Clegg Whores Himself Out For $55,000

Poor Nick Clegg has seen his £134,565 Deputy Prime Minister’s salary plummet to a measly £67,000 now he is merely a lowly MP. How will he cope?

By hiring Leading Authorities, a Washington based agent, to manage his after-dinner speaking engagements. Boasting of his “internationalist approach to world affairs”, Clegg says he is available to give speeches “in five European languages”:

“For UK audiences, Clegg shares his experiences about the future of politics and the direction of the UK, specifically relating to the EU. For international groups, he explores how current UK politics affects international relations.”

How much will it set you back to book him? A cool $55,000.

Asian audiences with deeper pockets are asked to “please inquire”.

Seems a bit steep… Ken Clarke will do you a drab speech about Europe for under 10 grand…

12.5% of LibDem Parliamentary Party Elected Leader

Westminster stops still for the most riveting news since the election:

Tim Farron received 56.5% of the votes and in second place Norman Lamb received the backing of 43.5%.

It’s Farron.

Senior LibDem Demands Resurrection of Charlie Kennedy

A somewhat unfortunate blogpost went up on the LibDemFuture site yesterday written by Gareth Epps, a former parliamentary candidate who sits on his party’s federal policy committee. Among Epps’ musings about the future direction of the LibDems, published by the site last night, is this suggestion:

“Our federal structure and the presence of several political heavyweights are advantages that should be used. Demonstrating the Scottish Party’s independence from London as well as high-profile roles for senior figures – Charles Kennedy, perhaps – would be a confident and positive way to face the future.”

It would be positively miraculous. Er… who’s going to tell them?

UPDATE: Gareth gets in touch to lay the blame at the door of LibDemFuture:

“I published [the original blog] on 27 May on my website www.garethepps.org.uk – at a time when Charlie Kennedy was very much alive.

Evidently some idiot – no way of checking who from here – has reposted it without reading the actual blog, or apparently linking to it.”

LibDem LOL

They don’t know when it happened, or why, but the LibDems were left disappointed when they pulled up the Chancellor’s Twitter page to look at his Budget photo this morning:

Safely the most retweeted LibDem press office tweet ever…

Theresa May Urged to Launch New Handycock Probe

Self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock might have lost his seat but he is not out of the woods yet. The Tory, Labour, UKIP and even LibDem group leaders in Portsmouth have all written to Theresa May demanding that the police take action:

Dear Mrs May,

We, the undersigned councillors of Portsmouth City Council, feel compelled to write to you about the failure of Hampshire Constabulary to investigate and take appropriate action regarding allegations of serious misconduct surrounding former councillor and MP Mike Hancock…

As you may know from national press reports, the careworker for a vulnerable adult (known as ‘Annie’) with mental health issues reported to Hampshire Constabulary in 2010 that Cllr Hancock had sexually assaulted or harassed Annie, in proper compliance with the Safeguarding Adults Policy. We have been informed that two male police officers then visited ‘Annie’ and counselled her not to pursue her complaint, because Cllr Hancock was a powerful person…

In the light of recent similar cases, where Hampshire Constabulary have admitted failures in procedure and in fact paid substantial damages, we view this situation to be of professional concern and unacceptable. We would therefore urge you to order an independent inquiry as to why Hampshire police have taken no action in this case, and, if necessary, make direction that the case should be looked at again by a police force other than Hampshire Constabulary.

We believe that this is the only way in which public confidence in Hampshire Constabulary might be restored in this case. This letter is a summary; all points raised in this letter can be evidenced.

We would appreciate a full, written reply to this letter which is of great importance to victims of alleged sexual abuse.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Luke Stubbs, deputy Tory council leader

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader

Cllr Steve Wemyss, Tory group leader in 2010, when the matter first surfaced

Cllr Colin Galloway, Ukip group leader

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem group leader

Handycock went from 18,921 votes in 2010 to 716 in 2015, so the people of Portsmouth certainly cottoned on that he was a wrong’un. Significant that all four parties are demanding action…

Sad Press Release of the Day

Former MP Stephen Lloyd lands West End director role

After narrowly losing his seat as the MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, Stephen Lloyd was one of many former parliamentarians looking for a fresh challenge after May’s general election. However, it hasn’t taken the popular politician very long to re-start his career in business after being appointed Business Development Director at West End, an international event, broadcast, multi-media communications and exhibition company based in Eastbourne.

Less “Who, What, Where, Why and When”, more “Who, Who, Who, What, Why”?

LibDems Ask Crosby Textor Fullbrook for Help

ctf

The LibDem’s Head of Strategic Research, Tom Smithard, has written to CTF, the firm run by Lynton Crosby, Mark Textor and Mark Fullbrook which was hired by the Conservatives at great expense to do their polling and give campaign advice. Guido has been passed Smithard’s strange request:

…  As part of the Liberal Democrat general election review I’ve been asked look into how exactly the Conservatives managed to beat us in the marginals.

