LibDem Arch-Remainer Rewrites History

Former Tory MEP and arch-Remainer Edward McMillan-Scott, now standing as a LibDem candidate in West Worcestershire, has sent this letter to voters across the country explaining how he came to swap parties. He writes:

“I first joined the Conservative Party in 1967. I held many different positions within the party – including group leader in the European Parliament. I played a leading role in shaping several election manifestos. But I protested when David Cameron split from Europe’s mainstream political group, and I joined the Liberal Democrats.”

Well, sort of.

McMillan-Scott was indeed group leader in the European Parliament and did indeed protest when Cameron took Tory MEPs out of the EPP in 2009. But he neglects to mention the consequence of that protest: he had the whip withdrawn and was subsequently expelled from the Conservative Party. He begged to be let back in, launching an appeal and canvassing constituents for support, before lining up lawyers for a hearing. He was advised that he had no chance of winning. Only then did he turn to the LibDems. He’d still be a Tory if they’d have had him…

LibDem Collapse Explained

Why are the LibDems doing so badly? Their “pitch to the 48%” relied on Remain voters holding firm and looking for a party pledging to reverse the referendum result. Farron’s problem, as this Ipsos Mori focus group of Remainers shows, is that the bulk of Remain voters are not ‘Hard Remainers’. They just want to get on with Brexit…

“I don’t want a second referendum.”

“I think it’s just a waste of time and money and energy.”

“I’d agree. It’s a waste of time and effort and money.”

“You may cause, actually, more division and uproar within the society. It’s done. The majority of us who voted for Remain have accepted it and we just want to get on with it now.”

A strategic error that could have dire consequences for the LibDems on June 8…

74% Chance Clive Lewis Will Lose His Seat

Clive Lewis is set to crash out of parliament on June 8, according to analysis by the respected academic Dr Chris Hanretty. His look at constituencies in the East of England for the University of East Anglia says the probability of Lewis holding his seat is just 26%, with a 74% likelihood that the Tories will gain Norwich South. Guido has previously reported how Lewis put his embryonic leadership bid on hold as he battles to save his job.

The Hanretty model also says there is a 100% probability that LibDem Norman Lamb will lose his North Norfolk seat to the Tories. A Lamb to the slaughter, if you will. Reminder that the LibDems might end up losing seats…

Cable Does a Diane

Vince Cable tells Susanna Reid the LibDems’ new public sector pay policy will affect 1 million workers, then 2 million workers, then 5.4 million. Vince has just been given the grand title of LibDem Treasury spokesman, so he has no excuse…

Progressive Alliance Map of Chaos

Clive Lewis, Vince Cable and the Green Party are launching the official “Progressive Alliance” tonight at an event with Paul Mason, Zoe Williams, someone from the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Spanish socialist group Podemos. They might be a roll call of cranks and MPs who’ll say and do anything to win their seats, but the Progressive Alliance has quietly agreed deals in at least 30 constituencies across the country. As you can see from Guido’s Map of Chaos, the Greens, LibDems and Labour are standing aside for each other all over the place.

Greens backing Labour: Copeland, Brentford and Isleworth, Eltham, Warrington South, Southampton Test, Ealing Central and Acton, Hastings and Rye, Ilford North, Oldham East and Saddleworth, Pudsey, York Central, Derby North, Carlisle, Workington,

LibDems backing Labour: Bury North (and secretly in Ealing)

Greens backing LibDems: Richmond Park, Twickenham, North Kingston, Brighton Kemptown, Lewes, Westmorland and Lonsdale, South West Surrey, Oxford West and Abingdon, Southport, Harrogate and Knaresborough, North Cornwall, St Austell and Newquay, St Ives

LibDems backing Greens: Brighton Pavilion, Skipton

Seems to Guido that the Greens are getting a pretty bad deal here. In exchange for helping Labour and the LibDems across the country, they are being helped in just two seats – and only one that they have a hope of winning. Naivety or selfishness from Caroline Lucas?

