Calamity Karen’s Cup Kerfuffle

Northern Ireland Secretary Calamity Karen had a spot of bother spilling her glass of water across the table. Thankfully Shadow Northern Ireland Minister Stephen Pound was on hand with a tissue to squeeze spilled water back into the glass. Yum. Water calamity! 

Toynbee: No More Referendums… Except This One

The Guardian’s second referendum supporting Polly Toynbee got into a sticky situation on Politics Live when Andrew Neil revealed her own words from just last year “never try another referendum.”

Her response? “Well, except possibly this one.”

Inspired.

Bridgen Suggests No. 10 Put Out Noose Comments

“The only people that suited those kind of comments, which were very unhelpful, bad politics (and I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the Prime Minister), is Number 10.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Number 10 didn’t put those words out themselves knowing exactly how the press and the public would react.”

It’s a view…

Kamall Savages European Socialists

Tory MEP boss Syed Kamall had a punchy exchange in the European Parliament this morning, when he hit back at socialist MEPs for their focus on right wing nationalism. Kamall reminded German SDP MEP Udo Bullmann that extremism can also come from the left…

“When you talk about right wing extremists we have to remember that nazis were national socialists.”

“It a strain of socialism. It is a left wing ideology. They want the same things as you. You don’t like the truth do you? C’mon its national socialism.”

“I’m telling you it is a left wing ideology. Don’t pretend!”

Get this guy in the Commons…

Boulton Turns Sky Blue

In off-air footage leaked to Buzzfeed, Sky’s Adam Boulton slipped into a few Anglo-Saxonisms, one directed at his co-worker Beth Rigby in Birmingham earlier this month for Conservative Party Conference.

“Just put the f***ing seat in”

“She’s got to come and f***ing sit here is she wants to be on telly”

“SIT DOWN THERE stop f***ing around”

Is this really a big deal? Is your workplace a church or nursery? The Guy Newsroom is more profane…

Rudd: Leadership Election Would Be An Indulgence

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has rallied to May’s defence on Newsnight, saying that a leadership election in the middle of the Brexit negotiations would be a “total indulgence” and a “huge mistake”. In truth the looming Brexit deadline is the only thing that has held MPs back from launching a leadership challenge thus far, with MPs nervous about unleashing chaos with such little time left in the negotiations. The danger for May is that increasing numbers of MPs are concluding that the risk of chaos is preferable to whatever deal she is going to bring back from Brussels…

Nonetheless, Rudd’s point on the numbers cannot be ignored. A new Tory leader would still have to grapple with a minority government propped up with the DUP, and with at least a dozen Tory MPs ready to rebel in favour of a softer Brexit or no Brexit at all. May’s toughened language on the Irish backstop yesterday may have calmed some Brexiteer nerves but with Boris Johnson becoming the 44th MP to join anti-Chequers group #StandUp4Brexit last night and the DUP opposed to any regulatory barriers being erected in the Irish Sea, not simply customs barriers, it is not clear that May’s arithmetical challenge is any less severe.

However, MPs may be less inclined to listen to Rudd’s advice after she insisted that any so-called “People’s Vote” would have to have Remain on the ballot paper, contradicting her previous pledges to “fully respect the result” and that the UK would leave without a deal if Parliament rejects it. If Rudd wants to gain Tory MPs’ trust as a peacemaker within the party, backing a second referendum is absolutely not the way to do it…

Fabbers’ Starkers Shock for Kay Burley

If Guido readers weren’t sure whether Michael Fabricant hadn’t already revealed too much with his video promoting his naked charity bike ride earlier, his afternoon appearance promoting it on Sky News might help them make up their minds. Fabbers opted for an unusual zoological metaphor to allude to some of the logistical challenges of filming on a cold day. Kay was speaking for all of us when she said “I think that’s more information than I’ll ever need in my whole life”…

Fabbers Tells Constituents to Get Naked

Following on from his rather… demonstrative whipping video, now Michael Fabricant is encouraging his constituents to get naked… in order to raise money for St Giles Hospice in his Lichfield constituency.