I appreciate there are some – maybe many – aspects to your work you wouldn’t necessarily want to detail to former opponents, however vanquished. However I was wondering if you or a member of your team would be willing to speak to me and unlock some of the secrets of your targeting strategy, polling work, ground campaigning etc. I’m sure we’d find whatever you had to say most instructive!

If you have any time to spare and are willing to talk me through some of your work I’d really appreciate it.

Best regards
Tom

Guido asked the LibDems if they were perhaps being a bit naive? They admitted, on reflection, that they “expect the response will come in two words”.

An amused CTF insider suggests they should have asked Lord Ashcroft, who unlike CTF loves telling Labour and the Lib Dems what to do to win…

Charles Kennedy Died From “Major Hemorrhage”

Charles Kennedy died from a “major haemorrhage” that “was a consequence of his battle with alcoholism”, his family tells Press Association. 

Charlie Kennedy 1959 – 2015

Family statement:

‘Charles died at home in Fort William yesterday. He was 55. We are obviously devastated at the loss. Charles was a fine man, a talented politician, and a loving father to his young son. We ask therefore that the privacy of his family is respected in the coming days. There will be a post-mortem and we will issue a further statement when funeral arrangements are made.’

Police:

‘Police officers attended an address at Fort William on Monday, June 1 to reports of the sudden death of a 55-year-old man. Police were notified by ambulance service personnel. There are no suspicious circumstances and our report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.’

Rest in peace, Charlie…

UDPATE:

Full Clegg statement:

Harriet Harman:

Sturgeon:

Farage:

Blair:

Cameron:

Paddy Ashdown:

“The odd thing is that they say today ‘nobody has experience outside politics’; Charles had no experience outside politics, he was actually elected at the age of 24 – to all our surprises, but his surprise as well. And one of the problems about the House of Commons is it does rob you of your youth if you go in that young and no doubt that has an effect on all personalities. But the question is: did he rise above that? Was he able, despite that, to be able to make contact with ordinary people, well beyond the circle of politics? Answer: yes, and very powerfully so.”

Ming Campbell:

“He was regarded by the public as not like other politicians because of his distaste for adversarial politics. That strengthened his appeal as well as giving rise to a deep respect.”

Alastair Campbell:

“He was great company, sober or drinking. He had a fine political mind and a real commitment to public service. He was not bitter about his ousting as leader and nor, though he disagreed often with what his Party did in coalition with the Tories, did he ever wander down the rentaquote oppositionitis route. He was a man of real talent and real principle. Despite the occasional blip when the drink interfered, he was a terrific communicator and a fine orator. He spoke fluent human, because he had humanity in every vein and every cell.”

Top LibDem: Forgive Carmichael Because All MPs Lie

Ex-LibDem deputy leader Malcolm Bruce hasn’t done Alistair Carmichael any favours with his intervention on the Today programme this morning, suggesting the people of Orkney and Shetland should forgive him because all politicians lie:

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Bruce: “If you’re telling me that every MP who hasn’t quite told the truth, or even told a brazen lie [should go], including cabinet ministers, including prime ministers, we’d clear out the House of Commons very fast.”

BBC: “You’re saying that lying in public life is widespread?”

Bruce: “No. Well, yes. I think the answer is lots of people have told lies and you know that to be perfectly true.”

Well that makes it okay then…

Carmichael Confesses: I Did Leak Sturgeon Memo

Ousted ex-LibDem Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael has confessed it was him who leaked the infamous Nicola Sturgeon memo claiming she wanted the Tories to win the election.

The former Scottish Secretary admits all in a statement:

“I had not seen the document before it was published in the Daily Telegraph, however I was aware of its content and agreed that my special adviser should make it public.

I should not have agreed this. It was an error of judgement which I regret.

I accept full responsibility for the publication of the document.

I have written today to the First Minister and to the French Ambassador to apologise to them both.

Had I still been a Government Minister I would have considered this to be a matter that required my resignation.  I have therefore informed the Cabinet Secretary that I will decline my ministerial severance payment.”

Here is Carmichael denying it was him at the time, claiming “The first I heard of this was when I received a phone call from a journalist”:

Now we know he was telling a great big whopper.

First Major Exhibitor Pulls Out of LibDem Conference

tc-2015

Guido understands that party conference exhibitor TechCentral is not planning on going to the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth this year, instead they are planning to go for the first time to the SNP’s annual conference as well as the Labour and Tory conferences. TechCentral hires exhibition space at the political conferences and hosts the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and other tech giants in a dedicated space focused on the Technology sector. For the parties these deals are massive revenue earners generating profits which more than cover the cost of holding the conference…  

TechCentral’s director Andrew Barrett tells Guido that “there seems to be more interest from end clients in meeting the SNP than the LibDems – they are actually in government in Scotland. We haven’t signed a contract yet but that is the way it is looking.” Loss making Dods – publishers of the House Magazine – are also rumoured to be re-evaluating the commercial viability of having a large presence at LibDem conference…

Vinda-who: Farron / Mulholland / Lembit’s Late Night Poppadom Plot

LibDem MP Greg Mulholland is doing little to dampen speculation he is running for leader of his party. He’s twanking any mention of his ambitions and being coy with the press:

So it was a surprise to see him dining with Tim Farron late last night in that really good curry place on Rochester Row, SW1.

