May Shuts Down Boorish Blackford

The SNP’s shouty Ian Blackford managed to be even more tedious than usual at PMQs today, boring on for so long about the Tory leadership contenders that even Bercow got bored and told him to hurry up. But naturally didn’t bother to ask him to retract his accusations of lying despite it breaching Parliamentary protocol…

May came back with the sort of sparky put-down that’s been all too rare over the last three years. Impressive noise from the less than one third of Tory MPs who bothered to turn up…

McDonnell Promises All Out Green De-Listing Assault on Companies

Not wanting to be left out as Theresa May succeeded in hobbling the UK economy yesterday with a trillion pound hit without MPs even voting on it, John McDonnell doubled down with an even more aggressive green assault on business last night. McDonnell told an incredulous City audience last night about his plans for legislation to de-list any company from the London Stock Exchange that failed to meet his environmental criteria. It’s hard to overstate just how bonkers this plan is…

One City financier branded it “financial totalitarianism” and said it would be a “catastrophe” for Britain’s economy if it was ever carried out. May’s desperate attempt to carve out some sort of meagre legacy for herself has started a bidding war with Labour over who can inflict more damage on the economy in the name of the “environment” which Corbyn and McDonnell are only too happy to go along with. Never mind the fact that Corbyn showed no signs of caring about it before posh protesters started holding yoga parties on London’s major thoroughfares. Puts “f*ck business” very much in context…

All this will mean is that companies will transfer their listing from the London Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange. It will achieve nothing except to lessen the amount the City of London generates in tax revenues to fund public services. Kamikaze Communism…

Tory Leadership: Decision Day

It’s crunch time in the Tory leadership race – by the end of the day we will know who the final two are, however many votes it takes. After last night’s results, Saj is trailing Hunt and Gove by several votes, however he was quick to insist that he wouldn’t be withdrawing. This means there will be at least two votes today:

  • 10 a.m.-Midday: MPs vote in fourth ballot
  • 1 p.m.: Fourth round result – three candidates left
  • 3.30-5.30 p.m.: MPs vote in fifth ballot
  • 6 p.m.: Fifth round result – two candidates left

In the unlikely event that there’s a tie, there will be an extra round of voting into the night from 7.30-9.30pm, with the final result as soon as possible after that. With many MPs going back to their constituencies on Thursday afternoon, as many as 25% of votes today are expected to be by proxy. One person who will definitely be voting by proxy is Theresa May who’s heading off to Brussels for another EU summit. 1922 Committee Vice-Chair Charles Walker has been entrusted with her vote…

With the unpredictable factor of Rory Stewart now out of the race, the talk this morning is that Team Boris is now on maneouvres to take out Gove by pushing the Saj through at his expense. Gove’s 2016 betrayal has still not been forgotten by many Boris supporters, they are out for revenge by dumping him out this time…

Theresa Rave Dancing Doll

A dancing Theresa Maybot doll is being produced in time for her departure from Downing Street. The makers say “Theresa doesn’t need much encouragement, just push her hand to get her singing and dancing. Freed from the shackles of Downing Street, Theresa Rave is ready to get down in your street.” Batteries aren’t included…

Top Wonks Back Fiscal Phil’s Budget Responsibility Pledge

Philip Hammond’s fiscal responsibility challenge might not be the most exciting intervention in the Tory leadership race but it has received a warm welcome from many of Westminster’s top think tanks. The Institute of Economic Affairs’ Kate Andrews says:

“The Chancellor has dished out a fair and sensible warning to leadership candidates. Slashing tax and spending increases must go hand-in-hand with cuts in other areas and a radical pro-growth agenda, otherwise they are not fiscally responsible policies…

“With the UK tax burden at a near-fifty year high, putting more money back in people’s wallets should be a top priority, but it shouldn’t mean abandoning fiscal responsibility along the way.”

The Adam Smith Institute’s Matt Kilcoyne welcomes the move too:

“Right message at the right time from the Chancellor. As we approach the Cost of Government Day on the 18th June, the first day of the year that private spending overtakes all the spending and borrowing the government does on your behalf, it’s good to see a Conservative preaching fiscal responsibility.

