Friday Caption Contest (Worst of All Worlds Edition)

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Labour’s Chequers Survival Kit

Unusually good banter from Labour…

Poll: Tories Will Lose Votes if They Cross Brexit Red Lines

As the Chequers meeting gets underway a new poll reveals voters will turn away from the Tories if they fail to implement Brexit. According to the data from BMG Research commissioned by Change Britain:

  • 32% of voters would be less likely to vote Conservative if the Government agreed a deal which results in UK laws being subject to rulings by EU courts, compared to just 6% who would be more likely to support the party. Amongst Conservative voters, they would be more likely to change the party they back than increase their support by a ratio of more than 4:1 (46% to 10%)…
  • More than a quarter of the public would be less likely to support the Conservative Party if a deal meant that the EU retained some or substantial control of the UK’s ability to negotiate our own free trade agreements, whilst only one in ten would be more likely to back the party.
  • 27% of voters would be less likely to vote Conservative if the UK agreed to hand over billions of pounds to the EU every year as part of a free trade agreement, whilst just 9% would be more in favour of the party. Amongst Conservative voters, nearly three times as many would be less likely (35%) to support the party than more likely to vote Conservative (12%)…

Pressure is on…

May Allies Troll “Narcissistic” Brexiters

This is being briefed out by allies of Theresa May this morning, via Jack Blanchard and Sam Coates:

“All set for Chequers. Totally focused and confident of delivering a successful day for PM. Collective responsibility will be asserted at the end of the day. Taxi cards for Aston’s taxis the local cab firm are in the foyer for those who decide they can’t face making the right decision for the country but it will still be a long walk as it is a mile long driveway. A select number of narcissistic, leadership dominated cabinet ministers need to support the PM in the best interests of the UK or their spots will be taken by a talented new generation of MPs who will sweep them away.”

Team May are calling Cabinet Brexiters’ bluff, publicly attacking them as “narcissistic” and threatening to take away their ministerial cars for the 40 mile trip back to London. Why are DD and co taking this?

Those Whips’ Patsies in Full

Last night deputy chief whip Chris Pincher sent this round robin text to a number of Tory MPs begging them to tweet in support of the Prime Minister:

A selection of the least subtle whips’ patsies:

Like footballers being asked to tweet out an advertiser’s campaign, then giving the game away…

ComRes on MPs’ Favourite News Sources: Radio 4, Times, Guido, Brilllo, Quentin

Pollsters ComRes have asked 151 MPs for their favourite news sources. Radio 4 is the most popular daily news source which will please the Today Programme, The Times with its strong comment section is the most popular online newspaper, The Standard is the most popular dead tree news source – well it is free. Guido by far the most popular political site, Brillo the most popular interview and the acerbic Quentin Letts the most popular hack.

The questions were unprompted, meaning MPs had to name their favourites. The results in our category were stunning, confirming our continuing dominance of digital political news for the people who actually run the country.

We never forget that it is our readers who our are best sources. You make this site and… you’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Download the full ComRes report: “Where MPs get their news July 2018

Senior Member of Government: Tory Brexiteers ‘Will Reject Soft Brexit Proposal’

A senior member of the government tells Guido that a plan for a soft Brexit will be rejected by Tory Eurosceptics. The view among Leave supporting ministers is very low this afternoon, they say this is not the Brexit they voted for. Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Guido: “If the leaks are accurate it would be the vassal state enchained.” And he tells the Telegraph:

“If this correct this is not Brexit. This common rulebook means that we are essentially a vassal state. The Prime Minister should imitate Mr Gove and tear up this paper.”

Leave supporting Tory MP Lucy Allan tweets to Guido: “This is not Brexit.”

Owen Paterson tells us:

“If true, a complete breach of Theresa May’s manifesto commitment, reconfirmed to me at PMQs yesterday, to leave Single Market, Customs Union & ECJ. We could not eliminate tariffs to reduce prices for consumers & businesses, or strike free trade deals.”

What does David Davis think about a common rulebook that sees the UK mirror all EU rules on goods and agri-foods potentially forever, or face “consequences” if we ever try to diverge? Open Europe’s Henry Newman describes this as a compromise too far.

UPDATE: A Whitehall source says that Dexeu considers the government’s own Brexit plan unacceptable and that David Davis and others are fighting it.

What does Liam Fox think about a proposal that restricts our ability to strike a trade deal with the US? What does he think about regulatory alignment’s impact on his ability to strike trade deals with other countries?

What are they gonna do about it?

