Starring Quentin Letts, Kevin Maguire, Isabel Hardman and Miranda Green. Happy Christmas…
Poor Lucy Powell did her best on the Daily Politics not to reveal whether she was responsible for Labour’s disastrous immigration strategy, described as “bollocks” by her colleagues. Eventually she ‘fessed up: “I take responsibility for what goes out in my name”. A penny for the thoughts of Labour MPs watching this interview…
It’s taken six months for UKIP to find a new Director of Communications and Paul Lambert has certainly been showing some ankle elsewhere. There was talk of him going to ITV, Sky or even to run Miliband’s operations. Now Guido can reveal Gobby applied to work for Theresa May’s Home Office before accepting the UKIP gig. Both the party and Mr Lambert declined the opportunity to comment. Not so gobby now…
Gobby is quite simply a Westminster legend. His actual name is Paul Lambert and he says “UKIP is today the place to be if you want to be a part of a party that is changing the face of British politics for the better…”. When a senior UKIP source told Guido this was on the cards last week, Guido just did not believe them. Let’s see how he copes with being on the other side of the camera…
The delicate flowers over at the licence fee-funded spin arm of the BBC are terribly upset with the Sun:
One problem with this supposed fisking. Auntie Beeb’s spinmeisters completely fail to address the original charge, that the number of senior BBC managers earning more than the Prime Minister has gone up. Instead, they claim “Senior Manager numbers fell again last year”. An entirely different point, and a straw man erected to deflect from the original, evidently accurate Sun claim about how many of them earn more than the PM. When the state broadcaster needs a propaganda arm…
The Chief Whip was in punchy form with a bad-tempered Eddie Mair on PM:
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EM: “Will you resign as Chief Whip is there’s another defection before the general election?”
MG: “Well, I’m convinced that nobody will, so the matter doesn’t arise.”
EM: “But you won’t put your job on the line? You’re not that certain?”
MG: “Well, I’m certain that we need a Conservative majority at the next election and I’m going to do everything possible to ensure that we get that.”
EM: “Is that the kind of answer that puts people off politics?”
EM: “Is that the kind of answer that puts listeners off politics?”
MG: “In what way?”
EM: “It’s not a direct answer to the question.”
MG: “Yes, but your question was, if I may say so, the type of political game-playing that puts people off BBC interviewers.”
Gove went on to say Theresa May would not be as successful a Tory leader as David Cameron. Pow!
The BBC are on the case. Today’s Daily Politics had more on the Khan story:
Tory MP Justin Tomlinson explained he only went to the police because Khan went into hiding:
“There were two things that got me angry yesterday. Firstly that he had worked with the very same charities I had, he was the parliamentary champion for road safety, and he had personally boasted that he had campaigned on this issue for nine years. And secondly we are all human, we all do make mistakes yet he has gone into hiding. The irony is he has now turned his phone off.
His local media, the radio, your programme today – no one can get hold of him and he should put his hands up and say I am sorry I understand the importance of this issue.
I want him to say… I am going to learn from this. We as politicians are all human and are happy to come and take the credit when things go well, but sometimes you make mistakes and you’ve got to hold up to that. Frankly if he had put his hands up straight away and apologised I wouldn’t have taken this any further. It is not acceptable. We have a duty – especially those of us who have been involved in these sort of campaigns to set a good example. You cannot simply disappear when things don’t go your way.”
He Khan run, but he can’t hide…
Some cruel people have suggested that Newsnight has dumbed down in recent months. Guido thought this new promo deserved a wider audience. More Newsround than Newsnight…
The BBC empty chairs its own presenter:
A technical hitch tackled with consummate professionalism by Joanna Gosling.
Rona Fairhead, the new boss at the BBC Trust, has sent out a cringe-worthy welcome email to all staff on her first day:
“Today is my first day as Chairman and I wanted to write to say “hello” and to say how excited I am to be joining this great organisation. I feel privileged to be here and can’t wait to get started.”
Naffness aside, full marks for the correct usage of the English language. There is no such word as ‘chairwoman’. It’s comforting to see such a respected and august national institution lead the way against politically correct butchery. A good sign…
Speculation that Nick Clegg is going to use his speech this afternoon to announce his resignation has been replaced by a much graver threat:
He’ll do anything to get people interested. Seven months to wait until he actually gets the bullet…
“I always get them confused with ISIS,” says Armando Iannucci of IPSO…
Appointment of successor to Sir John Sawers as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service
Please see the reminder below circulated today by the DA Committee.
Date: 3 October 2014
Subject: Appointment of successor to Sir John Sawers as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service
To All Editors
You will be aware of the announcement made by the Foreign Secretary that Alex Younger is to succeed Sir John Sawers as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service.
Although Alex Younger’s appointment is now a matter of public record, DA Notice 5 asks that details of the families and home addresses of members of the intelligence agencies and any other information, including photographs, which could assist terrorist or other hostile organisations to identify a target, should not be published without first seeking DA Notice advice.
If you have any doubts about material you plan to publish or broadcast about the appointment of Alex Younger then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee
UPDATE: Joined up government:
Putin won’t notice, will he?
Local Labour activists in Heywood and Middleton are unhappy about the selection process to find a replacement for the late Jim Dobbin. Just a few days ago the Manchester Evening News named Richard Scorer, a local lawyer who has represented Rochdale child abuse victims, as the front runner. Voters seemed set to forgive Scorer’s employers Slater & Gordon for having the most annoying advert ever, and were ready to make him their next MP.
Yet for some reason Scorer’s name didn’t make the shortlist for tonight’s hustings. LabourList reports that “party members have apparently raised concerns about the lack of “local” candidates on the list, despite several local councillors putting their names forward”. Instead members will have to choose between a trade union crony from Essex, two councillors from elsewhere in the North West and Miriam O’Reilly, who according to the Mail is “poised to ride to Ed Miliband’s rescue”. O’Reilly was the Countryfile presenter who sued the BBC for age discrimination and now serves on Harriet Harman’s commission investigating discrimination against older women. Amusingly, when O’Reilly tried to get selected in Nuneaton last year she lost, to a 22-year old. At the time Miriam promised “I’m moving to the area, whether I’m selected or not”. Born in Ireland and raised in Birmingham, she instead decided to move to Wales.
Will the people of Heywood and Middleton spot the second choice carpetbagger at the selection tonight?