“The UK still has a deficit, a mountain of debt, and government is still passing the buck onto those too young to vote. The next generation shouldn’t be sold out with election pledges made at the expense of their own futures.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance also give it their seal of approval:

“Philip Hammond is right that a Tory leadership battle isn’t the place for a public spending arms race. A spending spree by the current, or next Prime Minister could leave taxpayers saddled with bills.”

As far as Guido is aware, none of the candidates have committed to Phil’s fiscal responsibility pledge so far. Nor has the current Prime Minister shown any hint of reconsidering her uncosted trillion pound black hole she’s leaving behind for her successor…

UPDATE: It turns out Phil’s Pledge has been taken by the most left-wing candidate in the race, Rory Stewart. If Rory can find time out from his never-ending walks around supermarket car parks to make the pledge, why can’t any of his supposedly more Conservative rivals?

PM Calls For BBC to Explain Jo Brand’s Acid Attack Broadcast

The Prime Minister has called on the BBC to explain why it considered Jo Brand’s comments on throwing acid over politicians “appropriate content for broadcast.” The show was pre-recorded, editors took the decision to broadcast the segment. A Number 10 spokesman followed up today after the story was broken by Guido yesterday:

“The prime minister has been repeatedly clear that politicians should be able to go about their work and campaign without harassment, intimidation or abuse… It is for the BBC to explain why it considers this to have been appropriate content for broadcast.”

Brand was silent today as she was asked by journalists if she stands by her comments. It’s fair to say that if they had been made by a figure on the right there would have been immediate action. Taxpayers are paying £177 million a year for the BBC’s “entertainment and comedy” output. There’s clearly a double standard when it comes to well-paid leftie comedians…

May Ramming Through Trillion Pound Climate Change Plan With No Proper Costings

Not content with just banning porn and plastic straws, Theresa May has decided to add a £1 trillion – that’s £1,000,000,000,000 – economic black hole to her “legacy” with her new policy to force the UK to have ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050. Philip Hammond has already warned that the cost “is likely to be well in excess of a trillion pounds”. Blows the row over tax cuts into insignificance…

The problem is that no-one has any idea how much it is actually going to cost. The Climate Change Committee (CCC), chaired by scandal-ridden Lord Deben, has put out a figure of £50 billion every year. BEIS’ preliminary estimate puts the cost a full 40% higher at £70 billion per year – these are just back of the envelope calculations. The Treasury wants to do a formal review of the costs but this will take months, not days. The fact that an outgoing Prime Minister is trying to bind the country with a commitment this vast without even doing a proper costing first is the height of irresponsibility…

Worse, a huge proportion of the costs won’t fall on the Treasury itself but directly on ordinary people. The plan laid out by the CCC relies heavily on expensive changes in consumer behaviour. Energy bills will rise, drivers will be expected to switch to more expensive green cars. This is fine for people like John Gummer who’ve had their snouts in the trough for years. For a pensioner struggling to get through the winter or someone who depends on a van to run their small business, these changes will be very costly indeed…

Businesses will also bear a huge part of the cost – it will effectively spell the death knell for serious manufacturing in the UK. Businesses will simply move their factories, emissions – and jobs – overseas at an even greater rate. May’s Government has already done a great job helping to drive car manufacturing out of the country with their ban on new petrol cars from 2040. May’s latest genius idea should finish the job…

Whitehall insiders are laying the blame squarely at the door of May and her dour Business Secretary Greg Clark, who have been gripped with a desperate desire to rush through something to give them some semblance of a legacy in their last six weeks in office. If May wants to leave a responsible legacy behind for her successor, she won’t lumber them with one of the most costly and damaging policies in the history of the UK…

May Officially No Longer Conservative Party Leader

Theresa May has exchanged letters with the Vice Chairmen of the 1922 Committee confirming she is no longer the leader of the Conservative Party. She led the party from 11 July 2016 until this afternoon – a period of two years, ten months, and twenty seven days. Despite no longer leading her party, Theresa May remains as Prime Minister until a new party leader is in place – currently scheduled for 22nd July…

Read the 1922 Comittee Press Release here:

Punters Demand Stewards Inquiry Over May’s Resignation Date Bets

Quite a lot of chatter over at PoliticalBetting.com over the resignation date of Theresa May. Barring something dramatic happening Theresa May will formally resign as Leader of the Conservative Party tomorrow, as the above official statement from the party chairman and the 1922 Committee makes clear. Seems straightforward.