LibDems: Vote Tory, Get Corbyn

This has to be the most fantastically absurd leaflet of the election campaign. The LibDems are claiming that voting Tory could put Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10 and that only voting LibDem can stop Labour winning. Not sure what they’ve been smoking. Farron himself has said the Tories are going to win and the LibDems have been secretly telling their supporters to vote Labour in some seats. Gotta admire the chutzpah…

Speaking of unfortunate leaflets, here is one from Labour MP Roger Godsiff, who probably needs a better campaign slogan:

Who is Guido to disagree…

Plaid Cymru Could Be About to Turf Bryant Out

Over at Paddy Power’s Blog Guido is speculating on Chris Bryant’s troubles. Plaid Cymru is insurgent in the Rhondda, in the local elections in his constituency Labour lost six seats, taking their count from 15 to 9 councillors. Plaid surged from 7 seats to a total of 14 councillors.Even more worrying for Bryant the share of the votes cast for Plaid went from 39.9% in 2012 to 47.9% last week. Labour’s share plunged 12% from 54.9% in 2012 to 42.5% last week. That’s not a poll – which are bad enough for Labour in Wales with them trailing the Tories – that’s real votes cast. Read the full argument, make your own mind up…

Electoral Commission Say Green-LibDem Bung is Matter For Police

Caroline Lucas has admitted for the first time that the Green Party WAS offered a £250,000 inducement to stand aside for the LibDems in the Richmond by-election. The Electoral Commission tell Guido that offering such a bung is a criminal offence and that this is a matter for the police…

With regards to any allegations about donations offered as an inducement to stand down candidates, it is a matter for the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether an offence has taken place and ascertain which laws may have been broken.

Section 107 of the Representation of the People Act includes an offence of “Corrupt withdrawal from candidature”. The offence is a matter for the police to investigate, and any related complaints must be raised with the police (and not with the Electoral Commission).

Lucas told the Daily Politics the offer was not accepted – even though the Greens did stand aside – and farcically claimed she “can’t remember the name” of the person who offered the bung: “I’ve forgotten the man’s name for the purposes of this debate”. Lucas said at the end of the interview that she would reveal the name when she could remember it, though the Green Party is now refusing to do so. The Greens have to release the name, otherwise they are covering up a criminal offence…

Farron: I’m a Fan of Caroline Lucas

Coalition of rubbish latest: Tim Farron explains how he’s pleased the LibDems are helping the Greens win Brighton because “I’m a fan of Caroline Lucas”. The LibDems are laughing at the Greens here. A LibDem candidate has stood aside in just one seat, that of Caroline Lucas, while in return the Greens are standing aside to help the LibDems in seats across the country. Pure naivety…

Bet Against the LibDems

Over at Paddy Power’s blog Guido is betting that the LibDems won’t double their seats in parliament from 8 MPs to 16 MPs. Read the argument, make the bet, wear diamonds…

Labour-LibDem Alliance in Richmond

These placards have been going up outside homes in Richmond Park over the last few days. After Sarah Olney told LibDems to vote Labour in some seats to defeat the Tories, now Labour supporters in Richmond are voting Olney to fight Zac. Coalition of rubbish…

Voter Tells Farron Sturgeon Needs “Kick Up the Arse”

Farron not giving up on his policy of meeting the voters…

Cable and Olney Recorded Secretly Plotting to Help Labour

Publicly the LibDems are telling voters they cannot work with Labour because Jeremy Corbyn is “toxic“. This bombshell tape from LBC and Sky News exposes that fib for what it is. Vince Cable and Sarah Olney have been recorded telling members they should collaborate with Labour – Olney says she wants Labour’s Rupa Huq to win in Ealing, meanwhile Vince Cable says the LibDems should be “tactical” to help Labour in some seats because, in the case of Huq, “on almost every issue our views were almost identical”. Wonder what the voters of Richmond Park and Twickenham think about their LibDem candidates plotting to help Corbyn? Coalition of rubbish…

UPDATE: Zac Goldsmith reacts:

“As usual with the LibDems, what they say publicly is completely at odds with what they say and do in private. Having publicly said they wouldn’t do a deal with Jeremy Corbyn, it’s now clear they are actually plotting to help him succeed.”

