Vince Cable Handing Over Lib Dem Leadership on July 23rd

Another leadership departure timetable set out today, meaning the Lib Dem leadership race will be entirely overshadowed by the Tory one, much as the announcement today is. Cable’s successor could conceivably even be crowned on the same day as Theresa May’s. Lib Dems didn’t really think this one through…

UK’s Former Chief Civil Servant Endorses Liberal Democrats

If Brexiteers needed any more proof that the senior echelons of the civil service are fanatically pro-Remain, former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell was on hand to provide it this morning in The Times with a gushing endorsement of the Lib Dems. O’Donnell says it’s “deeply disappointing and very annoying” that the split Remain vote could lead to the Brexit Party doing “extremely well”, he says he will be voting Lib Dem and “urges all those who support Remain to do the same”. Telling, but hardly surprising, that the UK’s most senior civil servant under three successive Prime Ministers is coming out with such a full-throated endorsement of Remain…

David Cameron’s hapless former Downing Street head of strategy and embittered Remainer Andrew Cooper has also announced that he’s backing the Lib Dems. Cooper did sit for the Tories in the Lords, he’s now joined Heseltine on the naughty step with the whip suspended. With him on board the Lib Dems are guaranteed electoral success…

Change UK MEP: Vote Lib Dem

It turns out that the two former Tory MEPs who were kicked out of the party after voting to ban the UK from discussing trade in the Brexit negotiations joined ‘Change UK’ last month, not that anyone really noticed. Now Julie Girling, one of those Change UK MEPs, is encouraging constituents not to vote for her own party but for the Lib Dems instead, as they are “clearly the strongest Remain party.” She has issued a press release saying:

“In my view, the best way to get a People’s Vote to stop Brexit is to vote Lib Dem. That will send a very clear message to Mrs May and Mr Corbyn. This is what I will be doing. I urge other Remain voters to vote Lib Dem to stop Brexit.”

Even when the ChUKas do manage to put candidates up, their own politicians are telling voters to vote against them…

She’s not the only one giving surprise endorsements today, former Tory Remainer Nick Boles effectively endorsed the Brexit Party’s candidate in Peterborough:

Evidently not much love lost between Boles and his former Tory MP neighbour Stewart Jackson…

Lib Dems Select Lutfur Rahman’s Protege as MEP Candidate

After their absolute car crash last time the Lib Dems adopted a former Lutfur Rahman-backed candidate, you would think they would be more careful not to select someone associated with the disgraced former Tower Hamlets Mayor in future. Apparently not, as they’ve now selected Rahman’s hand-picked successor in Tower Hamlets as an MEP candidate – Rabina Khan. She’s been on quite a journey:

  • May 2010: Khan is elected as a Labour Councillor in Shadwell
  • Oct 2010: Khan leaves Labour to join newly-elected mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Cabinet
  • May 2014: Re-elected as Councillor for Rahman’s new Tower Hamlets First party
  • April 2015: Lutfur Rahman and Tower Hamlets First found guilty of “corrupt and illegal practices”, THF is disbanded and Rahman’s election is voided although Khan and other THF Councillors keep their seats
  • May 2015: Khan stands in the subsquent Mayoral by-election as Rahman’s chosen successor, losing to Labour
  • Nov 2016: Khan splits from the Rahman-supporting independents to form her own party, the People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH)
  • May 2018: Khan places second in the Mayoral election again but all other PATH Councillors except her lose their seats
  • Aug 2018: Khan dissolves PATH and joins the Lib Dems, along with the now disgraced former PATH councillor Abjol Miah
  • April 2019: Khan selected by Lib Dems as an MEP candidate for London

Only time will tell where Khan’s long and winding political journey takes her next. However, she’ll fit right in in Brussels – an FoI request previously revealed Khan claimed a staggering £1,085 for taxi fares in just 8 months while serving in Rahman’s Cabinet, including £120 for a 1.5-mile trip. From one gravy train to another…

Lib Dems Already Deploying Dodgy Bar Charts

The Lib Dems are gearing up their local election campaign and that means only one thing – comically distorted and misleading bar charts. A co-conspirator received this classic in Norton ward, Dudley. The Lib Dems haven’t even bothered distorting a previous result this time, they’ve just made up an entirely imaginary chart of what the result “could look like”.

