Attacker Was Three Unlocked Doors Away From PM

Guido’s revelation yesterday that there were just three unlocked doors between the attacker and the PM and other MPs has been followed up by the Telegraph, Sun, Mail, Mirror and Times Red Box. Our map was publicly available – there are numerous non-publicly available security concerns which Guido has decided not to publish, but that we understand are the subject of discussions between concerned MPs and the parliamentary authorities. It goes without saying that there are significant concerns about the security at the Carriage Gates perimeter, and over procedures during divisions. There is a lot of gratitude towards Michael Fallon’s bodyguard this morning, and anger that he was the last line of defence…

Cleverly Calls For Posthumous Honour For PC Keith Palmer

Tory MP James Cleverly, who had known PC Keith Palmer for 25 years and served with him in the Royal Artillery, calls for him to be awarded a posthumous honour for bravery. Theresa May appears to agree.

May: Attacker British-Born, Investigated By MI5 Years Ago

Theresa May tells the Commons the attacker’s identity was known to police and MI5. She says he was British-born and was investigated years ago by MI5 in relation to extremism. She says he was not in the “current intelligence picture”…

“Come on Eileen!”

Luckily today’s PMQs saw a return to the pantomime of days past thanks to the Labour leader’s decision to read a letter from Eileen, a primary school teacher. Here I’m disappointed to report that it took Tory wags a full 30 seconds to start shouting “Come on Eileen!” back across the chamber: an in-form Alec Shelbrooke or Nigel Evans would be expected to make such a quip in sub-20 seconds normally (sub-10 on a good day).

In subsequent sessions we can no doubt expect Jeremy Corbyn to brandish a letter from Roxanne “who has been shamefully forced into putting on the red light to pay her way through college”; Lola, who the Labour Leader “met in a club down in Old Soho where SHE – and I won’t let any transphobe say otherwise – told me that a lack of proper Government regulation means HER – again, I repeat, she is a woman – champagne tastes just like cherry Cola!”; and of course Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbara Ann who is apparently “suffering so badly from Tory cuts that they’ve got her “rockin’ and a-rollin’, rockin’ and a-reelin’, Barbara Ann” (her words not mine, Mr. Speaker)”.

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May Attacks Corbynistas’ Grammar Educations

Theresa May went ad hominem at PMQs, attacking Labour’s frontbench for pulling up the drawbridge. As Guido has noted previously:

  • Jeremy Corbyn – Attended a grammar school. His son went to a grammar school.
  • John McDonnell – Attended a grammar school.
  • Seumas Milne – Sent both his son and daughter to grammar schools.
  • Diane Abbott – Attended a grammar school and sent her son to a private school.
  • Jon Trickett – Attended a grammar school.
  • Grahame Morris – Attended a grammar school.
  • Paul Flynn – Attended a grammar school.

Another happy reader…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 John Mann (Bassetlaw) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 22 March.

02 Lucy Allan (Telford)

Q3 Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)

04 Charlie Elphicke (Dover)

05 Alex Cunningham (Stockton North)

06 Sir Julian Brazier (Canterbury)

07 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

08 Chris Evans (lslwyn)

09 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)

Q10 Pete Wishart(Perth and North Perthshire)

Q11 John Stevenson (Carlisle)

Q12 Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)

Q13 Huw Merriman (Bexhill and Battle)

Q14 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)

Comments in the comments…

5 Things That Could Beat Corbyn at PMQs

Yes another week, another PMQs self-immolation from Westminster’s very own equivalent of a protesting Buddhist monk who sets himself on fire. Or “doing a Corbyn” as they now know it in Saigon.

So dismal was the Labour leader’s interrogation (he actually only managed to use two of his six questions), today we will look at five unlikely things that could best Jeremy Corbyn in a PMQs matchup. Opponents will be ranked by ease of their victories over the Labour leader.

  1. Stephen Hawking

“Ah”, I hear you say, “there is no way that Stephen Hawking could beat Jeremy Corbyn, it takes him ages to synthesise his speech and as such he has to plan out all of his sentences far in advance!”. And? Well, both men have to know what they’re going to say before they get to the Chamber and both have an extremely limited ability to deviate off track. However only one of these men is a theoretical physicist who understands the range of possible outcomes he could have to react to, and that is the clincher. Also, he’s easier on the ear. Stephen Hawking wins this bout comfortably, memorably telling Jeremy Corbyn that he’s met black holes with more warmth than him.

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Corbyn Only Asked Two Questions at PMQs

Corbyn had six questions at PMQs. He only asked two. One was about schools.

