Simon Fletcher Quits Corbyn’s Office

The Standard reports Jeremy Corbyn’s aide Simon Fletcher is resigning over the direction of the Labour leadership. Not a great surprise as he had fallen out with Seumas Milne and John McDonnell months ago and been sidelined by Jez’s top team. Fletcher was Ken Livingstone’s former consigliere and was respected across the party. Interesting timing…

Labour Condemn Blair’s “Contempt For Democracy”

Following Tony Blair’s speech, a senior Labour source tells Guido:

“No wonder we are still trying to recover from Tony Blair’s legacy when he has such contempt for democracy. What he doesn’t seem to realise is people voted Leave precisely because they felt let down by 13 years of Davos leftism he’s still trying to flog.”

Would Labour be any better off under a democracy-rejecting Blairite Remainer than they are under Corbyn? 

Labour Whips Move to Save Bercow

This text has gone out to Labour MPs today telling them that “usual rules do not apply” and so Labour frontbenchers are free to sign an EDM in support of the Speaker. Frontbenchers are usually unable to sign EDMs. They are determined to save their man…

LibDems Call Cops on ‘Vote Snell or Go to Hell’ Texts

The LibDems have written to the Labour Party and Staffordshire Police after it emerged a Labour activist has sent text messages to Muslim voters warning them to vote for Gareth Snell or “answer for this in the Grave and on the Final Day”. The LibDem letter:

I am writing about several text messages reported to us by members of the public which appear to be distributed in large numbers in support of your candidate and your campaign.

I am concerned by these text messages for two reasons, firstly about the Representation of the People Act 1983 and secondly about the ‘Guidance on political campaigning‘ issued by the Information Commissioners Office.

1 – I am sure that you realise that the religious nature of one of these messages could also be deemed to be covered by the ruling on “undue spiritual influence” in the matter of a mayoral election for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets held on 22 May 2014 when the Labour Party were the victims of such tactics.

2 – These text messages are clearly election material in support of your candidate Gareth Snell as they meet the criteria for an elections expense set out in section 90ZA (6) of the Representation of the People Act “In this Part and in Part 3 of this Act, any reference (in whatever terms) to promoting or procuring a candidate’s election at an election includes doing so by prejudicing the electoral prospects of another candidate at the election”. They are clearly aimed at stopping people voting for my candidate Dr Zulfiqar Ali as well as others.

3 – I am sure that you are aware that such text messages under the ICO guidance should only be sent where the individual has consented to contact of that sort from the organisation for those purposes. Therefore, we have serious concerns about the origin of access to these phone numbers and whether the necessary permissions and opt out procedures have been followed…

Yours sincerely,

Ian Horner, Election Agent

CC: David Mullington, Staffordshire Police; Fiona Ledden, Acting Returning Officer; Gina Jones, Electoral Services, Stoke-on-Trent City Council

As the LibDems say, this looks like Lutfur Rahman levels of spiritual influence…

Fibbing Snell Claims Tweets Are 10 Years Old – He Joined Twitter 8 Years Ago

Labour’s Stoke candidate Gareth Snell has been speaking about those tweets:

“They are 10 years old. You do a lot of growing up in your 20s. I have grown up and I have learned since then and I will apologise unreservedly for any offence that I have caused.”

This is a straight lie.

Snell did not send any of these tweets anything like 10 years ago. He only joined Twitter eight years ago. The infamous “slap” tweet was sent six years ago, as was the Janet Street-Porter tweet and the “stupid woman” tweet. His tweets about Corbyn supporting the IRA and Hamas were from the last 12 months. As were his tweets abusing Leave voters. The “10 years old” line is a knowing untruth – assume this demonstrable fib will get the same response as Nuttall…

Labour: “Babies Will Die” If You Vote Tory

Calm and measured Labour campaign literature in Copeland, via Mike SmithsonThey must be worried…

McDonnell and Diane Abbott Want to “Take Back Control” of UKIP Areas

John McDonnell and Diane Abbott are to head to Sunderland and Barnsley as part of a new series of Labour events aiming to “Take Back Control” of “UKIP areas”. Momentum’s “The World Transformed” hipster Corbynistas will be travelling up to Sunderland in April to dispel the idea, in their words, that “every remain voter is part of a croissant munching metropolitan elite”. Subsequent events will be held in Barnsley, Bradford and Dagenham. Guido has checked and this is not a joke:

“John McDonnell, Clive Lewis, Rachael Maskell and Diane Abbott to speak at ‘Take Back Control’ events in UKIP areas. Take Back Control’ is a series of events about Brexit, the establishment and bringing power back to communities that will take place in marginal constituencies and those under threat from UKIP.”

