Chris Bryant says if Trump’s state visit goes ahead he will take Kay Burley out for dinner, or even cook. It’ll be the news event of the year…
Republican Emma Dent Coad is obviously no fan of the hereditary principle. Not least knocking little Prince George…
Odd, then, that she has given her daughter Connie a parliamentary pass. After Guido asked the Kensington MP’s office why, we were told the pass has now been surrendered.
Naz Shah is getting very angry in the Commons about Trump promoting “extremist content” on Twitter. That’s the same Naz Shah who posted that Jews should be kicked out of the Middle East, warned “the Jews are rallying” and shared pro-Hamas tweets. Stunning lack of self-awareness.
UPDATE: Tory MP Andrew Percy comments:
“Everyone agrees Britain First are a disgusting set of hate peddlers, though the Labour Party are in no position to lecture on this matter. Not only have scores of their members shared extremist content or peddled racist conspiracy theories, they are led by a man who openly describes a terrorist organisations that wish to wipe out an entire race of people as his ‘friends’. Of course President Trump should be called out on his tweets, though Labour might do well to spend as much time on their own problem with extremism.”
Yet another Labour Party member accused of anti-Semitism has been suspended, Guido can report. Last night a Labour councillor posted an alarming thread detailing anti-Semitic posts by an unnamed party member. In response to the revelations, Guido can reveal Labour has tonight suspended a Hendon CLP member called Laura Stuart, who also uses the alias Laura McDonald. Labour is investigating these grim anti-Semitic posts apparently made on her Facebook page:
Stuart has been identified by multiple sources as having a hand in the @gazaboatconvoy twitter account. The notorious account, which some say is run by more than one individual, has posted a string of anti-Semitic tweets:
A 2010 tweet associates Stuart with the account:
This article under Stuart’s byline on the website ‘5PillarsUK’ also links to the account and describes it as hers.
Stuart was arrested in a dawn raid by police and quizzed over her social media posts:
“My arrest took place on the 5th November 2015… The accusation on the bail form was that I shared media that could promote terrorism.”
She was released and there was no prosecution. Stuart has also:
- Featured in videos for extremist-linked group CAGE, who are infamous for calling Jihadi John “beautiful“;
- Worked with the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), a controversial lobby group which critics said organised to de-select Labour MPs supportive of Israel.
A Labour Party spokesperson said:
“A Labour Party member has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation into this case. The Labour Party is committed to challenging and campaigning against antisemitism in all its forms.”
At least this time Labour acted before Guido even published the story…
UPDATE: LFI call for expulsion. LFI director Jennifer Gerber said:
“This vile hatred of Jews and the Jewish state should have absolutely no place in the Labour Party. The leadership must act to expel such individuals immediately or else Labour will continue to be seen as a safe-space for antisemites.”
Tulip Siddiq said in her statement this morning that “some members of my family are involved in politics in Bangladesh” but insisted “I have no capability nor desire to inﬂuence politics in Bangladesh”. Looking at her past tweets, this just isn’t true. Tulip boasted of facilitating meetings with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s office, meeting government ministers, attending parties and even helping them improve their online presence. Another tweet places her at dinner with the Bangladeshi PM after Tulip became an MP.
The Bangladesh government led by Siddiq’s aunt has been condemned by Human Rights Watch for killing and disappearing political opponents, as well as a “sustained attack” on freedom of speech and homosexuals. Siddiq claimed today that she has nothing to do with them. Judging from her tweets that just isn’t true…
Tulip Siddiq says sorry for this:
“I want to apologise unreservedly for my comments to Channel 4’s producer, which were an off-hand and ill-judged attempt to deal with what I felt was a hostile situation. I would never want to upset her and I hope she accepts my apology.
With regard to the Channel 4 news report itself, and as I made clear prior to the event on Saturday. I was born in London and serve as a British Member of Parliament. The focus of my work is spent on delivering for the residents of Hampstead and Kilburn who elected me to represent them.
The fact that some members of my family are involved in politics in Bangladesh has long been a matter of public record which I have not hidden from. That said, I have no capability nor desire to inﬂuence politics in Bangladesh.”
Yet she thinks she has the capability to influence politics in Iran. What was she thinking?
