Ken: Venezuela in Chaos as “Chavez Did Not Execute Establishment Elite”

As secret police arrested opposition leaders in the middle of the night, Ken Livingstone backed the collapsing regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, blaming the country’s troubles on an “establishment elite” that previous governments had failed to “execute”. Notorious for his public statements regarding dictatorships of all kinds, Livingstone has regularly endorsed former President Hugo Chavez. He told The Times yesterday:

“Hugo Chávez did not execute the establishment elite, he allowed them to continue so they’re still there. I think there’s a lot of rumours they’ve been blocking the important food and medicines and things like that because they control a lot of the companies… And America has got a long record of undermining any leftwing government as well. So I suspect it’s not all just down to the problems of the [Venezuelan] government.”

Asked whether he supported Maduro’s faltering government, Livingstone replied: “oh God, yes”. The death toll from riots in Venezuela stands at 122; AFP reports this morning that opposition leaders are being rounded up. It’s worth remembering that in 2006 Livingstone signed a £16 million deal with Venezuela to supply oil to fuel public transport in London. He is currently suspended from the Labour Party until April. At least he didn’t mention you know who…

Labour Councillor Invokes ‘Wrath of God’ in Gay Row

A Labour councillor last night warned the wrath of God would be unleashed on her critics after she appeared to compare gay pride marchers to peadophiles. Chika Amadi, who represents Edgware on Harrow Council, is also a pastor at Goodnews Ministries International. Screenshots were circulated of her social media posts, which campaigners branded homophobic. The row erupted when Amadi posted a link to a report on a Christian website. Amadi wrote:

The councillor had previously shared the following quote from the former President of The Gambia on Facebook:

Homosexuality is anti-humanity. I have never seen a homosexual chicken, or turkey. If you are convicted of homosexuality in this country, there will be no mercy for offenders. We will put you in the female wing of the prison.”

Amadi responded to her critics by posting a rant of Biblical proportions, warning: “you did not vote me in and you cannot remove me. Keep your mouth where your money is. Keep busy and stop nosing around”:

A Harrow Council source told Guido that Labour is aware of the posts. The party did not respond to a request for comment. Just another Monday in the compliance unit…

UPDATE 14.00: Guido understands the Tory group on Harrow Council has put in a formal complaint regarding the remarks made by Cllr Amadi about homosexuality. They have asked Labour to withdraw the whip. Her last judgement?

UPDATE 15.05: Harrow Labour said: “The tweets and Facebook messages from Chika Amadi are being taken seriously and are being investigated. Action will be taken.Guido understands suspension is likely to follow…

UPDATE 15.55: Tory Minister Margot James said:

“These homophobic comments by a sitting Labour Councillor are completely unacceptable and wrong. I urge the Harrow Labour party to withdraw the whip immediately from Cllr Amadi to reflect the seriousness of these statements on her social media.”

UPDATE 16.02: Amadi has been suspended. A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Chika Amadi has been suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.

“You’ve Confused Me About Jeremys”: Shadow Minister’s Free Movement Muddle

Labour’s shadow mental health minister Barbara Keeley claimed she was “confused about” her “Jeremys” when she appeared to contradict Jez’s stated position on free movement this morning. During a bumpy media round, 5 Live‘s Nicky Campbell asked Keeley:

Campbell: “Jeremy Corbyn has been explicit in saying that freedom of movement must end. That puts us up the creek without a paddle doesn’t it?”

Keeley: “Well it makes the situation worse.”

Campbell: “So why has he said it must end, freedom of movement?”

Keeley: “It’s a strange thing… it’s a strange thing that he said that.”