In fact, when Norton was last contested just last year, the Lib Dems were beaten soundly into third place by Labour with just 10% of the vote compared to Labour’s 23%, while the Conservative candidate romped home with 62%. The Lib Dems last won a seat there in 2003 – if Labour are “out of the running”, the Lib Dems aren’t even in the race. Guido has fixed their chart for them:

Lib Dem Calculations Out By 100,000%

The Liberal Democrats have published a press release claiming that the Government are spending £20,000 per business to promote UK business exports. They were so proud of their number that they used it twice…

How did they calculate it? £2.6 million was spent on DIT’s ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign, which encouraged 130,000 businesses to take steps towards exporting. But 2,600,000 divided by 130,000 is just 20, not 20,000…

This calculation made its way through Layla Moran, the Lib Dem economic spokesperson, and her office, Lib Dem HQ, Lib Dem press office, and their social media team without any of them spotting the glaringly obvious error. Looks like a lot of Lib Dems have been using Diane Abbott’s abacus…

H/t Oliver Cooper

Lib Dems Reverse Referendum Result Because Old People Voted The Way They Wanted

The Lib Dems have decided to flagrantly ignore another result in a referendum they actually called themselves – using the excuse that more old people voted the way they wanted. Richmond Lib Dems held a vote to gauge public support for their plan to reduce speed limits to 20mph across the Borough. Almost 10,000 people took part in the vote, which split 51% to 49% against them…

True to form, the Lib Dems have decided to ignore the result and implement their original plans anyway, barring three minor exemptions. To top it off, the party used the fact that 60% of over-75s supported the proposals as a key excuse for overruling the will of the people of Richmond upon Thames. Guido looks forward to the Lib Dems putting as much importance on the views of old people in every referendum…

Lib Dem Earl Asks What Government is Doing about High Price of Theatre Tickets

The Earl of Glasgow, one of the four hereditary Lib Dem peers, has made a weighty intervention in the Lords… to challenge the Government over what it is doing to tackle the high price of theatre tickets. Good to see the Lib Dems focusing on the issues most important to voters…

Labour and Lib Dem Balls-Up Lets Lutfur Rahman Back In Tower Hamlets

Guido readers will have been following the collective calamities of the Labour and Lib Dem campaigns in the Shadwell by-election in Tower Hamlets, with Labour selecting a fan of a banned pro-bin Laden hate preacher while the Lib Dems were forced to ditch their candidate altogether just a day before the vote after Guido revealed some of the deeply anti-Semitic content he had posted online. Tom Brake is wishing he’d done his research before turning out to support him last month…

Both candidates still went on to fight yesterday’s by-election, with Labour’s Asik Rahman ultimately losing by 98 votes to the candidate for the new ‘Aspire’ Party, Mohammed Harun Miah. It won’t surprise anyone to learn who is behind Aspire – none other than rotten former Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman. Rahman is gearing up for another mayoral run in 2022 after his personal ban for a litany of electoral offences expires in 2021…

Rahman had previously given his personal endorsement to the Lib Dems’ disgraced ex-candidate Abjol Miah back in 2012, while the local Lib Dem campaign this time round was heavily targeted against Labour, helping Rahman’s new man Mohammad Harun Miah sneak in and giving the country’s most corrupt local politician his first electoral foothold back in Tower Hamlets. A Miah coincidence…?

Vince Cable Discussing New Third Party With Labour MPs

Vince Cable says he’s been in discussions for months with large groups of Labour MPs (and some Tories) about breaking away to form a new third party, although he’s vague about how it would actually work. Will he be happy playing second fiddle to Chuka?

Lib Dems Continue Vendetta Against Christmas

A day after Guido revealed that Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder has closed down her UK office and laid off staff just in time for Christmas, an official Lib Dem press release has called for Christmas to be cancelled for MPs.

Brexit spokesman and real life Scrooge Tom Brake said “Liberal Democrats do not believe Parliament should rise for the Christmas recess until Theresa May does what the people expect and give MPs a vote on her deal.” That will make them popular…

UPDATE: Asa Bennett has pointed out that it’s not the first time Tom Brake has tried to play the Grinch – last year he threatened that Brexit would mean “there won’t be a Christmas lunch” this year. Humbug!

Only 20% Back Second Referendum if Deal Voted Down

Remainers went all People’s Vote of Judea on each other this morning, with People’s Vote hilariously attacking the Lib Dems for tabling a “deeply unhelpful” second referendum amendment, accusing them of “political point scoring” and whinging about it being “deeply unfair”. Snigger…

The latest polling from IpsosMORI won’t have made Anna Soubry’s birthday any better either. While over six in ten Brits (62%) think May’s deal will be “bad for the UK as a whole” with only 25% believing it will be good, there is no clear support for a second referendum or cancelling Brexit either if the deal is voted down:

Only 20% of people are in favour of a second referendum on leaving the EU altogether, while the same number would back leaving without a deal at all. A mere 10% back Labour’s preferred option of a general election, while a further 10% would back a referendum on whether or not to accept the deal itself.

