Selmayr: It Wasn’t Me

Last time May had dinner with Juncker his hated aide Martin Selmayr leaked the whole thing to German newspaper FAZ, causing a minor diplomatic incident. Well, the same journalist at the same paper has had another well-informed briefing of Juncker’s view of last week’s dinner. Apparently May “begged”, looked “despondent”, “under her eyes she wears deep rings”, “like someone who does not sleep” and she is “tormented”. Nice.

Former May chief of staff Nick Timothy named Selmayr as the source. He responds:

Selmayr is known as “the monster” so sure we can believe his denial. Reminder that for all the talk of splits on the UK side, the EU is on another level when it comes to poisonous briefings and ideologues undermining the process…

Fox: “I’d Take Up Being a Long Distance Swimmer”

PMQs Sketch: Red Sky at Night, Jez’s Delight

Now we know what the red sky meant. This was the week Jeremy Corbyn (68, MI5 watchlist, 2 E’s at A-Level) would finally win at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Before we begin, might we just take a moment to wonder: what does it say about Britain and its government that this outrageous old fool has come so far? This is the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Question time. The eyes of the world are fixed on the ancient, near-holy place. Around the globe in TV news control rooms, in bureaucrats’ offices and Ambassadors’ residences, in palaces and parliaments, serious people with serious faces make communion with this weekly High Mass of democracy.

And who do they see beating up the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, the Frank Spencer of politicians, a man with the intellectual prowess of a peanut and the verbal agility of a concrete bollard. Is this weekly national disgrace behind the fall in the pound? How they must laugh at us in capital cities from Athens to Addis Ababa…

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About “Corbyn’s Best PMQs”…

It only took one of the most disastrous weeks for a Prime Minister in modern British political history to spur Jeremy Corbyn into a barely half-competent PMQs performance. If Jez can install a hard-leftist as May’s ENT specialist, block book the nation’s comic hecklers, get a Momentum plant in a Velcro factory and arrange for Tory conference to be held weekly he’ll be really flying.

Until then pundits are at risk of overstating Jezza’s new-found ‘proficiency’, which entirely consisted in just about managing to ask all of questions on the same half-tricky topic in the right order. Farcically, he still can’t go on Brexit…

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“Whoops”

Not sure it was rage, more carelessness judging by the “whoops” and smirk from the PM…

May Won’t Say She’d Vote Leave

Speaking to Iain Dale tonight Theresa May couldn’t say how she would vote if there was a referendum now:

May: “I voted Remain for good reasons at the time, but circumstances move on… You’re asking me to say how would I vote in a vote now against a different background, a different international background, a different economic background…”

Dale: “You can’t tell me that you would now vote Leave in a referendum?”

May: “I.. Because… I think… Iain… I could sit here and I could say oh I’d still vote Remain or I’d vote Leave just to give you an answer to that question. I’m being open and honest with you. What I did last time round was I looked at everything and came to a judgement and I’d do exactly the same this time round.”

Honest answer which will result in terrible front pages tomorrow. May will need to figure out before PMQs tomorrow if she would support the government’s main policy if there was a second referendum…

May Phone In LIVE

May’s Approval Rating Continues to Plummet

A year ago Theresa May had phenomenal double-digit approval ratings, she had an incredible 40 point margin over Corbyn. Since the snap-election her net approval rating has plummeted. At -17 she now has a worse approval rating than Jeremy Corbyn (-5). An extraordinary turnaround in ratings… 

May’s ‘Nothing Has Changed’ Statement

“What the country needs is calm leadership, that is exactly what I am providing, with the full support of my Cabinet.”

Shapps claimed he had several Cabinet ministers joining his plot. Put up or shut up time…

Tory MP: May Should Quit… In 25 Years

As Tory MPs publicly insist Theresa May must stay, veteran backbencher James Gray perhaps takes the theme a little far:

“She’s currently 62, some Prime Ministers have lasted until at least 84 so that gives her 22, 25 years to go. I very much hope she will continue for many years to come.”