When Campbell pointed out that she was at odds with Corbyn’s public position, Keeley rowed back and claimed she had in fact been talking about Jeremy Hunt, saying: “You’ve confused me about Jeremys“. Lucky they had the same name, eh…

An hour earlier, Keeley did a Diane on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, claiming that a 1% increase in public sector pay would cost £460 billion. The IFS says increasing public sector pay by 1% would cost between £1.5 and 2 billion. To be fair, she was only out by £458 billion…

Before Corbyn appointed Keeley to the shadow cabinet, she said of him:“the current state of the party means we will not be able to mount an effective front bench opposition.” Quite…

Friday Caption Contest (Hand of Jez Edition)

Comments in the comments…

Vaz’s Pants Councillor Resigns

A councillor close to Keith Vaz who had his taxi licence withdrawn amid allegations he “sat outside a swimming pool in his pants” has resigned. Gurpal Atwal is alleged to have boasted he had Vaz “in his right pocket” and has been pictured campaigning with him. Atwal denied the charges against him but Magistrates found he is not a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence and also charged him £1,250 in costs. Now he has resigned as a councillor…

A Labour Party spokesman said:

“The Labour Party appreciates Gurpal Atwal’s valuable contribution to the work of Oadby & Wigston Council during his time of service. There will be a by-election in due course which the Labour Party intends to contest with a new candidate.”

Guido can reveal that a formal complaint was made against Atwal in April of this year, but Leicester City Council took no action. Conservative Councillor Ross Grant submitted a dossier to the authorities, but a judgement on Atwal was not issued until June. The Council found there was no grounds for action. North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said:

“It is right that Atwal has resigned, but serious questions remain about why he wasn’t stopped earlier when the City Council received evidence that he was unfit. This will cause more concern about child safeguarding in Leicester, which very unfortunately is not a city that can be proud of its record of protecting children.”

Another member of the Vaz chumocracy falls…

Momentum Use Vote Leave Actress in Student Debt Video

Momentum last night posted a rushed rebuttal video attempting to limit the damage of Corbyn’s student debt u-turn. An eagle-eyed co-conspirator has noticed they employed the services of the same actress who starred in Vote Leave’s famous campaign video on the NHS back in May 2016. Sources confirmed the curly-haired blonde is indeed one and the same person. Does this mean Labour will be promising £350 million a week for the NHS?

Corbyn Deletes Another Wrong Tweet

Yesterday Corbyn tweeted out a Telegraph article, crowing: “As school holidays start today, many will struggle to meet childcare costs, which have doubled under @conservatives“. Amusingly, this contradicted even Labour’s own data released that very morning, which claimed “the average weekly cost of childcare has risen by over 50 per cent from 2010 to 2017.” A 50% increase is not a “doubling” in costs. The tweet was deleted…

It’s the latest deleted Jez tweet: last week he got a tweet attacking the Tories over car parking charges at Welsh hospitals wrong (Labour runs the NHS in Wales and is responsible for the charges). Is a summer intern running his account?

Momentum Activists Threaten and Jeer Councillors Over Antisemitism Motion

This is the moment hard left activists backed by a London Momentum branch threatened, heckled and jeered Haringey councillors as they voted to adopt a standard definition of antisemitism. The agitators disturbed a full council meeting last night during a cross-party motion to adopt the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition, which is officially recognised by the government and widespread in the public sector. The Jewish Chronicle reports that a Haringey Momentum Facebook group encouraged its activists to attend the meeting. Reportedly the group said:

“The campaign for councils to adopt these guidelines – which is not Labour Party national policy – has been ramped up in the context of the denigration of Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.”

After the meeting, Labour Councillor Joe Goldberg tweeted how he had been “threatened” and “shouted down” by “momentum people“, and squarely blamed the Corbynista group for “hosting a lobby” against the motion:

The entire incident was recorded on video; one heckler is heard to shout: “We’ll see you in your constituency Labour Party”Menacing…

Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’

Officials put the brakes on investigating a Labour councillor who was accused of being a paedophile in order to help the party during the 2015 General Election campaign, an independent inquiry has concluded. A child protection expert’s report – seen by the Manchester Evening News – finds that two Bury Council officers acted under either “direct political influence” to downplay the allegations against the councillor, or “the mistaken belief by senior officers that they needed to be seen to be doing their best to protect members of the Labour group from any political embarrassment at a sensitive time“. After the election the councillor, Simon Carter, was convicted of downloading sexual images of children…

The report is one of a number of probes into the scandal which has engulfed Labour in Manchester. Last month the Council’s Chief Executive Mike Owen resigned before a disciplinary could be completed; it is alleged he admitted stalling child protection procedures in “a favour” for Labour (he has denied this). The council’s director of children’s services Mark Carrilin also resigned after being found guilty of serious misconduct. Just last night it emerged that Labour has suspended Mike Connolly, the elected former leader of Bury Council, from the party. This Labour scandal continues to unravel…

