James Cleverly Jumps In Leadership Race

Guido hears James Cleverly will officially announce he is standing to be Tory Party leader tomorrow, just as a flashy grassroots website encouraging MPs to back the popular former Deputy Chairman of the party appeared online. So far he has one supporter…

Social Media Race To Succeed Theresa May

Over the last few days a host of new flashy twitter accounts have popped up, urging some serious, and some not so serious contenders to throw their hat into the ring in the race to succeed Theresa May. With flashy graphics, subtitled videos, and decent jokes, the Tory grassroots are itching for a race…

Guido has compiled a handy list of the active ‘Ready For’ accounts for co-conspirators to check out:

Some of the sillier accounts are worth a follow…

Guido was sad to see that no grassroots Tories seem to yet be ‘Pumped for Hunt’ or ‘Happy For Hancock’…

78% of Local Tory Members Now “Oppose Continuing Leadership of Theresa May”

The Orpington Conservative Association’s Political Forum met the week before last and local Tory MP Jo Johnson was in attendance. The purpose was to discuss the Withdrawal Agreement. Local constituency meetings are not something that Guido would normally report on, however it is worth looking at this to get an insight into what Tory MPs are hearing in their constituencies and the pressure they are under over the vote. This is from a minute of the meeting:

Sixty email responses from members unable to attend the meeting, together with fifty members present have given us a very clear message to convey to Theresa May’s government. As before, we gave an opportunity to vote on a number of positions: 87% were against the WA and did not see it as a good deal for Britain 78% were opposed to the continuing leadership of Theresa May. 63% supported our MP Jo Johnson in his resignation, and those that did not largely gave as their reason Jo’s call for a 2. referendum. 86% were opposed to a second referendum 90% were in favour of leaving under WTO rules (no deal). And notably for an MP that has preferred remain and an association that stongly supports leave: 98% agreed with Jo Johnson’s description of the deal which can be summarised as the worst of all worlds and a historic failure.

Given these figures it is hard to credit the govemment’s claim that associations support Theresa May’s deal in contrast to the many back bench MPs that have stated their opposition. From our contacts with other associations we know that Orpington Association is not alone in its views.

A stunning three-quarters of Jo Johnson’s local members were “opposed to the continuing leadership of Theresa May” with nearly nine out of ten opposed to the May’s Withdrawal Agreement. According to ever useful ConservativeHome polling, about a third of Tory members support a WTO terms “no deal” and another third a Canada-style deal. This is the position across the Conservative Party back in MPs’ constituencies. It is hard to see how if May loses the vote next week Tory MPs will not be under pressure from their members to trigger a leadership vote…

Watch/Read in Full: Boris’ Speech

Eager punters have been queuing round the block for hours ahead of Boris’ big speech at Tory Conference, with an extra tier being opened up to take the hall to its full capacity of 1,500. Here’s what they heard Boris say:

“Good afternoon my friends and fellow ConHomers.

It is great to be here in Birmingham where so many thoroughfares in the city are already named after our superb Conservative Mayor. I know this conference is going to be a staggering success because just in the last couple of days about a dozen far left momentum activists have kindly pledged their loyalty by ringing my private mobile phone. I put them straight on to Brandon. Continue reading

Boris Storms Ahead of Rivals

Number 10 will be spluttering into their cornflakes this morning after seeing the latest ConHome survey. Boris has stormed ahead of all the other contenders with 35% of Tory Party members now backing him to be next PM, ahead of Sajid Javid on 15%. The Mogg is third on 10% while Gove is languishing in fourth with 6%.  Another boost for Boris as he ramps up the pressure on Chequers…

Gavin Lets the Cat Out Of the Bag

Prolific Instagram liker Gavin Williamson has let the cat out of the bag… liking a comment suggesting his cat could soon replace Palmerston in Number 10. (Palmerston is actually the FCO mouser but can often be found prowling up Downing Street.) Quite possibly the clearest declaration of intent yet ahead of the coming Tory leadership battle. Gavin Williamson wants to be Prime Minister? Who knew?

First Picture of new Cabinet

cabinet

David Cameron: Musical Tribute

Dave’s best bits, put to music…

Cameron’s Last Laugh Over May, Labour, and Watson

An email from “Judith” over Tom Watson’s threats to the Labour leadership poses a particular highlight in Cameron’s last PMQs against Corbyn. The buoyant PM looks raring to go…

Cameron’s Empty Schedule

“Other than one meeting this afternoon, the diary for the rest of my day is remarkably light.” Classy…

Ruth Davidson’s Lobby Lunch

ruth davidson

Ruth Davidson didn’t spare Leadsom or Brexiteers at today’s lobby lunch:

The top Tory Scot left no Brexiteer safe, taking a pop at the member for Uxbridge’s recent departure from front line politics:

After the room broke up into laughter she said “Sorry that’s not even my speech, that’s just a text from Stephen Crabb….”. She did eventually take a pop at the opposition, calling Corbyn “comical Ali”:

As well as her own opposition in Holyrood:

Davidson also revealed why she was so pro-Remain – love:


And let’s not forget her words for the press:

Letting off some steam, Ruth?

