Purple Goes Pink for UKIP Mayoral Race

_53283023_jex_1068616_de27-1

UKIP don’t have a great reputation amongst the gay community after campaigning against marriage equality and even blaming floods on gay sinners.

So good news that their Culture Spokesman Peter Whittle is highly likely to be the party’s candidate for Mayor of London.

Guido hears the think tank boss / Westminster legend is a shoo-in to win the internal contest, and is ready to take the fight from the right to Zac.

Gay Pride would be hard pushed to pull off a similar stunt in banning UKIP next year, should Whittle be on the ballot. The short-list will be whittled down soon…

London Assembly: Climate Change will Destroy our Economy

london-flood-470x353_tcm4-435192

The London Assembly’s crack “Economy Committee” have today released their hotly anticipated reportWeathering the Storm: The Impact of Climate Change on London’s Economy” and it makes for a cracking read. Stunning revelations in the report include:

  • Lots of small and medium sized businesses don’t have plans in place to deal with extreme weather conditions
  • Most FTSE 100 firms have no strategy in place to adapt to climate change
  • Lots of people still invest in fossil fuels

According to the Committee, this means London’s economy will be devastated by the coming “flooding, drought, heatwaves“. Unless of course companies kneecap themselves by buying in advise from the “adaptation sector“. This kind of hyperbolic eco-alarmism and scaremongering from the likes of the Green Party’s Jenny Jones is why London needs a mayor who will stand up to the anti-capitalists who use the cover of environmentalism to advance their extremist agenda… 

NoYouKhant: Fellow MPs Blow Up Sadiq Tony Terror Smear

An explosive development in the race to be the Labour candidate for London Mayor. Regular readers will remember Khan going off on one about Blair last week:

“Khan did, however, recall his frustration with the reaction of Tony Blair to the 7/7 terror attacks, when the then-prime minister called in the newly elected MP and the three other Muslim Labour members of the House of Commons. “One of my criticisms of Tony Blair was when he called the four MPs of Islamic faith into No 10 and sat us round the table and said – to Mohammad Sarwar, Khalid Mahmood, Shahid Malik and myself – it was our responsibility,” Khan said. “I said: ‘No, it’s not. Why have you called us in? I don’t blame you for the Ku Klux Klan. Why are you blaming me for the four bombers on 7/7?’ Which is why, after he called us in, and there were lots of cameras outside waiting to speak to us, my three colleagues spoke to the cameras and I walked away.”

Unfortunately for Khan, the other Muslim MPs he mentioned say his version of events is total horsesh*t:

As the MPs identified by Sadiq Khan (Electing a Muslim mayor would send out message of tolerance, says Khan, 3 July) who met with the then prime minister, Tony Blair, following the shocking 7/7 London attacks, we are extremely troubled by Khan’s evidently self-serving revisionism. Having conferred with Mohammed Sarwar (who is now Pakistan-based), we feel compelled to reveal that Khan’s account is at complete odds with our collective recollection.

He now claims that Blair was somehow accusatory towards Muslims as a whole for 7/7, and that Khan was combative in chastising the prime minister for presuming to call him to Downing Street to somehow take responsibility. Our Downing Street discussions in fact ended with a unanimous agreement on the need for unity in the fight against terror and the crucial role for Muslims.

To misrepresent the words of a British prime minister and to mischaracterise a significant meeting in the wake of the tragic loss of 52 lives a week earlier is frankly beyond the pale, and we write today not to defend Blair but to defend the truth.

Khan’s depiction of his bravado is almost comical, and if the events of 7/7 were not so grave, it would be unworthy of response. But this was a profoundly grave episode in our history, which necessitates challenging those who would seek to exploit it for personal gain.

While we agree with Khan that it would be great to see a Muslim mayor for London – as indeed it would to see a black mayor or woman mayor – above all it would be good to see a mayor who could truly command the trust of Londoners irrespective of their colour, creed, race, or gender.

Khalid Mahmood MP Labour, Birmingham Perry Barr

Shahid Malik Labour MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield, 2005-10

A source on Sadiq’s campaign tells Guido this morning that they are “not sweating it” as “ten years on people are going to take different things away from conversations.” Which is all very well, except for the fact that everyone else’s recollection is different from Khan’s…

Confirmed: Philippa Roe Running For Mayor

On Wednesday Guido exclusively revealed that Philippa Roe would be a last minute addition to the Tory mayoral race. Today she confirms she is running:

“I am a Londoner through and through. I was born and brought up here, have spent my entire working and political career here and am now raising my family in what I consider to be the world’s greatest city. I am passionate about what London and Londoners can achieve… I believe I am now ready to make the next step up and deliver successfully for all Londoners.”

