Comical Alan: Trump Visit a Success So Far

Would love to hear what Alan Duncan would consider a failure…

Trump: May Has Killed US-UK Trade Deal

Number 10 has repeatedly insisted to Guido over the last week that their Chequers deal will allow them to do a trade deal with the US. It seems President Trump disagrees. Full quotes from the The Sun.

On Brexit negotiations:

“I would have done it much differently. I told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me… Deals that take too long are never good ones. If you look, she probably went the opposite way.”

On the Cabinet’s Chequers compromise:

“I think the deal she is striking is not what the people voted on, exactly. It was not the deal that was in the Referendum… it will definitely affect trade with the United States unfortunately in a negative way… Trump tells me: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”

On Boris:

“He is a very talented guy. I was very saddened to see that he was leaving Government and I hope he goes back in at some point because… I think he is a great representative for your country. I think he’s got what it takes and I think he has got the right attitude to be a great Prime Minister.”

Jared O’Mara Resigns Labour Whip Claiming Party Not Up to His Standards on Equality

Jared O’Mara has tonight resigned the Labour whip, complaining the disciplinary process that saw him reinstated to the party was unfair and boldly claiming that Labour does not share his commitment to equality. That’s the Jared O’Mara who called a woman an “ugly bitch”, sang about “smashing” women in the face, called the Spanish “dagos” and talked about “fudge packers” who “drive up the Marmite motorway”. Is he for real? 

Dear Constituents,

It is with great sadness that today I have decided to announce my departure from the Labour Party with immediate effect. This decision has not been taken lightly but has been made following careful reflection of the decision to re-admit me back into the Labour Party following my suspension last October. I feel I have not been listened to or been given a fair investigation as I do not believe they considered my supporting evidence or got in touch with my witnesses. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that the Labour Party no longer shares my commitment to the true definition of equality and compassion.

There is no doubt that I made mistakes as a young man using distasteful language as a clumsy attempt at satire and sarcasm online. But that does not mean that is who I am today. I am sure that there may be many of us who have done things in our past which we wished we had never done. That said, you can’t take it away and I am truly sorry for any offence that I caused.

I didn’t commit any crimes, yet I have been made unfairly to feel like a criminal. Nobody should be made to feel ashamed for mistakes they make when they are young. Someone from a youth charity recently said to me that “young people should be free to be anti-social”. I was not anti-social by definition but agree with the sentiment. It’s part of learning and growing up.

I believe I am the first autistic MP in our history, and this sadly got lost in the narrative of my interview with ITV earlier this week. I ask for everybody to go on the internet and read about autism, and about my other disabilities; clinical depression, cerebral palsy and anxiety. Then, with that reading and research, seek to exercise empathy over apathy and antipathy. All I’ve ever wanted to do in life is help those who suffer more than I do. I ask that you all share this ambition and concern with me.

I also ask my constituents for understanding and sympathy during this challenging time. I would be lying to those of you whom I represent, and those close to me like my parents and sister respectively, if I continued under the pretence that I feel there is a place of acceptance and empathy for me as a working class, underprivileged disabled man within the Labour Party. I have experienced little to make me feel welcome, understood and accepted during this last year.

Finally, I ask the media and general public to be patient with me. I am still the MP for Sheffield Hallam and I am still available to help my constituents with casework if you need my help. I might be leaving Labour but I am still at your side.

I am not perfect, but nor are any of us. And that isn’t a bad thing. We all need to love ourselves and forgive our mistakes, foibles and flaws. Let us all instead celebrate our good qualities and strengths. This is what life experiences to date has taught me and I must share that with you all.

Best wishes and with much love,

Jared O’Mara MP

A clearly bewildered Labour spokesman says:

“We’re disappointed Jared has decided to resign from Labour after we won the Sheffield Hallam seat from Nick Clegg and the LibDems last year. We wish him well for the future.”

Labour say they handled his investigation with care and sensitivity and treated his welfare as a priority throughout. Understatement – Labour very, very generously forgave him and this is how he has decided to repay them…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight

Early night.

Street Fighting Mason or Handbags at the Hague?

Members of CIJO, a Dutch youth organisation which actively fights racism, discrimination and prejudice with a focus on antisemitism, last week welcomed Corbyn to a meeting with this banner. Corbyn spoke last Thursday night in The Hague at the invitation of PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher. The PvdA is Labour’s sister party.

