There might be a month until the ballot closes, but that hasn’t stopped some excitable Corbyn supporters from organising a mass “victory party” for their man on September 12:
Nearly 1,000 people have already signed up to attend the event, which sounds just great:
Will they be flying the red flag through the streets of London, or are they a tad premature?
End of an error, more like…
It’s Neo-Guido’s leaving lunch this afternoon.
Guido will be drowning his sorrows down the pub later, come buy him a Guinness. Usual place…
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…
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.”
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…
Coach loads of trots are being bussed into London on Saturday for a union-funded End Austerity Now march on parliament. Jeremy Corbyn will be there, hoping to convince as many as he can to pay their £3 and sign up to vote.
Among those joining Corbyn will be the “Cannabis Campaigners Against Austerity” group, who sound like they have a fun day planned:
Forget this lot, what were the MPs who nominated him smoking?
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.
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.
Gay people and pregnant mothers will be spied on under controversial plans drawn up by health lobby extremists. Guido has seen a copy of a report set to be released later this month by ASH, that draws up plans for a massive clamp down on the rights of the individual in regard to smoking.
The anti-smoking lobby group have written a wide-ranging wishlist for the coming parliament and it’s about as authoritarian as you can get. History would indicate that this bunch get what they want; from the smoking ban, to plain packs and restrictions on smoking in cars.
The document includes plan to spy on gay people in order to stop them smoking:
“Improve national surveillance to ensure that timely and robust data are available on smoking prevalence including data on all socio-economic groups, people with long-term conditions, people with mental health problems, minority ethnic groups, the LGBT population and other disadvantaged groups.”
And the midwives will be armed in this fight:
“Issue every midwife in England who conducts antenatal appointments with a carbon monoxide monitor.”
Because obviously all pregnant women are liars.
Smoking is set to be banned in prisons and on stage, as ASH demand the government “remove the smokefree exemption for prisons” and “theatrical performances.”
And they’re not done there…
The leaked memo includes plans to investigate “legislative and non-legislative options to make outdoor environments smokefree” and “all enclosed cars and motor vehicles.”
So what will the group recommend to make all their dreams come true? Higher taxes, obviously:
“Increase the tax escalator on tobacco products to 5 per cent above the level of inflation.”
You read it here first…
Watch as SNP MP Patricia Gibson recoils in horror and wafts the air as one of her colleagues lets rip in the Commons:
And everyone thought the chamber emptied because Clegg got up to speak…
UPDATE: The guilty culprit has been identified as Labour MP Richard Burgon.
JTI, the owners of Benson and Hedges, follow British American Tobacco (Rothmans, Dunhill) and Philip Morris Inc. (Marlboro) into the High Courts to protect the billions they have invested in their brands. If the High Court does not protect or compensate them for their losses from the planned censorship by plain packaging, they will go to the WTO in Geneva for protection. This battle is not over yet…
Today’s new Institute of Economic Affairs report by Christopher Snowdon looks at the impact of 24 hour drinking. Guido has crunched the numbers into a handy infographic:
As the report finds: “Facilitating longer opening hours may have been the best thing the Labour Party ever did…”
Tonight’s launch party for Steve Hilton’s new book “More Human“ brought out an A-list crowd of high Tories and hipsters. Held in Rohan Silva’s SecondHome tech hub in East London it was more a Cameroon re-union party than a book launch. In the wigwam Hilton, dressed appropriately in guru colours of yellow and orange, held court to a crowd including David Cameron and George Osborne as well as Cabinet ministers from past and present. Jeremy Hunt mingled with the likes of Lord Heseltine and Lord Howard among internet hipsters whilst entertained by a Hungarian folk band – much to the amusement of Steve Hilton’s mum. This was the authentic über-modernisers wigwam in which Rohan invited the assembled great and the good to wander barefoot…
Hilton’s speech was one of thanks and a lighthearted powerpoint remembering his time on Team Cameron. He spoke of the stream of emails he received in California before the election complaining about the negativity of the Tory campaign, all imploring him to come and bring some sunshine into the Tory message, “I said, look Dave, you hired Lynton Crosby…”. The PM laughed…
The Hungarian band played on – with the crowd joining in to sing “Happy Birthday” to Oliver Letwin. Heseltine flirted with twentysomethings, Samantha Cameron beamed at Gabby Bertin. All is well now Miliband’s red terror has been defeated. Apart from Steve Hilton wanting to overthrow global capitalism…
Watch also: Steve Hilton’s Trippy Newsnight Segment
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”.