Julia Hartley-Brewer Skewers BBC Over Gender Quota

A very pleasing dig at the BBC’s new gender quota for TV guests from Julia Hartley-Brewer on Marr this morning. Julia, who was discussing the gender pay gap story on the sofa alongside Polly Toynbee, said:

“I know obviously that we are making up the gender quota for expert commentators for the BBC today. Nice to be invited for that and not for actually our views but there we are…”

No comeback from Marr…

Second Cadwalladr Correction in Two Weeks

Oh dear… The Observer has had to publish a Carole Cadwalladr correction for the second week running. Last Sunday they snuck out a page 50 correction admitting her central claim linking Vote Leave, Aggregate IQ and Cambridge Analytica was untrue. Today they have admitted her story about AIQ being paid to set up a website for Michael Gove but the website never going live was also completely wrong. The site did go live.

“We mistakenly said the website for Michael Gove’s bid for the Tory party leadership in July 2016 never went live. The website Gove2016 did go live.”

And guess what, they buried this correction at the bottom of page 50 as well:

This is pretty basic stuff. No wonder even most Remainers think Carole and the Observer have lost it…

“Crazy, Shouty” Adonis “Going a Bit Paul Mason”

Sky’s Niall Paterson read out Guido’s analysis showing Andrew Adonis had tweeted 72 times about the BBC in a week and concluded: “It’s all getting a little bit Paul Mason, isn’t it? You’re turning into the crazier, shoutier end of Twitter”. A live TV intervention…

51% Say Labour Has Anti-Semitism Problem, 34% Think Corbyn Anti-Semitic

The debut poll by new polling firm Deltapoll, founded by former YouGov pollster Joe Twyman and ICM’s Martin Boon, has found that more than half of voters think Labour has an anti-Semitism problem and over a third think Jeremy Corbyn is himself anti-Semitic. 51% think Labour has at least pockets of anti-Semitism, and 34% think those pockets include the leader. That’s one poll Owen Jones won’t be gloating about.

Saj: We’ll Consult on Extending Stop and Search

Another consultation…

Saturday 7-Up

This week 265,258 visitors visited 761,511 times viewing 1,151,876 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Jewdas Auctioning Jezza’s Anti-Capitalist Beetroot

Jewdas has started an eBay auction for the ‘anti-capitalist beetroot‘ gifted to them by Jeremy Corbyn at the Seder this week. You can bid here…

Adonis Has Sent 72 Tweets Attacking the BBC This Week

Don’t say Guido didn’t warn you that Andrew Adonis had been driven mad by Brexit. In the last seven days Adonis has sent 72 tweets claiming the BBC has a pro-Brexit bias. Egged on by less responsible Remainers, he is calling the Beeb the “Brexit Broadcasting Corporation”.

He is tweeting that people need to “join the dots”.

And he’s even threatening to set up his own radio station to rival the Today programme.

Do it.

Friday Caption Contest (Tree-sa May Edition)

Entries in the comments…

PLP Protest Formby’s “Deeply Troubling” Power Grab

All kicking off between the Parliamentary Labour Party and their new general secretary Jennie Formby after she put PLP secretary Dan Simpson on gardening leave this week. PLP chair John Cryer has written to Labour MPs complaining it “shows a worrying set of priorities” and that the decision to replace him with a Corbyn crony without any interview or due process is “deeply troubling”.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you following yesterday’s decision by Jennie Formby, the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, to disallow Dan Simpson from working his notice period as the PLP Secretary and Director of Political Services, and force him into a period of ‘gardening leave’, rather than remaining in the service of the PLP until the summer as had been previously agreed.

Since this was communicated to Dan and to myself, I have made it absolutely clear to Jennie that to use her first day in the job to effectively remove our Secretary with immediate effect shows a worrying set of priorities.

Our Secretary has always enjoyed the confidence of the PLP, a confidence that has been necessary to carry out the demands of the role. This confidence has been derived from the fact that the PLP have been instrumental in their appointment. We, through the Chair, have always chosen who we trust to conduct affairs on our behalf. It is deeply troubling that we have not been afforded that right on this occasion.

