Corbynistas Hold Boozy Victory Party as Moderates Vacate HQ

As moderate staff resigned their jobs at Labour HQ and Jennie Formby replaced Iain McNicol as General Secretary last night, leading Corbynistas celebrated seizing control at a boozy victory party at the Two Chairmen pub. The guestlist for the private upstairs room was a who’s who of the hard-left. Diane Abbott was one of the first to arrive and stayed for hours, she was followed shortly afterwards by Seumas Milne, who as ever spent most of the night on the phone, and Emily Thornberry, who spent most of it chain smoking outside. They were joined later on by Len McCluskey, the father of Formby’s child, then Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, the disgraced Ian Lavery, and a host of Leader’s Office aides including Corbyn’s spokesman James Schneider. John McDonnell turned up late. The bash was organised by Jezza’s fixer Karie Murphy. Guido didn’t spot withdrawn candidate Jon Lansman – perhaps he was NFI. The night the Corbynistas took full control, toasted with Peronis as their comrades at Labour HQ lost their jobs…

Tories 3 Points Clear of Labour, UKIP on 1%

UKIP look done, and another poll putting the Tories ahead of Labour…

Gloria De Piero’s Office Manager Still In Job Despite Defecting to Tories

Gloria de Piero’s office manager has defected to the Tories but remains employed by the Labour MP tonight, Guido can reveal. Lee Anderson defected to the Tories this morning and posed for pictures with local Tory MP Ben Bradley. Yet sources familiar with the situation confirm Anderson remains employed by de Piero this evening. He has not resigned his job or been sacked. A source close to de Piero and Anderson says: “It’s a bit of a headache. It is a conversation that will have to happen”. Pretty sharpish, you’d think.

A second Labour councillor in Ashfield, Chris Baron, a former Labour council leader, has also defected to the Tories today alongside Anderson. Guido understands the pair were fed up with Momentum bullying and intimidation and the last straw was an Owen Jones event in their patch a few weeks ago. The hard-left is always asking Labour moderates “why don’t you just go and join the Tories?”. Well it seems these two have taken their advice…

Brexit Fish Throwing WILL Go Ahead

Breaking fish throwing news from Fishing for Leave:

The fishing boat Holladays R8 will pass through Tower Bridge at 0800 WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH and sail upriver before tying up at Embankment pier 0830. Where there will then be a press conference with the chairman of the ERG, Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP, and other Conservative MPs with fishing constituencies. 

The Holladays will then sail with Craig McKinley, MP, and Ross Thompson, MP, and set off again and pass parliament, where she will symbolically dump fish in protest at the British fishing industry being trapped and subjected to another 21 months of the inept Common Fisheries Policy which could see much of the UK fleet put out of business.

So the Mogg will not fling any fish himself but will give a press conference, then two other MPs will board the boat and the ceremony will be conducted. Above is the vessel from which the fish will be flung. Can’t wait.

Fake LibDem Newspaper Lies to Richmond and Twickenham Voters

Guido has previously reported on how the LibDems produce fake newspapers to hookwink voters – well, this is the most egregious example yet. Residents in Richmond and Twickenham have had a copy of the “Richmond & Twickenham Gazette” through their doors today. It has the appearance of a real newspaper, carrying multiple news reports attacking the government and splashing on a “story” criticising the Tory-controlled Richmond council. Let’s have a look at some of the “reporters” writing for the Gazette…

Piers Allen is described as the paper’s “Social correspondent”, with his byline on an apparent news report attacking the government on poverty and carrying a quote from a local LibDem saying the story is a “damning indictment of the Tory party”. Piers Allen is not a journalist. He is the co-chair of Twickenham & Richmond LibDems and a local LibDem councillor. 

Next the paper runs a story by its “Europe correspondent”, Alicia Bridges-Westcott, writing glowingly about how Vince Cable is “fighting to give you the final say on the Brexit deal”. Guess what? Alicia Bridges-Wescott is not a Europe correspondent. She is the campaign manager for Twickenham & Richmond LibDems. 

