Well done to Vince Cable’s media team, who have finally managed to land him some positive coverage… in the Luxury London magazine for the super-rich. The LibDem leader sat down for an interview with the magazine which “connects premium brands with high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals”. This month Luxury London readers, “the world’s most affluent consumers”, can read all about the latest statement sunglasses, poolside essentials, vintage swimwear, and three pages on how Vince plans to stop Brexit. The fawning dross concludes he is “a parliamentarian who seemingly puts the nation’s interests before his own”. Guido knew Remainers had the support of the elites, but this is something else…
Vince Cable has lost his second chief of staff in eight months after his most senior aide Fiona Cookson left last week. Cookson replaced Sarah Olney in the role at the end of last year – to be fair to Fiona, she lasted much longer than Lol-ney’s ill-fated six week tenure. Cookson was always supposed to leave after six months and she will be moving to a job nearer her young family. Sure applications will be flooding in… diary management a must…
UPDATE:Guido hears former LibDem MPs Simon Hughes and Dan Rogerson have confirmed they are throwing in the towel and will not be standing for parliament again.
What is the point of the LibDems? Last night Vince Cable and Tim Farron missed the vote on the key Brexit amendment. Cable was at a “confidential meeting” elsewhere and Farron was giving a talk in Dorset about evangelism. If they’d bothered to turn up the government’s majority would have been just one. Vince is briefing out that his absence was “cleared by the party chief whip”, while Faz has told the Guardian “I was authorised to be absent”. Both rather cruelly dumping on Alistair Carmichael for the cock up rather than take responsibility for themselves. Carmichael says sorry:
“Last night I messed up. The government squeaked home by just 3 votes in a key amendment. It should have been 1. I was not expecting a close vote – up until 8pm Labour were planning to abstain which would have meant the vote would be lost by hundreds. In fact several Labour MPs voted with the government- which is why they won. By the time it became apparent that the vote was going to be close – it was too late to get two of our MPs back in time to vote. I’m taking responsibility and redoubling my efforts to stop Brexit.”
Is there any party in Westminster that isn’t a total shambles?
BBC: You made a comment about all the white faces in front of you. But the fact is you said people who voted for Brexit, an awful lot of them were white.
Cable: That is the case, and that it was a nostalgia for that world, and I think there’s a couple of bits of evidence which support that. I mean, first of all, some of the most effective propaganda at the time, you may remember Farage’s advertisement where queues of dark faced people and that was how the arguments about immigration was presented. The – you know – I spent a lot of the referendum campaign going round, you know, mostly in sort of prosperous country areas, they weren’t deprived areas of the North and the overwhelming reason people were giving for voting the way they were, and they were predominantly older groups, were about immigration and when people thought about immigration they weren’t predominantly thinking about people from Eastern Europe.
Vince Cable unapologetic about his attempt over the weekend to suggest the 52% are a load of old racists…
Vince Cable reckons that under any post-Brexit US-UK trade deal the Americans would be:
“Looking for [their] private sector to have a bite of NHS contracts. That’s what they wanted when negotiating TTIP and that’s what they’ll want after Brexit.”
He went on about it again at PMQs yesterday. Classic scaremongering from Vince, another example of Remainers weaponising the NHS. Downing Street said yesterday:
“The UK’s public health sector is protected by specific exceptions and reservations in all EU trade arrangements and, as we leave the EU, the UK will continue to ensure that rigorous protections for the NHS are included in all trade agreements it is party to.”
It’s also a real change of tune from Vince. Back in 2014 when he was bashing UKIP for opposing TTIP, he said he was “genuinely baffled” by fears that the US private sector could get involved in the NHS under any trade deal. Directly contradicting what he says now. Who’s right, 2014 Vince or 2018 Vince?
Vince Cable is leading the LibDems into oblivion and party staff know it – just read these concernedbriefings against him over the last few days. There has been an exodus from HQ, with head of press Jasper Gerard, spinner Paul Haydon and head of digital Michael Wilkinson all off. The salaries on offer are very low and some jobs are having to be re-advertised as no suitable replacements have applied. Knives are out for Cable, whose dreary leadership is being blamed across all sections of the party. So what has Vince told Politico is his New Year’s resolution?
The LibDems’ youth wing has condemned Vince Cable’s defence of Lord Rennard yesterday. Cable told the BBC he didn’t regret having the pervy peer help out on his campaign and rather unwisely told LibDem women to “move on”. Unsurprisingly that has gone down like a cup of sick with the Young Liberals:
“We at Young Liberals are disappointed to hear Vince Cable defending Lord Rennard’s involvement during his election campaign this year. Alistair Webster QC, who conducted an earlier investigation into the Rennard allegations on behalf of the party, made a statement saying “let me be clear from the outset that the evidence suggests that Lord Rennard’s behaviour has caused distress to a number of women, so much so that they came forward several years after the event in question”.
As part of Young Liberals Policy, Lord Rennard is banned from attending all Young Liberals events, and our members can refuse to work with him without fear of disciplinary action.”
LibDem insiders say the truth is doddery Cable is totally out of touch with the modern world on sexual harassment and doesn’t understand why LibDem women have a problem with Rennard. They say Vince has to be strong-armed into making any critical noises about Rennard and had to be talked down from giving him an official job. LibDems have been depressed by Cable’s tin ear on this issue…
Vince Cable has told BBC 5 Live’s Emma Barnett that he does not regret having Lord Rennard help out on his campaign in Twickenham in June. Confronted with Guido’s story that Rennard was in Vince’s campaign office on polling day, went leafleting outside Twickenham station and posed for photos with Cable and his constituents, Cable admitted:
“He did come as a volunteer. I had hundreds of volunteers. He’s a party member; he came along and did some canvassing and supported us, as he did with other MPs and candidates. I don’t regret he came as a volunteer. The position is, he’s an ordinary party member, he comes and helps and knocks on doors like hundreds of other people, and he came and supported my campaign.”