Question 1: “Big business evades a lot of national insurance through bogus self employment.” No question.

Question 2: “What is she going to do to fill that Budget black hole?” Question.

Question 3: “It is a grossly unfair system where those in self employment pay some national insurance, employers do not and benefit from it. That is a gross injustice which has to be addressed.” No question.

Question 4: “Cuts to social care and cuts to people with disabilities. That is the agenda of her government and everybody knows it.” No question.

Question 5: “Can she say what she’s doing to help the worst off and poorest in our society rather than continuing cutting local government expenditure, schools expenditure and underfunding social care.” Question, about schools.

Question 6: “What she has to do is address the issues of injustice and inequality in our society, and a government that’s dedicated to widening the gap, not helping those that are hard up, working self-employed to try and make ends meet, and not getting access to any benefits at the same time.” No question.

As May said, “I don’t think the Right Honourable gentleman has quite got the hang of this. He’s supposed to ask a question.” Extraordinary…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Huw Merriman (Bexhill and Battle) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 15 March.

Q2 Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth)

Q3 Jeremy Quin (Horsham)

Q4 Mike Weir (Angus)

Q5 Mr Andrew Turner

Q6 Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen)

Q7 Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet)

Q8 Will Quince (Colchester)

Q9 Callum McCaig (Aberdeen South)

Q10 Victoria Atkins (Louth and Horncastle)

Q11 Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)

Q12 Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)

Q13 Ms Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (Ochil and South Perthshire)

Q14 Hannah Bardell (Livingston)

Comments in the comments…

Pro-Bercow FOI Answered 2 Weeks Faster Than Average

Remember that Freedom of Information response disclosing that John Bercow had received over 3,000 letters and emails in support of his Trump ban? Guido can reveal the FoI in question was received on 15 February and answered on the very same day. As anyone who regularly fires off FoIs knows, such promptness is highly unusual. Indeed, the authorities admit that the average time taken to respond to FoI requests pertaining to the Speaker is 13 days. Surely the Speaker wouldn’t dream of accelerating the process to rush out a good news story while he was fighting for his career…

May: “Royal Assent in Coming Days”

Taking her time…

LibDem Peer: Brexit Like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin

LibDem peer Lord Taverne with the maddest contribution to the Brexit bill debate last night:

“It is a very dangerous step towards the doctrine that the people’s will must always prevail. My Lords, this is the doctrine which has always been Hitler, by Mussolini, by Stalin, by Erdogan at this present time. It is denial of the essence of democracy which we have supported to great effect in this country, and now we are abandoning it. My Lords we are the guardians of parliamentary democracy, we are right in this, we are the democrats and we are right to support the democratic cause.”

An insight worth £300 a day…

Vid via @wallaceme

Brexit Bill Passes

The Brexit bill passes through the Lords, its final hurdle in parliament before gaining Royal Assent. And then at last Theresa May can trigger Article 50. Another historic moment…

Lords Amendments Defeated

Both Lords amendments have been overturned in the Commons tonight.

The amendment on EU nationals’ rights was defeated by 335 to 287, a majority of 48.

The amendment on a “meaningful vote” was defeated by 331-286, a majority of 45.

Bill passes unamended. Back to the Lords now…

PMQs & Budget Double Bill


Jeremy Corbyn kicked PMQs off today by bragging about his party’s impeccable record on gender equality, boasting more women MPs than all other parties in this House combined”. One of which he’d even bonked himself and then promoted to the front bench![…] Read the rest

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May’s Weird Shoulder Laugh


Jeremy Corbyn somehow manages to blaze the Surrey council open goal over the bar at PMQs. And Theresa May is loving it…[…] Read the rest

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PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 8 March.

Q2 Maggie Throup (Erewash)

Q3 Chris Green (Bolton West)

Q4 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) What recent assessment she has made of the (a) performance of the economy and (b) adequacy of provision of public services in the Midlands Engine region; and if she will make a statement.[…] Read the rest

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The Bumble in the Jungle

It’s a boxing cliché that bouts between fighters of different styles make for the most exciting spectacle: think slugger Joe Frazier facing off against a dancing Muhammad Ali, or Iron Mike bobbing and weaving his way through a succession of opponents throwing out straight jabs.[…] Read the rest

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Tories Troll Corbyn With Copeland Swearing In

The Tories rub salt into Corbyn’s wounds by swearing in Trudy Harrison immediately after PMQs. Jez is forced to watch Copeland’s new Tory MP take her seat…[…] Read the rest

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May’s Weird “Incredible” Joke

What was that?[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

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