Bercow Calls Patsy Julian Lewis to Praise His Treatment of Staff

Absurd spectacle in the Commons as John Bercow calls his pal Julian Lewis to make a patsy point of order asking the Speaker to confirm just how much his staff love him. Bercow takes the opportunity to say the “great majority” of his former staff left on good terms. As he and Lewis know, that isn’t the point. How many of Bercow’s former staff did not leave on good terms? And why? This is not the behaviour of an innocent man…

Dave On Hot Mic: “Has The Former Chancellor Been Helpful Tonight?”

Dave was on a morale-boosting visit to CCHQ ahead of the locals last night – while browsing the Evening Standard he was caught on a hot mic by young Tory Robert Langley. The former Prime Minister wondered aloud:

“Has the Chancellor, the former Chancellor, been helpful tonight… oh no, not particularly [laughter]… ah, no way…”

He seemed to enjoy it a little too much…

New Bercow Bullying Victim: I Was Paid £90,000 to Stay Silent

Bombshell fresh bullying allegations against John Bercow this evening reported by Newsnight. Devastating testimony from the Speaker’s former private secretary Angus Sinclair surely casts doubts on whether Bercow can stay on. Sinclair reveals he was paid almost £90,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement following the bullying claims:

“I thought to myself, it’s in the public interest to know why I left.

“Yes, it breaks that non-disclosure agreement, but it’s the truth. There was bullying.”

I was working at my desk and he came in and was absolutely furious about something.

“He asked for some information from another part of the House. It had been very slow coming and I’d prodded for an early resolution and he knew that but he held me responsible.

“There was a tirade of how I’d let him down and it was the worst thing.

“There was a lot of bad language and suddenly his mobile phone which he’d been holding was flung on the desk in front of me and broke into a lot of bits.”

Almost as if Bercow is a total piece of work. How long can he stay in place?

Tory MP Uses Parliamentary Privilege to Allege Legatum Founder Worked For Russian Intelligence

Tory MP Bob Seely has used parliamentary privilege to allege that the founder of the Legatum Institute, Christopher Chandler, was an “object of interest” to the French intelligence agency DST since 2002 “on suspicion of working for the Russian intelligence services”. Seely says the French intelligence documents naming Chandler were passed to him, Chris Bryant, Ben Bradshaw, Liam Byrne and Adam Holloway. Popcorn…

UPDATE: Legatum Group respond:

“Christopher Chandler has never been associated directly or indirectly with Russian intelligence or the Russian state.  Neither Christopher Chandler nor anyone at Legatum is aware of any such alleged “investigation” by French authorities, not 16 years ago or at any time since.  To be clear Christopher Chandler has never been approached at any time by the French or any other authorities regarding Russia and maintains a sterling record of ethical business practices earned over many decades. These accusations are complete nonsense, and have been previously rebutted by the Legatum Group (here).”

British Virgin Islands Accuse Hypocritical Hodge of “Colonialism”

Tax hypocrite Margaret Hodge took a kicking from Lorna Smith of British Virgin Islands Finance on the Today programme this morning, who accused the Labour grandee of “colonialism” for attempting to force them to introduce public ownership registers. Hodge’s amendment, backed by Corbyn, is in the Commons today. Well worth a listen to hear Hodge skewered…

As Guido has chronicled, Hodge had a £1.5 million shareholding in 0.01% tax rate-paying Stemcor. 96,000 Stemcor shares awarded to Hodge in 2011 came from the tax haven of Lichtenstein. Now she is attempting to enforce “colonialist” tax avoidance measures on the British Virgin Islands. You don’t get more hypocritical than that…

Sainsbury’s CEO Sings ‘We’re in the Money’ Before Interview

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe has apologised for this “unguarded moment” before an interview with ITV this evening. Sainsbury’s shares up 17% on news of their £13 billion merger with Asda…

Saj Drops ‘Hostile Environment’ Rhetoric

First significant change in tone from the new Home Secretary…

Remain Peer: This Amendment Can Stop Brexit

There it is: Lord Bilimoria lets the cat out of the bag in the Lords and admits “It is parliament thanks to this amendment that will have the ability to stop the train crash that is Brexit”. 

Jenny Jones responds to the Remainiac Lords by telling them their bonkers speeches have put her off voting for their amendment:

Remain Lords not covering themselves in glory today.