Cable also backed Rennard’s continuing LibDem membership, saying the party should “move on”:
“He clearly is the focus of a great deal of critical comment. I want the party to move on… I don’t want every conversation to go back to what happened 10 years ago with him. His position is not a comfortable one, but he is still a party member and I think that’s where it should rest.”
Not sure LibDem women will be particularly impressed at being told to “move on”…
Last week Guido told how Jeremy Corbyn, Wes Streeting, Stephen Kinnock, Naz Shah and Afzal Khan hosted MEND in parliament. MEND is an extremist-linked group whose senior figures have praised Al-Qaeda, attended speeches by al-Qaeda hate preachers, and justified the murder of British troops. The latest politician to fall for their scam is Vince Cable, who has appeared in a video for the group name-checking them and praising their work. Presumably Vince doesn’t know what they’re really like – he can click on the links above and see for himself. Corbyn and Sayeeda Warsi also appeared in the video. Why do politicians keep palling up to this sinister bunch of wrong ‘uns?
An 82 strong group of LibDem mainly women activists have signed an open letter to Vince Cable accusing the party of covering up sexual assaults and harassment. The letter, signed by dozens of female activists over the last two days, says the party did not “adequately look into” an allegation of assault against a male LibDem, warns this is not an “isolated case” and says “the party is failing” at dealing with harassment:
We didn’t want to resort to this. This should have been dealt with effectively by Liberal Democrats HQ, but instead we have been left with no choice but to pen this letter. When a group of young women put forward allegations of sexual assault against a fellow member of the party in July 2017 we expected a thorough investigation. Instead the allegations against the accused were not adequately looked into and a suspension only occurred two days ago.
We wish this were an isolated case, but these stories are common within the party. After the allegations about Lord Rennard, we were promised a change in the complaints procedure. It is evident this has not happened.
Three days ago, you sent an email to all members pledging to stamp out harassment and assault in the party. Right now the party is failing at this. It has been days since we first went public with this situation and all we have heard is attempts to justify the party’s behaviour.
We want a full review into the procedure for dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and assault and for the recommendations of the review to be properly implemented. We want more comprehensive support for those who come forward, so people can report with complete confidence that the party will treat their case with the full consideration it deserves.
We are disappointed, Vince. We love this party. We believe that our principles of tolerance, equality and freedom are worth fighting for, but currently the party is not living up to them. We want this party to be a safe environment for all members, and we urge you to take action.
Vince welcomed Rennard back into the fold, these LibDem activists know he doesn’t get it…
Vince Cable has joined in the condemnation of the Westminster sex pest revelations, saying in a statement last night that parliament needs to do better at dealing with allegations of harassment:
“The Prime Minister is right to be calling for these changes. Parliament clearly needs improved procedures to respond to allegations of harassment. The Liberal Democrats have introduced similar changes since a review in 2013, which has proved a positive step.”
How does Sir Vince deal with harassment allegations? Infamous wrong ‘un Lord Rennard ran Cable’s campaign in Twickenham in June, he was in Vince’s campaign office on polling day, went leafleting outside Twickenham station and posed for photos with Cable and his constituents. Here they are together on the campaign:
Tell us again Vince about how seriously you take harassment allegations…
Guido’s story about pervy peer Chris Rennard worming his way back in with the LibDems has caused quite a row. Rennard is an old friend of Cable – more modern-minded LibDems say their leader is too old school to understand why it is not appropriate for their Harvey Weinstein to still be knocking about. Rennard ran Cable’s campaign in Twickenham in June, he was in Vince’s campaign office on polling day, went leafleting outside Twickenham station and posed for photos with Cable and his constituents. The LibDems are rumoured to be having a reshuffle this afternoon, and Vince is said to be considering promoting Rennard to an official role. This is causing immense anger among senior LibDems, who are threatening “civil war” if Cable attempts to get his old mate back in. Surely Vince can see the problem, though don’t remember him joining the criticism of Weinstein this week…
UPDATE:No “shadow cabinet” job for Rennard in the reshuffle. Would have been a bold move from Vince.
Tricky outing for Vince Cable on Question Time last night. First he was schooled by a young Brexiteer who challenged his delusions about becoming Prime Minister. Then he was taken to task over his party’s record on tuition fees:
You’d have thought she could do with a break (not that kind of Brake) but no, Sarah Olney is back in Westminster. Guido hears she is Sir Vince Cable’s star hire as his new chief of staff. Lol-ney’s CV clearly blew all other candidates out of the water: who can forget her Julia Hartley-Brewer brain fade, her even worse Evening Standardinterview, the time she told LibDems to vote Labour, her boasting about her “nice house”, her campaign porkies, her backing Brexit and then fibbing about it, and her Zac Goldsmith marmite row. Did no one else apply?
This afternoon James Chapman claimed Vince Cable will be helping him launch his new party:
It’s news to Vince. A LibDem spokesman says Cable may attend anti-Brexit events but will not have anything to do with ‘The Democrats’:
“There is no question whatsoever of Vince Cable supporting the launch of a new party, as James Chapman is suggesting. A new party is completely unnecessary.”
During literally hundreds of non-stop tweets today Chapman has repeatedly called Theresa May and his former boss David Davis “Nazis“. He has also had an interview with Channel 4 News cancelled diplomatically for “technical reasons”. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Journalists and Remainers enabling this single-sourced nonsense need to take a look in the mirror…