Shadow Cabinet Minister Calls For Centrist Seven to Face By-Elections

Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey told newly defected TIG MP Angela Smith that she and her six colleagues should face by-elections. It’s time for a People’s Vote…

UPDATE: John McDonnell has also called for the Centrist Seven to face by-elections…

Anti-Brexit Independent Group is Run From Above a Wetherspoons

The Independent Group have made their opposition to Brexit one of their core positions. Maybe they should have checked the location of their registered address more carefully – the official address listed on their website is directly above one of committed pro-Brexit entrepreneur Tim Martin’s Wetherspoons pubs in Altrincham. They won’t get many Lib Dems joining up like that…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator has pointed out that this particular Wetherspoons is actually called The Unicorn. Much like the new Group’s electoral prospects…

“Disappointed” Corbyn Responds to Labour MPs Quitting the Party

Jeremy Corbyn has put out his response to seven Labour MPs quitting the party to form ‘The Independent Group’:

I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945. Labour won people over on a programme for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change. The Tories are bungling Brexit while Labour has set out a unifying and credible alternative plan. When millions face the misery of Universal Credit, rising crime, homelessness and poverty, now more than ever is the time to bring people together to build a better future for us all.

A more measured response than most of his supporters

BBC Broadcasts ‘We’re F*cked’ Moment at Labour Split Event

The BBC Microphone at the back of the room accidentally broadcast the words of what Guido presumes to be a sweary Labour staffer at the TIG press conference this morning.

“Not gonna lie, with this and Brexit, we’re actually f*cked.”

Guido suspects he won’t be the only one thinking that…

UPDATE: The BBC has apologised for broadcasting the swearing.

“Due to an error, we inadvertently broadcast some background comments from another microphone during our coverage of the press conference this morning. We apologised on air once we realised our mistake.”

Who Will Defect to The Independent Group Next?

Who will defect to The Independent Group (TIG) first?

Catch up on our list here and submit your tips here

Mike Gapes “Sickened” That Labour Has Become “Racist, Anti-Semitic Party”

Mike Gapes with one of the most damning condemnations of what the Labour Party has become under Jeremy Corbyn at the launch of The Independent Group…

The Independent Group is Run Through A Company Gavin Shuker Founded in January

The Independent Group reveals on their website that they are funded by ‘Gemini A Ltd’, a secretive company founded by Gavin Shuker on On 16th January. He is the sole director. This has been many weeks in the making…

Luciana Berger Explains Why She Quit “Institutionally Anti-Semitic” Labour Party

 

READ: Full Statement from ‘The Independent Group’

The new Independent Group of former Labour MPs has posted the following “Statement of Independence” on their website:

Seven Labour MPs Resign and Form “The Independent Group”

Seven Labour MPs have announced their resignation from the Labour party and the formation a new group called “The Independent Group”. The seven are Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Anne Coffey. They have released a full ‘Statement of Independence’ explaining their decision…

Labour Split Imminent

After months and months of speculation about a Labour breakaway, it looks like today might finally be the day it happens, with a group of Labour MPs expected to make a statement on the “future of British politics” in the next few minutes. Speculation is rife about who the splitters will be – eight chairs have been set out at the launch event and there is a podium which has been covered up. Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie look like the most nailed-on bets…

Corbynistas have named Angela Smith, Ian Austin and Mike Gapes as three other likely quitters, although Ian Austin has reportedly since denied that he is quitting the Labour Party. Other potential Labour exiteers include Luciana Berger, Owen Smith, Peter Kyle, Stephen Kinnock and Liz Kendall. Read Guido’s full defection watchlist here…

Damian Collins Calls For End to Internet Freedom

Damian Collins’ committee has this morning published its report into “Disinformation and ‘fake news’” and off the bat it is a full-on onslaught of new heavy-handed regulations that could herald the end of a free and open internet.

The report recommends that tech companies cease to be seen as platforms, and shift to being seen much more as publishers, establishing a new Government written “Code of Ethics” overseen by yet another new quango given “statutory powers to monitor relevant tech companies”:

“tech companies assume legal liability for content identified as harmful after it has been posted by users”

Calling to end platform neutral status for internet companies would end social media as we know it. If Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or any other user-centred host of content became classified as publishers, why would any company allow anything to be posted without central approval first? Doing anything else would leave that company legally liable for whatever its users posted on the site…

Publisher status would necessitate pre-approval by legal teams for everything that was posted, so that companies would avoid getting sued. A precautionary principle would have to be adopted – we would end up with a small group of out-of-touch politicians and technocrats deciding what is acceptable to say on the internet. In reality this would lead to a mass exodus of global companies from the UK…

The UK is home to more tech companies than anywhere else in Europe. There is a tech boom of new startups and more ‘tech unicorn’ billion dollar valued companies than anywhere else in Europe. Collins’ hugely misguided plans would destroy all of that if they were ever implemented…

READ: PM’s Letter to Tory MPs

Over the weekend, the Prime Minister wrote to every Conservative MP setting out the timetable of meetings for herself and her ministers with the EU over the next week to secure changes to the Backstop, and urging Conservative MPs to compromise yet further.

Read it in full here…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Jeremy Wright Bottles Backstop Commitments

Jeremy Wright doing nothing to help the growing sense that the Government is not serious about negotiating concrete legal changes to the backstop.

Wright refuses to commit to reopening the text of the Withdrawal Agreement – as May promised the Commons – saying “I don’t think it’s the mechanism that matters, it’s the objective.” You might have expected the man who was Attorney General a matter of months ago to be a little bit more concerned about the legal details…

Jeremy Wright Threatens Social Media Companies

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright makes it clear that the Government will be pressing ahead with heavy-handed knee-jerk regulation of social media companies, bolshily insisting “I’m not asking their permission”. Has Gavin Williamson been coaching him on rhetoric?

There is an important debate to be had about the role of social media in society. Whipping up fears about public “safety” and ramming through poorly thought-out regulations is not the way to do it.

McDonnell: Labour Not Ruthless Enough On Anti-Semitism

You don’t say

Brexit Minister Forced to Deny Negotiations Are a “Complete Waste of Time”

You know your negotiations are going well when your Brexit minister has to insist they’re not a “complete waste of time”…

Former Army Chief Accuses Gavin Williamson of Careerism

Fair to say that former head of the army General Lord Dannatt isn’t entirely sold on Gavin Williamson’s posturing as Defence Secretary…

Beckett: Labour Split Would Be “Big Mistake”

Arch-Blairite Margaret Beckett comes out strongly against the possibility of Labour MPs breaking away to form a new party.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Ken Livingstone deployed a corker on TalkRadio this afternoon…
“I joined the Labour Party 50 years ago this month and in all that time I have never heard a single anti-semitic comment.”

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