Diane Does It Again: Another Abbott Numbers Gaffe

One of the best yet…

Glaston-free: Labour’s Headline Acts Showered with Freebie Tickets

Turns out Jezza and Tom Watson were showered with freebie Glasto tickets. Corbyn – who spoke on the main stage at the event – received two free tickets from the organisers at a total value £476 via “a member of his family“. Watson had it even better, wangling a total of five free tickets paid for by Live Nation, an American events firm based in Beverly Hills. Watson’s fistful of tickets came to a total value of a whopping £2,445. Sheffield Heeley Labour MP Louise Haigh also had two free tickets, paid for by Michael Dugher’s lobbying group UK Music (total value £900). John McDonnell, who branded the Grenfell fire “murder” at the festival, didn’t declare any Glasto freebies. While their middle class fans paid thousands, Labour’s headline acts went Glaston-free…

“Vaz In My Right Pocket” Councillor “Sat in His Pants Outside a Swimming Pool”

A Labour councillor who is said to have boasted he had Keith Vaz “in his right pocket” was yesterday accused of “sitting outside a swimming pool in his pants” during a court hearing over his taxi licence. Cllr Gurpal Atwal sits on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, close to Vaz’s Leicester East seat, and has worked as a cab driver in the city for two decades. When his own Council denied him a taxi licence earlier this year he appealed, and at a hearing before magistrates in Loughborough yesterday, Licensing Enforcement Officer Tracey Aldwinckle gave details of his alleged conduct:

“I was told your client is using unlicensed drivers on school runs and then he sat in his pants outside a swimming pool because he believes that’s acceptable.”

The court heard a slew of other allegations including of racism and that Atwal swore at a man; Atwal’s solicitor said there was “no indication” from the public of any such behaviour. A witness claimed in a statement that Atwal once boasted of having “Keith Vaz in my right pocket”… 

Magistrates decided to uphold an earlier decision by the licensing authorities that Atwal is not a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence and also charged him £1,250 in costs. Atwal will however be able to continue working as a cab driver under a previous licence which covers him until 2018. Atwal did not give a comment when approached by reporters. Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicstershire, said of the case:

“It’s a real insight into Labour politics in Leicester, and shows that Atwal’s powerful friends in the city have got serious questions to answer.”

Unlicensed Taxi for Keith Vaz…

Corbyn Deletes Tweet Attacking Labour-Run Welsh NHS

Jeremy Corbyn hastily deleted a tweet about “unfair” car parking charges when he realised his own party is to blame for them. Jez tweeted a link to an Independent article about staff at a Cardiff hospital facing fines for parking in the wrong car park, branding the charges “a burden on families, patients, and NHS staff“. He didn’t seem to realise the NHS in Wales is run by Labour and the charges were introduced under a Labour administration. The tweet has since disappeared…

The Canary also forgot that Wales is run by Labour, claiming Jeremy Hunt “should be ashamed of his despicable attack on NHS staff” – even though he has no control over the policy. Amateur hour…

New Labour MP Keeps Comparing Kate to Kardashians

Labour’s gaffe-prone new Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad is in both the political and entertainment headlines this morning for comparing Kate Middleton to the Kardashians. Sworn anti-monarchist Dent Coad told a rally of republicans on Saturday:

“I say the Middletons are like the Kardashians now, because they are such film stars… It just shows how much it has all changed.”

Actually, there’s nothing new about Dent Coad using the Kardashian comparison. In 2015, the day after Princess Charlotte was born, Dent Coad suggested the royal baby should be christened Kendall, after the youngest Kardashian daughter. Bit weird…

Dent Coad also kicked off over the royal wedding, tweeting: “Are you sure the wedding is ‘royal’? It’s Kate’s wedding, she’s a commoner. Shouldn’t we call it ‘Kate Middleton’s wedding’?”  Not all of her ire is reserved for Kate: Dent Coad said Prince Andrew – then international trade ambassador – “doesn’t have a job“, suggested he steals food at parties, and tweeted a link to a piece where she said Prince Charles “explains the reason for his madness“. A chip off the old Jezza block…