This is bad for the LibDems…

Lying Lib Dems Peddle Fake News

The LibDems are widely regarded as the dirtiest campaigners in British politics, stooping to lows well beneath their Tory and Labour rivals. This takes the biscuit even by their standards. In Wimbledon and Raynes Park the LibDems have produced a fake newspaper with the aim of deceiving voters into believing they are reading neutral coverage about their candidate. There is no imprint on the front page, the imprint at the bottom of the back page is not visible to the naked eye. This really is quite something – it includes a finance ‘column’ by a ‘finance editor’ called Phil Ling. This is a straight lie. Phil Ling is not a ‘finance editor’, he was the 2015 LibDem candidate down the road in Tooting. 

The LibDems are doing this – deliberately misleading and lying to voters – around the country. Here is Sarah Olney’s fake newspaper in Richmond. It has a tiny imprint that many won’t be able to read. It includes a “special report” purporting to be written by a journalist. This is a lie – it is campaign literature written by a spinner in LibDem HQ. There has been a lot of hand-wringing recently about parties paying for adverts in local newspapers. This from the LibDems is a hundred times worse.

Green-LibDem Deals to Help Olney and Cable

The Green Party has stood down its candidate in Richmond Park and endorsed LibDem Sarah Olney against Zac Goldsmith. Very murky goings on here. The Greens were offered £250,000 not to run against Zac last time. This time round they initially selected a candidate, Andree Frieze, and said she would run. That was until the LibDems stood down their candidate against Caroline Lucas in Brighton. What do you know, the Greens have now pulled out in Richmond Park and also in Twickenham, where Vince Cable is trying to unseat Tory MP Tania Mathias. The LibDems laughably claim there is no deal-making going on here but that is just not credible – local Greens privately admit it is an official pact. Or a coalition of chaos, you might say…

Friday Caption Contest (LibDem Youth Wing Edition)

Entries in the comments…

Tories Denied Northumberland Majority By Straw Draw

Incredible scenes as the last council seat in Northumberland is decided with a straw draw. Won by the LibDems to deny the Tories a majority…

David Ward Sacked Again

The ultimate ignominy for David “The Jews” Ward, who has been forced off a school governing body after parents complained about his conduct. Ward plays his tiny violin on Facebook:

“Tonight at the first meeting of a new Governing Board for a Secondary school that is in dire need of improvement I was sacked as a Governor because of “complaints from some parents”. I wasn’t told what they were but I think we can all guess… I hoped to become Chair of this new Governing Body but was told that the other Governors would not stay in the room if I insisted on remaining.”

Some fun comments from Ward’s friends beneath his Facebook post:

“Scary the power reaches everywhere from media to schools”

“These are very sad and dark days in British politics, when a minority group in the UK (0.5%) hold such influence and power with the support of a foreign power”

“I’m sorry to hear you’ve been fired as a Governor – one must never underestimate the power of the Zionist lobby!”

It was the Jews of course!

LibDem Key Seat Chaos

Theresa May is in the south-west today to head off LibDem attempts to turn Remain-voting constituencies yellow. Yet the LibDem fightback has already come a cropper in two seats. Three weeks ago Daisy Benson was announced as the candidate in Yeovil, where the LibDems are trying to defeat Tory MP Marcus Fysh and win back a seat that had been Liberal since the eighties. Bizarrely, a few days after telling her local paper she was running, Benson stepped down as the candidate with the least believable excuse ever:

“Although I’ve been preparing for the past year, this election unfortunately comes at precisely the wrong time for me. I’m just in the process of completing purchasing a house.”

Paddy Ashdown, a former Yeovil MP, has refused to be drawn on what is really going on. Coincidentally Benson has just been given a plum job in her local party. With Rachel Johnson joining the party some have speculated Benson has been paid off to make way for another candidate. Either way the LibDems are in chaos in this key target seat…

And what are the LibDems playing at in Bath? This should be a major target seat: the Tory MP Ben Howlett is a joke and has been mired in all sorts of nastiness during his short time in parliament. He has a 3,800 majority and the seat was yellow before 2015. The LibDems pride themselves on having candidates in place before everyone else yet Bath is the exception – they only chose their candidate, an uninspiring Euro-fanatic called Wera Hobhouse, yesterday. The LibDems really should be challenging in Bath and Yeovil if they are to meet expectations, yet they are nowhere to be seen in either seat…

Piers Wounds Clegg

You can tell by the look on Clegg’s face that hurt…[…] Read the rest

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