Via via Hugh Bennett

LibDem Peer Compares May to Hitler

Latest from the Lords, where the disgraced moat-cleaner Douglas Hogg and friends are tabling an amendment to stop Brexit. LibDem peer Lord Roberts has just compared Theresa May to Hitler:

“My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933, when the Enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag. That Enabling Bill transferred democratic rights of the parliament into the hands of one man, that was the Chancellor. His name was Adolf Hitler. Perhaps I’m seeing threats that do not exist, but they are there, they are possible. Who’d have said before the 1930s that Germany, this cultured country, would involve itself in such a terrible war.”

This is the standard of argument from Remain peers.

Vid via Darren Grimes.

JoJo: Rudd an Outstanding Figure in Our Politics

An amusing aside to the Windrush scandal is that Amelia Gentleman, the Guardian journalist who might end up scalping Amber Rudd, is married to Jo Johnson…

Khan: Give EU Migrants Preferential Treatment Over Non-EU Migrants

One of the advantages of Brexit is we can now have a fair immigration system that treats people from outside the EU the same as people from inside. Would be a shame if the government sides with the Remainers and shows a lack of ambition on this too…

Lewis: I Told Rudd About Migrant Removals “Ambition”

So Rudd knew of an “ambition” to increase migrant removals, but Brandon Lewis claims that is different to a “target”. You’d have thought she might have mentioned that to the Home Affairs select committee last week…

Did Rudd Lie to Home Affairs Select Committee?

Amber Rudd told the Home Affairs select committee on Wednesday: “We don’t have targets for removals… if you’re asking me are there numbers of people we expect to be removed, that’s not how we operate.”

Today the Guardian reveals a memo sent to Rudd last year referred to the Home Office’s “target of achieving 12,800 enforced returns in 2017-18″ and that they were on a “path towards the 10% increased performance on enforced returns, which we promised the home secretary earlier this year”.

Either she didn’t read the memo and doesn’t have a grip on her department, or she deliberately misled the committee…

12 Year-Old Mogg on How Socialism Would Ruin Britain

“With that sort of determination, he should go far,” was the BBC’s verdict in 1981…

Vaizey Brillo’d After Claiming Rudd Handling Windrush “Very Well”

Amber Rudd’s Remain ally Ed Vaizey last night somewhat stretched credibility by claiming the Home Secretary is handling the Windrush scandal “very well”. Andrew Neil challenged Vaizey five times to give an example of how Rudd was indeed managing the scandal “very well”. Alas he unsurprisingly couldn’t give one…

Ruth: I’m Pregnant

Congratulations! Wouldn’t be the first to have a wee bairn ahead of a leadership bid…

Red on Red: Leslie vs Williamson

Labour wars on the Daily Politics today as Chris Leslie and Chris Williamson clashed over compulsory re-selections and anti-semitism. Leslie challenged top Corbynista Williamson:

“You shouldn’t really be sharing platforms with the likes of Jackie Walker… you have a big role to play in standing up against anti-semitism.”

Williamson dodged that point. Corbyn has told his outriders not to call anti-semitism a smear, what is he going to do about Williamson and McCluskey? Nothing…

Guido’s Candidate Watch on Daily Politics

Guido’s Candidate Watch stories were read out to the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury on today’s Daily Politics. You can read them all here. Stay tuned for more tomorrow…

Bad Al: I Never Told a Lie

Check out that body language. He actually looks away each time he says “no”…

Trump Wipes Dandruff Off Macron’s Suit

Dandruff diplomacy…[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

David Blunkett says

“…the Corbyn revolution is the dog that refused to bark. The party I have worked for all my life catastrophically failed to win targets such as Barnet, where voters, at least in part, turned away from Labour in droves because of the anti-Semitism furore. Outside London the picture was worse, with disastrous performances in Dudley, Derby and elsewhere.  Election expert Professor Sir John Curtice pointed out there had actually been a swing to the Conservatives from Labour. Yet according to the leadership’s advance publicity, this was an election in which the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group was supposed to deliver grassroots campaigning and a seismic political breakthrough. How telling that one of Labour’s few success stories, in Plymouth, happened precisely because local activists insisted on running their own campaign and told Momentum to stay away. The lesson to be learned is simple and obvious: Corbyn’s project is leading the party away from victory.”

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