H/T the lobby

Prime Minister Elect Addresses the Nation

“We need a strong, new positive vision for the future of our country. A vision of a country that works not for the privileged few, but that works for everyone of us, because we’re going to give people more control over their lives. And that’s how, together, we will build a better Britain.” She says Brexit means Brexit, there can be no going back from that statement from our new Remain prime minister. Remember those words…

Auntie’s Kidding No-One on Leadsom Quitting “Scoop”

LEADSOM LAURA K

Note the timestamps…

Laura Kuenssberg follows Guido on Twitter. Her tweet was by definition not a scoop – as over 200,000 followers of Guido’s Twitter feed know. Lobby hacks were already furiously re-tweeting Guido before Laura followed up three minutes later. So this bit of bragging from BBC News is just demonstrably untrue:

Mark Thompson the former Director-General of the BBC explained a truth of modern digital journalism:

“… Guido Fawkes and a thousand others may deliver their scoops and insights with less precision and restraint than their traditional counterparts, but they deliver them all the same…”

Guido’s co-conspirators know we’re #1 for fast breaking political news; last week we broke the news that Nigel Farage was stepping down as UKIP leader before any other media outlet. Embarrassing that Auntie is trying to spin otherwise…

Brady Signals May Coronation

1922 chair Graham Brady says he has to consult with the party board before Theresa May is confirmed as the new leader. Gove is not going to stand against her:

“Andrea Leadsom spoke with great dignity and courage today. I wish her every success in the future. We should now move as quickly as possible to ensure Theresa May can take over as leader. She has my full support as our next Prime Minister.”

Boris agrees:

“Theresa May will provide the authority and the leadership necessary to unite the Conservative Party and take the country forward.”

Good afternoon Prime Minister May…

CONFIRMED: Leadsom Pulls Out

leadsom-times

As of 11:32am sources say Andrea Leadsom is pulling out. She had been genuinely shattered by the motherhood row over the weekend. A statement is coming at noon…

UPDATE 12:13pm: Confirmed, she’s out. You read it here first.

LISTEN: Partial Times Audio Excerpt

The Times have released a partial excerpt audio recording of the key part of Andrea Leadsom’s interview with Rachel Sylvester:

Rachel Sylvester: “Does your family inform your politics? Do you think motherhood – I thought it was very interesting during the debates you several times said, as a mum. Do you feel like a mum in politics?”

Andrea Leadsom: “Yes. Really carefully because I am sure Theresa will be really sad she doesn’t have children so I don’t want this to be ‘Andrea has children, Theresa hasn’t’, do you know what I mean? Because I think that would be really horrible. But genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake. She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.”

In Andrea’s defence, Sylvester brought up the subject of motherhood and asked the question about her being a mum. Suggestions from the Twitter outrage bus that this was a Trumpian ploy are way over the top. Leadsom’s horror at the Times headline “Being a mother gives me edge on May” is genuine. It was naive rather than nasty…

FLASHBACK: Leadsom Grills Bob Diamond in 2012

Sky’s Faisal Islam has dug out this video of Andrea Leadsom forensically grilling Bob Diamond at the Treasury select committee in 2012. She may well have given her CV a bit of a gloss. But no one can deny she knows her stuff…

How the Husbands Measure Up

Philip John May (above left)

Age: Something of a toy boy, 58 year-old Philip is a year younger than Theresa, and was two years below her at Oxford!

Job: A banker for nearly four decades, he works at Capital International. This won’t be the last you hear of Philip’s investment firm during the next two months.

How did they meet? You all know this one – introduced by Benazir Bhutto at a student disco of course!

What he says about her: Asked if Theresa used to be a corker, Philip says: “Was? She still is!” 

Cheeky fact: Philip convinced Theresa to take part in a debate on why “sex is great” at Oxford.

Strengths: He’s a savvy chap, in the last few days he’s deleted his LinkedIn page.

Weaknesses: Victim of a wacky online conspiracy theory involving Philip and G4S which could’ve been shut down sooner.

What others say: Friends once remarked: “There is no jealousy there as you might sometimes get. Not an iota of that, on the contrary. Denis minus the drinks cabinet.”

Ben Leadsom (above right)

Age: Flaxen-haired Ben hits 50 this month, three years younger than Andrea!

Job: Holds 16 company directorships, house husband.

How did they meet? The City, natch.

What he says about her:Andy” is Ben’s affectionate nickname for Andrea – well she does wear the trousers!

Cheeky fact: A keen dancer, Ben once entered Strictly Come Towcester, wearing a quite spectacular Union Jack waistcoat.

Strengths: Managed to win Andrea’s heart ahead of love rivals allegedly including her campaign manager Tim Loughton!

Weaknesses: Reported as having received offshore loans, though insists it was nothing to do with tax.

What others say: Andrea admits that more often than not she ends up “leaving Ben to deal with the mess, the noise, the chaos” at home.

So who will be our second First Husband?

Boles on the Proles

boles+on+proles

That text message from Nick Boles last night reveals the attitude of many Tory MPs towards Tory members and voters:

You are my friend. I respect the fact that you want Theresa May to be PM. It is overwhelmingly likely that she will be. And if she does I will sleep easily at night. But I am seriously frightened about the risk of allowing Andrea Leadsom onto the membership ballot. What if Theresa stumbles? Are we really confident that the membership won’t vote for a fresh face who shares their attitudes about much of modern life? Like they did with IDS. I am not asking you to respond unless you positively want to have a chat. But I hope that you will reflect on this carefully. Michael doesn’t mind spending 2 months taking a good thrashing from Theresa if that’s what it takes but in the party’s interest and the national interest surely we must work together to stop AL?

When the the text message became public he apologised.

Bolesy’s tactics backfired, with 60 votes up for grabs, Gove got 2 votes less in this round than in the last, perhaps he upset a couple of Gove’s Brexit backing MPs.

The fact is Tory MPs are generally more metropolitan than their supporters. Boles was deliberately targeting Tory MPs with liberal leanings who might fear that the members are going to get what they want, a Brexit-backing Conservative with traditional attitudes. The Tory establishment views Leadsom the same way it views the activists. As below the salt…

It’s May v Leadsom

brady

Theresa May: 199

Andrea Leadsom: 84

Michael Gove: 46

So much for the tactical voting speculation. The next PM will be a woman…[…] Read the rest

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