I can inform you that Jennie has asked Ben Foley, who currently manages Jeremy’s relationship with the PLP, to act as Interim Secretary to fill the role until Sarah Mulholland returns from maternity leave during the summer recess. While I am deeply disappointed that no interview or due process has taken place, I know that Ben will work hard for the short period up until the summer recess to manage the support that is provided to our Frontbench. The Parliamentary Committee will, of course, continue to directly manage the business of the PLP and delegate the administration of our affairs as is appropriate.

More words and no actions from Labour moderates…

Dodgy Green-LibDem Pact Back On As £250,000 Bung Remains Unexplained

One of the murkiest dodgy deals in recent electoral history is back on in Richmond. Readers will remember how the Green Party was offered a £250,000 inducement not to run against Zac Goldsmith in the 2016 by-election – a blatant bung that the Electoral Commission said would have been a criminal offence. In the 2017 election the Greens initially selected a candidate, Andree Frieze, and said she would run. That was until the LibDems stood down their candidate against Caroline Lucas in Brighton – and Frieze dropped out in Richmond to return the favour. Lucas farcically told the Daily Politics she couldn’t “remember the name” of the person who offered the £250,000 bung. They have never explained the inducement, essentially covering up a potential criminal offence…

Now a joint Green-LibDem leaflet has gone out in Richmond explaining the parties “have decided to work together and not compete with each other” and telling voters to vote for two LibDem candidates, Penny Frost and Gareth Richards, and one Green, Frieze, in May’s local elections. Here is the joint imprint:

There are serious questions here to which Richmond voters deserve to know the answers. Who offered the £250,000 bung? Why did Caroline Lucas claim she “can’t remember” the name of the person who offered it? Why did she never disclose the name as she promised Andrew Neil she would? Why did the LibDems claim there was no deal in 2017 despite the Greens admitting there was? What deal has been made this time round that they are keeping from Richmond voters? Remarkable they’ve got away with refusing to come clean on all this…

Kremlin’s Useful Idiot Backs Notorious Anti-Semite

Chris Williamson has taken some time out from spouting Kremlin talking points on Russian TV to defend a notorious anti-Semite on Twitter. First Williamson denied Scott Nelson had ever sent these infamous tweets about the “Jewish connections” and “Jewish blood” of Tesco and Marks & Spencer. Nelson was very publicly booted out of the Labour Party…

Then, confronted with the tweets, Williamson decided to still back Nelson:

And he’s been retweeting Nelson’s Twitter account:

Christine Shawcroft resigned for less. No action from Labour…

Tories Still Need Candidates Ahead of Today’s 4pm Deadline

Earlier this week we reported on Tory candidate shortages leading to activists searching the streets to find people willing to run ahead of today’s 4pm deadline. Good news and bad news. Guido is assured the Tories have a full slate of candidates for Liverpool city council, though there are still problems in other parts of Merseyside and the North West. ConHome reports the shortages are replicated across the country in Manchester, Barking and Dagenham. Tory activists tell Guido there is no hope of meeting the requirement for ten signatures on candidates’ nomination forms given in some wards the Tories barely even get ten votes. CCHQ had wanted to make sure there wasn’t a ward in the country where you couldn’t vote Tory. Leaving it until deadline day is perhaps not the best way to show voters they’re being taken seriously…

UPDATE: Explanation from local Tories for candidate shortages in Merseyside…

Blue on Blue: NiMo Complaint About Brexiter MP

Nicky Morgan has protested to the chief whip and her association chairman has lodged an official complaint with the Tory party after her colleague Andrew Bridgen sent a statement of support to a pro-Brexit rally in her constituency. On March 10 the cross-party ‘Brexit Means Exit’ tour was in Leave-voting Loughborough, hosting speakers from all the major parties. Brexiter Bridgen had agreed to attend and notified Morgan’s office, only for NiMo to email the chief whip and for Julian Smith to then ask him not to go. Bridgen accepted and instead sent the rally organisers an innocuous statement about how “the people of our country voted to leave the European Union and to take back control of our Laws, our borders and our money”. Which is, after all, government policy…

That didn’t satisfy Team NiMo – Guido hears her association chairman responded by lodging an official complaint with the Tory party. Seems a bold move given Bridgen was in Loughborough actively campaigning for Morgan a few weeks earlier, Brexit is the policy of the government and NiMo voted with Labour when Remain rebels defeated the government in December. Who should be the one getting a telling off from the chief whip?

UPDATE: Here is the statement Bridgen gave the rally. Nothing in there which any Tory should be disagreeing with.

