May: No UK PM Could Accept EU Draft Text on Northern Ireland

Try again, Michel…

May: Conceding Control of Laws, Borders and Money Would Be a “Betrayal”

Leavers will be filing this clip away for the future… very difficult for May to backslide now she’s said doing so would be a “betrayal”…

Paw Law

Yesterday in Parliament (Hansard)

Rosie Duffield Labour, Canterbury
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has assessed the potential merits of introducing a new criminal offence of theft of a pet.

George Eustice, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Theft of a pet is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968. The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment. The Sentencing Council updated its guidelines in relation to sentencing for theft offences in February 2016. The guidelines take account of the emotional distress and therefore harm that theft of personal items such as a pet can have on the victim and accordingly recommends higher penalties for such offences.

Barking mad…

MPs Told: ‘Don’t Tell People Your Passwords’

The Information Commissioner’s office has written to MPs to remind them not to share their usernames and passwords with others. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham wrote to all MPs this week:

“My office observed reports from social media in early December 2017 in which a number of Members openly revealed their practice of sharing their login details and passwords. I was concerned by these reports and have decided to write to all Members to highlight the importance of following good practice in respect of password management and information security.”

During the Damian Green scandal press reports noted the practice of MPs sharing their passwords with staff. Sharing passwords could give MPs plausible deniability over their online actions…

The letter from the ICO came to MPs in the notoriously impregnable form of a Microsoft Word document. The properties tab in Word revealed the username of the document’s author and members of ICO staff who had edited it. Some way to go to achieve max info sec…

Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks”

Doesn’t take a lip reader to work out what BoJo thought of that Corbyn question…

Terror Cops Probe “White Powder” Sent to Parliament

The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command are investigating after a letter containing “white powder” was sent to Amber Rudd’s office in Parliament. A Met Police spokesman said:

“At approximately 1136hrs on Tuesday, 13 February, police were informed of a suspicious package that had been delivered to an office within the Palace of Westminster. Police are at the scene and dealing.

“The letter contained a white powder which is currently being assessed by specialists. The office remains closed at this time, but the rest of the Palace of Westminster is open.

“Detectives from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command have been informed and are investigating.”

A House of Commons spokesman said the powder is “non-harmful”:

“Today the Metropolitan Police investigated a small package containing white powder on the Parliamentary Estate. The powder was found to be non-harmful.”

Parliament is in recess so most MPs are absent from Westminster, though their staff are still working on the Parliamentary Estate. The building was not put into lock-down.

Get in touch if you have any info on this developing story…

May Brought Statistics to a Knife Fight

Armed and dangerous they roam the dingy streets of London at night, drink fuelled and deadly, with nothing less than murderous intent. Increasingly they are the talk of Britain: in newspaper headlines their threats are made with malice, this is an outbreak, a veritable epidemic, some have said, a wave, little less than a plague. Yes, Theresa May’s Cabinet presents a knife crime threat like no other London gang, and as Jeremy Corbyn tried and failed to slam the PM to rights over law and order it was her own front bench that sat sharpening their weapons. As the pair traded barbs over crime numbers – recorded or otherwise –  it was the unknown, secret statistic that increasingly played on the Prime Minister’s mind. The precise number of letters of no confidence in Graham Brady’s safe… 

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Corbyn: ‘Crime is Wrong’


Corbyn confirmed his strong grasp of basic law and order policy at PMQs:

“I am very clear that crime is of course wrong.”

In an exchange about knife crime he went on to suggest “rehabilitation” and “community service orders.” Jail?

PMQs: Watch Live

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Liz McInnes (Heywood and Middleton) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 7 February.

Q2 Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet)

Q3 Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham)

Q4 Jenny Chapman (Darlington)

Q5 Philip Davies (Shipley)

Q6 Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

Q7 Dr Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire)

Q8 Ged Killen (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)

Q9 Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire)

Q10 Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

Q11 Derek Thomas (St Ives)

Q12 Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South)

Q13 Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon)

Q14 Thelma Walker (Colne Valley)

Comments in the comments…

Peers Brand “Self-Serving, Petulant” Adonis a ‘Moon Loon’

Last night the Lords gave a unanimous second reading to the EU Withdrawal Bill and it’s now in committee (that’s where the real battles will be fought). Remainiac-in-chief Lord Adonis withdrew his prized amendment calling for a ‘motion of regret’ that there will not be a second referendum. Adonis’s fellow peers took the mickey out of him throughout the debate.

Lord Cavendish described Adonis’s resignation letter as “long winded, self-serving and petulant”. Lord Forsyth suggested Adonis was suffering from lunar-induced madness on the occasion of the super ‘blue blood’ moon. Adonis was branded a moon loon.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Owen Jones, staunch Blair ally Adonis lavished praise on Jeremy Corbyn and announced he is ready to serve in a Corbyn government. Adonis said:

“I knew Jeremy well when I lived in Islington, he was my MP… I think he’s done a phenomenal job of putting Labour back on the map… if there was a Labour government formed by Jeremy Corbyn I would definitely serve… I’d want to be transport secretary… I could get HS2 opened two years earlier than at the moment.”

In a breathless exchange Adonis also laid it on thick with Jones, telling him:

“I missed one key player Owen – you. When it comes to the campaign to stay in the European Union on behalf of the working people of Britain… alongside Jeremy and Ruth Davidson there will need to be Owen Jones. You will mobilise the under 35s. They will come out as never before. Everywhere I go, I speak at a lot of university meetings and they tell me ‘do you know that Owen Jones and what we can do to get him to come and speak here?'”

