It seems like the neverending push for wokeness hit the buffers this week as both the Labour leadership and Nicola Sturgeon managed to unite on the tricky question of whether a male sex offender pretending to identify as a trans woman should be housed in a women’s prison. The news comes as unfortunate timing for the SNP given their recent virtue signalling over gender self-ID, which opponents warned would lead to absurdities like this and who were called bigots for doing so.
Given both Yvette Cooper told the Today Programme that “This dangerous rapist should not be in a woman’s prison”, Guido reckons there may be some awkwardness around the shadow cabinet table.
Back when she was campaigning to become Labour leader, Lisa Nady was asked directly whether men identifying as women should be allowed in women’s prisons. The questioner used the 2018 example of a child rapist who was convicted and then went onto claim he was a woman. Nandy was asked whether he should be accommodated in a women’s or a men’s prison…
“I believe fundamentally in people’s right to self ID… so I think that crimes that are recorded should be recorded as that person wishes.”
“You asked about whether trans people should be in women’s or men’s prisons. I think trans women are woman and trans men are men. So I think they should be accommodated in the prison of their choosing.”
Labour and the SNP now claiming that this trans rapist is not a woman despite the individual’s claim to the contrary entirely undermines the ‘trans x are x’ argument…
On January 13, The i reported that Sir Keir is positioning Rachel Reeves as his election running mate – a horrible American approach to politics, but go with it – and relegating Angela Rayner as his number two:
“But inevitably, the move to promote Ms Reeves more in the public eye has prompted claims from allies of Ms Rayner that the deputy Labour leader has been “sidelined”.
Relations between Sir Keir and his official deputy came under intense strain in 2021 after a botched attempt to strip Ms Rayner of part of her role in the party.”
Now analysis of who Labour is choosing to put up as their spokespeople on TV media rounds appears to prove this theory. Numbers worked out by Guido shows that out of 24 shadow ministers put forward onto TV in 2022, Rayner was the sixth lowest, with just seven morning media rounds that year.
Reeves on the other hand was easily at the top, with 22 morning round appearances followed by Lisa Nandy and Pat McFadden on 19.
Rayner only beat John Healey (6), Louise Haigh (4), Rosena Allin-Khan (3), Khalid Mahmood (2), Jim McMahon (2) and Preet Gill (1). Rosena Allin-Khan of course perceived as another disloyal shadow minister…
Labour’s chief spin doctor Matthew Doyle has u-turned on insulting Rosie Duffield over her campaign to protect women’s rights. After being caught bang-to-rights insulting her and saying she should spend more time in her constituency and less time talking to JK Rowling, Doyle told Lobby hacks this lunchtime:
“Rosie Duffield doesn’t spend too much time hanging out with JK Rowling rather than with her constituents.”
While the name of the spokesman in question wasn’t tweeted out by journalists, Guido understands it was Matthew Doyle himself. Awkward…
Yesterday’s Times ran a story on Keir Starmer’s quest to find a new Chief of Staff, having sacked Sam White in October. Apparently Sir Keir is on the hunt for someone with “government experience” amid concerns that virtually nobody on his team actually has any. Rumours have been going around for weeks about the name floated in the piece: Sir Tom Scholar…
Scholar, of course, is the former Permanent Secretary at the Treasury – and in a previous life, Downing Street Chief of Staff under Gordon Brown. The fact he’s even being considered for that same job again under Starmer, having only been sacked on ideological grounds by Kwasi Kwarteng as the Treasury’s top civil servant four months ago, speaks volumes. “A friend of Scholar” is quoted saying he’d be “very unlikely” to take the job. “Former colleagues” add he’s “never been very political”. He also happened to be at Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls’ anniversary party at the weekend…
If Sir Keir makes him an offer he can’t refuse, however, there’s another problem: the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA) might have a thing or two to say about it. Here are their rules on new appointments for ex-Permanent Secretaries:
“An application is required for any new appointment or employment that individuals wish to take up during the two year period after leaving office. All applications at this level must be referred by the Department to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (the Advisory Committee). The Advisory Committee provides advice to the Prime Minister, who makes the final decision.”
Which reads to Guido like Rishi himself would have to approve the appointment for his own opponent’s Chief of Staff, at least if Sir Keir wanted Scholar onboard within the next two years. “Do us a favour, Rishi”…
Yesterday the Mail on Sunday ran a story about an unnamed Starmer aide briefing against a Labour MP:
“a senior aide to Sir Keir Starmer said ‘it would be nice’ if Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield ‘spent a bit more time’ in her constituency, rather than ‘hanging out with JK Rowling”
JK Rowling spotted the Mail on Sunday story and mocked the advisor:
“Fight that FOMO, bro.”
In response, Rosie Duffield tweeted:
“Never had the pleasure of meeting this unelected Head Of Comms person. But for the record, while he was overheard loudly opining on my whereabouts and choice of friends, I was in my constituency meeting with members of Canterbury’s Hazara community. Really hope he’s OK with that”
Labour’s “Head of Comms person” is Matthew Doyle, a veteran Labour spin doctor from the New Labour Blair era. It is his job to hone the attack on the Tories, which is why it is all the more surprising that he would be briefing against a Labour MP. Obviously if it were true that Starmer’s top spin doctor is briefing against a Labour MP it would not be a good look. We put Rosie Duffield’s allegation to Labour’s press office this morning:
A rare categoric, on-the-record denial.
Unfortunately it is also untrue – listen to Matthew Doyle briefing against Rosie Duffield below:
Now you might think that the Leader of the Labour Party’s top attack dog briefing against one of their own MPs – in the same breath as saying that the MP had been in to see the leader about how she was being treated by the party – might be newsworthy. When Britain’s top-selling writer and campaigner for women’s rights JK Rowling, who incidentally has given over a million pounds to the Labour Party, is also being criticised you would think political editors would be scrambling to cover the story. You would think this morning’s papers would be following it up with feral glee. You would be wrong, there was no follow up of the story this morning, like JK Rowling’s infamous villain Voldemort it seems Doyle is he-who-must-not-be-named. Surely the Lobby’s political editors wouldn’t be craven cowards afraid of being cursed by Labour’s wielder of the dark arts?
Antisemitism campaigner and comedian David Baddiel has weighed in on the latest row around a Welsh Labour Minister. Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services, sponsored a vigil dedicated to “remembering all”, which paid tribute to holocaust victims who were “Gypsies, Roma and Travellers” – yet forgot to mention Jewish people. This is despite Jewish victims outnumbering Roma and Sinti by 30:1.
Baddiel tweeted that Morgan’s actions foster an attitude implying Jews “deny other victims of the Holocaust”, adding it’s a form of “softcore Holocaust denial”.
This also fosters an attitude, which I see on here from antisemites, implying Jews deny - which they don't - other victims of Nazism, in order to own the atrocity (a ridiculous idea, given the numbers). It's a form of what @deborahlipstadt calls softcore Holocaust denial. pic.twitter.com/wEWa71LgCd— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) January 19, 2023
This must be an error of omission, rather than deliberate, surely? Julie is yet to make amends…