Owen Smith Hires Top Pfizer Lobbyist to Run Campaign

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Owen Smith has hired a leading corporate lobbyist who works for Pfizer to run his leadership campaign, Guido can reveal. John Lehal is the smoothie MD of lobbying firm Insight Consulting, and boasts among his clients Big Pharma giants Pfizer, Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Lehal’s dealings sparked controversy when he was signed up to run Andy Burnham’s doomed leadership bid last year. Smith used to spin for Pfizer himself and has been dogged by his links to lobbyists over the last week, so it’s a stunning judgment call for him to be using another Pfizer lobbyist who loves Tony Blair:

lehal

John Lehal declined several opportunities to comment. A spokesman for Owen Smith doesn’t deny Lehal is working on the campaign:

“The campaign is still in the process of being set up and no formal paid appointments have yet been made. We expect to be able to finalise staff details at a later date.”

Owen Smith is the Blairite former Big Pharma lobbyist whose campaign is being run by a Blairite Big Pharma lobbyist. Too easy for the Corbynistas…

UPDATE: Smith’s team have now confirmed Lehal will be their Chief of Operations. He’s also signed up Corbyn’s former policy chief Neale Coleman.

Corbynistas Used Code to Hide Cash-For-Votes Plot

gimme

Members of a private Facebook group which organised £25 payments for people to vote for Corbyn used an unsubtle code to disguise what they were up to. Thousands of Corbynistas signed up to the secret “Gimme 25 page” yesterday, all asking for the exact same sum, £25, to pay their “internet data” and other necessities by the exact same deadline, 5pm. The fee to vote in the Labour leadership election was £25 and the deadline was, you guessed it, 5pm. Guido has spoken to one source who joined the group and submitted a request £25 to vote for Owen Smith. The administrators of the group did not approve his post. Labour successfully shut down one group doing similar but last night large numbers claimed to have successfully had their votes paid for via “Gimme 25”. Good luck weeding them out, Iain McNicol….

Diane Abbott Attacks “Lobbyist” Owen Smith

UPDATE:

Secret Labour Funds Offering £25 to Vote for Corbyn

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Guido can reveal the existence of several new funds offering to help people pay the £25 charge to vote for Corbyn, after Labour yesterday shut down a Just Giving page doing the same thing. One private Facebook group named “Gimme 25” has amassed almost 3,000 members. It avoids explicitly saying that the money will pay for votes for Corbyn. But the intention is clear:

“Sometimes if you just had £25 to help towards something important it would make all the difference. There are many people who could probably spare £25 for someone who needs it much more than they do. This group is about bringing those categories of people together. Don’t think of it as begging, just think of it as direct socialism”

A second group named the “Hardship fund” claims to have raised almost £10,000:

Meanwhile Labour supporters have received unsolicited phone calls from Corbynista activists directing them to Facebook groups offering to pay the £25 charge. One Labour supporter says:

“Just got off the phone to a dude who offered to pay me 25 quid so I can go vote for Corbyn. He definitely got my number via ‘Momentum’, but it seems like a personal mobile. He suggested a few pages that are unofficially paying for peoples memberships, when I said I didn’t have the money.”

£25 is a small price to pay to Save Jez…

“Remind him of Anybody?”

Theresa May was sounding an awful lot like the last female PM, she opened with a jibe: “In my years here in this house, I’ve long heard the Labour party asking what the Conservative Party does for women. It keeps making us Prime Minister.”

She was at her most Thatcheresque on Corbyn’s troubles:

“He refers to the situation of some workers who might have some job insecurity, and potentially unscrupulous bosses. I suspect that there are many members of the opposition benches who might be familiar with an unscrupulous boss. A boss who doesn’t listen to his workers; a boss who requires some of his workers to double their workload; and maybe even a boss who exploits the rules to further his own career. Remind him of anybody?”

Chills up Guido’s spine…

Owen Smith’s 999 Emergency

An astonishing piece of colour in Nick Watt’s Newsnight profile of Owen Smith:

“During his time as a BBC radio producer, he was once asked to get a police response to an unfolding crime story. Smith telephoned 999, prompting an official complaint from the Met.”