The banner mocking the official Labour slogan was hung on the balcony during Corbyn’s speech. After a few minutes, several people present, including someone from the organisation, physically challenged the CIJO members. CIJO chairman Hidde van Koningsveld claims he received a few blows. After Corbyn’s speech, the CIJO members were asked by security officers to leave.

Hidde tells Guido that fists were flying and he was abused. Subsequently he identified “the most violent” of the challengers as being Paul Mason. “We pressed charges on Tuesday and his name has been forwarded to the Dutch police.”

Guido spoke to Masson and he categorically denies being violent, he says he went over to find out what was going on and who they were, because he thought their banner was anti-Semitic. He says it was he who was verbally harassed and physically intimidated, adding that he got elbowed for his troubles.

David Garcia, who tweeted the above picture, sympathises with Paul Mason, saying it was a “vicious banner attacking Corbyn when he addressed the Dutch Labour party in the Hague. Paul Mason who was also present was understandably furious and tried to pull it down. The banner was later removed by security.” Guido put this to Mason and he also denied making any attempt to pull the banner down.

Who to believe in this case? One for Detective Van Der Valk

Leave Voters Turning Against May

With so much of the core Tory vote coming from Leave supporters, these numbers are more cause for concern. Back in April, Theresa May had a net approval rating of +10 with Leave voters. Now it is -23. If that even starts to replicate itself across the Tory party at an election, MPs are losing their seats…

Brexiters Warn White Paper Commits to Binding ECJ Jurisdiction

This briefing document by Martin Howe QC is being circulated by Brexiteer MPs. It says that the government’s white paper commits to binding ECJ jurisdiction in Britain and concludes:

The repeated claims made by the government and the Prime Minister over the last few days that the Chequers proposals would result in “Restoring the supremacy of British courts by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK” (point 9 in letter from TM to DD in response to his resignation letter) are therefore not true. The supremacy of British courts is certainly not restored. The jurisdiction of the ECJ “in” the UK is only ended in the sense that the route by which the ECJ will continue to exercise its supremacy over British courts is via the international joint reference procedure rather than by direct references from British courts.

Here is Jacob Rees-Mogg’s response to the white paper:

“This is the greatest vassalage since King John paid homage to Phillip II at Le Goulet in 1200. This White paper has not needed age to turn yellow. There are very few signs of the Prime Minister’s famous red lines. It is a pale imitation of the paper prepared by David Davis, a bad deal for Britain. It is not be something I would vote for nor is it what the British people voted for.  In particular this paper sets out that the UK will be subject to EU laws while having no say in their creation. The Common Rule Book will not be Common it will be EU law, interpreted by the EU Court with the UK subjected to EU fines for non-compliance. The UK has accepted it cannot diverge from ‘ongoing harmonisation’ without activating repercussions for Northern Ireland. In effect Parliament will have no say over future EU laws implemented in the UK. The UK has accepted that it will collect and hand over EU taxes. This is an unwarranted intrusion into the control of our border. The absence of reciprocity is concerning and the cost to the taxpayer unknown. Taken as a whole this recreates many of the worst aspects of the EU the British people voted to leave. This does not respect the referendum result.”

How can Brexiters vote for it?

Daily Politics Replaced, Sunday Politics Scrapped

Looks like Politics Live will be the Daily Politics rebadged. Makes sense to lose the Sunday show, was a bit much having that and Marr on BBC One. 

Whips Ask MPs to Withdraw Letters as No.10 Fear They’re Approaching 48

There is a lot of talk among Tory MPs that Number 10 now fears the number of letters of no confidence in Theresa May is close to reaching the 48 threshold. Several MPs have told Guido this morning that Downing Street has signalled it believes the number is approaching 48. Over the last 24 hours whips have asked MPs who they believe may have submitted letters to Graham Brady to withdraw them or risk putting Corbyn in Number 10. Some Tory Brexiteers are cautioning colleagues against putting letters in now, telling them to wait until after the summer recess as they believe they have a better chance of removing May then, when it becomes clear further concessions to the EU are being planned. A senior ERG MP tells Guido:

“While this is about change of policy, it’s obvious now that this won’t happen unless we have a change of leader. The PM and No10 appear completely tone deaf and on too many occasions have treated Brexiteers with utter contempt. 

