“We’ve gone through that period. The Miliband period is now gone”
No Jags had declared that David Miliband should “shut up”…
John Prescott has been banned from driving for six months after being caught doing 60 in a 50 MPH zone in Lincolnshire. He already had 9 points…
The former Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions told the Hull Daily Mail:
“I committed an offence, I’m not arguing. I’ve been involved in bringing speeding legislation in and I have to face the consequences but that’s life and you can’t have any excuse. At the end of the day, that’s it, you’re suspended.”
He was in a Jag…
From this morning’s Times:
“The problem is never really the assaults from opponents. Certainly, it’s not a problem by comparison with sniping from behind. That’s a distraction.” He said the Blairites attacking Mr Miliband wanted to go back to the “day before yesterday”
Ignoring the 16 loony left MPs who wanted Labour to turn into Syriza on Monday, Prezza has intervened in the growing Labour row with his customary tact and delicate handling of internal party matters:
Mr Milburn criticised his party’s plans for the NHS and accused Ed Miliband of sticking to his “comfort zone”.
Mr Milburn also joined forces with another former Blairite minister, John Hutton, to attack Ed Miliband and Ed Balls for failing to defend New Labour’s economic policies.
Their comments sparked a furious backlash, with ex Deputy PM Lord Prescott accusing them of being “Tory collaborators.”
It’s pretty telling that the only people leaping to Ed’s defence today are Kinnock and Prescott.
Ed’s former PPS Chuka Umunna is out there – but he’s done a personal profile in Red magazine – which is a little wide of his Shadow BIS brief!
Where are the Shadow Cabinet?
Where are Ed’s praetorian guard?
Where are the 2010 intake, keen to support the leadership?
Despite the fact that he had the line written on his hand, John Prescott still managed to go violently off message on his campaign stop. Prezza promised a joint English and Scottish football team, and laid into the evil Tories, echoing SNP attack lines. At least he didn’t punch anyone. It was negative and messy, and pretty much summed up the whole campaign.
Despite today’s unprecedented flap and the cancellation of PMQs, the blame game has already begun. ConservativeHome point out that Better Together – which was meant to be Tory cash and Labour troops/faces – has failed to deliver:
“The problem came when Labour over-promised and under-delivered on Better Together. Citing their own grassroots strength, their many senior Scottish figures and their supposedly deep understanding of Scottish culture and politics, they asked for Tory funding in return for providing the strategy and the boots on the ground. The money, and the agreement to let Labour lead the charge, was forthcoming. But they haven’t really delivered their part of the bargain. YouGov polling suggests Better Together haven’t been as effective as the Yes campaign in contacting voters – be it through leaflets, letters, door-knocking, posters, stalls, email or social media. Where are the army of activists Labour promised?”
It’s Labour voters that are shifting over to Yes.
While things will be incredibly rocky for Cameron should Scotland choose freedom, Ed is hardly in a position to crow. No wonder he said resignations were beside the point…
John Prescott’s son David is running to become the Labour candidate in Greenwich and Woolwich, replacing the sitting Labour MP Nick Raynsford. With a 10,000 majority it’s a highly sought after selection. With Will Straw chosen to fight a seat last weekend and Euan Blair sniffing around for one, Prescott is weary of the charge of nepotism, telling Guido he’s ‘too old’ to be a Red Prince. He’s had a career outside of politics at least, and points out in his announcement that he’s not he’s not some Oxbridge PPE drone:
“I like to feel as a 43 year-old dad working with businesses, I have real life experience. I left school at 18 and worked my way up through the ranks as a journalist from a local press agency to an Assistant Editor at the BBC. I now work in public relations helping companies grow and become more successful. … I built my own career.”
Who could he be talking about? Guido was more worried about plans to re-nationalise the railways. A Prescott and transport. Again?
Of all the departments that make up Her Majesty’s government, Guido would have thought the one that doesn’t need to blow huge sums of taxpayer cash on foreign junkets would be the Department for Communities and Local Government. Somehow the department have spent £217,130 on visits abroad since 2010, no signs of a trip to a Sydney casino though. When Guido put it to them, DCLG sources pointed to the fact that the department has made savings of over half a billion pounds over the current spending review period and most of the travel was for mandatory trips to the EU. A useful figure to keep handy…
Powerful stuff from John Prescott in his Sunday Mirror column where he frothed about Maggie one last time. Prezza went off on one about the Tories hijacking her funeral:
“Even in death, she is spinning from her grave. She claimed she never wanted a state funeral, but she planned to give herself the same ceremonial one as the Queen Mother. And her “children”, the out-of-touch Tory Boys Cameron and Osborne, are getting YOU to foot the £10million bill for the biggest political propaganda exercise this country has ever seen. This is what “Operation True Blue” is about. It’s not a remembrance. It’s a rebrand.”
So what does he have to say about the news that the full funeral plan, including scale and therefore price-tag, was signed off by both Tony Blair (who Prezza was Deputy to) and Gordon Brown? The biggest political propaganda exercise this country has ever seen” – devised under his Labour government.
