Rain on Dave’s Parade

The PM brought back up to his summer bash for Peroni-guzzling Lobby hacks last night, but it was the weather that rained on his parade – literally. As damp Tory leadership contenders worked the thinning lawn of the Downing Street rose garden, a relaxed Dave stood side by side with Theresa May doling out titbits to a ‘doughnut’ of senior correspondents, while Saj put in a good innings. By pure coincidence, Osborne was hosting a rival party upstairs and his guests soon milled out to join the PM’s. The high turnout of ministers included Matt Hancock and Nicky Morgan, Fallon was presumably busy blowing up Syrians. Boris was conspicuous by his absence…

By contrast to the Chancellor’s austere offering of pretzels and Skips last week, the PM generously put on a decent spread of sausages, vol-au-vents and lovely little fried feta cheese pastry nibbles. Asked by mischievous visitors how much holiday he would be taking this summer, Dave zinged back: “I’ll take the same amount of time off as the Lobby”. After an hour or so’s mingling, the PM was hurriedly called back into No.10 just as the heavens threatened to open…

Dave Struggles With Another Three Letter Acronym Text

Along with Boris (late), Hammond (cold),  Fallon (sober-ish), Soubry (jolly), Hancock (bouncy) and former Aussie PM John Howard, the PM laid it on thick last night at Lynton Crosby’s victory party at the Science Museum.

Taking the stage to do his best Australian accent, Dave was sweary:

“‘Stick to your course and bloody do it…’ That is Lynton in a bloody nutshell.”

The PM also revealed he was struggling with three letter acronyms again, this time curt text messages from his campaign manager about “Paisley pyjamas or whatever”:

“I didn’t have my glasses on and could only see WEF, and I was wondering why he was talking about the World Economic Forum.  Turns out it was WTF.”

LOL…

Dave Meets UKIP

Guido is very hungover after last night’s Speccie bash. It was very hot and there was a lot of Pimms involved, also an inexplicable number of pretty models there…

Sadly no Miliband this year, instead it was Harman’s turn to pretend she wanted to be there. Osborne took a couple of hours off from preparing for the Budget while Michael Fallon was bullish about the jihadis. Liz Truss was flirty and Nicky Morgan wandered around looking for someone to talk to. Boris was banging on about some airport…

unnamed (3)

Most amusing was the PM’s drive by, where he immediately got locked into conversation with UKIP spin supremo Gawain Towler. Apparently Dave’s defence was that the smaller European nations are going to support his renegotiation plans. There are about four million reasons why that conversation looked painful. 

Despite the heat the PM’s old pal Steve Hilton got a proper hug, though the hippy chat was soon troubling Dave:

unnamed (4) Blogging may be light…

Green Party Youth’s Glastonbury Mash Up

festival-crowd-girls

The bright eyed youth wing of the Green Party are sending 100 of their members to Glastonbury Festival as part of a “sustainability project”. They will aim to establish “sustainable ‘villages’ which minimise everyone’s impact on the farm“. While getting badgered…

Westminster Arms Faces Closure Threat

Worrying news for one of Westminster’s favourite watering holes. Guido understands that the Westminster Arms on Storey’s Gate – preferred pub of Nigel Farage and half of CCHQ – is facing a fight to stay open.

The Arms is run by Irish firebrand Gerry Dolan but co-owned by an equity company, which owns the building next door and the downstairs bar. Dolan reveals he is contesting plans to develop the neighbouring offices into flats, which would see punters banned from drinking on the pavement outside the pub. The downstairs bar, which houses the ladies’ loos, is also set to go, meaning the pub faces the prospect of only having a gents’ toilets. Dolan tells Guido “it would be the death of the pub”.

A Call to Arms has been launched to save the pub, fellow boozers can sign up here

UPDATE: The equity company is GM Investment Trustees Limited, a subsidiary of General Motors.

Desmond’s Bill

Remember Desmond’s PFL with the FT? Well:

Given Desmond’s company banned kettles from the newsroom, it’s unlikely his own papers would nod this through. 

UPDATE: Uh oh…

Brillo Lifts Lid on Bilderberg

That’s what they want you to think though.

You Can’t Fault Desmond’s Taste in Wine

So Richard Desmond knows all about a PFL.

The FT reports:

“In Richard Desmond’s hands, simple objects become terrifying. There’s the receptionist’s bell that he uses to interrupt executives in board meetings, or the cups of tea that occasionally fly over underlings.

For me, the terror begins when he picks up the wine list. This is Coq d’Argent, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bank of England. The prices look like cricket scores — and Desmond is on the hunt for an innings victory.

“We’ll have that one,” he says, before I can intervene. As the sommelier skips away, the sum of £580 lingers on my retina.
So this, I think, is how it feels to be screwed by Richard Desmond. It took less than 10 minutes.”

Interestingly – given the million quid he has given UKIP – Desmond is not sure about leaving Europe:

“I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows,” he says. “But we need a referendum.”

Not a great week for big UKIP donors.

Arron Banks has put 150 jobs at risk in the South West by moving his business operations to South Africa.

So much for the party slogan ‘Believe in Britain’.