But if 48 letters go in now, Theresa may well win a vote of confidence. What most sensible Tory MPs are doing is waiting until we get back from recess after summer.

“If Theresa hasn’t dramatically changed this dismal excuse for an offer by then, and worse still, concedes even further to the EU, then the letters go in and she is finished. MPs in Brexit-voting seats know they will have seriously let their constituents down if they deliver BRINO while pretending it’s what people voted for. It’s shameful.”

May is in the danger zone…

Trump: May’s Brexit Deal is Not What People Voted For

Boom…

Barnier Too Busy to Meet Soros and Best For Britain

Michel Barnier is very sorry but he is too busy to meet George Soros and his hardcore fringe group of ultra-Remainers Best for Britain. Emails obtained by Guido show that repeated attempts by Soros to secure a meeting with the EU’s chief negotiator have been politely rebuffed. First Soros asked for a meeting at the beginning of November, but Barnier was busy:

Not deterred, Soros tried again a couple of weeks later. Barnier didn’t even give an excuse this time:

You might have thought that by now Soros would get the message. Not so, he tried again, only be rejected a third time:

Would Eloise Todd from Soros’ ultra-Remain campaign group Best For Britain have any more luck securing a meeting with Barnier? Sadly not, and it took him months to even reply with a rejection.

He’s just not that into you…

Change Brings Opportunity

Change, uncertainty and volatility in stock market prices are the ingredients that Henderson Opportunities Trust (HOT) thrives on. The Trust is relatively small with net assets of around £100m at the end of April, spread over a diverse list of companies. Our size enables us to move quickly when we see opportunities.

Equity markets around the world have experienced greater volatility in 2018. Change is a constant feature of the political and economic landscape, and this change is epitomised by the situation in the UK. Here, digital and technological innovations are challenging established business models, while the country’s political leaders negotiate leaving the EU and begin to forge new partnerships in a globally competitive economy.

The Trust has the flexibility to go up and down the spectrum of companies in terms of size to find attractive opportunities. Currently, the HOT list holds approximately 15% in the FTSE 100, 9% in the FTSE 250, 13% in the FTSE Small Cap and 63% in non-FTSE All Share. The weight in FTSE AIM (alternative investment markets) has increased in recent years because we have tended to find more attractive opportunities within this space. These are typically young, high growth companies that are unencumbered by legacy issues.

An example of a successful FTSE AIM investment in the portfolio is robotic process software company, Blue Prism. Since its purchase in March 2016, the share price has appreciated 237%, owing to high demand for their robot process automation software. The software addresses a key pain point for enterprises – poorly integrated back-office systems – by enabling companies to automate interactions between legacy software applications. This allows companies to redistribute labour and save costs. For example, banks can use the software to process orders for new debt/credit cards, while insurance companies can use it to streamline insurance claims by checking internal data and producing a suggested pay-out. Continue reading

Labour Lead as Public Rejects Chequers Deal

Horrendous numbers for the Tories and Theresa May via YouGov as the public rejects her Chequers deal. May and the Tories lose badly on every metric, as voters back DD and Boris’ decision to quit. Remainers / Soft Brexiters and Number 10 had hoped the public weren’t following the detail. They aren’t fools.

Selmayr’s Classless Response

The classless response of top European Commission official Martin Selmayr after extra time last night:

You would have thought Selmayr might show more restraint when it comes to Croatia. His grandfather Josef Selmayr was Lieutenant Colonel on Hitler’s General Staff in the Balkans, running Yugoslavia when it was under Nazi control. This is a photo of Yugoslav resistance fighters liberating Yugoslavia from Selmayr’s command in 1944:

In 1948, Selmayr was sentenced to 15 years in jail for war crimes. 70 years later, at least his grandson is actually supporting Croatia…

UPDATE: Selmayr’s grandfather on the other side, Heinz Gaedcke, also served as a general under Hitler in the Second World War.

Indy Make Staff Host Brexit Event During England Match

Staff at the Indy* are very upset this evening after being told they have to attend an event being hosted this evening about Brexit – during the England match. Jacob Rees-Mogg and Chuka Umunna will be joining the Indy’s top Brexit experts at 8:15 pm, in the middle of the second half of our semi-final against Croatia. Will they get over 20 viewers so on their Facebook live?

*It does still exist in digital form.

Etonian-Free Cabinet

Given that famous battles in Europe have been won on the playing fields of Eton, Guido is not certain this is brilliant news in the battle for Brexit.

