Ashworth Confirms Labour Breaking Student Debt Promise

Shadow Cabinet minister Jon Ashworth confirms Corbyn’s promise to “deal with” student debt has been downgraded to an “ambition”. Johnny Sparkle torn a new one by Susanna Reid – if the Tories packed in their self-indulgence and took a holiday this would be the top politics story in the news…

Rebecca Long-Bailey: “We Want to Have Our Cake and Eat It”

Labour rising star crashes down to earth on the Sunday Politics…

McDonnell Backtracks on Vow to Write Off Student Debt

During the election Jeremy Corbyn vowed “I will deal with” those who had the “historical misfortune” of large student debts, promising he would “ameliorate” their situation and write it off. Last week Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner confirmed the policy, admitting: “It is a huge amount, it is £100 billion. I like a challenge, but we’ve got to start dealing with this debt crisis that we’re foisting on our young people. It’s not acceptable”.

Today John McDonnell u-turned on that key election promise which won the votes of so many students and young people, telling Marr it was just “an ambition” and conceding for the first time “it’s very difficult” to do. All those who voted Labour to have their debts written off should watch this interview. It was fantasy politics, a pack of lies all along…

McDonnell: Grenfell Was “Social Murder”

McDonnell is unapologetic and doubled down on calling Grenfell “murder” on Marr, this time dubbing it “social murder“. That’s a quote from Engels:

“society in England daily and hourly commits… social murder… it has placed the workers under conditions in which they can neither retain health nor live long”

Stay classy…

Security Concerns Over Assange Lawyer’s Access

Seumas Milne’s relationship with Julian Assange’s lawyer has raised security concerns about the confidential intelligence briefings received by Jeremy Corbyn. As a member of the Privy Council, Labour have confirmed that Corbyn has received security briefings about threats to the UK. Given the links between Assange, Wikileaks, hacking and Russia, it is a quite extraordinary situation for the Leader of the Opposition’s main aide to be involved with Assange’s long-term lawyer. Imagine if Theresa May’s top adviser was in bed with someone on the Wikileaks defence team – it would be a national scandal on a par with Donald Trump Jr.

The Hacked Off brigade’s criticism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Hugh Grant, Hugh Tomlinson QC et al argue there is no public interest. The Editor’s Code sets several public interest conditions, including “Protecting public health or safety” and “impropriety, unethical conduct or incompetence concerning the public”. The security concerns easily satisfy the “protecting public health” condition, and no one can argue married Seumas has behaved properly or ethically.

Robertson claims the story fails to meet the Editor’s Code rule that “It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy”. Seumas and Jennifer were in a hotel bar with dozens and dozens of other drinkers. As you can see from the nervous look on Seumas’ “unwilling” face, there was patently no reasonable expectation of privacy. The press haters will have to suck it up – any regulator or judge would throw out a complaint in about five minutes…

Welsh Politicians Spend Thousands Chartering Planes to Watch Football

Welsh government politicians, special advisers, private secretaries and press officers have billed the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds to fly around the world on more than 30 foreign junkets in the last year. Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones blew more than £10,000 chartering a plane for him and his private secretary to France to watch the football last summer. Why are taxpayers paying for this?

The itinerary of the Welsh cabinet and their flunkies would put globe-trotting A-listers to shame. Expenses documents show Jones spent nearly £50,000 on another two trips to the US, taking in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington DC at a total cost to the taxpayer of £47,992. Economy Secretary Ken Skates and his private secretary also went to the Euro football: they attended matches in Toulouse and Paris over five days, total cost £3,232. How did they manage to spend that much?

He and an official also went to Chongqing and Shanghai at a cost of £17,842. Health Secretary Vaughan Gething was also accompanied by an official on a trip to Enetbbe, Uganda, charging £16,582, to mark the “10th Anniversary of Wales for Africa“. Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths and policy official enjoyed sunny Dubai at a cost of £6,563. Who are these people are why are spending our money?

Welsh politicians have long been on the take and get away with it because no one in the English media cares about what are essentially local stories. At a time when Welsh Labour are breaking their tuition fees promise, their politicians and staff are flying around the world on jollies. How can they justify spending this much on going to watch the football?

Corbyn Clueless on Single Market and Customs Union

An enterprising journalist should ask Corbyn to explain what the single market and customs union are. There’s a good chance he doesn’t know the answer…

Don’t They Know Who She Is? Thornberry Turned Away From Speccie Party

To Old Queen Street last night for the Speccie party, the political society event of the summer. A full turnout of Tory players from the PM, Boris and Davis to their many, many ambitious, younger colleagues. One party-loving Labour politician however didn’t make it in:

Guido’s source on the door confirms this was everything you’re picturing and more – an outraged Lady Nugee hitting peak “Don’t you know who I am?”. Everyone knows the Speccie’s clipboard girls (they have iPads these days) employ a ruthless door policy to keep out minor politicians and Westminster C-listers. Guido’s own newest recruit succeeded in charming his way in, he can give you some advice Emily…