That’s loyalty…

Vaizey: “Quite a Few” Want May to Resign

Ed Vaizey tells his local radio station “quite a few” Tory MPs want Theresa May to resign. Asked if he was one of them, he replied: “I’m finding it increasingly difficult to see a way forward”. Lot of Remainers on manoeuvres this morning too…

Tories “Have No Idea… Burying Their Heads in the Sand”

Adam Smith Institute

Executive Director Sam Bowman said:

“It’s tempting to laugh at today’s speech but really it was quite sad. The Tories seem to have no idea what to do about housing, because they’re so afraid of alienating their base that they won’t do any substantive policy that could properly boost the supply of new homes. Again and again this week people asked how to connect with younger voters – the simple answer is to give them somewhere to live… Planning is the huge bottleneck here that is stopping millions of new houses from being built privately and affordably, and if the Conservatives are going to bury their heads in the sand about that then eventually voters will punish them for it.”

Institute of Directors:

Stephen Martin, Director General, said:

“You have a Conservative Party which talks about the importance of markets, but then tinkers around with help to buy and energy price caps. What are business leaders meant to make of it all? At this pivotal moment in this country’s history, far too little time has been spent explaining the plan for how we leave the European Union, or debating how we tackle the long-term challenges that face our economy. We have had positive messages on the importance of skills, and more funding for transport in the North, but we need to see serious proposals at the Budget to boost what is now wavering confidence in the wider economy.”

TaxPayers’ Alliance

John O’Connell, Chief Executive said:

“Despite claiming to be the ‘party of low taxes’, the current government plans to increase the tax burden to levels unseen since the 1960s. If the government is serious about solving the housing crisis then it needs to take on vested interests and NIMBYs, but sadly there’s little sign that that they have the courage to do so. The Prime Minister is right that families are struggling to cope with the rise in energy bills, and this is due to green taxes and subsidies. Instead of intervening in the market, the Government should stand up to the green lobby and slash unnecessary taxes and subsidies that artificially inflate the cost of energy for families.”

Institute of Economic Affairs:

Mark Littlewood, Director General, said:

“The Prime Minister’s encouraging rhetoric was followed up with the wrong policies… we have heard from leading Conservatives this week how free market capitalism is so beneficial. But we haven’t heard a single coherent policy that would make the UK a more free market economy. Rather we’ve had a string of announcements about how the Tories wish to place greater power in the hands of the state. May’s comments about being a supporter of free markets should at best be taken with a pinch of salt, but at worse look to be untrue.” 

The coughing and prankster arguably a welcome distraction from the Ed Miliband-lite policies…

Strong and Strepsil

Well played No10 spin team…

F Off May Slogan

The moment the “F” fell off the slogan behind the PM…

May Loses Her Voice

Huge ovation for May as she loses her voice and has to stop her speech. The audience have their heads in their hands. Gotta feel for her…

UPDATE: May-sceptic MPs texting sympathetic thoughts:

“People will rally behind her. She looks human. Others will look cruel.”

“Issues beyond her control pushing her around and she pushed through. Epic sense of duty and dignity” 

Prankster Hands May P45

The prankster was ‘comedian’ Simon Brodkin / Lee Nelson, so not a Tory member. May recovered well with the comeback: “I was about to talk about somebody I’d like to give a P45 too, and that’s Jeremy Corbyn“. Naff stunt.

May: I Am Sorry

Theresa Bartlet

Theresa May is set to say in her speech:

“It is when tested the most that we reach deep within ourselves and find that our capacity to rise to the challenge before us may well be limitless.”

President Bartlet:

“Every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless.”

Number 10 plagiarising the West Wing?

Saj Late For Wife Date

Asked by Niall Paterson, Sajid Javid says he walked out of an interview with the Observer when they asked if he thought May should fight the next election because he was late for a date with his wife. “It’s as simple as that…”

May Won’t Say If Boris is Unsackable

Theresa May declined to say that Boris is unsackable on Marr this morning.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Corbynista media cheerleader Aaron Bastani says his friend Clive Lewis’s “b*tch” comment was:

“beneath any parliamentarian”

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