Back in July John Prescott claimed he was the victim of an elaborate plot by the Tories to smear him over dodgy government credit card purchases. Central to Prezza’s conspiracy theory was a redacted letter from Gus O’Donnell, with Hull’s next top copper demanding an investigation into the apparent cover-up. The story was run by Political Scrapbook, and even the Observer weighed in. Now there is egg-on-face all round as the whole theory was debunked this morning, with an answer to Prezza’s Parliamentary Question in the Lords revealing the letter in question was censored simply to redact factual errors:
“A factual error in the Cabinet Office reply of 18 November 2011, incorrectly suggesting that departmental civil servants had been disciplined for the use of the Government Procurement Card under the previous Administration, was removed from the version of 21 November. In fact, the fraud stemmed from seven transactions on a cloned credit card. A second paragraph was also deleted from the version of 18 November in error. The Cabinet Secretary has written to the noble Lord to explain the background.”
Prezza can take off his tin foil hat…
Lord Prescott explains to the Yorkshire Post…
“The House of Lords is a bit like a job centre, you have to go down there to get paid expenses, and it just gets totally tiring”.
Guido has a sore head from Political Scrapbook’s drinks last night. As revenge he has some bad news for them. They thought they were on to a winner earlier this week with a story claiming that John Prescott was the victim of a vicious Tory smear campaign. It was claimed that a series of questions over Prezza’s use of public credit cards were placed in MPs’ names without their knowledge. However, the Table Office have now conceded that the entire mess was down to a simple admin error by them, as the Tories insisted all along:
Dear Mr Elphicke,
I can confirm that the questions were wrongly recorded as being in the name of Sir Alan Beith due to an administrative error in this office. We took steps to correct this shortly after they were tabled, when we realised the error had been made. Unfortunately, when the questions were answered, some were returned under the original wrong name of Sir Alan Beith, which overwrote our correction. We have since corrected this again and I have just checked the Parliamentary records and confirmed that they all now appear correctly in your name.
I am very sorry for this error and the inconvenience it has caused you – please do get in touch if there is anything further we can do to assist.
Clerk, Table Office
House of Commons
New figures show the public don’t want politicians taking up roles as police commissioners. Later today Policy Exchange will release the results of a poll showing that just 6% think politicians would make good PCCs. With Labour having a remarkable change of heart about the whole policy after realising they would win most of them, what’s the worst that could happen? This could get very embarrassing…
“FORMER Hull MP John Prescott has been cleared of misusing a public credit card after officials revealed it had been cloned” screamed This is Hull before Christmas. Prezza briefed them that £2,000 worth of camera equipment that had been bought on a government card was in fact theft. True, but Prezza then decided to spin this that he had been completely cleared of overseeing any inappropriate spending. He’s got greedy and is demanding an apology. It was left to Baroness Hanham to set the record straight in the Lords on Tuesday:
“For the avoidance of doubt, we have no evidence that spending in this period at venues such as the Star City Casino, Doyles Seafood Restaurant in Sydney and at Sydney Aquarium, all of which were associated with the visit of the then Deputy Prime Minister (the noble Lord), were cloned transactions.”
Give it up Prezza.
Prezza is trying to fight the allegations that he spent like a drunken sailor on shore leave with government credit cards. He has complained to the Cabinet Office that his spending under £500 has been released and denies that the spending was him. Could this upset be around the £400 spent at Hull’s Mr Chus Chinese in April 2004? Prezza denies it was him yet told the BBC in 2008 that it was his “favourite Chinese restaurant in the whole world.” So who was it then Prezza?
UPDATE: Some speculation that the Deputy Prime Minister was entertaining the Chinese Ambassador at Mr Chus. Classic Prescott.
He was asked about it in Parliamentary Question in 2008, but refused to say how much was spent. There are also a large amount of restaurant bills that just scraped under the £500 limit such as the £468.70 at posh champagne bar Kettners and the £493.08 of scoff at Le Volle Gas. Funny that…
Guido’s ears in the Cabinet Office report that a certain former Deputy Prime Minister isn’t very happy. Apparently Prezza rang in yesterday to rant about the fact that his government credit card expenditure had been released. A spokesman for Prezza told Guido that “he rang the Cabinet Office for clarification as to whether they would be publishing expenditure under £500 for every former Labour minister or just for him.” Oh to be a fly on the wall for that one…
According to The Times “Dozens of civil servants have been reprimanded, cautioned or jailed after spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money by misusing government credit cards.” From behind the pay-wall we learn that “at least 30 officials, of whom four have served prison sentences, fraudulently spent a total of £20,756 on government credit cards in the past five years.” Prescott must be sweating a little more than usual at this news…
Under the new transparency rules, only expenditure over £500 will be published, which means without the leak of Prezza’s whole credit card bill we would never have known about his sandwich binges, £400 taxpayer-funded chinese meals, mysterious cash withdrawals, or the £456 he spent in an Australian casino.
Why isn’t it all published down to the last public penny?
Prezza’s spending wasn’t confined to the land of Oz. Guido has now seen Prescott’s government credit card bill from 2004 through to 2006. It seems he was a big fan of upmarket Westminster canteen Shepherds and has spent £2,073 in Pret a Manger, including £240 in one sitting. […] Read the rest