Little has been left to the imagination as Fabbers tries to raise awareness and funds for a charity “very close to my heart”, declaring “nothing is more likely to make me stand proud than the sight of hundreds of Lichfeldians cycling naked down Beacon Street.” At least he wipes down the seat of the Boris bike afterwards…

Raab: People Must be Held to Account for Khashoggi Death

Dominic Raab says the Saudi account of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death is “not credible” and that people must be “held to account” over it. He won’t be drawn on what specific actions the UK could take…

Raab ‘Open-Minded’ About ‘Short’ Transition Extension

“Let’s say three months”…

Starmer Won’t Rule Out Remain

Keir Starmer makes the point of again not ruling out Remain if there’s a second referendum. Labour continuing their Brexit policy of being all things to all people…

Suella: UK Can “Thrive” With No Deal

Brexit Minister Suella Fernandes says it won’t be a “walk in the park” but the UK “can thrive in a no deal scenario”. As long as the government has done the ground work to prepare…

Suella denies being a Brexiteer sleeper agent. Ironically many Brexiteers think she was asleep on the job when she headed up the ERG and the Northern Irish backstop was slipped through…

People’s Vote Delete Disturbing ‘Must Watch’ Video After Backlash

The ‘Peoples’ Vote’ campaign have deleted a disturbing video where a parent pushes his five year old child to demand a second referendum. The poor kid can’t even remember what he’s been told to say. After a big backlash on twitter, the campaign sheepishly deleted the video. Guido has it saved for co-conspirators to see and cringe at. They professionally produced it with subtitles and an end screen, and called it a “MUST WATCH”…

What Would Maggie Do?

Bang on from Lord Dobbs…

UPDATE: A hint from the Iron Lady

EU Unity Latest: Tusk & Selmayr’s Public Spat

Something was incensing Juncker’s “monster” Martin Selmayr and Donald Tusk, who couldn’t stop themselves from have a fierce public row on the way into their press conference earlier. Brexit causing blood pressures to rise in Brussels too…

UPDATE: Selmayr responds:

“The President of the European Council @eucopresident had a factual question to the @EU_Commission before his press conference, and I helped out. Very simple.”

If that’s how Tusk asks a simple “factual question” Guido would hate to see him when he’s cross…

Bercow Has No Intention of Resigning Next year

Watch the reaction when Sky reporter Aubrey Allegretti asked John Bercow to clear up if he’s definitely resigning as Speaker next summer. He didn’t answer and instead his aide aggressively shoved the reporter away. This is revealing on a number of levels.

Firstly, the video reveals that he condones this kind of unnecessarily aggressive behaviour from his staff. Secondly it confirms that Bercow is unwilling to give an on the record confirmation of when he intends to step down. It has been widely reported that “John Bercow has told friends he intends to stand down as Commons Speaker next summer”. The use of “friends” by political journalists often means the subject himself is giving an unattributable comment or he has authorised someone the comment on his behalf. By avoiding giving an on the record commitment to go he will be able to say next year that he gave no such commitment, despite it being widely reported this week.

Bercow’s ruse is intended to merely take the heat out of the moment following publication of the Cox report and leading parliamentarians calling for him to go. Not the usual awkward squad, people like Maria Miller. By letting it be known without personally committing that he intends to go soon, he discourages MPs from making a move against him. A push against the Speaker requires substantial effort and involves the risk of retribution or a loss of preferment. The Speaker enjoys almost monarchical powers in parliament, he is the prince of the Palace of Westminster. Wounding him without removing him means he will be able to exact revenge and that is very much within his bullying nature. Unless there is a concerted and organised cross-party effort Bercow will stay in office for as many years as he can. He has no intention of stepping down whatever his “friends” tell the press.

Bercow Unmoved by Commons Harassment

Watch this to the moment when Labour’s Teresa Pearce told the House that her constituent who was a victim of abuse by her employer. Her employer being “this House”. You could hear a pin drop in the chamber. Bercow couldn’t bring himself to look at Pearce. He just stares resolutely down at his order paper…

Watch Live: PM’s Brexit Statement in the Commons

May makes her statement, wearing white…

What’s Going On This Week

  • Monday
    • Nicola Sturgeon is down in London to give a speech on Brexit.
  • Tuesday
    • Monthly unemployment figures to be released by the ONS.
    • Education Committee a robot called Pepper.
    • Theresa May to chair Cabinet ahead of the EU summit meeting on Thursday.
  • Wednesday
    • PMQs.
    • The European Council is meeting over dinner for the EU 27 to discuss Brexit ahead of Thursday’s summit.
    • Marijuana to become legal in Canada.
    • World Economic Forum to launch its annual Global Competitiveness Report. Last year the UK was in eighth position.
  • Thursday
    • Question Time from Guildford on BBC One.
    • European Council summit in Brussels.
  • Friday
    • Government consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act closes.

Hancock: I “Hope” Customs Union Will Be Time Limited

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Andrea Leadsom told BBC Radio 4’s Today

“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential. … He’s made his views known on Brexit… it’s a matter for him but nevertheless it’s a challenge and all colleagues need to form their own view of that.”

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