No. 10 Plan Restricts Chances of US Trade Deal, Makes UK Rule-Taker on Goods and Agri-Foods

Guido can reveal the top lines from Number 10’s proposal laid out to Cabinet:

  • There will be a “common rule book” between the UK and EU on all goods, including agri-foods
  • UK will commit by treaty to mirroring EU rules and face “consequences” if we ever seek to diverge on anything
  • Their plan on regulatory alignment would “not allow the UK to accommodate a likely ask from the US in a future trade deal” re mutual recognition of standards. Number 10 say this does not rule out the chances of a US trade deal.

This is going to kick off…

May Shows Merkel Customs Plan Before Cabinet

Theresa May showed Angela Merkel her customs plan before she showed her own Cabinet, it has emerged this afternoon:

The Cabinet are livid about this – why have Number 10 kept them in the dark while briefing the media and the German government? Who was told first, Dexeu or the Germans? First question for a reporter to ask May during her Berlin trip…

We’re Running Out of Sand!


China has in recent years used more concrete than the US did in the whole of the twentieth century. Incredible.

New Names For Tory Mayoral Candidate

A couple more names have thrown their hats in the ring to be the Tory mayoral candidate:

  • Andrew Rosindell: The Romford MP plans to challenge Sadiq on knife crime and Brexit. Careful with the leaflets this time, Rozzer.
  • Joy Morrissey: Works at the Centre for Social Justice, a mother, a Councillor in Ealing as well as the former parliamentary candidate for Ealing Central & Acton. Not a household name, but then not many are forthcoming. 
  • Richard Tice: The Leave.EU co-founder has submitted his form to CCHQ and says he is running as the “business candidate”. Suspect CCHQ might say “f*** business” on this one.
  • Nimco Ali: The impressive anti-FGM campaigner says she is putting her name forward as a “symbolic” candidate and wants to be the deputy mayor for women and girls. Shame it’s only symbolic. 

Other key runners and riders:

  • Shaun Bailey: London Assembly Member who is one of the few candidates with a backstory to rival Khan’s. Has been effective in his criticism of the mayor over knife crime. 
  • Kulveer Ranger: Another former Boris adviser who was very effective in City Hall.
  • Duwayne Brooks: Joined the Tories a few weeks ago and is being talked up by insiders. Has branded Sadiq “the worst mayor ever”One to watch.
  • Andrew Boff: Perennial candidate. Ladbrokes favourite…
  • Rohan Silva: Former blue sky digital tech guru to Cameron and Osborne, Silva went on to found the Second Home workspace in Spitalfields. His name has been doing the rounds, he’s a Remainer but would be good for the youth vote and a more interesting candidate than some of those below. 
  • Nick de Bois: Former Enfield MP. CCHQ took his advice on bringing the selection forwards. Has outlined how he would beat Sadiq here.

Any others, get in touch

Sombrero-Toting Sheffield Mayor ‘Bans’ Trump

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield has attempted to ‘ban’ Donald Trump from the city. Magid Magid, the youngest ever individual to hold the ceremonial post at 28, is a Green Party councillor (naturally). He made the announcement to the city council last night while wearing a sombrero. He also instituted ‘Mexico solidarity day’ in Sheffield and described Trump as a “wasteman”…

Magid has become an internet celebrity since he took office. At official functions he sports his official mayoral livery collar along with a t-shirt and tartan beret. At monthly council meetings he insists on a break in proceedings so that a performing artist can entertain officials. At one meeting he interrupted a bitter debate over tree felling in order for a magic show to take place, during which another councillor pumped up a toy rocket and fired it at the press bench. He has previously appeared on Channel 4 show Hunted. Banter era of local politics…

Labour’s New Head of Disputes Backed Expelled Marc Wadsworth

The person elected to chair Labour’s disciplinary panels defended the expelled Marc Wadsworth in an interview on Russia Today, Guido can reveal. Claudia Webbe was appointed as Labour’s new head of disputes this week, four months after Christine Shawcroft resigned from the role after she sent an email backing a suspended alleged Holocaust denier.

In the Russia Today interview broadcast after the local elections in May, Webbe says that Wadsworth, who was expelled from the Labour Party for heckling Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth, was “demonised” by the media, big business and the political elite. Which is an unfortunate choice of words. 

Webbe: In crediting Marc Wadsworth with the tremendous work that he has done over many years in terms of the anti-racist movement, one at the same cannot deny that the party has to address issues of anti-Semitism, issues of racism…

RT: He is clearly not an anti-Semite, is he?

Webbe: When you’ve the powers of the mainstream media, working together with big business working together with the political elite, they can in a sense demonise individuals in this way.