Her campaign team would not be drawn on when exactly Roe put in her application. Or speculation that she only entered after CCHQ realised there was no female candidate. Instead optimistic supporters point to the fact that she runs a £1 billion operation at Westminster council and say her campaign will be based on showing her “proven track record in London”.

You heard it here first…

CCHQ Bend Rules to Avoid All-Male Mayoral Shortlist

Guido understands there is likely to be a last minute addition to the Tory mayoral race: gaffe prone Westminster council leader Philippa Roe has had her arm twisted to put in an application. Multiple sources say she has been canvassing for support.

The deadline for candidates to apply was Monday, sources say “CCHQ panicked that they didn’t have a woman on the ticket” and Roe has been convinced to throw her hat in even after the deadline had supposedly closed “at the request of CCHQ”. CCHQ are being suspiciously tight-lipped.

Readers will remember her PR blunder of publicly accusing immigrants of “defecating on people’s doorsteps”. Sounds like it’s hit the fan today…

At the time of going to pixel Philippa has not responded to Guido’s request for comment…

Ken Livingstone’s 7/7 Speech

Ten years ago today Ken Livingstone spoke in Singapore, where Britain had just won its bid to host the Olympics:

“They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don’t want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.”

His finest speech…

Tory Mayoral is Two Horse Race

con-home-mayoral-survey

A ConservativeHome survey of 900 members* makes the campaign for the Tory Mayoral candidature a two-horse race between Zac Goldsmith and Syed Kamall. Zac on 56% looks prima facie unassailable, however he has never before been challenged from the right in a competitive election. Which is fortunate for him, because he holds some pretty far out flaky views and will not be looking forward to facing hustings with Syed, who is extremely popular with wonkish true believers. There is also the small matter of Heathrow…

If Heathrow is selected for expansion there has been a lot of talk by Zac of resigning his seat and re-standing for his safe seat as an independent, presumably against a rival Tory candidate. This complicates his candidacy for Mayor, Zac surely can’t stand for parliament against a Tory and as a Tory for Mayor.  Do not underestimate the willingness of CCHQ and Downing Street to choreograph events to the benefit of Zac – who has his fans in high places e.g. Samantha Cameron. If nevertheless the decision is for Heathrow and Zac is already the Tory candidate this would pitch him against the government, he has hinted that he would then run as an independent, as Ken Livingstone once did successfully. London could end up being controlled by a car taxing green zealot unrestrained by Tory policies – no wonder the Greens in the London Assembly are so keen on Zac running – he would bring the slogan “vote blue, go green” to life. Zac’s stance will be teased out at any hustings, which he has so far avoided, any ambiguity on this will not go down well with the true blue selectorate …

*Yes this was a self-selecting online voodoo poll.

Sadiq Khan’s Hollow Words on Internet Jihad

Sadiq Khan has spoken about extremism and terrorism:

“I want action to be taken against those on the other side of the net and with the ISP [internet service provider] maybe. We need to make sure communities have the confidence to come forward. It is a challenge for the police to be approachable and are seen to treat people well.”

According the Guardian the Labour Mayoral wannabe said ‘his biggest concern was grooming taking place in the “ungoverned spaces – the bedroom, internet, front room” rather than in mosques and schools, where more could be done to address it openly.’ Noble words…

So how is Sadiq’s track-record when it comes to those looking to recruit converts in the “ungoverned spaces – the bedroom, internet, front room”?

As the BBC reported in 2013:

“A British man who spent eight years fighting extradition to the US has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. Babar Ahmad, 39, from south London, admitted conspiracy and providing material to support to terrorism and faces up to 25 years in jail. He admitted the offences in a plea agreement hearing in a federal court hearing in New Haven, Connecticut.”

And who was it that was a prominent and vocal cheerleader for the Free Babar Ahmad campaign?

sadiq

Khan has never given a straight answer on his exact relationship to Ahmad, telling three different versions of how they know each other – ranging from a constituent to a childhood friend. He told the House one version of events, No. 10 another and Ahmad supporters something completely different.

The BBC describe Ahmad as “the godfather of internet jihad”:

“He was a pioneer when it came to using the web as a tool of jihadist propaganda. If you wanted to find the face – and voice – of Generation Jihad, it would be Babar Ahmad.”

Yet Khan calls him a friend.

How is that meant to make sure London has “confidence” in Khan’s “biggest concern”?

Zac and Boris: Heathrow Not Happening

The long-awaited Davies Commission

“has unanimously concluded that the proposal for a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presents the strongest case and offers the greatest strategic and economic benefits – providing around 40 new destinations from the airport and more than 70,000 new jobs by 2050”

Here comes trouble.