Constituent’s Open Letter to “Misogynist” Labour MP

Last month Guido reported how new Labour MP Jared O’Mara had been accused of calling a woman an “ugly b*tch” at a nightclub before he got elected. An unfortunate revelation given O’Mara’s previous claim to fame: singing a song about “smashing” a woman in the face. This is becoming a theme…

Below is an open letter to O’Mara from one of his constituents. She details a list of unsavoury allegations about an evening at a nightclub the new MP runs in Sheffield. Including that a bouncer hit her in the face as O’Mara looked on and did nothing…

“I wanted to keep an eye on my belongings without being that 80s cliche of a woman of a certain age dancing around her handbag. So I’d folded my coat up, and put it at the side of the dancefloor. There were no signs saying “don’t leave belongings here” and, anyway, it was a fairly quiet night so I figured they’d be safe. And they were, until you walked across the floor, took one look at my coat, and kicked it. You didn’t “move it with your foot” as you later claimed to one of my friends, you very deliberately kicked it. I had no idea who you were – the bouncers later shouted that you were the owner – but I ran across to my belongings to check they were ok (they weren’t) and to see whether anything had fallen out of my pockets. I asked you what you were doing, and why you’d done that. You took one look at me and, without speaking, called over the bouncers…

At this stage, one of my friends came across to find out what was happening. He put his hand on my arm, and said something along the lines of “Come on, it’s not worth it”. At this point, your bouncers grabbed him, and grabbed me, and one of them hit me in the face. Still, you said nothing. Now I’ve got my Personal Licence, and I’m fairly certain that there is no provision for hitting anyone – man, woman – in the face anywhere in the Licensing Laws…

My black eye faded after a week or so, and while I was waiting for it to do so I joined the legions of women who cover up their bruises on a daily basis… when I heard that you’d be elected, my first thought was surprise. We had a bit of a laugh about it in the pub (“Guess who the new MP for Sheffield Hallam is! Remember that wazzock who had us thrown out of West Street Live by his bouncers, and they gave me a black eye?”). And then that Saturday morning, when someone alerted me to the rumours about you on the internet, and that song … I felt physically sick. And the arrogance and the contempt suddenly made more sense. Did you refuse to speak to me because I was a woman, and you don’t like being challenged by women? Did you deny ever having met my friend because she turned you down and challenged you?

Do you think that women should be “put in their place” by whatever means necessary, even if this means calling in people who are considerably stronger to do so? It’s been over a month now, and you have still never acknowledged that your past behaviour might possibly be ever so slightly misogynistic. I’m not really expecting a response to this which is why, in the light of Yvette Cooper’s excellent speech calling out vitriol the other day, I’m taking the liberty of copying this to some of your colleagues in the hope that somewhere along the line you can acknowledge your behaviour.”

Jared seems one to watch…

Gun-Wielding RMT Union Boss Backs “Militants” to Take Out Blairite “C***s”

Readers will remember RMT union boss Steve Hedley, a Corbynista who ignored the kinder, gentler mantra to call fellow Labour members “careerist little sh*ts” and “right wing traitors”. Hedley had to serve a suspension from the Labour Party, though they let him back in earlier this year. Seems he has not learned his lesson. Agreeing with a Facebook friend’s complaint that the Scottish Labour Party is full of “Brownite and Blairite c***s who can’t wait to drive the knife in JC’s back”, Hedley called for “working class militants” to “clean house”.

The RMT is set to re-affiliate to the Labour Party since they love Jezza so much. Steve Hedley is the RMT’s assistant general secretary and a Labour Party member. Keeping the compliance unit busy…

UPDATE: A reader writes:

Interesting picture of Steve Hedley on today’s blog. He might think he’s holding a Russian AK 47, to go with his Red Army hat – when in fact he’s holding a WW2 STG 44 ’Sturmgewehr’ – a (Nazi) German assault rifle. Do you think he knows, or is he really trying to tell us something?

Labour Mayor Accused of Running Over OAP

Labour mayor of Middlesbrough Dave Budd has been accused of “running over” an old age pensioner in a row over a complaint about a cracked pavement. Great-grandfather Patrick McGill, 68, is said to have ended up “sprawled on the bonnet” of the mayor’s car when he confronted him over issue last weekend. The Sunday Post reports that an argument took place and Mayor Budd “allegedly… drove forward after asking the pensioner to move“. Earlier this year McGill was left with a fractured hand when he tripped over the pavement he wanted to complain about. Cleveland Police told Guido:

“We received a telephone complaint at around 1:30pm on Saturday 1st July reporting that a man had been injured by a car near to Middlesbrough Town Hall. We have spoken with the complainant to gain further information.”

A spokesman for Dave Budd at Middlesbrough Council said:

“There’s nothing to say.”

Don’t get on the wrong side of Mayor Dave Budd…

Mrs Milne Lawyers Up

Seumas Milne’s wife Cristina Montanari has taken legal advice – Guido’s betting she didn’t ask hubby if he knew anyone who could help. The Milnes are threatening the press with legal action if they attempt to contact them:

We have been contacted by Howe & Co on behalf of Cristina Montanari & Family.