Christine Shawcroft’s tough zero tolerance approach to Labour disciplinary cases lives on with her successor…

Remain Campaign Used Same Spending Tactics as Vote Leave, But Far Worse

Since this issue is in the spotlight again, Guido brings you a reminder that the Remain campaign did exactly the same thing that Vote Leave is accused of, only far, far worse. In the month before the vote the Remainers set up FIVE new campaigns and funnelled a MILLION pounds into them so they could stay under the spending limit:

  • DDB UK Ltd registered as an independent campaign on 25 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. DDB UK Ltd received £191,000 in donations.

  • Best For Our Future registered as a permitted participant on 27 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. It received £424,000 in donations

  • The In Crowd registered on 10 June 2016, less than two weeks before the referendum. It received £76,000 in donations.

  • Virgin Management Ltd registered as a permitted participant on 3 June 2016, less than three weeks before the referendum. It received £210,000 in donations.

  • Wake Up And Vote registered as a permitted participant on 24 May 2016, less than a month before the referendum. It received £100,000 in donations.

The Remain campaign did exactly the same thing as Vote Leave, only with more money and with five new campaigns…

Stuck On The Buses With Jezza and May

Stuck in the 1970s, weakly humorous and generally giving off a sense of Britain falling apart at the seams: there’s little difference between the grayscale, brown-jacketed world of Jeremy Corbyn and that portrayed on almost certainly his teatime TV favourite On The Buses. Both Corbyn and his sitcom equivalent engender this sense of England: a place framed by frayed clothes, weak and watery tea, warm beer, inedible sandwiches, awful puns, garish interior fabrics and constant rain. Jeremy Corbyn deals in the politics of socialist nostalgia, the attic of his mind is a retirement home for the broken ideas and shattered ideals of the old left. Favoured among this kunstkammer of intellectual junk are outmoded and technologically superseded modes of transport. For Corbyn, the bus represents the collective society. It’s knackered, grim and useless. But that’s all just fine to him, because everyone’s stuck in it together…

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Paul Mason’s Coming Home to England

Orwell had the Guardian columnists of his time in mind when he wrote inThe Lion and the Unicorn”:

England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during “God Save the King” than of stealing from a poor box.

On seeing Paul Mason’s tweets and flag-emblazoned cheeks last night John Denham pulled him up “Remember: no one made you say ‘I do not want to be English’” Mason retorted that “It’s still my position – My ethnicity is British – my nationality proletarian”. Which is of course bollocks. “British” is not an ethnicity and proletaria is not a place. Rather than knocking Mason let’s celebrate his coming home to that most English of things – football. His emotional connection to the flag and the national sport shows that, underneath the buzzword-laden ideological ramblings, he is still a human…

Tesco Announces Cross-Channel Alliance #DespiteBrexit

Europe’s two largest supermarkets, French giant Carrefour and Tesco, will form a worldwide alliance despite warnings from the remain campaign that Brexit would isolate British retail and hit consumers’ wallets. The partnership will reduce costs and increase competition with discounters like Aldi and Lidl. This can only be good news for consumers…

Tesco’s chief executive Dave Lewis said: 

“By working together and making the most of our collective product expertise and sourcing capability, we will be able to serve our customers even better, further improving choice, quality, and value.”

Worthwhile recording all the supermarket bosses who lobbied tirelessly through the campaign claiming the precise opposite (including Tesco). Ex-Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King memorably claimed Brexit would lead to “higher prices, less choice, and poorer quality” at supermarkets. Good news for shoppers…

Penny’s Sign Language at the Despatch Box

Mogg: Regulatory Alignment is Not Brexit

Jacob Rees-Mogg says that if Number 10 pursues remaining in the single market for goods and regulatory alignment, that is “not Brexit” and will mean we have nothing to offer other countries in terms of trade deals. He says it would be contrary the Tory manifesto. And he says he took 50 Tory MPs to see the chief whip this morning to protest…

He says he is still backing May…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 4 July.
Q2 Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (City of Durham)
Q3 Rachel Maclean (Redditch)
Q4 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)
Q5 Gillian Keegan (Chichester)
Q6 Mr Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
Q7 Marsha De Cordova (Battersea)
Q8 Alex Norris (Nottingham North)
Q9 Mr Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby)
Q10 Julie Cooper (Burnley)
Q11 Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)
Q12 Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Q13 Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
Q14 Imran Hussain (Bradford East)
Q15 Andrew Lewer (Northampton South)

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Jeremy Corbyn told by veteran Jewish MP Margaret Hodge…

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