Zac Goldsmith, the Tories’ star mayoral candidate, confirms this morning that he will resign his seat if the government presses ahead with with recommendations. “It’s a pledge of course I’d honour,” he tells LBC:

[gigya src=”https://abfiles.s3.amazonaws.com/swf/audioboom_default_player_v1.swf” style=”background-color:transparent; display:block; min-width:300px; max-width:700px;” flashvars=”image_option=small&imgURL=https%3A%2F%2Fd15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net%2Fi%2F15375508%2F300x300%2Fc&link_color=%2358d1eb&mp3Author=lbc&mp3Duration=480627.0&mp3LinkURL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboom.com%2Fboos%2F3332860-zac-goldsmith-could-resign-seat-over-heathrow-runway-decision&mp3Time=06.53am+01+Jul+2015&mp3Title=Zac+Goldsmith+could+resign+seat+over+Heathrow+runway+decision&mp3URL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboom.com%2Fboos%2F3332860-zac-goldsmith-could-resign-seat-over-heathrow-runway-decision.mp3%3Fsource%3Dwordpress&player_theme=light&rootID=boo_player_1&show_title=true&waveimgURL=https%3A%2F%2Fd15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net%2Fi%2Fw%2F2845321″ width=”100%” height=”150″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]

Boris meanwhile tells the BBC “my services as a bulldozer blocker won’t be required” because a new Heathrow runway simply “isn’t going to happen”.

David Cameron would avoid all this if he kept his 2009 promise: “No ifs, no buts, there’ll be no third runway at Heathrow”. Good timing for the first Tory mayoral hustings on Saturday…

Boris Gets a Pay Rise

Last week the Telegraph gave new Tory MP Victoria Borwick a slap for raking in £100,000 a year for her three jobs. For some reason they neglected to look into the outside interests of another, more prominent London politician.

Boris Johnson infamously described his rumoured £250,000 Telegraph salary as “chicken feed”. This month BoJo has declared a £22,916.66 payment for his column, which, if we assume is a monthly fee, means they pay him £275,000 a year. That would appear to be a 25 grand pay rise since 2009.

The £67,000-a-year Uxbridge MP has also landed an £88,000 advance from Hodder and Stoughton “for a book as yet unwritten”, on top of his £140,000 salary as London Mayor. He also made another grand “for sale of Chinese subrights for book already written”By Guido’s calculations that leaves him just shy of £600,000 a year…

UPDATE: Boris will have to take a pay cut from his Mayoral salary, down to £47,000 for the the final year of his term. Still leaving him on a cool half a million.

Boris’ Painfully Awkward Wheelchair Gaffe

BoJo had his very own Joe Biden moment at the State of London debate last night:

Boris: “Why aren’t you, why aren’t you even standing? That’s the question we all want to know.”

Nicholas: “Because I’m in a wheelchair.”

Boris: “Sorry.”

Well at least he didn’t get everyone to “stand up for Nicholas…”

UPDATE: Boris’ side of the story is that he was in fact addressing Nick Ferrari, not Nick in the audience, and was asking Ferrari jokingly why he isn’t standing for Mayor. Guido has rewound the video so readers can make their own minds up:

NF: “How the hell does that work. You don’t want to see something so you buy it [water cannon].

BJ: “I don’t want to see nuclear weapons used, do you?”

NF: “No, but I didn’t buy them”

BJ: “Would you get rid of them?”

NF: “I’m not the mayor”

BJ: “Ahhhh”

NF: “Right we move to other questions. Nicholas at Docklands, where are you sir, can you wave at me? We’re over there, Mr Mayor. Go ahead Nicholas if you would, sir.”

BJ: “Why aren’t you, why aren’t you even standing? That’s the question we all want to know.”

Nicholas: “Because I’m in a wheelchair.”

BJ: “Sorry.”

We report, you decide. But it looks like this story doesn’t have legs…

Man of the People Sol Campbell: ‘I Have Used the Tube’

Having launched a thinly veiled dig at Zac Goldsmith’s ability to connect to Londoners earlier, it turns out the multi-millionaire former football star needs a little work on his whole ‘in touch’ act:

LBC: “Do you use the tube? Are you a regular user?”

Sol: “I’m not a regular user, but I have used it.”

It was a case of letting Sol dig his own mayoral grave on LBC this afternoon.

Zac’s Campaign Chair is Nick de Bois, Lynton’s CTF Advising

zac+nic

Guido hears that Zac has managed to secure the services of Nick de Bois, who is apparently going to chair and run Zac’s selection campaign. Lynton Crosby’s CTF Partners are on hand to offer Zac advice on his campaign. For someone who was willing to put his fate in the hands of his electorate, Zac certainly seems serious about it now…

79%* of Goldsmith’s Constituents #BackZac

After Zac Goldsmith asked his constituents’ permission to run for Mayor of London in a postal vote, the numbers are in:

YES: 15,802 79%

NO: 3569 18%

Don’t Know: 503 2%

Spoilt: 16 

77,071 ballots sent out, 19,890 came before deadline. 25.8% turnout.

