Sarah Olney has walked out of a car crash interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer on TalkRadio after a spin doctor intervened and said she “had to go”. The new LibDem MP was unable to answer simple questions about Brexit and the single market. Steep learning curve.
Tim Farron is getting more than a little ahead of himself claiming Sarah Olney’s win is a rejection of Trump and the 2015 election too. Richmond Park was a 21% swing by a Remain constituency against its incumbent Leave MP. Food for thought for Labour Remainer MPs with pro-Leave constituencies…
The LibDems have overturned Zac’s 23,000 majority to win the Richmond Park by-election. Labour lost their deposit.
Sarah Olney – Liberal Democrat – 20,510, 49.7%
Zac Goldsmith – Independent – 18,638, 45.2%
Christian Wolmar – Labour – 1,515, 3.7%
Whatever the LibDems and some excitable broadcasters tell you this morning, calm down, a by-election in Richmond changes not a thing about Article 50 or Brexit…
The LibDems have a reputation as some of the dirtiest campaigners around, and they are living up to it in Richmond Park. Local resident Paul Waugh, 50, had the above fake newspaper put through his door. It’s more convincing than the usual literature used by political parties, and even goes as far as including reports from “a senior Gazette reporter” who does not exist. All with the aim of hoodwinking voters. The most shameless fake news yet?
“Zac is crap”… pic.twitter.com/iGiM4bDlv9
— Sam Lister (@sam_lister_) November 30, 2016
Instead of learning the lessons from his referendum flotilla humiliation, Bob Geldof has gone to canvas for the LibDems in Richmond today. He’s been chanting “Zac is crap” for the cameras like a poundshop Eddie Izzard. Sad.
Geldof campaigning for Lib Dems urges tactical Lab voters. “The lib dems are tiny! They’re not a threat!” LibDemPress keep on smiling…
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) November 30, 2016
Well done to the LibDems. This has gone about as well as Miliband and Russell Brand.
The LibDem candidate in Richmond has given a shocker of an interview to the Standard, offering a highly implausible explanation for her Brexit flip-flop and bizarrely blaming an aide for another disastrous interview in which she attacked Zac Goldsmith. Sarah Olney also posed for a picture in front of her bookshelf, awkwardly revealing her pro-Heathrow expansion reading habits. Heathrow’s Terminal 5 – History in the Making describes it as “an iconic piece on infrastructure, which is a tribute to the best of the world’s design and engineering.” Richmond LibDems have been bigging up Olney’s anti-Heathrow expansion credentials, despite the fact her husband helped build Terminal 5. She finished her Standard interview by admitting: “If I don’t win, I’ve got a nice house, a great husband, lovely children and a good job to go back to.” A nice house paid for by her great husband’s work for Heathrow…
The LibDem by-election campaign in Richmond has two key messages: that their candidate Sarah Olney will vote against Article 50 and oppose Heathrow expansion even more so than Zac. How is that going?
First Olney was forced to delete her website after saying we should go ahead with Brexit:
“Britain is leaving the EU – OK, I accept that. I don’t think we should re-run the referendum. I think we should stick to the course that has been decided.”
Now it turns out her husband helped to build Heathrow Terminal 5. “Town planner” Ben Olney’s CV boasts that before his current job he was “working on the delivery of Terminal 5 at Heathrow”.
Sarah has plastered Ben’s face all over her leaflets and heavily involved him in her campaign. Richmond LibDems have an anti-Brexit candidate who wants Brexit to go ahead, an anti-Heathrow expansion candidate whose husband helped expand Heathrow…
How much did Nick Clegg make for hosting Have I Got News For You last month? The new Register of Interests reveals he trousered a cool £15,000 for the 12 hour gig, which comes to £1,250-an-hour. Clegg upped his hourly rate for consultancy firm MCI, charging them £30,800 for a single speech in Amsterdam a few weeks later. It was 14 hours work, so £2,200-an-hour. Clegg also recently received a £20,500 second advance instalment for his new book. So in the last month, Clegg pocketed over £60,000 in outside earnings. He’s making a success of Brexit…
UPDATE: The Taxpayers’ Alliance point out: “Worth remembering that Clegg still receives a taxpayer funded £100,000 allowance for being the former Deputy PM.”
Over the weekend the LibDem by-election candidate Sarah Olney suggested Brexit-backing Zac Goldsmith shouldn’t be Richmond Park’s MP because he “represents a constituency that voted 73% remain in the referendum.” On that logic Nick Clegg should step down in Sheffield, which voted 51% Leave, and Tom Brake should quit in Carshalton (where the wider Sutton area voted 54% Leave). So too should Norman Lamb, whose North Norfolk constituency voted almost 60% for Leave. Will Sarah support removing 40% of LibDems from the Commons as well?
The LibDems are sending out press releases from the “LibDem Shadow Chancellor” and the “LibDem Shadow Home Secretary”. The LibDems do not have a Shadow Chancellor or a Shadow Home Secretary. This is not how parliament works, no matter how much the LibDems want to make themselves sound important. Alastair Carmichael is going round calling himself the Shadow First Secretary of State, for goodness sake. Also worth noting that both Susan Kramer and Brian Paddick are in the Lords not the Commons. The Lords which the LibDems wanted to abolish…
Unknown LibDem Richmond candidate Sarah Olney has used her first national newspaper interview to launch a clumsy attack on Zac Goldsmith’s wealth. Speaking to the MoS, Olney went after Zac over the money he inherited from his dad, claiming he won’t understand what it means if the price of Marmite goes up. A strange class war attack line – leafy Richmond is hardly full of people who’ll be pushed below the breadline. Zac responded by taking the Michelle Obama approach last night:
Congratulations to Sarah Olney on her selection as Lib Dem candidate this afternoon. Looking forward to seeing her on the campaign trail.