The most likely outcomes, that the Government either seeks to reopen negotiations with the EU or a second vote in Parliament is held on substantially the same deal, are also pretty low-scoring, notching up only 19% and 6% support each. The bottom line is that we are in unchartered waters – nobody knows what is going to happen, but it is simply not true for Remainers to claim that there is a clear majority for a second referendum on leaving the EU…

Lib Dem MP Resigns The Whip

Lib Dem MP Stephen Lloyd has resigned the Lib Dem whip in order to vote for the Brexit deal and will sit as an Independent. Lloyd represents Leave-voting Eastbourne and says he has resigned to honour the promise he made to his constituents:

A lesson in integrity – Guido looks forward to the many other Remainer MPs who promised to honour the result following his example…

Lib Dem ‘Delighted’ To Artificially Lose Election For Sake Of Diversity

The Liberal Democrats have been selecting their candidates for 2020’s London Assembly and Mayoral elections, and one candidate is delighted with the results announced this week.

Rob Blackie came second in the election, but because the Lib Dems have a complicated system of both second preference redistribution and diversity handicaps/quotas, white male Rob got bumped down from second place on the list to sixth – which he is apparently “delighted” with…

“I got the 2nd highest number of 1st preference votes for the London Assembly, but after transfers (ie people’s second preferences) and adjustments to make sure we have a list that reflects London’s diversity, I was placed sixth.

I’ve campaigned for a more diverse political system for 20 years – so I’m delighted that these rules apply (even to me!)”

Can you get any more Lib Dem than this?

Meanwhile In Lib Dem Land

Unfortunate subject line of the Lib Dem email this afternoon, considering their recent financial troubles. Is any party in Westminster close to competent today?

Peers Rule to Not Suspend Lord Lester

Peers have voted 101 to 78 to block the suspension of Lord Lester for sexual harassment, going against the conduct watchdog’s recommendation of a record breaking suspension until 2022. They decided the inquiry was unfairly run. This is extraordinary. The privileged protecting their own…

Lib Dem Lord Lester Set For Record-Breaking Suspension For Sexual Harassment

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Lester is set for a record-breaking suspension from the House of Lords after Lords’ Privileges and Conduct Committee recommended that he be suspended for three and a half years until June 2022 for sexual harassment and “corrupt inducement” to sexual relations. It will be the longest Parliamentary suspension since the Second World War…

Lester was forced to resign as a Lib Dem spokesman after allegations that he had demanded sex from a female campaigner in return for help to pass legislation. The investigation upheld the complaint “on the basis of the strong and cogent evidence of the complainant and her witnesses.” The fact that it happened 10 years ago was not used as an excuse not to pursue the investigation…

LibDems Holding Emergency Finance Meeting Tomorrow

We recently reported that as a result of cashflow crisis LibDem HQ was slashing 25% of staff. In a highly unusual move Guido understands there is to be an emergency meeting of the Lib Dem board and the finance subcommittee to discuss party finances tomorrow evening (Tuesday). It is almost unheard of for there to be such a joint meeting.

Cable’s low-wattage leadership is proving disastrous and the imminent prospect of a well funded centrist, pro-EU rival with glitz and glamour from Chuka, David Miliband or, errr, Chris Leslie is another deterrent to donors. Whereas in the past £700,000 could have been loaned in an emergency by a rich backer in need of an honour, they are less likely to support a dead parrot of a party. Never a good idea to write off the Liberals, a rival party however could be the final nail in the coffin that was built for them in 2015 by Lynton Crosby…

Cable’s Exotic Spresm

Guido was surprised to learn that Vince would be using the phrase “erotic spasm” in his big speech today. Sadly under the pressure, Vince couldn’t quite perform.

Turns out he just wasn’t tough enuss…

Gina Miller Friendzones Lib Dems

Gina Miller was offered a plum slot on stage at the Lib Dem conference, but took the opportunity to reveal that not only is she not a Lib Dem, she’s merely a “friend”. She went on to say “we need a strong third party, just as much as we need a strong opposition, and a strong Government.” Ouch…

Miller expressly ruled out becoming the party’s next leader amidst nervous laughter from around the conference hall. […] Read the rest

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