Sports and Social Closed Indefinitely

Bad news for parliament’s junior boozehounds – the Sports and Social bar has been closed indefinitely, not because of handsy MPs but because two older Commons staffers had a brawl there last night. Police were called at 6.30pm, at which point a 57 year-old man was arrested for GBH and affray and a 64 year-old man was taken to hospital by ambulance. He had allegedly been glassed in the face. The authorities have wanted to close Sports for a while, typically punishing the young staffers who mostly drink there for the behaviour of a few more senior people twice or three times their age. This looks like the excuse to do it. Players?

UPDATE: The word in Parliament is the victim of last night’s fight in Sports is a Hansard editor and the alleged glasser is a regular who always sits at the bar.

EU Flag No Longer Flies in Farage’s Favourite Pub

Guido’s on-the-spot team of crack investigative reporters have provided an update on our story from this morning – EU Flag Flies in Farage’s Favourite Boozer – about the Westminster Arms.  They can report that the EU flag no longer flies in that part of SW1.

After Nigel’s intervention and expression of displeasure, where once the foreign flag of our oppressors flew, now there are prominent Spitfire Ale logos. Appropriate.

“So, Boris Can Wait…” Tory Karaoke in Full

Tory conference finally saw the energy and passion it has been lacking this week courtesy of the InHouse Communications karaoke night. Partygoers witnessed peak Matt Hancock as he took to the stage to sing Happy Birthday to himself, before performing a high octane duet of Don’t Stop Me Now with Therese Coffey (watch above). James Cleverly and Kelly Tolhurst attempted Don’t Go Breaking My Heart before Clevz redeemed himself with a more impressive rendition of Twist and Shout, complete with memorable hip action. Will Quince demonstrated surprising depth as he had the room hand-waving to My Way. Nigel Evans gave us Delilah, David Mundell just about made his way through 500 Miles and a Brexit-backing cross-party trio of Paul Scully, Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Ian Paisley Jnr had the room rocking to Sweet CarolineThen it was the turn of the Lobby…

Faisal Islam took great pleasure in adapting the lyrics of Don’t Look Back in Anger to belt out “So, Boris can wait” – just the latest MSM smear. Dan Hodges and Glen Owen teamed up with Number 10 Sunday Lobby specialist Kirsty Buchanan to murder Mr Brightside. An emotional David Wooding, one arm raised aloft, sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, the only time he’ll be able to do that in Manchester. The night ended with Number 10’s Richard “Tricky” Jackson nailing You Raise Me Up. Hic…

In Vino Brexit Veritas

Cracker of a Sun story this morning quoting David Davis saying he plans to quit in 2019 and that this is his last big job in politics. Barnier will be spitting out his croissant when he sees the line mocking his ambitions to be EU President. DD was great value at the well-stocked ConHome party on Sunday night after a long day of lunches and dinners. You know how it is, bad day at work, your office rival is on manoeuvres, the boss is a nightmare, you get smashed and tell your mates you want to quit…

Acid Corbynism

Only one place to be at 1am in Brighton: Momentum’s “Acid Corbynism” bash:

Quiet voices in the conference hall this morning, please.

H/T Ashley Cowburn, Patrick Maguire

Lol-Ney Simply the Best

Simon Hughes and Sarah Olney singing Simply The Best at Lib Dem conference. Since Simon and Sarah both lost in June it seems the voters disagree…

TUC’s Champagne Socialism

Spotted at the TUC Conference, the chance to win a magnum of champagne with every Congress Guide. Up the workers…

“Seumas, I’m Not Sure This Is a Great Idea”

Pictured on the terrace of a 5-star hotel on Thursday evening, married Labour spin chief Seumas Milne getting hard left with a mystery blonde. The photos show shameless Seumas at the plush Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch – the opposite side of London to his Richmond family home – where a standard room costs £300 per night. Milne can be seen leaning in for a passionate kiss, before hugging his lady companion and sitting with her legs draped across him.

A bystander said:

“They had a table to themselves. He was drinking a pink cocktail type thing. She looked younger than he is, I would say in her early thirties, early-to-mid thirties. They were there for a good hour or so. They were very hands on, full on heavy petting. There was a lot of hugging, stroking, kissing and intimate talking going on. The photo where her her head is nestled into him – that was them getting off, that was them mid-snog. We saw them leave together down the walkway back inside the hotel.”

Asked if he wanted to comment when doorstepped by The Sun last night, Seumas, who is married to 60 year-old Cristina Montanari, replied: “I don’t think so“. When the spokesman needs a spokesman…

Call 0709 284 0531 for picture syndication.

May to Schmooze MPs at No.10 Party Tonight

“I don’t gossip. I don’t go drinking in Parliament’s bars. I don’t often wear my heart on my sleeve. I just get on with the job in front of me,” Theresa May is famously fond of telling us. As a sign of how much things have changed, this evening she is throwing a drinks party for Tory MPs at Number 10, taking the unprecedented step of schmoozing her own MPs. Colleagues say this is a rare occurrence – not many of these events have taken place under May. Good to see the PM finally come round to the merits of a drink and a gossip…

Last Orders For UKIP: Manifesto Calls For Fewer Boozers

Perhaps the most surprising upshot from UKIP’s manifesto launch is that the party of Nigel Farage has made a pledge unlikely to be popular with the pub trade. The manifesto argues for the repeal of the 2003 Licensing Act, Blair’s ‘cafe culture’ law which brought in late opening hours, and appears to want to cut the number of pubs:

“To protect emergency workers from abuse, we will repeal the 2003 Licensing Act and bring in new legislation to reduce the density of alcohol outlets and restrict trading times.”

