Camer-off: PM Campaigns Behind Closed Doors Public Barred from Cameron Campaign Stop

Parking tickets were not the broadcasters’ only worries as the PM rushes to Scotland – the speech was closed to the public and not taken live. What could they possibly be worried about Dave meeting voters?

Meanwhile Salmond is just down the road; walking the streets, shaking hands and posing for selfies.

If the Prime Minister goes to Scotland to give a speech, but the public are not allowed to hear it, did it really happen?

UPDATE:

PMQs Off: Joint Statement From Cam, Clegg and Ed

They’re very, very rattled. A joint statement announces that, in the panic, PMQs is off tomorrow:

“There is a lot that divides us – but there’s one thing on which we agree passionately: the United Kingdom is better together. That’s why all of us are agreed the right place for us to be tomorrow is in Scotland, not at Prime Minister’s Questions in Westminster. We want to be listening and talking to voters about the huge choice they face. Our message to the Scottish people will be simple: ‘We want you to stay.’”

Crisis mode. Accountability out of the window for a last minute flap.

UPDATE:

Dave: Being a Conservative is About Tax and Spend

Discussing the fact that Britain’s poorly costed second aircraft carrier will see active service after all, Dave told the Commons earlier:

“In a nutshell really, that’s the difference between a socialist and a conservative. They dream about having money, where we raise it and spend it.”

Really, Prime Minister? Being a conservative is about raising tax and spending? Think that line might need a little work…

WATCH: David Cameron's Awkward 'Handshake' With Obama

Critics say he was rejected twice, allies say he was just doing the introductions. What do you think?

Via Mirror

Establishment Panic Over Scottish Freedom

Just two weeks ’til the referendum on Scottish freedom and finally Westminster’s chattering classes are waking up to the bookies halving the odds on a ‘Yes’ victory. The Times’ Red Box has gone into panic mode this week, with Scottish political editor Lindsay McIntosh yesterday warning against bubble complacency:

“The first is seen by many in the political bubble. In it, the Nationalists are losing the practical arguments about the economy, so are on course to lose the vote badly. The other, seen by some outside, shows “yes” quietly stealing victory… Unionists need to brush up on their messaging if they are not to be responsible for a dramatic redrawing of the UK after September 18.”

Alice Thomson this morning goes further, imploring: “Wake up unionists, you could really lose this”:

“If Scotland votes Yes, all hell will break loose – and the unionists’ complacency will be to blame. It’s time for Westminster to focus on the independence referendum.”

Rachel Sylvester also has growing concerns, telling Dave:

“If he becomes the Conservative prime minister who presided over the break-up of the United Kingdom, he will face immediate calls for his resignation from within his party.”

Squeaky bum time…

Smears at the Heart of Downing Street

WATCH: Tanned Dave Responds On Camera to Carswell

He should have stayed on holiday… 

Dave the Rave: Tories Launch Ibiza Branch

Chuka Umunna is not the only politico on Ibiza this summer. The Tories have just launched their own Balearic branch of Conservatives Abroad:

“Ibiza is renowned for attracting the world’s party people and last week was no exception as Conservatives Abroad launched its latest new branch  – Conservatives Abroad Ibiza. Overlooking the secluded bay of Porroig, residents and visitors mingled in the beautiful home and gardens of Charlie and Louise Bracken for cocktails and canapes, generously sponsored by Ibiza-Southerbys.”

How long before Ed Vaizey jets out for a fundraiser?

Scowling Dave Arrives Back at Downing Street

Someone does not look too pleased about being back at work unexpectedly.

You would never have thought someone just enjoyed ten days in sunny Portugal…

Sorry Sam: Dave Cancels Cornwall


The PM is on his way back to London to do nothing from his desk in Downing Street, rather than via his Blackberry.

Bad day for fishmongers of Cornwall.

Are You a FOB or a FOG?

It’s been a bad week if you are a FOG (Friend of George). First Osborne’s big spending speech was obliterated from the news agenda by Warsi, then Sajid Javid’s second attempt disappeared under Boris’ shadow. Harry Mount in this week’s Speccie explains why the FOBs are beating the FOGs:

“Boris is already forming a loose-knit collection of supporters — FOBs, friends of Boris, to engage in mortal combat with the FOGs, friends of George Osborne, should there be a leadership contest. Jesse Norman and Zac Goldsmith are said to be keen FOBs — they have received little preferment under Cameron and bring powerful cadres of MPs in their wake. Alongside them is Nadine Dorries, one of the few Tory MPs to back Boris openly.

Boris’s deputy mayor, Kit Malthouse — who has the safe seat of North-West Hampshire lined up at the election — will be a staunch ally in the next Parliament. Interesting how Boris loyalists slip easily into safe seats while Cameron’s former advisers have to talk their way past grass-roots Tory opposition to coalition policies.

