Andrew Neil had a sly dig at the Speaker after PMQs ended after only 43 minutes today, joking that Bercow only ended it early “probably because he knows that we come out of it now… so he won’t be on television himself”. Not before Bercow had taken the chance to use one of his many interruptions to lecture MPs about “respect and good behaviour” in Parliament. Without a hint of irony…
Andrew Neil revealed least night that he had received a surprising request to rap Nicki Minaj’s Starships at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. MC Neil is no stranger to musical performance, best known for his 2010 hit single Election Day.
I’ve just had the most bizarre request of my life (and believe me this is a high bar): to be the rapper on Nicki Minaj’s Starship song (nope, never heard) at (and for once caps justified) THE ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE??!!
The BBC’s Chris Mason offered to stand down in favour of Mr. Blobby live on BBC Breakfast yesterday morning, arguing the Noel’s House Party character could offer analysis as good as his own. “Don’t do yourself down…”
Last week’s Runners & Riders on the Sky political editor role’s availability, now that Faisal Islam is off to the BBC to become their economics editor, brought more than the usual complaints and lobbying from those jockeying for position and their friends. Proving once again that journalists don’t like to be on the receiving end of journalism…
One justified complaint was that Guido had made a glaring omission – Niall Paterson. Fans of Niall are right to say he must be in with a good chance. He stood in successfully for Sophy Ridge during her maternity leave and he knows his way round SW1 as a former political correspondent at Millbank. Currently co-presenting the weekday breakfast show he could easily switch to the pol ed job. Guido would give him short odds for the job…
Emily Thornberry confirmed to Marr this morning that Labour is intent on voting down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, in the hope of forcing a general election. The clock is ticking, and as things stand the UK will automatically leave the EU in 138 days.
Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter revealed this morning that the Army has “not been asked to do anything specifically at this particular stage” by the Government in relation to Brexit contingency measures, but that if there isn’t a deal “we stand ready to help in any way we can.”
Channel 4 have released a teaser trailer for their upcoming Brexit drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Vote Leave supremo Dominic Cummings. The trailer doesn’t necessarily calm the suspicions that this is going to be more of a Cadwalladr-inspired techno-conspiracy than a serious political drama. Will they have to dramatically rewrite their script after the Information Commissioner blew apart Carole’s conspiracies today?
After four years at Sky as political editor, Faisal Islam is off to the BBC to become their economics editor. As ever Guido brings you likely runners & riders:
Beth Rigby – she wants it and many viewers think she’s already the pol ed. Must be in with a good chance.
Sophy Ridge – conflicting information as to if she really wants the job, which entails being on the road a lot, given a young child at home. Sky are a progressive employer so they would want to make it work for her. No doubt she could do it.
Chris Mason – if Sky wants to get one back from the BBC Mason would be an obvious choice. Mason might feel that Laura Kuenssberg is going to be in position for a long time and this is a chance for promotion and more money. Is rumoured to be interested in a move.
Nick Watt – again Sky could get their own back on the BBC by pinching Nick from Newsnight. Is he tired of the late nights?
Ross Hawkins – seems a bit frustrated on BBC radio. Could be interested.
Tom Newton-Dunn – a regular on Sky’s late night paper review, Tom’s enthusiasm for appearing on television is well known. Not sure if Sky’s executives share his enthusiasm…
Lewis Goodall – just too young, too Labour and too irritating?
Paul Brand – if Sky were to cast their net further afield – ITV’s political correspondent has had a few eye catching scoops lately.
Ed Conway – Impressive journalist and writes authoritatively about economics. During elections he has covered politics well. Guido’s outside bet.
Amol Rajan – has not publicly ruled himself out for the job.
Banks got positively Trumpian on his way out of the BBC after doing his Marr interview. Accusing Channel 4 News of being a “fake news propaganda channel”. Banks is clearly still sore from the bonkers accusations by the show that he tried to start an African coup with a couple of handguns bought for security guards at a mine in which he has a financial interest. The bizarre allegations amounted to nothing.
Channel 4 News is getting increasingly tetchy about being boycotted by government ministers and other Conservative politicians. The situation should hardly surprise them given that they are at times more of a campaigning organisation than a news organisation. Their anchorman reportedly wants to “f**k the Tories”. That’s fine if you are a newspaper or, dare Guido say, a website that does campaigning journalism. The standards are very different for a regulated news broadcaster. Channel 4 News doesn’t seem to even pretend to seek objectivity nowadays…
Peter Hain has heavily defended his use of Parliamentary Privilege to name Philip Green as the businessman behind the injunction against the Telegraph. But was he even allowed to do so?
Under a resolution on Parliamentary Privilege which the House of Lords adopted on 11 May 2000, Peers cannot use their Parliamentary Privilege to refer to any cases which are currently Sub judice – i.e. undergoing active legal proceedings – unless they have secured the approval of the Lords Speaker to do so at least 24 hours in advance. It also stipulates that “the exercise of the Speaker’s discretion may not be challenged in the House.”Did Hain seek formal approval from Lord Fowler in advance?
Additionally, the resolution sets out that the Lords Speaker should only grant permission for the Sub judice rule to be waived when, in their opinion, “a case concerns national importance such as the economy, public order or the essential services”. It may have covered the front pages but it is hard to argue that the Green case fell into any of these categories…