#PFL Explained

keep-calm-and-go-to-a-boozy-lunch-2

The concept of a Nigel Farage “PFL” – proper f**king lunch – should not come as a surprise to regular readers. What was that about, asks Emily Maitless innocently on Newsnight last night:

Well from Guido’s hazy memory, lunch with Farage usually consists of: “two Bloody Marys, a bottle of white, two bottles of red and a cheeky port.” Last time Nige even paid….

Charles Kennedy Died From “Major Hemorrhage”

Charles Kennedy died from a “major haemorrhage” that “was a consequence of his battle with alcoholism”, his family tells Press Association. 

Play It Again, Salm

A once great statesman reduced to loitering around the dingy bars of Westminster putting the world to rights with washed up has-beens.

The other, Alex Salmond.

Sports and Social is SNP’s Next Target

It’s not just Labour’s traditional seats in the Commons that the SNP are after, now the nationalist horde are coming for their favourite bar. The taxpayer-subsidised Sports and Social Club is popular with Labour MPs and their visiting trade union brothers, earning it the nickname “The Sports and Socialist”, but change is coming. As Guido revealed in the Sun yesterday, plans are afoot amongst SNP MPs to rename the dingy watering hole the “Rabbie Burns Bar”.

Friday Caption Contest (Salmond Champagne Edition)

Entries in the comments below.

The winner of this week will get their hands on the #EdStone:

Well a 3D printed version of it, thanks to our friends at CEL

Vinda-who: Farron / Mulholland / Lembit’s Late Night Poppadom Plot

LibDem MP Greg Mulholland is doing little to dampen speculation he is running for leader of his party. He’s twanking any mention of his ambitions and being coy with the press:

So it was a surprise to see him dining with Tim Farron late last night in that really good curry place on Rochester Row, SW1.

Could we be about to see a Farron/Mulholland ticket?

Guido was particularly pleased to hear of another guest at last night’s ‘Poppadom Plot’: Lembit.

Is everyone’s favourite LibDem back in the game?

Austerity Champers Arrives at Downing Steet

The champers is arriving in Downing Street this morning:

While it is Bollinger, back in the boom years the Downing Street champagne orders were far more lavish in size. From 2004:

Cheers!

Pic via @sean_clare

Bullingdon Wannabes: Sob Story of Labour’s Zero Hour Banter Lads

Spare a thought this morning for the plight of Labour’s zero hours letter writers. Among the names of 100 “people from all walks of life”, cobbled together by the party in response to the 100 business leaders backing the Tories, were hard-done-by Manchester students John-jo Pierce and Rory Somerville. This is their sob story:

“We come from all walks of life, this is what Britain looks like. We believe that the fundamental choice at this election is: who does this country work for? Does it work only for those at the very top or does it work for working people – those trying to make ends meet, working in British businesses across the country to create wealth and support their families?”

Here are John-jo (right) and Rory (left) showing “what Britain looks like” and how they are just “trying to make ends meet”:

These were the safe for work, family friendly pictures, from the civilised start of the evening…

Actual Pub Landlord Likes Farage, Irritated With Guardian

Farage’s pub landlord writes to his paper of choice:

As a Guardian reader for over 50 years and a Downe resident for over 20 years, including eight years as landlord of the Queen’s Head, I find your article (Big trouble in middle England, G2, 24 March) disappointing, to say the least. This was in no way a political demonstration but an ill-disciplined, attention-seeking rabble with no thought of other people’s safety or enjoyment. They booked the George & Dragon under false pretences for larger numbers and purposes than it is suitable for, thereby ruining normal customers’ afternoon enjoyment.

A large number of families use this pub and the Queen’s Head for a peaceful Sunday lunch and social gatherings. Young children with their parents (including the Farage children) were terrified by these events. Mr Farage remained calm during these so-called demonstrations and certainly had no minders, heavies or aides with him. Your correspondent omits the fact that the driver of the hired coach refused to transport the rabble back to Bromley, worried about their behaviour and no doubt his safety. Also, the article does not take into consideration the damage caused to the business and reputation of these well-run pubs. I’m not, of course, going to stop buying or reading the Guardian, but hope for a return to more balanced and objective reporting.
Alan Dear
Downe, Kent

As Brendon O’Neil says in today’s Speccie:

“It seems that for the Guardian, a person’s right to privacy is dependent upon whether he’s a nice, right-on, Hacked Off celeb like Coogan — one of Us — or a horrid, EU-opposing, boozing-and-smoking bad guy like Farage: one of Them.”

Telling…

Crosby Declares: “I’d S**k Off David Cameron”

It’s all go down under. In a wide-ranging pre-election intervention, the cast of Geordie Shore, MTV’s Newcastle-based genitourinary gorefest, have had their say on the party leaders. True blue Charlotte Crosby brings the PM some positive news, at last:

“I’d s**k off David Cameron”


One way to shut him up…

Cabinet Drown Sorrows

Or are they celebrating?

Labour MP: Miliband is a ‘F**king Knob’

Labour MP Simon Danczuk is full of his usual glowing praise for his leader in a Staggers interview:

“I ask Danczuk what he thought of Miliband apologising in June 2014 for agreeing to be pictured holding a World Cup issue of the Sun. 

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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