And here’s where the FOBs have the edge over the FOGs. George’s gang are largely in it for themselves. Their loyalty remains tied up with their own ambitions, which Osborne wisely satisfies from time to time. Boris’s gang are in it for the man himself. And the gang is growing every day. There are quite enough MPs — ones Osborne has been indifferent to — who will do anything to stop the Chancellor getting the top job.”

Are a FOB or a FOG? Maybe you are a FOT (Friend of Theresa)? A FOM maybe (Friend of Michael)? Perhaps you are looking ahead and have become a FOS (Friend of Saj)? Guido suspects in time others will decide to become a FOL (Liz, not Liam) or a FOP (Friend of Priti). Or even a bitter FOE (Friend of Esther). One thing is clear, there aren’t many left who give a FOC…

Cameron’s Letter: Warsi Did Not Tell PM Before She Quit

ayeeda

Via @suttonnick

80% of Tory Candidates Selected This Week Were Men

52 year old Graham Cox will defend Mike Weatherley’s 1,868 majority down in Hove, after he beat the slightly more photogenic female candidate Kristy Adams at last night’s selection.

That means four of the five Tory selections that took place this week were won by blokes.

Peter Anthony won in Blackpool South, Jeremy Moulton was selected for Southampton Test and Andrew Atkinson will be the PPC in Wrexham.

At least one woman is a shoo-in, Victoria Atkins has been selected to take over from Peter Tapsell in Louth and Horncastle.

Dave’s women problem is not going away…

Tory Women Problem: Kevin Hollinrake Selected in Thirsk

estate

The selection to replace Anne McIntosh took place last night in Thirsk and Malton. Former Corby by-election candidate Christine Emmett was lined up by the Tories as the newspaper-friendly female successor. In an act of defiance towards Cameron’s desire to stop people saying the party has a woman problem, Thirsk and Malton Tories instead chose a man, Kevin Hollinrake. He’s a local estage agent. Which will do plenty to restore trust in politics.

There were three rounds of balloting and Hollinrake won in the final round so it was close all the way, though this was a local party which was never going to be told what to do. Voluntary party 1, Dave nil.

UPDATE: Sharon Hodgson has sobered up enough to approve this quote from Labour HQ:

“This sorry episode speaks volumes about the Tories under David Cameron – their sole woman MP in Yorkshire has been deselected amid suggestions of sexism and replaced by a man. For all his claims to be different, David Cameron has done nothing while his party has kicked out one of his most senior MPs. No wonder people think the Tories have a problem with women.”

Farage’s Fillies Nigel’s Top Team Has Higher Percentage of Women Than PM’s

women

Nigel Farage now has a higher percentage of women in his top team than David Cameron following UKIP’s reshuffle today. Of the six top jobs announced by UKIP, two are given to women – Louise Bours and Jill Seymour – meaning 33% of Farage’s senior posts are held by ladies. By contrast, just 5 of the PM’s 16 Tory Cabinet positions are held by women, a mere 31%.

farage

Paul Nuttall – Deputy Leader, Education, Skills & Training

Patrick O’Flynn – Economics Spokesman

Steven Woolfe – Immigration and Financial Affairs

Louise Bours – Health Spokesman

Mike Hookem – Defence Spokesman

Jill Seymour – Transport Spokesman

Nige has never had a women problem…

UPDATE: Guido brings you news of five more appointments, including three more women:

Diane James – Justice and Home Affairs

Jane Collins – Employment

Margot Parker – Small Business

Amjad Bashir – Communities

Ray Finch – Fisheries

Grumbles at the Dave’s BBQ

“No10 summer barbecue last night – cross between a wake (sacked and overlooked) and a stag party (or hen party!) for newly promoted” tweeted Mark Pritchard this morning. While Dave has enjoyed a spectacular turn around in party unity over the last year, there are some jolly bruised members either still on the backbenches, or unwillingly back there. How was the PM’s small talk, Guido asked a few Tory MPs. “Sheepish” says one. “Haughty” said another. Happy holidays!

Crosby Keeps in Running With No 10

Lynton Crosby had a hand in telling several ministers to jog on in last week’s reshuffle, and it seems he certainly knows how to keep in the running with the party leadership. Guido hears the fifty-something campaign guru has, in an effort to be fighting fit for the election, taken on the same personal trainer employed by the Camerons. This one could run and run…

WATCH: Cameron Statement on Ukraine Plane Crash

[jwplatform src=”http://content.jwplatform.com/players/Jeqq2cCT-mCjhiWMJ.js”]

Via Sky/ITV.

The Disappointment of a Continental Breakfast

Looks like the only thing anyone was drinking at breakfast was awkward juice…

UPDATE:

Tories Set for Move to Pull Out of ECHR

David Cameron is to announce plans that threaten to pull Britain out of the European Court of Human Rights, Guido understands. Axed Home Office minister Damian Green wrote a paper preparing the government for a move towards withdrawal prior to him losing his job at this week’s reshuffle.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

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