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) October 30, 2016
Doesn’t exactly fit the LibDem narrative that Zac is nasty and they’re the cuddly ones…
Remarkable that until now they had allowed her to stay as a member and join the by-election campaign. The LibDem Richmond candidate (above centre) clearly doesn’t have much of a problem with her…
Man says Jews were responsible for the Holocaust; panel thanks man, BDS is mentioned, general applause pic.twitter.com/3FbBNoXUjm
— Yiftah Curiel (@yiftahc) October 26, 2016
Jenny Tonge, who Richmond LibDems have put front and centre of their by-election campaign, has hosted an event in parliament in which Jews were blamed for the Holocaust. In the video above Tonge listens and does not interject when an audience member claims Jews “antagonised Hitler” and that the Holocaust was caused by “Judea declaring war on Germany”. Another audience member said “If anybody is antisemitic, it’s Israelis themselves”. The Israeli embassy say the comments are “hard to believe”. Jenny Tonge is intimately involved in the LibDem by-election campaign, the party have refused to condemn her this week…
The LibDem by-election campaign in Richmond is off to an ominous start, with the local party yesterday welcoming disgraced ex-MP Jenny Tonge back into the fold. Tonge is a former Richmond Park MP – despite losing the whip in the Lords she is still a LibDem member, the party has ignored her string of anti-Semitism scandals including one just last week. The photo above was posted yesterday by the official Richmond LibDem Twitter account, showing Tonge is intimately involved in their campaign. Well done chaps.
LibDem peer Jenny Tonge has worked out who is to blame for the rise in anti-Semitism: Israel, of course! ‘Jihad Jenny’ sent this letter to the Guardian yesterday. They decided against printing it but Guido reproduces it below:
Subject: Tough on anti Semitism/ tough on the causes of anti Semitism?
The recent Select Committee Report on anti Semitism is to be welcomed, but it would have been more useful if it had investigated the causes of anti Semitism too. It is difficult to believe that a 75% increase in anti Semitism it reports, have been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason. It is surely the case that these incidents are reflecting the disgust amongst the general public of the way the government of Israel treats Palestinians and manipulates the USA and ourselves to take no action against that country’s blatant disregard of International Law and the Geneva Conventions…
Be tough on the causes of anti Semitism as well as the loathsome sentiment itself.
Dr Jenny Tonge
What does David “The Jews” Ward think about the Home Affairs select committee report on anti-Semitism, Guido hears you ask? The serving LibDem councillor reckons “The Zionists are winning”, telling his followers to read the Chakrabarti inquiry instead. Tim Farron gave Ward his backing, refused to admit he was a repeat offender and wouldn’t call his rant about “Jews” anti-Semitic. There’s an argument that Farron is weaker than Corbyn on this issue…
Jeremy Corbyn has been strongly condemned by the Home Affairs Select Committee for failing to understand anti-Semitism and creating a “safe space” for racists in the Labour Party. The inquiry’s damning findings are laid out in as severe language as you will ever see from a select committee:
“Despite his proud record on fighting racism, the Committee is not persuaded that Mr Corbyn fully appreciates the distinct nature of contemporary antisemitism, and the fact that it is perfectly possible for an ‘anti-racist campaigner’ to express antisemitic views. His lack of consistent leadership on this issue has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people, exacerbated by the Party’s demonstrable incompetence at dealing with members accused of antisemitism.”
Much of the committee’s evidence is based on stories published by Guido, its report references this site’s revelations on Naz Shah, Salim Mulla, Vicki Kirby, Seumas Milne and others. The committee also reserves criticism for Shami Chakrabarti, describing her own anti-Semitism inquiry as “compromised” and questioning its independence. The report concludes Labour is now “an unwelcoming place for Jewish members”.
There is also strong condemnation of Tim Farron and the Liberal Democrats’ dire response to anti-Semitism, following Guido’s stories on former MP and current LibDem councillor David Ward:
“We were disappointed by the manner in which their Leader, Tim Farron, referred to disciplinary processes rather than explicitly condemning antisemitic remarks made by members of his Party, and we were surprised to learn that Cllr David Ward remains an elected representative of the Liberal Democrats, despite his repeated antisemitic comments… He denied that Cllr Ward was a “repeat offender” and said that it was “very tricky” to judge whether an individual has been antisemitic or “just provocative and offensive”.”
Questions for Corbyn, Shami and Farron to answer…
“I want to make a bold pitch to progressive voters in the Jewish community and say, we are for you,” Tim Farron told the Jewish Chronicle as conference began in Brighton this week. How serious is he? Taking pride of place in the middle of the conference exhibition centre is disgraced former MP David “The Jews” Ward, manning the LibDem Friends of Palestine stall. This is what they’ve been posting on Facebook during conference:
Then there’s this charming post:
Why don’t they just join the Labour Party?
UPDATE: Luke Akehurst, director of We Believe in Israel:
“It is shocking that former MP David Ward, who made grotesquely offensive and prima facie antisemitic comparisons between Israel’s actions and the Holocaust, has been staffing the Lib Dem Friends of Palestine stall at the Lib Dem conference. The insinuations in recent Lib Dem Friends of Palestine Facebook posts that “Jews” (note the generalised smear against all Jews, let alone all Israelis) are never kind to Palestinian children, and that Jews play upon victimhood are unacceptable. Lib Dem Friends of Palestine should be trying to advance peace and coexistence between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, not using stereotyping and tropes about Jewish people in this crude way.”
UPDATE II: A LibDem spokesman says:
“We take this issue very seriously and are investigating.”
— Phil Hornby (@philhornbyitv) September 18, 2016
Conference, what conference? Lib Dems need to make an impact in Brighton.
Judging by this video Britain’s fourth party is not doing so well? […] Read the rest