That moon sure was powerful…

Big Chief Thornberry Fails to Land a Blow

“YABBADABBADOO” screams Emily Thornberry, beating her fists against her plenteous chest like a gorilla as she dances around the Corbynista totem pole while dawn breaks over the plain. It’s only Lidders today, a mere sliver of a chap, no match for our club-swinging, man-eating Big Chief Thorners, 2018’s Boudica. It is said Emily Thornberry is the only woman to share a bloodline with Cleopatra, Elizabeth I and Marta Hari. It is said that Emily Thornberry never speaks to men, but when she does, she breathes fire on them and they spontaneously combust. A man for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and a dozen on a bad day.

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Minister Resigns and Walks Out For Missing Question

DfiD minister Lord Bates has just resigned from the government, telling the Lords he hadn’t met the standards required by his office – because he forgot to turn up to answer a question. Not the first time he’s resigned in curious circumstances: in March 2016 he quit as Minister of State at the Home Office in order to undertake a 2000-mile solo walk from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro.

Colleagues on all sides protested and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lords has called for him to unresign, insisting it was only a minor discourtesy:

At least someone in the Lords has some honour! Or maybe he’s just had enough…

“Cavemen” v “Grow Up” – Double Sexism PMQs Faux Outrage

Labour are calling Lidders sexist for telling Thornberry to “grow up”, and Number 10 have even slapped him down and said May would not have used that language.

Meanwhile some Tory MPs are saying Thorners is sexist for calling them a “coalition of cavemen”.

How about everyone calms down and gets off the outrage bus…

Thornberry Thinks 16 Years Olds Should Have Right to Vote But Not Use Sunbeds

Good Lidders smackdown of Thornberry’s votes-at-16 nonsense. “It was the last Labour government that raised the age for using a sunbed to 18”. Thorners on poor form as she transparently tries to butter up the Corbyn youth vote for her leadership bid…

DPMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

The Prime Minister is in China. David Lidington is deputising, Labour field Emily Thornberry.

Q1 Ian Mearns (Gateshead) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 31 January.

Q2 Mr Mark Harper (Forest of Dean)

Q3 Colin Clark (Gordon)

Q4 Mr David Lammy (Tottenham)

Q5 Mr Ranil Jayawardena (North East Hampshire)

Q6 Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge)

Q7 Alex Cunningham (Stockton North)

Q8 Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst)

Q9 Ged Killen (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)

Q10 Richard Drax (South Dorset)

Q11 John Mann (Bassetlaw)

Q12 Angela Crawley (Lanark and Hamilton East)

Q13 Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South)

Q14 Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire)

Q15 Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay)

Comments in the comments…

Brexit-Bashing Peers Turn Lords into “Remain Echo-Chamber”

Yesterday’s EU Withdrawal Bill debate in the House of Lords saw Brexit-bashing peers at their ermine-clad, sneering worst. Lord Bilmoria said Brexit is “a train crash in slow motion” and compared leaving the EU to the outbreak of the First World War. The Dark Lord, Lord Mandleson, said it is not “axiomatic” that the result of the referendum should be upheld and suggested Brexit could be overturned. Lord Patten whacked the benches as he shouted “I hate referendums!” and denounced Brexit as an “sin against… democracy.” Baroness Wheatcroft used her speech to argue for a second referendum. Lord Adonis whimpered: “don’t let us throw it all away.” You pay each of them £300 a day to luxuriate in what Lord Ridley called “the gilded, crimson echo-chamber for Remain”…

PMQs Sketch: Jez The Builder Should Be Privatised

Jeremy Corbyn should have arrived at PMQs ready to swing a wrecking ball at Theresa May over Carillion, but, in scenes beyond parody, Labour’s Bob the Builder forgot his tools. Geriatric Jez ruined his digs at May by digging himself a hole: yet again he forgot to ask the Prime Minister a question, to which May – somewhat surprisingly – responded:

“I’m very happy to answer questions when the right honourable gentleman asks one. He didn’t.”

To remind Jez to do his job properly, Carillion could offer the bearded wonder a few tried and tested techniques. Fix flashing orange lights to his folder beside each question, perhaps, or equip Labour MPs with fluorescent jackets emblazoned with reflective question marks. Rig up a siren to blare “NOW ASK THE QUESTION”, punctuated by loud beeping, like the audible warning emitted by a reversing lorry. Get a demolition team in (there should be a few short of work now), fix explosive charges to the Labour front bench, and detonate one every time Corbyn speaks for more than a minute without asking anything. Alternatively, equip loudmouth Thornberry with a nailgun, and let her remind the fool who’s boss every time he cocks up…

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PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 17 January.

Q2 Mr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough)

Q3 Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington)

Q4 David Linden (Glasgow East)

Q5 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)

Q6 Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West)

Q7 Dr Lisa Cameron (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

Q8 David Simpson (Upper Bann)

Q9 Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe)

Q10 Alex Norris (Nottingham North)

Q11 Imran Hussain (Bradford East)

Q12 Stephen Timms (East Ham)

Q13 Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)

Q14 Sir Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk)

Q15 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)

Comments in the comments…

Sleepy Swayne Nods Off During Clarke Remain Speech

Desmond Swayne appears to nod off during Ken Clarke’s droning remainer speech in the Commons. Definitely deliberate from Dessy, he must have known he was in shot…[…] Read the rest

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Bill Cash, the original Brexiter, tells The Daily Politics he distinguishes…

“…between being in the customs union and a customs union… what a customs union means is something yet to be resolved.”

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