“Reduce the density of alcohol outlets”! What would Nigel say?

H/T Henry Mance

Labour Peer: Laura K’s Grandfather Turning in Grave

Piss artiste peer Lord Foulkes seems to have suffered from the perils of post-lunch tweeting. Foulkes has continued the latest unsavoury Labour trend of using BBC journalists’ families against them, writing that Laura Kuenssberg’s late grandfather would be “turning in his grave” at her apparently biased reporting. Stay classy…

Salmond Campaigning Hard

All that campaigning clearly getting the better of Alex Salmond. A well-earned kip on the flight home after a glass of his favourite pink bubbly…

Len and Seumas’ Champagne Celebration

Allies of Len McCluskey mocked Gerard Coyne and Labour Blairites earlier by claiming they would be drowning their sorrows with “Peroni and chablis”. Well, tonight Red Len is drinking champagne at a victory party with Seumas Milne and a who’s who of lefties at Boot and Flogger by London Bridge. A bar in the heart of the City, famous for serving champagne in tankards…

UPDATE: The cheapest bottle of champagne at Len’s victory party is £51. The group have got through 20+ bottles of bubbly as of 8:52pm.

Polish MP Complains About Jean-Claude Druncker

Polish MP Krystyna Pawłowicz has written to Jean-Claude Juncker complaining that his “obvious alcohol dependency” has become a “problem of the entire European community”. Pawłowicz claims Juncker’s drinking was “particularly distasteful and out of place” during the visit of Pope Francis and accuses him of “offensive” behaviour towards “women who were certainly too polite to ask you to take a rest”.

No one would ever have known

UKIP Toast Loss of Only MP

With a nod to Douglas Carswell’s trademark sunglasses emoji, UKIP’s NEC break open the bubbly to toast the loss of their only MP…

Boris and Dave ‘Stood on Chairs’ at Harlem Restaurant

Twitter employee Joanna Geary was in the Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem last night when she bumped into the Foreign Secretary dining with an old friend. She says “I hadn’t seen David until Boris said “‘I suspect you’ll recognise my friend David’ and pointed in his direction”. Team Boris strongly deny allegations of dad dancing, though Reuters‘ Anjuli Davies alleges some standing on chairs:

UPDATE: A spokesman for Boris Johnson said: “The picture is of Boris trying to get out of a very tight seating area against the wall in the restaurant. Nearly all the other members of the group on that side had to do the same (step up and over) to get out.

Once a Bullingdon boy…

Hammond Invites Colleagues to Reconciliation Drinkies

After days of vicious negative briefings against him from Number 10, and 19 Tory MPs publicly opposing his Budget, Philip Hammond is looking to heal wounds. This afternoon the Chancellor invited MPs to a reconciliation drinks party at his Commons office, where he will no doubt be reassuring colleagues over his National Insurance rise. (Or ditching it.) Note the date, March 27, is one of the rumoured dates Article 50 could be triggered. Guido has the invitation:

Subject: Chancellor Drinks Reception – Monday 27 March

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to invite you to drinks with the Chancellor, on Monday 27th March, 18.30 – 19.30. The event will take place in the Chancellor’s Commons Office, Room 21c Ministerial Corridor.

Please let me know if you are able to attend.

Very best

John Glen MP
PPS to Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

Assume Theresa May’s aides are NFI…

Sham-pagne Socialist

Via the EyeSpy.MP Twitter account, Shami reportedly on the fizz this afternoon as her colleagues in the Lords begin their Brexit debate…

Relative of Nicola Sturgeon “Burned Money in front of Homeless Man”

Guido can reveal that the Cambridge student who allegedly burnt a £20 note in front of a homeless man is related to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Ronald Coyne, a law student at Pembroke College who is a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association, was filmed brandishing the cash and a cigarette lighter last week. Sources tell Guido that Coyne has previously repeatedly boasted about his relationship to Sturgeon. A Scottish government spokesman says they are not “directly” related. A senior Scottish government source confirms to Guido that they are “distant” relatives by marriage. 

Coyne has been expelled by the Cambridge University Conservative Association following the incident. A CUCA spokesman told Guido:

This occurred in the private capacity of the individual – he was not attending a CUCA event. Despite this, his membership was immediately revoked when we heard what had happened.

A University spokesperson said:

The University is committed to respecting the rights and dignity of all members of our community. We expect our students to treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times, and the University takes allegations of unacceptable behaviour very seriously. We do not comment on individual cases.

Coyne did not respond to Guido’s repeated attempts to contact him. Most embarrassing for Nicola that he’s a Tory…

Article 50 Party at Downing Street Next Week

The tabling of the Article 50 Bill was an historic moment that Eurosceptics have waited decades to witness, and Downing Street will be throwing a party next week for Tory MPs to celebrate. On Tuesday the Commons is sitting until midnight for the Bill’s second reading.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

John Curtice on fiscal policy:

“Attitudes to taxation and spending are basically counter-cyclical. If a government comes in and tries to reduce spending and taxation, after a while people will get worried about the state of public services. If a government increases taxation and public spending, after a while they’ll get concerned about increasing taxation…. In as much as there are lots of ideologues out there who think the state should be this proportion of GDP, they’re all wrong. Because the public’s view is counter-cyclical to the recent experience. It’s basically impossible to satisfy the public.”

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