They say their client will not be making any comments or statements in relation to matters that are currently circulating about her and her family in the press and media. No other member of her family will be making any comments or statements. They ask that press desist from asking questions and refrain from entering onto their client’s property.

They ask that media refrain from calling to the door of the family home (including knocking at the family’s door or ringing the doorbell), as all licences to enter onto the property have been revoked. Any distress caused to their client will result in legal proceedings being issued for damages against those individuals and press or media outlets involved.

They say the attempts by members of the press and media, including repeated attempts, to contact their client and/or members of her family are unwanted. Their client considers the media’s presence outside her family home, despite requests to leave is intimidating and harassing. Media must cease all attempts to contact Cristina Montanari and/or member of her family and must leave the vicinity of her family home.

Notable that Seumas isn’t actually mentioned in the legal threat. A situation where the press aren’t allowed to phone up a Director of Communications would be somewhat unorthodox…

Top Corbyn Aide Sided With Assad and Putin

Following Guido’s story yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn gets a lot of criticism in today’s papers for his links to an Assad-supporting genocide denier. Of course it should come as no surprise that the Labour leader’s office is sympathetic to people with such views. Take Steve Howell, Corbyn’s deputy director of strategy and comms, one of his most senior aides (and a former colleague of Seumas Milne at the Stalinist newspaper Straight Left). His Twitter feed is full of tweets promoting Assadists, siding with Assad and Putin, accusing Western media of spinning the Aleppo slaughter, blaming Ukraine on the West, defending Russia Today, and even spinning Russian hacking of the US election in support of Putin.

These views are commonplace at the very top of Corbyn’s Labour…

Welsh Labour’s Stunning Tuition Fees Hypocrisy

The Welsh Labour government has announced a hike in tuition fees just weeks after pledging to scrap them during the election. Welsh Labour’s manifesto stated that “Welsh Labour has always been clear that education should be free and if funding allowed, there should be no tuition fees”. During the election First Minister Carwyn Jones said “it would be difficult to conceive” a scenario where Welsh Labour did not match the UK Labour Party’s pledge to abolish fees. Last night the Welsh Labour government announced fees would rise to £9,295 from autumn 2018 because “our universities must be able to compete domestically and internationally”. The Welsh Tories called it “amazing hypocrisy”A message to student voters that when actually in power, Labour puts up tuition fees. Carwyn Jones’ Nick Clegg moment…

Corbyn ‘Spent Yesterday Evening’ With Assad-Loving Genocide Denier

Marcus Papadopoulos is a notorious Assad supporter who claimed the slaughter at Aleppo didn’t happen and denied the Srebrenica genocide. As you can see from his tweets above, he holds the very worst of the views found on the extremes of the far-left. Papadopoulos says he spent yesterday evening with Jeremy Corbyn:

A reminder that cuddly Corbyn hasn’t changed, this is the sort of person he hangs around with…

Kath Viner Not Keen on Seumas Affair Story

A Guardian source tells MediaGuido those photos of lefty lothario Seumas Milne were the talk of the newsroom yesterday. Hacks at Kings Place spent the day speculating about the identity of their former colleague’s blonde companion. Yet for some strange reason the tale doesn’t make today’s paper, despite being all over rival broadsheets. Seems editor Kath Viner is not keen on Seumas affair stories… 

Freedom-Hating Socialism is Back: Using Uber “Not Morally Acceptable”

This morning Guido was driven in an Uber by a student who liked the work because he could log on whenever he had spare time and whenever he liked. Choice, convenient for buyer and seller. Corbyn’s authoritarian Labour would run them off the road…

Assange Lawyer Named as Milne’s Mystery Blonde

Seumas Milne’s mystery blonde is Julian Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson, according to The Times. 36 year-old Australian Robinson has represented the Wikileaks founder since 2010. A source told The Times Seumas has visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in the last 16 months. Jen’s tweets show her public support for Seumas and Corbyn:

Robinson didn’t respond to requests for comment. The identity of the lady canoodling with Milne at the plush Courthouse Hotel was the subject of fevered speculation yesterday, with Labour colleagues pointing the finger of suspicion at each other. From Twitter it looks like Jen has been a fan of Seumas’ column for years…

Danczuk to Seumas: “Call Me For Advice”

Simon Danczuk – hounded by the Corbyn wing of the Labour Party on account of his love life – has seen this morning’s revelations about Seumas Milne, and he has some words of advice for the spin chief who worked against him. Simon tells Guido:

“I see Jeremy Corbyn’s right hand man has been photographed with a young lady who is not his wife. I was under the impression that dating younger women wasn’t permitted in Corbyn’s morally pure Labour Party. But for those at the top of the party machine it seems it’s fine to have a colourful love life – just as long as it’s conducted in secret. I’m sure when browsing his morning copy of The Sun Jeremy will have been offended by Seumas’s conduct, will have called him in for a quiet word this morning and will sack him by this evening. If Seumas needs any advice on how to handle these situations he can always give me a call.”

He has a very fair point…

“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.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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