Zac is in the race.

UPDATE: Zac speaks:

“I am hugely grateful to the residents of Richmond Park and North Kingston for taking part in the ballot, and am overwhelmed by the mandate they have given me to run for Mayor… Having just been given the green light to run by my constituents, I have a lot of work to do to earn selection as the Conservative Party candidate for Mayor. I will work tirelessly to repay my constituents’ loyalty and to gain the trust of Londoners so we can make London an even greater and more liveable city.”

UPDATE II:

*Who expressed a preference.

Kamall Confirms He’s Running

As Guido revealed two weeks ago, Syed Kamall is running for Mayor. He confirms today:

“I am really excited about the prospect of doing this. I’m a Londoner born and bred. I grew up here and I’ve always enjoyed fighting for our city.”

I look forward to having some robust conversations and debates over the coming months about the issues which affect our city. We need to tackle some of the most important things like housing and transport but we also need to ensure that everyone in our city enjoys the full fruits of London’s success.”

No Boris style coronation for Zac…

Kamall: I’m Still De-Syed-ing

zacsyed

Popular Tory MEP Syed Kamall is on the brink of declaring a bid to be the Tory candidate for Mayor of London.

Multiple sources report that Kamall spent the weekend speaking to MPs, councillors and London local organisers. Something he did not deny when Guido spoke to him on Monday morning.

The London MEP is head of the Tory group in Brussels as well as leader of European Conservatives and Reformists. While that does not sound very exciting in Westminster, it makes him a pretty important player in Brussels.

He was also expected to pay a significant role in Cameron’s EU renegotiation strategy.

Kamall tell Guido he “has lots of thinking to do”, and “lots of things to sort out”.

Guido understands that CCHQ campaign supremo Stephen Gilbert is keen to see ‘a proper fight’ for the Tory nomination, in order to engage the eventual winner with the party.

When Boris finally threw his hat in the ring in 2007, it was a coronation in all but name, but it was later felt that it took him a full term before he was properly integrated into the Tory machine.

The ever growing length of the Conservative timetable to choose their candidate -the result is now expected at conference –  helps any candidate that is not a popular, blonde, Old Etonion with the backing of Boris and Osborne and a stonking majority.

If Guido was a betting man he would put money on an announcement from Kamall by Wednesday…

Full Details of Zac Goldsmith’s Richmond Mayoral Ballot

A south-west London based co-conspirator sends in Zac Goldsmith’s pitch for the mayoralty that went out today – quickly nicknamed the #RichmondReferendum.

All 77,071 voters in Richmond Park will receive this, and can reply by Freepost:

backzac

We should know what the people of Richmond have said by noon on 23 June.

There are further details here.

Guido’s not sure Zac is going to have much of a problem with this crowd, given that they returned him in May with a majority of 23,015…

#BackZac Is Go

ZAC

“London needs a Mayor who can work with Government to get the resources that London needs to deal with massive pressures on housing, transport and policing but is also strong enough to stand up to the Government when it gets things wrong,” Zac Goldsmith has told the Standard.

“I have just been re-elected as MP and it’s important to know whether or not my constituents are happy for me to run for Mayor. They must have the right to say no and it is now up to them to decide without interference.”

Zac will be conducting a postal ballot of his constituents to give them the final say on the run. As Guido reported two weeks ago, friends of Zac say: “He’ll only do it if he thinks it’s genuinely what his constituents want.” It’s not like he needs to  fund-raise for the Richmond Referendum either…

UPDATE: As revealed on Sunday by Guido: first hustings is 4 July.

Part-Time Khan: Bad Week for Sadiq

khan

April 2014:

Labour is planning to launch a full-scale assault on Boris Johnson, labelling him a man with two part-time jobs if he stands for a seat in the House of Commons before quitting as Mayor in 2016. Senior party sources say Ed Miliband is backing the attack, which would be spearheaded by shadow London  minister Sadiq Khan.

June 2015:

Sadiq Khan has told members that he will remain as MP for Tooting until 2020 even if he becomes Mayor of London.

Guido hears there is serious local concern that if Khan wins and forces a by-election, then the Tories will take the seat as they almost did in 2010 and 2015. Khan’s platform for Mayor is a seriously reduced majority as more yuppies and dinkies move to his gentrified constituency. Not a great sell.

Tellingly, his own CLP nominated both Khan and his deadly rival for the job Tessa Jowell…

UPDATE:

BoJo: We Must Be Willing to Go

EU REFORM

“Now is the chance to build that coalition for reform. It may not be easy, and it may take a while – beyond 2016, I am sure”, says Boris this morning. After telling the Telegraph he was against an early referendum, the Mayor dodged the question on whether he would resign when asked by Sky earlier:

“You’ve got to be able to walk away.

[…] Read the rest

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