Labour MPs’ Questionable Boris’s Treehouse Attacks

Eyebrows were raised in Downing Street over the weekend after the publication of a story in The Sunday Times that Boris had looked into having a £150,000 treehouse built for son Wilf at Chequers. The story – undisputed since publication – goes he had once again entered into discussions about Lord Brownlow forking out for the cost, however plans were eventually scuppered by police security concerns given the house would be visible from the road. Despite the design including bulletproof glass, which raised the cost significantly…

Guido was amused to learn that Downing Street’s eyebrows weren’t raised by the Sunday Times’s story, instead by Labour MPs’ attacking the plans on the grounds of Boris being out of touch. Vauxhall’s Florence Eshalomi, Rhondda’s Chris Bryant, Wallasey’s Angela Eagle, and Hull’s Karl Turner were all among those laying into the PM.

No. 10 sources wryly note, however, that it wasn’t that long ago when it was a Labour PM splashing huge wads of cash to renovate Chequers – without a whimper of controversy. In 1999, one Tony Blair added a luxury tennis court complex to the PM’s Buckinghamshire residence, something since enjoyed by successive MPs including David Cameron and Boris Johnson. Sources in the know tell Guido that the courts weren’t built using public cash, nor did they come out of the Chequers Trust, implying the extortionate costs either came out of Blair’s personal pocket, or a private donor. Given Guido unfortunately can’t make it to Blair’s big centrist jamboree today, perhaps an on-hand hack might like to raise the question of who paid for the courts…

mdi-timer 30 June 2022 @ 10:31 30 Jun 2022 @ 10:31 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
May’s “Hell Week” Hots Up

After a relatively quiet start, Theresa May’s “hell week” on Brexit is starting to hot up. ERG Vice-Chair Steve Baker has thrown down the gauntlet to the Government on Chequers, telling Today that “at least 40 MPs” would be prepared to vote against Chequers – after taking into account a major whipping operation from the Government. Baker is known for not exaggerating support, these numbers tally with Guido’s rolling spreadsheet of where MPs stand…

May’s Brexit position has come under further pressure following the intervention from former Chief Whip Mark Harper this morning. Harper, who backed Remain, dismisses the idea that the Government will be able to get Chequers through with Labour support and calls on May to pivot towards a Canada-style deal which he says she can “unite the party around”. Harper is the first Remain-supporting MP with Cabinet-level experience to back the ERG’s Brexit stance, Downing Street should be worried…

Meanwhile, DUP sources have rubbished suggestions that their position on a sea border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain has softened. Baker also turned his fire on May’s rumoured climbdown on the Irish backstop, which could see the UK agree to remain in the single market and customs union indefinitely until the EU decided that alternative arrangements were acceptable:

“If the backstop leaves the whole of the UK in the internal market of the EU together with the customs union indefinitely – because it seems like that the trigger to leave might be handed to the EU – if that were to be the backstop that would be so obviously unacceptable…”

Opposition is mounting from all sides and May hasn’t even made any further concessions yet. Where does she go from here?

mdi-timer 9 October 2018 @ 09:09 9 Oct 2018 @ 09:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
May Doesn’t Rule Out More Chequers Concessions

Marr asks May twice whether she will make further concessions on her Chequers plan to get a deal with the EU. May dodges the question twice…

mdi-timer 30 September 2018 @ 11:55 30 Sep 2018 @ 11:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
DD: Chequers “Just Wrong”

DD not beating around the bush with his views on Chequers…

mdi-timer 30 September 2018 @ 11:45 30 Sep 2018 @ 11:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tusk Rejects Chequers as Parliament Shifts Against Plan

EU Council President Donald Tusk has just told a press conference that Chequers “will not work.” By Guido’s count almost half of MPs in the Commons agree with him. Noes are up by 260 since last week

Over 47% of MPs have publicly indicated they will vote against the Chequers plan. May loyalist Sir Mike Penning announced today that he will vote against it, and over the weekend Keir Starmer announced Labour will vote against any deal based on Theresa May’s Chequers proposals. Labour’s moderates and Corbynistas have explicitly said they will not vote for Chequers. Guido so far only counts 132 MPs who have firmly expressed an intention to back Chequers.

To see the full sheet, click here. To notify us of an amendment use this form.

mdi-timer 20 September 2018 @ 14:46 20 Sep 2018 @ 14:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory Members Hate Chequers More

Theresa May’s summer charm offensive appears to have backfired as Tory members surveyed by Conservative Home view the proposal in a worse light than they did last month. 27% said Chequers was a good deal last month. This month that’s crashed down to 23%. Those who say it represents a bad deal rose from 68% to 69%.

Despite a national tour and letters being sent to all members, the Prime Minister’s plan is less supported now than it was before…

mdi-timer 4 September 2018 @ 11:36 4 Sep 2018 @ 11:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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