Over on the Betfair exchange some £3,057,129 has been staked on the exact date of her exit on the UK – Party Leaders– Exit Dates – Theresa May” market. The small print in the bet market’s rules states:

Punters seeking clarification have now been told that this means when she leaves Downing Street – which is something completely different altogether. May will remain the Prime Minister in Downing Street for another month or so after she has resigned even though she is no longer the party leader. Punters who understood the Conservative Party’s rules are not happy. It’s clear the bookies are confusing the party leadership and the premiership…

More Lib Dems Think May Should Have Stayed Than Tories

YouGov have carried out a snap poll revealing the public think May was overwhelmingly right to resign. The numbers for Labour and Tory voters are almost ideal, but Remainy Lib Dems are the most sad to see her go…

Theresa May Will Remain An MP

The Prime Minister will stay on as a Member of Parliament after she leaves the job this July. Her Constituency Chairman Richard Kellaway has told Press Association that she rang him shortly before making her Downing Street statement this morning.

“The main concern for us as her association is that she’s not going to resign her seat. She will carry on as a Member of Parliament, which is welcomed by us.”

The question now is whether she will stick around like Ted Heath or move on at the time of a General Election like Margaret Thatcher.

Kellaway described her morning statement as “like any speech at a funeral or a wedding, even. You get through it.” Credit to her for not scarpering off like Cameron, true to type she’s Remaining…

May Breaks Another Brexit Promise

Theresa May bought herself a stay of execution at the 1922 Committee last week after they agreed that she could have one last chance to try to get her deal through. May promised to bring the Withdrawal Agreement to the Commons the week commencing 3rd June before announcing her resignation timetable…

Andrea Leadsom’s stand-in Mark Spencer has revealed the Government’s parliamentary business for that week – predictably there’s no sign whatsoever of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. Spencer optimistically added that the Government might yet try to bring the WAB on Friday 7th June, the House isn’t even due to be sitting on that day. To be fair if she does announce her resignation timetable before then, as expected on Friday or Monday, it would render it pointless. Nonetheless it’s still a promise broken, how many more will she break before she finally leaves?

Morning Prime Minister

After her ill-judged speech the reaction is bad. When the Tory press, including the usually May-supporting Daily Mail, is entirely negative, the game is up. Soon…

Fresh Plot to Oust May on the 1922 Committee Today

After Theresa May inexplicably gave the worst speech of her career two days before an election where the Tories were already set for a pasting, the mood has darkened so dramatically among the Tories that many have decided they cannot wait any longer to get her out. Dozens of Tory MPs who reluctantly backed her at MV3, including Boris and Dom Raab, have now publicly denounced her new “bold offer” including the promise of a vote on a second referendum and the numbers are still going up and up. 1922 Executive Committee member Nigel Evans will today move a fresh rule change motion before the committee. With the intention of removing the Prime Minister as soon as possible.

