

After some delay, Syed Kamall has gone with his conscience. Bravo!

“After much thought, my personal decision is to vote to leave the EU; not because I think David Cameron did a bad job, but because I believe that on balance we could forge a better future outside…

A crucial deciding factor for me is immigration. I want to see a Britain where everyone can achieve their ambitions whether they come from a wealthy or poorer background. Equally, I want to see an immigration policy that is balanced and fair – where we treat everyone outside the UK equally whether they are from an EU country or not. Sadly, a fair immigration system is incompatible with our membership of the EU.

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that only by leaving the EU can we be genuinely free to put in place a fair immigration policy for ourselves.

As the son of immigrants who came from a non-EU country, this is my deeply held conviction on an issue that matters deeply to me. I have always told aspiring politicians to be true to themselves, and it would be hypocritical to ignore that advice myself in order to further my career.”

Read his full statement here. Major blow to Cameron and the Tory Remain argument…

MEPs Open Book on When Kamall Will De-Syed

Capture

Fierce Tory Eurosceptic Syed Kamall’s continued dithering on his referendum decision has inspired MEP colleagues to open a book. Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell, both Alternative for Germany MEPs, have a £50 bet on whether he will actually manage to decide by June 23rd:

From: VON STORCH Beatrix
Sent: 10 March 2016 13:43
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: RE: BREXIT

Even in the ECR group we are wondering where Syed stands on this crucial issue. I personally think Syed would like to campaign to Leave – in line with his convictions. However, I also think that he, talented politician that he is, might in the end be campaigning to Remain, for whatever reason.

I have a £50 bet with Marcus Pretzell that Syed will actually manage to decide before June 23rd. Marcus is betting that Syed will not have decided then and completely miss the Referendum.

Best wishes,

Beatrix

UKIP’s Gerard Batten and Paul Nuttall have also entered into a wager: Nuttall thinks Kamall will back Leave, Batten thinks he’ll come out for Remain. Kamall’s delaying tactics have seen Batten attempt to settle the issue once and for all:

From: BATTEN Gerard
Sent: 09 March 2016 22:31
To: KAMALL Syed
Cc: MEPs & ASSISTANTS-8th-Legislature
Subject: BREXIT

Dear Syed,

Your speech this morning contained much to agree with, well done. Unfortunately I did not get the opportunity to Blue Card you and ask a question.

In short, can you let me know which side you are going to campaign on in the Referendum: Leave of Stay?

I have a €50 bet with Paul Nutall that you will campaign to Remain, he is betting you will campaign to Leave. Can you please confirm one way or the other so that one of us can collect.

Regards,

Gerard

A reply was not forthcoming…

141 Tory MPs Backing Brexit

Stuart Andrew and Michael Tomlinson are the latest Tory MPs to come out in favour of Brexit, bringing the total number of Outers on Guido’s spreadsheet to 141. 26 remain undeclared, amongst them several who could conceivably back Leave. The final number of Leave Tory MPs will be considerably higher than most predicted.

Among MEPs the big one to watch is Syed Kamall, a fierce Eurosceptic who is the leader of the Tories in Brussels. Syed has railed against the EU’s “one-size-fits-all superstate”, arguing that we should “turn our backs on the parliament of the backroom deal, [and] leave behind the parliament of intolerance of minority views that challenge convention”. He is under severe pressure and has not been taking Guido’s calls. Conscience versus career…

Fully up to date referendum list here.

Tory Mayoral is Two Horse Race

con-home-mayoral-survey

A ConservativeHome survey of 900 members* makes the campaign for the Tory Mayoral candidature a two-horse race between Zac Goldsmith and Syed Kamall. Zac on 56% looks prima facie unassailable, however he has never before been challenged from the right in a competitive election. Which is fortunate for him, because he holds some pretty far out flaky views and will not be looking forward to facing hustings with Syed, who is extremely popular with wonkish true believers. There is also the small matter of Heathrow…

If Heathrow is selected for expansion there has been a lot of talk by Zac of resigning his seat and re-standing for his safe seat as an independent, presumably against a rival Tory candidate. This complicates his candidacy for Mayor, Zac surely can’t stand for parliament against a Tory and as a Tory for Mayor.  Do not underestimate the willingness of CCHQ and Downing Street to choreograph events to the benefit of Zac – who has his fans in high places e.g. Samantha Cameron. If nevertheless the decision is for Heathrow and Zac is already the Tory candidate this would pitch him against the government, he has hinted that he would then run as an independent, as Ken Livingstone once did successfully. London could end up being controlled by a car taxing green zealot unrestrained by Tory policies – no wonder the Greens in the London Assembly are so keen on Zac running – he would bring the slogan “vote blue, go green” to life. Zac’s stance will be teased out at any hustings, which he has so far avoided, any ambiguity on this will not go down well with the true blue selectorate …

*Yes this was a self-selecting online voodoo poll.

Kamall Confirms He’s Running

As Guido revealed two weeks ago, Syed Kamall is running for Mayor. He confirms today:

“I am really excited about the prospect of doing this. I’m a Londoner born and bred. I grew up here and I’ve always enjoyed fighting for our city.”

I look forward to having some robust conversations and debates over the coming months about the issues which affect our city. We need to tackle some of the most important things like housing and transport but we also need to ensure that everyone in our city enjoys the full fruits of London’s success.”

No Boris style coronation for Zac…

Kamall: I’m Still De-Syed-ing

zacsyed

Popular Tory MEP Syed Kamall is on the brink of declaring a bid to be the Tory candidate for Mayor of London.

Multiple sources report that Kamall spent the weekend speaking to MPs, councillors and London local organisers. Something he did not deny when Guido spoke to him on Monday morning.

The London MEP is head of the Tory group in Brussels as well as leader of European Conservatives and Reformists. While that does not sound very exciting in Westminster, it makes him a pretty important player in Brussels.

He was also expected to pay a significant role in Cameron’s EU renegotiation strategy.

Kamall tell Guido he “has lots of thinking to do”, and “lots of things to sort out”.

Guido understands that CCHQ campaign supremo Stephen Gilbert is keen to see ‘a proper fight’ for the Tory nomination, in order to engage the eventual winner with the party.

When Boris finally threw his hat in the ring in 2007, it was a coronation in all but name, but it was later felt that it took him a full term before he was properly integrated into the Tory machine.

The ever growing length of the Conservative timetable to choose their candidate -the result is now expected at conference –  helps any candidate that is not a popular, blonde, Old Etonion with the backing of Boris and Osborne and a stonking majority.

If Guido was a betting man he would put money on an announcement from Kamall by Wednesday…

Seen Elsewhere



Tip offs: 020 7193 4041
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.