On the 23rd of June 2016 the people of our country voted to leave the European Union and to take back control of our Laws, our borders and our money. To fulfill that wish ,means that we have to leave the single market, the customs union and the juristriction of the European Court of Justice all of which was made clear by those on both sides of the argument in the run up to the Referendum.

Let us be clear, there is no hard or soft Brexit, only Brexit as promised in the referendum or a betrayal of the British people and indeed of our democracy itself. Parliament decided to give the British people the final say on this decision when it voted overwhelmingly for the EU referendum. When those who regret the way the Referendum result went or those who wish for Parliament to reverse or dilute the people’s decision through votes in Parliament ,they often cite that “Parliament is sovereign” and must have the final say regardless of the referendum result. I say this, elected members of Parliament are the servants of the people ,not their masters, MPs are custodians of power for a relatively brief period of time, sovereignty belongs to the people and the people have spoken.

I assure you I will continue to work tirelessly for the Brexit the British people voted for and in the confident ,steadfast ,determination that it will be delivered.
That our country’s future place in the world and its social and economic prosperity will be decided in our Parliament by Members elected by the British people and not in Brussels or Strasbourg by unelected EU bureaucrats.

I sincerely believe our country’s best days are ahead of us if we take this path. Something future generations of our great nation will be eternally grateful for.
I wish you all well with today’s meeting and urge you all to Keep Calm and carry on campaigning.

Kremlin’s Corbynista Useful Idiots

Chris Williamson’s Russia Today interview is being broadcast on the Russian state news agency TASS this evening, complete with Russian subtitles. He argues the UK government is using the Skripal attack to distract from Brexit, which is literally a Kremlin line to take. Meanwhile Corbyn Twitter outrider Aaron Bastani says it could have been done by Israel:

Is it a full moon?

Sutton LibDem Campaign Brake Down

LibDem co-conspirators in Sutton tell Guido the party mass produced a glossy leaflet designed for mail drops before the local election spending period. Having stockpiled the expensive leaflets, the LibDems only started to deliver them once the controlled spending period had started. Doh!

To make matters worse, official council email addresses appeared on the leaflets, rather than political ones. They have had to suspend their council email accounts and thousands of the flyers face being pulped…

The brains behind the campaign? It’s being run out of Tom Brake’s office. This morning Brake tweeted “check out Sutton LibDems. I just joined” – before deleting it. A hat-trick of campaign cock ups enhances Brake’s reputation for competence once again…

“We haven’t seen a police while I’ve been here…”

“We haven’t seen a police while I’ve been here and I’ve been here for a little while now,” David Lammy told the BBC earlier.

As a policeman stands in shot behind him…

Khan Knife Crime Car Crash: Mayor Admits He Hasn’t Met Bereaved Families

Sadiq Khan has finally broken his silence on London’s knife crime crisis, telling LBC’s Theo Usherwood he hasn’t met any bereaved families. Khan did a broadcast interview today after days of silence as London’s 2018 murder toll reached 50 this week: there have been seven suspected murders since last Friday. As Guido reported earlier, Khan’s office had previously claimed he couldn’t speak out because of purdah rules. Sources said the mayor had been working from home this week. Bad look…

City Hall: Khan At Work But Can’t Comment on Knife Crime

As London knife crime tops the media agenda City Hall watchers are wondering: where is Sadiq Khan? The mayor is under intense and increasing media pressure over London’s knife crime crisis as the total number of suspected murders in 2018 rose this week to 50. Rumours were swirling last night that Sadiq was uncontactable; some City Hall staff presumed he was on holiday as he had not been seen in the office. City Hall told Guido this morning:

“He’s been in London all week and is in City Hall today.”

If he’s at work, why hasn’t he spoken out? His office told journalists last night that the mayor could not comment on the knife crime crisis because of the ‘purdah‘ period ahead of the upcoming council elections on May 4th. That’s curious, because deputy mayor Sophie Linden – bound by the same rules – has been all over broadcast, sitting down on the GMB sofa yesterday morning. Khan himself has previously criticised the government for hiding behind the purdah rules. When will Sadiq do something?

Corbynista Fury as BBC Shows Jezza With Russian Doll

Corbynistas are claiming yet more evidence of anti-Jezza bias at the BBC after the News at Ten showed this footage of him playing with a Russian doll during their segment on the Skripals last night.

[…] Read the rest

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