Executive Secretary Evans tells Guido that “I’ll move a rule change… it may even be forthwith… with immediate effect as a one off.” Guido hears the committee is more likely than ever before to accept a change in the rules that will shorten the protected time following a leadership no confidence vote from twelve months to six, or even the swift one off scenario, meaning May could be forced from out 12th June, or even as early as next week. Gove says the WAB itself will be published today – if the details are as ugly as expected it could be the final straw. If she goes before Monday she won’t even pass Gordon Brown’s tenure…

May’s ‘Bold Offer’: Make Deal Even Harder to Escape

Theresa May has been busy working on a “bold offer” as a final throw of the dice to try to get her Brexit Deal through. This morning the Cabinet found out what it is. Early reports suggest that her big plan is to keep all the hated parts of her deal but make them even harder for her successor to escape…

A number of previously proposed amendments are expected to be written into the Bill, there will be a regulatory lock between GB and NI, and Parliament will supposedly get a say over whether the backstop comes into force. The problem is that many of these different measures not only contradict themselves, they also contradict the core terms of the treaty. Most problematically, MPs will get a veto over any future tweaks to the UK’s negotiating objectives to the ‘future relationship’…

MPs will have to wait to see the text before reaching their conclusions, the initial signs are the only bold offerings are aimed largely at Labour and Remainer MPs. Nick Boles has welcomed it as having “a lot of big wins for Labour” and a “substantial achievement for their negotiating team”. The ‘concessions’ to Brexiteers look like window dressing that will fall away when the push of the legal text comes to shove. If Brexiteer switchers were looking for an excuse to switch back to opposing the deal, May looks to be giving them the perfect opportunity…

No one is really that worried about the details of the deal, it is being seen by all sides as a last roll of the dice before she goes. Tory MPs Guido spoke to are completely dismissive…

Tears at the ’22

The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton-Dunn reports that during the 1922 Executive meeting, at the point where Theresa May pleaded for more time, she was “very teary”. “Her eyes were very watery”, and she had to blow her nose. The waterworks act worked…

The PM agreed, and the Executive of the 1922 Committee issued this statement:

“The Prime Minister is determined to secure our departure from the European Union and is devoting her efforts to securing the 2nd Reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week commencing 3rd June 2019 and the passage of that Bill and the consequent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union by the summer. We have agreed that she and I will meet following the Second Reading of the Bill to agree a timetable for the election of a new leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.”

Originally the ’22 intended to tell her time was up and she had to set the exit process in motion with a fixed timetable. She now has 2 more weeks to reconcile the irreconcilable…

May’s Approval Ratings Hit All-Time Low, Corbyn’s Still Worse

The latest IpsosMORI survey has found May’s approval ratings have plummeted to an all-time low with 69% of people dissatisfied with her performance and just 26% satisfied, a net rating of -43%. A whopping 84% are dissatisfied with the Government in general, while May’s personal disapproval is the highest for a Tory leader since IDS in 2002. Not the news she wanted right as the 1922 Executive go in to meet her…

The one consolation for May is that Jeremy Corbyn is even more unpopular, 73% of people are unhappy with his leadership with only 20% satisfied, putting him on -53%. The fact that the public are 10% more unhappy about the Leader of the Opposition than one of the most hapless Prime Ministers in recent history is staggering…

Peter Bone Calls on May To Go on Behalf of His Members at PMQs

Peter Bone used his PMQ slot to present the Prime Minister with a letter from his local association saying they reject her Withdrawal Agreement and call on her to resign before the EU elections. Punchy.

May Sets Out Her Brexit Endgame

The Government yesterday evening announced that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will return to the Commons on the week beginning 3rd June – with or without an agreed deal with Labour. The announcement came after more talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn that Number 10 described as “useful and constructive” but that failed to produce a breakthrough moment. Talks continue tomorrow, with Labour less hopeful than Number 10 of reaching a stable majority…

This is the final time the Prime Minister can realistically present her Withdrawal Agreement to Parliament. After this vote and a likely defeat the mood in the party is that she will have well and truly run out of road. It will come two weeks after an almost certain drubbing for the Tories in the European Elections, and in the same week as the Peterborough By-Election and Trump’s State Visit. Fireworks guaranteed…

May Billed Taxpayer £2,000 for Sofa Betrayal Video

Theresa May famously took to the Downing Street sofa for a more laid-back feel as she tried to explain to the nation why she had bottled Brexit. It might have gone down better than her dire speech the week before but filming it came at an extra cost to the taxpayer – a £2,041.44 cost in fact, according to an FoI.[…] Read the rest

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