Lord Ashcroft: Would I Trust Boris with my Wife?

Owen Jones’s customary Tory Conference video has just come out, which includes a rather amusing clip of him asking Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft whether he trusts Boris. The response took Jones and Guido by surprise…

Smashing Toryoke Highlights

Always a conference highlight, iNHouse Communications’ Toryoke did not fail to disappoint last night – with journos, SpAds, and MPs busting moves and straining their vocal cords. The very merry crowd presumably included some former Bullingdon Club members with the amount of smashed glass about. That or some of the singing was more atrocious than Guido can recall..

The assembled crowd were treated to Sky’s Beth Rigby throwing some serious shapes alongside the BBC’s Vicki Young in an impassioned performance of Katy Perry’s Roar. Watch it here…

Bim Afolami showcased his singing talent alongside the Sunday Times‘ Caroline Wheeler with an heartfelt rendition of Time After Time:

Also unforgettable was the Mirror’s Pippa Crerar leading a cheeky but amazing performance of Things Can Only Get Better. Sadly Guido was too busy singing along to film it…

Boris’s 2019 Conference Speech in Full

There’s a reason the queues stretched round the street…

Police Called to Incident at Tory Conference

The police had to be called to the Tory Conference’s international stand roughly twenty minutes ago to investigate a supposed fracas. Video shows officers entering the lounge and then moving press and onlookers away from the incident.

A Norwegian MP inside the stall informed Guido that no internationals were permitted to leave the lounge and the police had had to be called over a “misunderstanding”, however there are rumours there was a fight.  Developing…

UPDATE: Reports that the fracas involved 1922 Committee member, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP…

The Manchester Police released the following statement:

UPDATE II: Clifton-Brown has now been booted out of Tory conference pending further investigation. Not exactly the headlines CCHQ were hoping for on ‘law and order day’…

Grieve and Gauke at Tory Conference Despite Voting Against It

Expelled Tory MP David Gauke has been spotted arriving at the Raddison Blu hotel just outside the Tory conference secure zone – despite having just voted against allowing a recess for the conference. Fellow expellee Dominic Grieve has also spent a couple of days doing fringe events – including one with Jacob Rees-Mogg. They clearly can’t resist the attention…

Gauke has three fringe events scheduled, including one tonight with fellow expellee Dominic Grieve on why a no deal Brexit would be bad for the country; however Guido has been tipped off a group of pro-Brexit young Conservatives plan on gatecrashing the event to heckle. Wonder whether Gauke and Grieve will regret turning up after that…

 

Tory MPs Bullish About Staying in Manchester

Despite Parliamentary plotting, Tory MPs aren’t expecting to have to rush back to Westminster today, or indeed the first half of this week, senior government sources tell Guido. The expectation is that there will be more hot air in the commons, with no substantive votes without significant warning. Opposition MPs need to take over the order paper a whole day in advance in order to pass new legislation, giving Tories plenty of warning…

Labour for now seem to be sticking to their word of not tabling significant motions. Just one statement has been confirmed for 2:30, and there are no urgent questions. At this rate they could have just granted a short recess…

Meanwhile Parliament’s ever impartial speaker is taking the opportunity of Tories being away up north to hold a meeting of party leaders this afternoon, without Boris. Plenty of plotting going on but not much action. The combination of Bercow, Corbyn, Blackford, Swinson, Lucas, and Soubry sounds like the worst dinner party ever.

Ultimately there are limited options the opposition has in the Commons to cause chaos for Conservative Conference. See Guido’s handy list here…

  • Urgent Questions – these have the advantage of forcing a particular minister back to Parliament, but
  • Seizing the order paper in an emergency debate under Standing Order 24 – advantage of a comprehensive way to pass new law (votes at 16 was being touted), 24 hours notice gives plenty of warning to the Tories.
  • Vote of No Confidence – nuclear option, being touted for Wednesday perhaps in an attempt to wreck Boris’ speech. Remains unclear whether the Government would want to win or lose it…

James Cleverly Admits Most Tory MPs Can’t Go To Manchester

Tory Chairman James Cleverly has messaged Tory MPs to outline how Conservative Party Conference will work now that prorogation is over and a short recess has been rejected. Presumably, so MPs can argue about calling each other turkeys some more…

His message concedes “it will not be possible for most colleagues to travel to Manchester” before promising CCHQ will try to facilitate “getting as many of us there as possible, even if only for a short period.” CCHQ will be determining which events are “of priority” and, for the MPs it approves, will be reimbursing travel from Monday-Wednesday.

Read the full message below:

Continue reading

Expelled Tory MPs Can Still Attend Conference

Twenty of the 21 former Conservative MPs who voted against the confidence issue of Corbyn’s Surrender Bill will be allowed to attend Conservative Party Conference this year, Guido has learned. Whilst the whip was removed from all the rebels, only Sam Gymiah has had his membership of the party formally revoked, following his defection to the Liberal Democrats. Guido is sure this news will delight Justine Greening, who is scheduled to be speaking at a Centre for Social Justice education panel entitled “Expelled but not forgotten”…

Guido also understands that, although she is technically allowed to, Amber Rudd will not be attending this year. Guido isn’t convinced that the membership will be all too disappointed…

Tory Conference Cuts 76% of Keynote Speeches

This year’s Tory Conference will ditch the dreadful visuals of minor Cabinet ministers speaking to mostly empty auditorium. Last year 29 individual keynote speeches were made from the main stage. This year’s conference cuts that number down to just seven.

Major speeches will only be made by the Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign, and Home Secretaries, Party Chairman, and London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey with one shorter presentation by the Education Secretary too. Other ministers will only be able to grace the main stage in the form of panel discussions, bunching them into groups of three or four taking to the stage at the same time. Journalists who have had to sit through years of minor boasts from borderline non-entities will be breathing a sigh of relief…

Seen Elsewhere