It gets worse. A report by “Health correspondent” Simon Drage runs a quote telling readers that “heartless Tory cuts” have caused an “NHS in crisis”. Forget that NHS spending has increased under the Tories. Simon Drage is not a health correspondent. He is the Seat Strategy & Intelligence Officer at LibDem HQ.

Finally we have a story from Jonathan Cardy, apparently the Gazette’s “Finance correspondent”, reporting how the Tories are spending money that could be spent on hospitals on Brexit. It will not surprise you to learn that Jonathan Cardy is not a finance correspondent. He is a LibDem councillor in Richmond.

The only admission that this newspaper is a pack of lies comes in this imprint at the bottom, which confirms it is published by Twickenham & Richmond LibDems. A fake newspaper with fake news and fake journalists – the LibDems are infamous for being the dirtiest campaigners but this is a new low…

Malaysian Government Denies Using Cambridge Analytica

In the Channel 4 News sting Cambridge Analytica’s Alexander Nix claimed to have worked for the Malaysians. The Malaysians say he is bullshitting. Guido knows who actually works for the Malaysians…

Corbyn: I Would Do Business With Putin and Send Russia Novichok Samples

Jeremy Corbyn has told Wato: “Would I do business with Putin? Sure.” and repeated his call to give Russia a sample of the Novichok used on the Skripals. He again stopped short of blaming the Kremlin. When Russia say it isn’t their Novichok, is Corbyn going to believe them?

“McNicol’s Gone, Now It’s Time For the Rest of Them”

The scene outside Labour HQ ahead of today’s NEC general secretary meeting: Jackie ‘Jews financed the slave trade’ Walker and comrades are outside chanting “McNicol’s gone, now it’s time for the rest of them”. Yesterday the departures of Governance Director John Stolliday, PLP secretary Dan Simpson, Patrick Heneghan, Tracey Allen, Julie Lawrence, Neil Fleming, Emilie Oldknow and Simon Jackson were confirmed. The takeover is nearly complete…

Juncker’s Gushing Congratulations to Putin

Juncker offers Putin “congratulations on your re-election” and says “I wish you every success”. So much for that international solidarity with Britain against Russia. Penny for your thoughts, Remainers…

Now Owen in Trans Rights Fight With Trade Unionists and Top Corbyn Aide

A couple of weeks back Guido told how Owen Jones had made himself extremely unpopular with female Guardian colleagues for mansplaining about all-women shortlists. Owen may not care what feminists like Hadley Freeman think, but now it seems his brocialist agitating is causing issues with Team Corbyn. Since Jones cynically betrayed Corbyn before the general election he has had to go crawling back. The Leader’s Office doesn’t fully trust him – understandably – though they have been enjoying his attempts to over-compensate, most recently evident when Owen spread fake news about Newsnight over the weekend. However, Jones’ campaigning on the trans issue has put him at odds with top Corbyn aide Andrew Murray. James Kirkup reports that Jones’ enemies in the trans war, the feminist group ‘A Women’s Place’, are run by trade unionists who have Murray’s backing. Murray is quoted as saying: “This attempt to silence women’s voices does a disservice to us all”. Murray is a proper Corbyn player, a decades-long ally of Seumas Milne, considerably more trusted by Team Jezza, and Owen has got on the wrong side of him. Murray is also an old Stalinist – watch out for ice picks…

Tories Show Signs of Life at Freer Launch

Liz Truss labelled Labour “humourless po-faced hat-wearing socialists” who would threaten freedom of speech as she launched the new Tory think tank Freer at the Conrad hotel last night. In a wide-ranging speech in which she told the story of rebelling against her socialist family as a child, Truss called for a “Tory revolution” led in industrial towns and port cities by a new generation of “Uber-riding, Airbnb-ing, Deliveroo-eating freedom-fighters” she dubbed “Tories with attitude”. At a time when the government is dominated by the anti-libertarian, anti-free market, statist dogma of Theresa May and Nick Timothy, this was refreshing to hear. It certainly won’t do Liz any harm with the Tory grassroots…