Labour MP Tulip Siddiq is accused of threatening a pregnant Channel 4 News reporter this weekend as they reported on her connections to Bangladesh’s repressive government. Siddiq has barely been off the airwaves scoring political points about the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe affair, yet she has said nothing about another prisoner, a British-trained barrister called Ahmad bin Quasem. Human rights groups say he was was abducted in Bangladesh by government agents. Siddiq’s aunt is Bangladesh’s controversial Prime Minister Shekih Hasina – it’s said a phone call from Siddiq could free Ahmad. When Channel 4 News confronted her over this, things didn’t go well…
Siddiq refused to answer questions and repeatedly said to reporter Alex Thomson: “be very careful”. She then said to a pregnant Channel 4 producer:
“Hope you have a great birth, because child labour is hard”.
Channel 4 has complained to Labour about this remark, which it said was “an apparently threatening comment”. Siddiq is clearly spooked – she has reported Channel 4 to the police, which definitely doesn’t make her look guilty at all. Extraordinary malice, implying Alex Thomson was racist, menacing comment to pregnant producer, thuggish behaviour from aide… Not really behaviour becoming of a member of the Women and Equalities select committee…
Top Corbynista Laura Pidcock sent out this scaremongering tweet about universal credit aimed at her constituents in North West Durham. Turns out she’s wrong.
Guido has checked – the first payment would be around 17 January for those already on benefits and around 24 January for new claimants. For the December roll out group, anyone who needs it can get a 50% advance in December within five days and another 50% in January, meaning they can get their benefit up front. If they believe Pidcock they’re getting nothing until the end of the month, which just isn’t true. After spreading fake news about universal credit yesterday you’d have thought Labour would be more careful. Almost as if they’re hyping it up to scare people…
Now Emma Dent Coad has tweeted this graphic of a 97 year-old homeless woman alongside the caption “This is what the rotten bastard Tories give you”.
Just one thing. The woman in the photo is Bessie Mae Berger, a 97 year-old homeless woman from… Los Angeles. Her story was told by a number of American news organisations a few years ago. If you look closely you can see a dollar bill in her hand. Those rotten Tories…
After her Shaun Bailey humiliation you would have thought a period of quiet reflection might be a good idea for Labour MP Emma Dent Coad. Instead last night she tweeted this charming graphic saying Theresa May’s face “gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it”. Pity the people of Kensington having this as their MP.
Charming as ever from Labour’s Dawn Butler, who says Theresa May “might be female but she is no friend of women”, and that the Tories have done nothing for women despite having had two female Prime Ministers. Bold given Labour hasn’t even had a female leader.
Marr: “Can you say when the deficit under your plans will be eliminated?”
Gardiner: “No, I’m not going to say that at all.”
Spoiler: it won’t be. Not that the Tories have a much better idea, they said it would be closed by 2015, then 2020ish, now 2030ish…
Staff at Labour’s Newcastle call centre aren’t exactly over the moon about a 30p pay rise they’ve been given in line with this month’s increase to the National Living Wage. A collective eye-roll took place as party’s call centre operators were told in an email:
“We are pleased to inform you that in line with the increase of the Living Wage rate, effective from 1st December your hourly paid rate will rise to £8.75 per hour.”
Labour’s manifesto demands a £10 an hour minimum wage for all workers over 18…
Labour insiders told Guido that staff are only guaranteed 12 hours work a week, and receive an email on Friday evenings telling them how much work is available the following week. A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party is an accredited living wage employer. We don’t comment on staffing matters.” The party simultaneously claims to oppose work insecurity…
John McDonnell is banging on a lot at the moment about all the City fund managers he claims he’s meeting. When pushed by Andrew Neil this week to name a firm he had met, the Shadow Chancellor couldn’t. Now Bloomberg reports one asset manager is indeed letting the self-sworn radical “Marxist” into their office…
Executives at BlueBay Asset Management, which has $57 billion of assets under its management, are to meet McDonnell next week. Mark Dowding, a senior portfolio manager, says: “We’re not giving a political endorsement to a political party here, but as macro investors we actively engage in dialogue with policymakers across the spectrum.”
Just one awkward problem for McDonnell: he claims to disapprove of the entire way BlueBay structures its business. A quick look at the accounts shows the firm has a Luxembourg fund management company and a Jersey based Employee Benefit Trust.
Not only that, but it’s shorting the pound and UK government bonds, meaning its investors will gain from Labour’s run on the pound. Quite aside from shorting the pound, Guido is surprised McDonnell would want to consort with a firm who manage funds in Luxembourg and have an Employee Benefit Trust in Jersey…
An Amazon distribution center given financial backing by the Welsh Labour government is again the subject of controversy after it emerged foreign workers are being brought in en masse to cover Christmas shifts. A concerned constituent wrote to Welsh UKIP leader Neil Hamilton to say they had been asked if their spare room could be used to accommodate Hungarian workers. The resident claimed they were contacted by a firm called Central European Contracts and Recruitment Services Ltd, who they suggested planned to accommodate workers ‘hot-bunking’ between shifts at the Amazon plant.