They are really going to send John McDonnell and Diane Abbott to Sunderland to convince them they’re not “croissant munching” London elitists…

Snell: I Have No Idea About Stoke, I Don’t Live There

Expect this one to be on UKIP leaflets by next week. Remember he’s calling himself the “local candidate”:

Guido is starting to feel sorry for Gareth. He really should have just deleted his account…

Snell Talked About Giving Woman a “Good Slap”

Labour’s Stoke candidate Gareth Snell has had to apologise for the second time in one day after it emerged he tweeted about giving a woman “a good slap“.

Snell made the comment while watching Corrie. He tells the Sun in a second statement following Guido’s earlier revelations:

‪”I’m deeply sorry for this tweet… It is clearly unacceptable and I apologise for the offence it has caused.”

Imagine what Labour MPs would be saying if this was a Kipper…

Suzanne Evans: Sexist Snell “Isn’t Fit to Be An MP”

After Guido revealed the sexist tweets of Labour’s Stoke candidate Gareth Snell, Suzanne Evans says:

“Clearly this man isn’t fit to be an MP. How he passed Labour’s vetting procedures is beyond me – or didn’t they bother? It’s just the kind of thing I get day in day out on social media from the hard left – from both men and women – so maybe no one noticed. Maybe it’s what they expect. No, of course sexism isn’t the prerogative of the left, but the fact they claim to be the epitome of political correctness does rather then rankle when they let women down, as they so frequently do.”

Those Labour types who boarded the outrage bus about David Davis yesterday have gone oddly quiet…

Labour Stoke Candidate on Women: “Bitchy, “Sour Faced”, “Stupid” and “F***ing Annoying”

Labour are very upset with David Davis over his comments about Diane Abbott – will they be as outraged at this from their candidate in Stoke? Gareth Snell has sent a number of ungentlemanly tweets that would be more suited to Donald Trump’s locker room than the Twitter feed of a parliamentary candidate. He described Loose Women panellists as “Squabbling sour faced ladies”:

The charmer said a “Speccy blonde girl” on the Apprentice is “f**king annoying“, and asked her: “why don’t you piss off”.

Snell described the X Factor judge Danni Minogue as “bitchy“:

Dismissed an unknown person who appeared on Question Time as a “stupid woman”:

He said this about Janet Street-Porter:

And mocked another woman who took up “two seats” on public transport:

Quite a bit more sexist than David Davis…

Paul Mason: UKIP Voters are Bike-Stealing Toe-Rags

Sneering Corbyn cheerleader Paul Mason has branded UKIP voters “toe-rags” who would “nick your bike”. Talking specifically about the Stoke by-election, Mason, flanked by the Green Party’s Sian Berry and Guardian columnist Zoe Williams, offers this contemptuous analysis of first-time voters who consider backing UKIP:

They’re not working class Tories… most of the UKIP people are either people who haven’t voted or have flipped in a radical way from Labour. They are toe-rags, basically. They are the bloke who nicks your bike.”

Arousing nervous laughter from his audience, Mason makes clear he is not joking:

No, seriously, that’s who it is, it’s the bloke who does all the anti-social things.

Mason made the comments at a Novara Media event in trendy Hackney last week. He also told the audience he would be going up to Stoke to campaign for Labour. Sure this will go down well on the doorstep…

UPDATE: UKIP has responded to Mason’s diatribe. The party’s Media Spokesman Patrick O’Flynn said:

“Paul Mason has lifted the lid on what the radical left think about long time Labour voters who have lost faith with that party and moved across to UKIP. He thinks they are “toe-rags”, presumably for feeling a sense of patriotism, for feeling concerned about open door immigration and for supporting Brexit.

“Any voters who care about these issues but were pondering whether to still vote Labour have their answer: Mr Mason and the radical metropolitan left think they are scum. We in UKIP understand and share their concerns and will always treat them with respect.”

Labour Reshuffle: Appointments As They Happen

Shadow Secretary of State for Business – Rebecca Long-Bailey

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment – Sue Hayman

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales – Christina Rees

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Peter Dowd

Who?

