Why Should Parliament’s Bars Close?

Performative anger is spreading on Twitter like a new Covid variant. Partly thanks to an Adam Boulton tweet, a photo of parliament’s terrace supposedly showing MPs and staffers drinking while the late Queen lies in state just down the corridor has prompted questions about decorum. Guido was surprised to see the photo, not least because Strangers appeared closed on Tuesday night, though no messages about the bars closing this week have been posted on the parliamentary intranet. Why should the bars close? Pubs are just about the only thing staying open next Monday, and it’s not like the Queen was opposed to a tipple…

Perhaps given a recent spate of Standards Committee reports into sleaze and poor behaviour by MPs, the most controversial aspect is that the parliamentary authorities chose to put the under-18s choirboys’ changing room in the male loos directly opposite Strangers’ bar.

Which risks putting temptation right in front of drunken MPs…

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John Nicolsan Pours Like a True European

Being able to pour a decent pint is an essential political campaigning skill – one SNP MP John Nicolson clearly hasn’t practised. The size of the pint’s head is still dwarfed by Ian Blackford’s however…

Perhaps even worse than Corbyn’s attempt during the election.

Typical politicians – all froth and no substance…

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Labour Shadow Cabinet Drown Their Sorrows

Labour’s leadership contest was in full swing last night after the PLP hustings, with almost all contenders taking to Strangers bar to lobby fellow MPs. Parliament’s bar’s veterans were amazed to see the likes of Starmer, Long-Bailey, Rayner, Thornberry and Phillips – almost never been spotted there – getting merry. Damian McBride, no stranger to Strangers, was seen pressing the flesh on behalf his mistress, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, in the forlorn search for a single endorsement. Burgon almost found his way to Strangers, instead he ended up having his dinner in the Commons canteen with Cat Smith instead, in turn missing a few votes…

After staying until closing in the newly inclusive Strangers bar (now allowing staff in as well as MPs) – an elite group of the Shadow Cabinet headed off to Players bar – where the resentful attitude of attending Labourites towards the Shadow Cabinet members for losing the election made things decidedly less merry. Ashworth, Louise Haigh, Chris Bryant and Lord Adonis still managed to enjoy themselves, dad-dancing and loudly singing along to apropos lyrics, “Losing everything, it’s like the sun going down on me”. Sad…

In the end, a row erupted after a singer in the bar adapted the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ to say “the record shows, we took the blows and we lost ’cause of your way”. Chris Bryant shot back with “no we didn’t” eventually resulting in the singer calling the Shadow Cabinet “c**ts”. Singing truth to the powerless.

Expect Labour MPs to be getting on the booze a lot over the coming months…

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CCTV Footage of Ross Thomson Incident Requested Under GDPR

Parliamentary Authorities are expected to release CCTV footage from last Tuesday evening in Strangers’ Bar in the House of Commons, where multiple witnesses say they saw Scottish Tory MP Ross Thomson drunkenly grope men. Over the weekend Thomson dug in saying “these allegations from anonymous sources are completely false”… a panicky claim that may prove to have been unwise.

Someone who was present in the bar at the time has requested CCTV footage of the evening from parliament’s Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service, which they are entitled to do under GDPR. A response will be provided within a month…

“Thank you for your clarification and ID, received today. We understand your request to be for CCTV footage of yourself in the House of Commons on Tuesday 5 February

We will now progress your request and provide a response no later than 12 March 2019, in accordance with your rights under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPRs).”

Guido doesn’t see how Parliamentary authorities can withhold the evidence of this footage…

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Scottish Tory MP Removed From Strangers Bar By Police

Scottish Tory MP for Aberdeen South, Ross Thomson, was removed by police from Strangers’ Bar in Parliament last night after groping male visitors. An eyewitness who saw the incident unfold inside the bar told Guido the story…

“He was in Strangers last night drunk and was groping young men who had guest passes on. Grabbing their backside and genitals and trying to put his hands down people’s pants.

Many people watched on in disgust and I saw someone pull him to one side to ask him to leave. He returned around four times after being chaperoned out and carried on groping people.

It became so unpleasant that the police had been called and eventually escorted him out of the bar after taking statements in the corridor. I believe the Sergeant at Arms is also aware of the incident.”

Questions had previously been raised after Thomson paid back expenses for a hotel room he shared with a male friend he later employed in his office.

Ross is a well liked MP but his behaviour here lands him in very hot water…

His office are not answering calls. He is not answering his mobile phone. CCHQ will only say “we’re looking into it”.

UPDATE: Scotland Yard confirm: “Police were called to a bar within the Palace of Westminster following a report of sexual touching. Officers attended and spoke to the parties involved – three men in their 20s and 30s. However, no formal allegations were made to the officers and no arrests were made.”

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Strictly Lavery Maybot Dancing

Guido’s not really sure what is going on here…

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