Carwyn Jones’ Welsh Government provided grants to Amazon to develop the facility. The Welsh authorities refused to confirm the amount given. But sources put the funding at a cool £8.8 million…
The Amazon warehouse was the subject of a 2013 Panorama investigation which suggested working conditions there could cause “mental and physical illness”. An Amazon spokesman said at the time the company “complies with all relevant legal requirements”. A UKIP spokesman said:
“How can Labour’s Welsh Government, which claims to champion the working class, support a facility that employs workers from Central and Eastern Europe and treats them in such an appalling manner? UKIP will continue to investigate and hold the Welsh Government to account on this.”
Awkward for Carwyn…
For being a
Blairite sex pest…
UPDATE: Labour spokesman:
“The Labour Party takes all allegations of sexual harassment extremely seriously. Ivan Lewis is currently suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.”
The conviction of Ratko Mladić on war crimes charges presents yet another awkward moment for despot-friendly Corbynistas, who cosied up to the brutal Milosevic and his murderous regime for years. Guido can reveal an extraordinary online defence of Milosevic written by Momentum social media supremo Harry Hayball. Goldsmiths PhD Hayball, who is a director of Corbynista media firm People Powered Productions Ltd, bemoaned the 2006 death of Milosevic as a “tragic”. He wrote in a post on the BBC News website:
“This is tragic news. Slobodan Milosevic was a committed opponent of nationalism and discrimination, as is evident from his speeches, and was the biggest factor for peace in the Balkans throughout the 1990s. The prosecution failed completely in proving anything, and the defence case, has been refuting all their lies. It is tragic that he has not been able to clear his name while alive. I wonder how the ICTY will view its over-ruling of his doctors’ judgements that he needed 6 weeks of rest now.”
To be fair to Hayball, he’s in the right company. Here’s an EDM Jeremy Corbyn (and John McDonnell) signed back in 2004, playing down the Kosovo crisis and spinning the line for the Milosevic regime denying the existence of mass graves as “war propaganda”:
“That this House welcomes John Pilger’s column for the New Statesman issue of 13th December, reminding readers of the devastating human cost of the so-termed ‘humanitarian’ invasion of Kosovo, led by NATO and the United States in the Spring of 1999, without any sanction of the United Nations Security Council; congratulates John Pilger on his expose of the fraudulent justifications for intervening in a ‘genocide’ that never really existed in Kosovo; recalls President Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Cohen claimed, entirely without foundation, that ‘we’ve now seen about 100,000 military-aged [Albanian] men missing…..they may have been murdered’ and that David Scheffer, the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced with equal inaccuracy that as many as ‘225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59’ may have been killed; recalls that the leader of a Spanish forensic team sent to Kosovo returned home, complaining angrily that he and his colleagues had become part of ‘a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one mass grave’; further recalls that one year later, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body de facto set up by NATO, announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo’s ‘mass graves’ was 2,788; believes the pollution impact of the bombing of Kosovo is still emerging, including the impact of the use of depleted uranium munitions; and calls on the Government to provide full assistance in the clean up of Kosovo.”
And as for Seumas?
John McDonnell was again unable to say how much Labour’s spending plans would cost Britain in two further shambolic interviews this morning. Asked on both the Today programme and 5 Live how much extra would be spent on servicing government debt under Labour, a rattled McDonnell was eight times unable to give a figure. He snapped:
“This is a trite form of journalism, that’s why we have iPads and advisors… It’s minimal… I’m telling you, it pays for itself, it pays for itself.”
Alas the Shadow Chancellor was unable to explain how borrowing would “pay for itself”. Someone get him that iPad for the next media round…
“It’s impossible to check” @afneil on Labour talks with un-named asset managers
— BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics (@daily_politics) November 22, 2017
When the presenters on the BBC’s Budget Show expressed scepticism about John McDonnell‘s claim that asset managers supported his nationalisation plans, the Shadow Chancellor followed Corbyn’s lead from earlier and lost his temper: “Are you doubting my honesty?” Yes, they were…
Talking of McDonnell’s honesty, he told Brillo that he never used Paris’ water supply as an example of how his nationalisation plan could work on Marr.[…] Read the rest