14 Labour Rebels With Jobs

Clive Lewis, Jo Stevens, Dawn Butler, Tulip Siddiq and Rachael Maskell quit the Labour frontbench over the Article 50 vote – last night another 14 rebelled against Corbyn’s three line whip. They are:

Rosena Allin-Khan – Shadow Sports Minister

Kevin Brennan – Shadow Arts Minister

Lyn Brown – Shadow Policing Minister

Ruth Cadbury – Shadow Housing Minister

Thangam Debbonaire – Opposition whip

Vicky Foxcroft – Opposition whip

Dr Rupa Huq  – Shadow Crime Minister

Chi Onwurah – Shadow Industrial Strategy Minister

Stephen Pound – Shadow Northern Ireland Minister

Andy Slaughter – Shadow House Minister

Jeff Smith – Opposition whip

Catherine West – Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister

Alan Whitehead – Shadow Energy Minister

Daniel Zeichner – Shadow Transport Minister

If Jez is going to enforce his three line whip then a significant number of new appointments will have to be found…

Year of the Rooster Starts Badly for Jez

On Monday night the Tories held their glitzy fundraising Black & White Ball, last night Labour welcomed the year of the Rooster with a fundraiser. Chinese for Labour‘s annual bash took place at a top-end North London restaurant: a far-cry from your local takeaway, the menu features a “New Year Imperial Treasure Pot for eight” of oysters, prawns and chickens at £438.80. The Rooster represents fidelity and punctuality; doubly ironic as the event only kicked off in earnest after very thirsty MPs turned up very late due to the Article 50 votes.

The raffle featured a prize donated by Tony Blair – unusual at a party knees-up nowadays. A bottle of wine signed by the three-election winning former Prime Minister went for £850. A bottle of whiskey signed by Jeremy Corbyn was also auctioned. It’s price? £150. The Rooster starts inauspiciously for Jez…

Corbyn Tells BBC: You Are Reporting Fake News

BBC: I’m aware of the issue of fake news at the moment.

JC: There’s a lot of it about.

BBC: Well, there’s a story going about that you’ve set a date for when you’re gonna quit as Labour leader.

JC: That’s on IMadeItUpYesterday.com.

BBC: Is there absolutely no truth in that?

JC: Absolute nonsense.

BBC: So your future as Labour leader is absolutely intact? You’ve not considered whether you as leader are damaging the party?

JC: I’m really surprised the BBC is reporting fake news. There is no news. 

The Trumpian rebrand continues, bigly!

Clive Lewis Out of Shad-Cab


He has finally come out and resigned from the frontbench…

“When I became the MP for Norwich South, I promised my constituents I would be ‘Norwich’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in Norwich’. I therefore cannot, in all good conscience, vote for something I believe will ultimately harm the city I have the honour to represent, love and call home.

“It is therefore with a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from the shadow cabinet.

“It has been a privilege to work with Jeremy Corbyn and be part of the shadow cabinet. I will continue to support our party and our leader from the back benches to the very best of my ability.”

Off to spend more time on his leadership bid…

Wakefield District Labour: We’re So Pretty Vac*nt

Second favourite internal leak of the day…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator emails:

Just seen your post on Labour in Wakefield. Based on what I’ve heard locally, I’m assuming Wakefield are struggling to fill candidate places or they’re protesting and deliberatly not fielding.

Who Is Rebecca Long-Bailey?

Who is Rebecca Long-Bailey, the 37 year-old Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury who is being tipped as Jez’s successor? Last year in an interview on Sky News she refused to rule out the conspiracy theory that MI5 are working to destabilise Corbyn:

DERMOT MURNAGHAN: Can I just ask you lastly and rather briefly, Rebecca Long-Bailey, what do you make of this extraordinary claim from Len McClusky, or maybe you don’t think it’s extraordinary, that MI5 might be trying to destabilise Jeremy Corbyn?

REBECCA LONG-BAILEY: Well I can’t comment on that myself, I haven’t had any briefings on that but there are a lot of crazy things happening in politics at the moment and given the last few months nothing would surprise me.  

Six months on and it’s Agent Long-Bailey who is destabilising Jez… 

Clive Lewis Says He’ll Back Constituents

The Shadow Business Secretary says he has yet to make a decision amid increasing speculation that he will resign from the Shadow Cabinet tonight. If he votes with the whip he really will be bottling it big time. Incidentally, that is how a Labour leader should handle a doorstep…[…] Read the rest

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