Could we be about to see a Farron/Mulholland ticket?

Guido was particularly pleased to hear of another guest at last night’s ‘Poppadom Plot’: Lembit.

Is everyone’s favourite LibDem back in the game?

Left in a Vacant LibDem Office in Parliament…

Slightly bitter taste…

So, How Did Lord Oakeshott Do?

So how did former LibDem Lord Oakeshott do in his £600,000 donation spending spree that he described as “doing his bit to save UK from Tory government cringing to Ukip”. Just six candidates he backed financially won their seats. As for the rest? Well have a look:

Jessica Asato (Norwich North) – LOST
Catherine Atkinson (Erewash) – LOST
Nick Bent (Warrington South) – LOST
Louise Baldock (Stockton South) – LOST
Polly Billington (Thurrock) – LOST
Lisa Forbes (Peterborough) – LOST
Victoria Fowler (Nuneaton) – LOST
James Frith (Bury North) – LOST
Sophy Gardner (Gloucester) – LOST
Jamie Hanley (Pudsey) – LOST
Sarah Jones (Croydon Central) – LOST
Uma Kumaran (Harrow East) – LOST
Amina Lone (Morecambe and Lunesdale) – LOST
Jo McCarron (Kingswood) – LOST
Natasha Millward (Dudley South) – LOST
Lara Norris (Great Yarmouth) – LOST
Sarah Owen (Hastings & Rye) – LOST
Nancy Platts (Brighton Kemptown) – LOST
Lucy Rigby (Lincoln) – LOST
Will Scobie (Thanet South) – LOST
Lee Sherriff (Carlisle) – LOST
Joy Squires (Worcester) – LOST
Will Straw (Rossendale and Darwen) – LOST
Sharon Taylor (Stevenage) – LOST
Janos Toth (Cannock Chase) – LOST
Julia Tickridge (Weaver Vale) – LOST
Norman Baker MP (Lewes) – LOST
Lorley Burt (Solihull) – LOST
Helen Flynn (Harrogate & Knaresborough) – LOST
Martin Horwood MP (Cheltenham) – LOST
Ros Kayes (Dorset West) – LOST
Tessa Munt MP (Wells) – LOST
Julie Porksen (Berwick-upon-Tweed) – LOST
Jackie Porter (Winchester) – LOST
David Rendel (Somerton & Frome) – LOST
Dan Rogerson MP (North Cornwall) – LOST
Adrian Sanders MP (Torbay) – LOST
Vikki Slade (Mid Dorset & North Poole) – LOST
Dorothy Thornhill (Watford) – LOST
Jenny Willott MP (Cardiff Central) – LOST

Smirk.

Another Broken LibDem Promise

During the election campaign Danny Alexander claimed that he would be leaving a reply to Liam Byrne in the drawer of the desk of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. It wasn’t very witty:

Well sadly it seems he’s broken that promise. Incoming Chief Secretary Greg Hands has found the drawer empty:

Is nothing sacred?

LibDem Leadership Election Timetable

Following the agreement of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive and the party’s returning officer please find below the timetable for the election of the new party leader of the Liberal Democrats

  • Opening of nominations: 13th of May 2015
  • Close of nominations: 3rd of June 2015
  • Dispatch of ballot papers: 24th of June 2015
  • Deadline for ballot papers to be returned: 15th of July 2015
  • Count and declaration of the winner: 

Shouldn’t take too long to count the votes.

Hames Homes Hypocrisy

LibDem Duncan Hames got down and dirty in 2010, blasting his Tory opponent for being “a Devon farmer who splits his time between his three homes, leaving him out of touch with local people”. Five years on and the MP defending a perilous 2,000 majority has done rather well for himself during his time in parliament.

Hames declares on his Statement of Persons Nominated that he lives at an address in Holt, in his Chippenham constituency.

His wife, fellow LibDem MP Jo Swinson, discloses on her election forms that she lives in Bearsden, in her East Dumbartonshire constituency. Mr and Mrs Hames either live separate lives or must be spending time at each other’s ‘main’ homes.

Swinson also claims on expenses for another property in London, where they live together during the week.

Five years after attacking his opponent for the very same thing, Hames is now: “Splitting his time between his three homes, leaving him out of touch with local people…”

LibDem Women’s Manifesto

It’s a parody…

Economist Backs Tory-Led Coalition

“Mr Miliband believes that living standards are squeezed because markets are rigged—and that the government can step in to fix them. He would freeze prices while “reviewing” energy markets, clamp down on the most flexible “zero-hour” labour contracts and limit rent rises.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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