The Freer bash exceeded expectations – MPs present seemed genuinely buoyed to see some actual signs of life in the Tory party. It piqued the interest of senior ministers including Michael Gove and Dom Raab and Brexit brain Shanker Singham. And unlike some other Tory “initiatives“, this appears to be a real thing that will back up the chat – Freer have committed eight MPs from the 2017 intake to publishing a paper a month for the next eight months. Pro-freedom domestic policies have been shunned by this government so it is encouraging that a new generation, the likes of Lee Rowley, Luke Graham, Rachel Maclean and Kemi Badenoch, make the case for individualism and a smaller state. Even if “Tories with attitude” comes with a slightly unfortunate abbreviation…

Cambridge Analytica Boss Considers Resigning

Cambridge Analytica’s poundshop Bond villain and bullsh*tter extraordinaire Alexander Nix says he is considering resigning after he was filmed telling an undercover reporter he could entrap politicians with Ukrainian prostitutes. Nix tells the Times“If that is going to help the company that is the right thing to happen”. It seems he was making all this up to land a client and his comical exaggerations could see him having to quit over something he hasn’t actually done. Not as clever as he thinks he is.

Prosecco Progressives Pay £90 to Hear the Millinery Tendency Leader

Islington South & Finsbury’s Spring fundraising dinner for Emily Thornberry is being held at Frederick’s Restaurant in Islington. The star speaker will be Owen Jones and he will no doubt update the comrades on developments in political millinery. £90 a ticket means it will be for the few even though they are only serving Prosecco to the progressives. Socialist champagne will be extra…

Scottish Tories and Brexiteers Kick Off Over Fishing Concession

They’ve had time to mullet over and the verdict from Tory MPs on the fishing section of the transition deal is in: cod do better. The rebellion is already on a significant scale – Number 10 will be reeling from these quotes (via David Scullion):

Douglas Ross MP: “The UK Government has delivered far less than I hoped and expected… it would be easier to get someone to drink a pint of cold sick than to try to sell this as a success.”

Ross Thomson MP: “Be clear that UK national fisheries resources are not negotiable and that we will therefore be setting our own fisheries policy from 29 March 2019. We cannot remain party to the OFF during the proposed implementation period.”

Ruth Davidson: “Having spoken to fishing leaders today, I know they’re deeply frustrated with this outcome. There is no ignoring the fact that this falls short of what they had hoped for in the short-term.”

Iain Duncan Smith: “There does seem to be a real concern… it appears that at least through the implementation period nothing will change, and I think that will be a concern and the government clearly has to deal with that because a lot of MPs are very uneasy about that right now.”

Richard Tice, Leave Means Leave: “Under the current plans, we will not be taking back control of our fisheries when we leave the EU – something which the Government had previously promised. Ruth Davidson is absolutely right on this – our fishermen must have absolute control of our waters and fish from the end of March 2019 and anything less is totally unacceptable.”

Fishing for Leave: “[David Davis] should stay in Brussels as his allegiance is obviously to the EU ring of stars not Her Majesty the Queen or the British people.”

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation: “It’s far short of an acceptable deal – we leave the OFF and hand back sovereignty over our seas a few seconds later.”

Meanwhile Open Europe’s Henry Newman is reporting that Whitehall officials are advocating that the UK should give up fishing rights and that Hammond is not interested in defending the fishing industry. Hyped up rows over the transition have traditionally been a bit of a red herring. But this is not going swimmingly.

UPDATE: Scottish Tory MPs have been called in to see chief whip Julian Smith over the rebellion.