Minuat Eton…

Labour Party’s Data Broker Fined £140,000 By Information Commissioner

The company from which Labour bought the personal data of more than a million individuals during the 2017 election has been fined £140,000 by the Information Commissioner for a “serious contravention” of the Data Protection Act.

The Information Commissioner’s Office ruled that Lifecycle Marketing Mother and Baby Ltd (LCMB), trading as Emma’s Diary

“…contravened DPP1 by selling the personal data of more than 1 million individuals to the Labour Party for use in the Labour Party’s general election campaign in 2AL7 without informing those individuals that it might do so, As a result, LCMB processed that personal data unfairly and without satisfying any processing condition under Schedule 2 DPA.”

The ICO found:

In May 2017, LCMB supplied 7,065,220 records to Experian Marketing Services under a data supply agreement listing the Labour Party as Experian’s client. The data supply agreement specified the delivery date for the data as 5 May 2017…

Each record comprised the following personal data: name of parent, household address, the presence of children up to 5 years old and date of birth of both mother and child. The records thus comprised the personal data of both mothers and young children. LCMB obtained that personal data via its online registration on its website and via an offline registration form.

Experian, apparently acting as an agent or processor on behalf of the Labour Party, loaded those records onto a database it hosted for the Labour Party to assist the Labour Party with a direct marketing mail campaign for the general election in 2017. LCMB told the Commissioner that the records it supplied would have helped the Labour Party send political marketing communications to people with young children about, for example, Labour’s intention to protect Sure Start centres. This was done in the constituencies for 106 parliamentary seats.

According to LCMB, the records it disclosed were deleted by Experian following the general election on B June 2017. In its letter to the Commissioner of 30 January 2018, LCMB told the Commissioner that “All data supplied agreed to be contacted via the postal channel and by 3rd party marketers and the usage of the mums’ data is fully outlined within or Privacy Policy,” It transpired, however, that this was not the case.

A Labour spokesman says the party will no longer be using the company and will be reviewing how they purchase their data. Labour they insist bought the data in good faith. There is no indication the party itself has broken the law.

“We welcome the ICO’s report. The Labour Party holds data from a variety of sources, like all UK political parties. We have neither bought nor used Emma’s Diary data since the 2017 general election and we will be reviewing our approach to acquiring data from third parties in light of the ICO’s report.”

Labour MPs have been tweeting about the ICO report on Facebook data breaches all day. Oddly none have mentioned the above finding. Sure Carole Cadwalladr will be splashing on this for the Observer this weekend…

Best Paid at the BBC

New BBC pay figures out:

1. Gary Lineker – £1,750,000-£1,759,999
2. Chris Evans – £1,660,000-£1,669,999
3. Graham Norton – £600,000-£609,999
4. Steve Wright – £550,000-£559,999
5. Huw Edwards – £520,000-£529,999
6. Jeremy Vine – £440,000-£449,999
=7. Nicky Campbell – £410,000-£419,999
=7. Alan Shearer – £410,000-£419,999
=9. John Humphrys – £400,000-£409,999
=9. Nick Grimshaw – £400,000-£409,999
=9. Stephen Nolan – £400,000-£409,999
=9. Andrew Marr – £400,000-£409,999

And if you don’t want to pay their wages, you end up in court…

DPMQs: Who Is Asking the Questions

Q1 Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West)

Q2 Mr George Howarth (Knowsley)

Q3 Dan Carden (Liverpool, Walton)

Q4 Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley)

Q5 Andrew Rosindell (Romford)

Q6 Wes Streeting (Ilford North)

Q7 Julian Sturdy (York Outer)

Q8 Darren Jones (Bristol North West)

Q9 Julie Cooper (Burnley)

Q10 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)

Q11 Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent)

Q12 Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire)

Q13 Dame Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)

Q14 Julia Lopez (Hornchurch and Upminster)

Q15 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall)

Telegraph Letters Editor: Readers Haven’t Been This Angry Since Expenses Scandal

This piece from the Telegraph letters editor Christopher Howse should have Tory MPs fearing for their political futures. Howse says the paper has been deluged by hundred of letters from furious readers since Theresa May’s Brexit sellout, a level of anger not seen since the expenses scandal.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn told by veteran Jewish MP Margaret Hodge…

“You’re a f***ing anti-aemite and a racist”

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