The man wants to be Prime Minister…

‘Barry Boy’ Owen Smith Lived in Stunning Surrey Home

owen smith

Self-proclaimed “Barry boy” Owen Smith lived in a huge house in Surrey while he worked as an £80,000-a-year lobbyist for Pfizer, Guido can reveal. Despite his much-vaunted working class credentials, our pictures show the Labour leadership contender lived in a stunning four bedroom home in the desirable stockbroker belt village of Westcott. Smith registered the address on the electoral roll and declared it to Companies House when he was a director at the Bevan Foundation. He moved to Wales shortly after he was elected in 2010, and the property was sold in November that year for a £250,000 profit. The estate agent described it as “a beautiful family home which has been the subject of much recent improvement and extension”. According to Zoopla it is now worth well over a million pounds. Only one kitchen though, otherwise Oily Smith really would be the Welsh Ed Miliband…

Labour Voters Agree Corbyn Would be “A Good Prime Minister”

eagle corbyn stats

Topline figures from Ipsos MORI’s July political monitor might have made gloomy reading for Corbyn supporters. When asked whether or not they agree that Corbyn has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister, only 23% agreed, with 68% disagreeing, 6% impartial, and 3% “Don’t Know” (Eagle scored 21%, 40%, 15%, and 24% respectively).

However, when this is broken down into just Labour voters, the picture changes dramatically. 47% of Labour voters agree Jez has what it takes to be a good PM – compared to just 30% for Angela Eagle. In total, net 3% of Labour voters agreed with the question for Corbyn, compared to -7% for Eagle. These are voters – not members – and therefore could represent Labour’s core more accurately than internal membership polls. Though the distinction is irrelevant – both Labour members and voters clearly back Corbyn…

Slick Whipping Operation For “Oily” Smith

Opponents of Owen Smith complain that the Labour whips office has intervened to ensure he beats Angela Eagle’s number of nominations. Smith was spotted deep in discussion with whip and top schemer Conor McGinn yesterday – the pair are close and McGinn’s wife used to work for Smith as an aide.[…] Read the rest

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Labour’s Civil War Hotting Up

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A co-conspirator sent this picture of hundreds of Corbyn / Momentum posters being delivered to TSSA union’s headquarters on Melton Street.  Labour’s civil war is hotting up with thousands of Cobynistas are expected to attend Momentum rallies[…] Read the rest

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Cameron’s Last Laugh Over May, Labour, and Watson

An email from “Judith” over Tom Watson’s threats to the Labour leadership poses a particular highlight in Cameron’s last PMQs against Corbyn. The buoyant PM looks raring to go…[…] Read the rest

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“Oily Smith” Was a Blairite Hawk

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Owen Smith is hoodwinking people on the left of the Labour Party into believing he is one of their own. Nothing could be further from the truth. Smith’s nickname when he worked as a corporate lobbyist at Pfizer was “Oily Smith” because everyone was wise to his habit of telling people what he thought they wanted to hear.  […] Read the rest

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Barriers Up and Cops Out for Labour NEC Meet

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Barriers and police were deployed at Labour HQ to protect National Executive Committee members from their own support base. According to conspirators, 100 protesters gathered at the HQ, with some trying to storm the rear entrance to confront NEC members being ushered in.[…] Read the rest

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Who the Hell is Owen Smith?

OWEN SMITH

Owen Smith is launching his Labour leadership bid in the next few days. “Who he?” Guido hears you ask. Owen is a career politico who has never had a real job outside politics or the media. Those who know him say the man now pitching himself as the soft left candidate used to be “more Blairite than Blair”, running on a right-wing Labour ticket in 2006.[…] Read the rest

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Mordaunt Attacks “Bogus” Leadsom Claims, Defends “Stellar” City CV

Andrea Leadsom has admitted making “misleading” claims about her City career to today’s Times, following up a story questioning her credentials on Iain Martin’s new site Reaction. Andrea’s campaign chief Penny Mordaunt has just been on the Today programme attacking the article as “bogus” and insisting she had a “stellar” banking career.[…] Read the rest

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Eagle: I Will Take Out Corbyn

At last! Angela Eagle says she is ready to challenge Jez:

“There are many people asking me to resolve this impasse and I will do so. I have the support and I will do if he doesn’t act.”

Owen Smith is briefing that he has more numbers.[…] Read the rest

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