UPDATE II: Worth remembering that this row is largely over what will happen during one year of the transition. The annual catch is decided in December of each year, so in December 2018 the UK will be involved as we are now in determining catch and distribution for 2019 – year one of the transition. It’s year two of the transition, 2020, that is causing concern. The upside is that, even though the UK will only be “consulted“, Brussels has agreed the catch size will be exactly the same so at least we do not lose out, even if we are not taking back control that year. By 2021 the UK will be negotiating fishing rights as an independent coastal state and fully taking back control of our waters. The end state sounds acceptable, Number 10 will be hoping MPs can live with that one year of compromise in the meantime… 

Labour Head of Broadcast Now Working For BBC News

Lobby hacks often move over to the dark side of spin, but travelling the other way is generally a bit of a no-no – especially if it’s a paid-up party hand heading to the BBC. Katy Dillon was Labour’s head of broadcast for three years until October and worked for the party since 2010. Guido hears she is now working on the BBC newsdesk at their Millbank politics base. It’s not like Katy is recusing herself from reporting on Labour – she has bylines on pieces about Jeremy Corbyn and has been sending out copy about internal Labour politics. Fair to say this is causing concern among her new colleagues. It may be that the Leader’s Office has more to worry about though – Dillon is certainly not a Corbynista…

Exitism: Labour HQ Departures Ahead of Formby

Ahead of the appointment of Jennie Formby as the Labour Party’s general-secretary, some long-standing HQ staff are jumping before they are pushed out. Exitism from the party by long-standing moderate activists is also on the rise as the once entryist crypto-commies and toytown trots are welcomed into the party by Corbyn…

John Stolliday, Director of Governance and Legal is off, as the ‘compliance unit’ boss he will be quitting before he inevitably gets pushed out. The PLP secretary Dan Simpson is also quitting. Along with the outgoing general secretary Iain McNicol; Patrick Heneghan,Tracey Allen, Julie Lawrence, Neil Fleming and Emilie Oldknow are going.

Most will be gone after the May local elections. If Chuka is going to launch his centre party he’ll have some experienced operators available to hire…

UPDATE: Simon Jackson, Labour’s Director of Policy And Research, has quit today.

Hat-tip: Paul Waugh

Labour Spent Hundreds of Thousands With Google, Amazon and Daily Mail Group

Corbyn and McDonnell have repeatedly singled out Google and Amazon as tax-avoiding baddies and vowed to get “aggressive” with them… turns out aggressive means Labour paying Google Ireland Limited £250,000 and US-based Amazon Web Services £22,000 during the general election.

Labour also gave Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, £12,000 for advertising during the campaign. The Corbynista ‘Stop Funding Hate’ cranks not so loud about that one…

Transition Deal: Good News and Bad News

The good news:

  • Transition ends New Year’s Eve 2020, three months earlier than expected
  • Britain will be able to negotiate, sign and ratify trade deals during the transition period
  • Gibraltar explicitly in the deal
  • International agreements / EU trade deals to continue during transition
  • joint committee to make sure both sides act in good faith during transition
  • death of EU’s punishment clause
  • agreement on financial settlement locked in

The less good news for the government:

  • We only get to “consult” on fishing during the year of 2020
  • “Full regulatory alignment” backstop in Northern Ireland must form part of the legal text
  • Climbdown on letting new EU citizens arriving during transition have identical rights as before

Most Tory Brexiteers will be on board, the fishing result could have been better but this is another step towards Brexit…

2017 Election Spending: Tories, Labour, Greens, Remainers Under Investigation

New Electoral Commission figures… the Tories spent £7.5 million more than Labour last June and still lost their majority:

Conservatives: £18,565,102

Labour: £11,003,980

LibDems: £6,788,316

SNP: £1,623,127

Green Party: £299,352

Women’s Equality Party: £285,662

UKIP: £273,104

The Tories, Labour and Greens are under investigation for submitting spending returns that were missing invoices and for submitting potentially inaccurate statements of payments made. Remoaners Best for Britain are under investigation for submitting a spending return that was missing invoices and not returning a £25,000 donation from an impermissible donor…

Ex-Kremlin Adviser: Corbyn Was Right

Former Kremlin adviser and all-round nutjob Alexander Nekrassov tells Good Morning Britain “Jeremy Corbyn was right”. He even says there is no evidence the Skripals were even attacked. As if further proof were needed that Jezza and Seumas are Russia’s not-very useful idiots…[…] Read the rest


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Jacob Rees-Mogg on the transition:

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