Labour’s Broken Student Debt Promise Goes Viral

During the election it was almost exclusively anti-Tory stories which were sent viral by young social media users who voted Labour. Now Labour’s decision to double-cross students has gone very viral. The McDonnell / Marr clip was viewed over half a million times on the Conservatives Facebook page and shared nearly 20,000 times in 24 hours. It was shared tens of thousands more times on Twitter. That is more shares than the Tory Facebook post on Diane Abbott’s car crash interviews during the election, more shares than the post on Corbyn’s Emma Barnett interview, and more shares than Corbyn on shoot-to-kill. The problem with relying on students to send your message viral is you’ll be on the end of the same if you betray them…

BBC Company Used as Front for Coogan’s Lefty Campaign

Corbynista comedian Steve Coogan today marched on Downing Street to deliver a school funding petition from children organised by the Save Our Schools campaign. He was joined by lefty politicians including Green leader Caroline Lucas and new Labour MP for Manchester Gorton Afzal Khan. He also brought along an employee from his production company: Chloe Dymott is Head of Digital Media at Baby Cow Productions. Here’s the thing: BBC Worldwide last year became majority shareholders in Baby Cow Productions. The Alan Partridge star doesn’t hide his top-level Labour links: Tom Watson hired his daughter as a political aide, he featured in a 2015 Labour PPB and campaigned for Corbyn in May’s general election. But does the BBC know its company is now being used as a left wing front?

Corbynistas Must “Hold the Streets” If There’s a Coup Against PM Corbyn

Remember top Momentum agitator Michael Chessum? Earlier this year he said Labour should ditch the “kinder, gentler politics” in favour of “heads on sticks” – and given goings on in Liverpool it looks like he’s getting his way. But now Chessum is worried. In a message to fellow Corbynistas he has warned that, should Corbyn become Prime Minister, his supporters must prepare for a “coup” and be ready to “hold the streets” and “bleed for the cause“.

The Greek left was splintered and argumentative, but extremely organised and ideologically serious. It would bleed for the cause… How will the people who’ve gone doorstepping for us react if international markets sabotage the British economy for years? Have we prepared the people who chanted for Jeremy at Glastonbury for the fact that, at some stage, they may only be able to withdraw 50 quid a day if the credit runs dry? If there is a very British coup, will they hold the streets?”

Chessum previously failed to rule out the possibility of a violent revolution. Now he is getting Momentum ready to man the barricades in Downing Street…

Placard Showing May’s Head Impaled on Spike at Corbyn Rally

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity march in London this afternoon was supposed to be the more presentable sequel to last month’s ‘Day of Rage’. Didn’t quite work out like that. Corbyn, McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Owen Jones addressed a crowd of communist flag waving cranks and demonstrators carrying placards calling the PM and her chief of staff “murderers“.

This charming lady carried a placard showing Theresa May’s head impaled on a bloodied spike. She claimed to be a Labour Party member from New Forest Gate. Corbyn described the protesters as “the movement that will win the next election”.

Channel 4 News’ Cathy Newman was spotted in discussion with Paul Mason. Jon “F**k the Tories” Snow sitting this one out?

 A standard Saturday afternoon out for Jez…

Milibands in Communication Breakdown


Double-jobbing Ed Miliband’s peak hypocritical stint as a radio presenter is finally drawing to a close. For the big set-piece on today’s show he managed to secure the time of his own brother David, who joined listeners live from New York. As with many a media moment Ed has been involved in, it all went wrong fairly quickly. The line kept dropping and David had to resort to a phone rather than broadcast quality connection. Ed finally cut the interview short, declaring “I’ll see you very soon“. Christmas if you’re lucky…

Ed Miliband’s Death Metal Roar

The same Ed Miliband who preached that MPs shouldn’t take second jobs – “we’ve got to remove any suspicion that MPs are working not for their constituents’ interests but for someone else’s interests” – is today doing death metal impressions on national radio.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Embattled Henry Bolton on his battles…

“I’m going nowhere. I have seen people die, I have seen people blown up, I have seen people shot. Even the Taliban doesn’t quite prepare you for UKIP, though.”

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