Ofcom Probing Salmond For Peddling Fake News

Ofcom has launched a probe into Alex Salmond’s new Russia Today show. The regulator will look into a series of tweets Salmond read out on his programme which were presented as comments from the public but turned out to be from fabricated or planted sources, as Guido reported at the time. One was sent from an account owned by an RT producer. An Ofcom spokeswoman said:

“We are investigating whether this programme breached our rules on due accuracy.”

Inevitable…

Putin: Trust Me, Alex Salmond Isn’t a Russian Propagandist

Who has come to Alex Salmond’s aid in the row over his new Russia Today show? Vladimir Putin, no less. Putin’s spokesman was asked about Salmond’s RT programme yesterday and denied it would promote Russian government propaganda:

“We have no connection to it… There are many foreign anchors with different points of view.”

Asked whether the Russian government backed Salmond on Scottish independence, Putin’s spokesman replied:

“This is an internal issue of Great Britain and we have no idea.”

With friends like these…

Teething Problems for Alex Salmond’s RT Show

Alex Salmond’s new RT show is suffering teething problems after it emerged that tweets read out on the programme were posted by a variety of dubious accounts, at least one of which is controlled by the show’s producers. Salmond said he had received an “avalanche” of tweets, but:

  • A tweet asking “so why RT?” was first up, which the show claimed was sent in by @ellalorenR. No @ellalorenR account exists…
  • The question “if you were Prime Minister would you stop Brexit?” was sent by @thegodfather12. This account, set up in 2009, has never tweeted before…
  • @admrobrts asked “What does Slainte mean?”, regarding Salmond’s production company Slainte Media. Twitter shows it was posted at 11.08AM, more than three hours after it had been read out on the pre-recorded show…
  • Finally, @lastjohn asked “When are you getting President Trump on your show?”@lastjohn is the private account of Luisa St John, an RT employee who appears in the credits as “Series Director”…

Good start…

Nat Cool: SNP MPs Harassing Sports and Social Barmaids

One angle of the Westminster sleaze scandal that hasn’t had much attention is the rowdy antics of SNP MPs. The Nats profess to loathe Westminster and all its excesses, though the truth is their representatives in SW1 are some of the worst offenders. Alice Bailey is a former barmaid at the Sports and Social, which is usually the researchers’ watering hole but has been taken over in recent years by Nats old enough to be their fathers. She tells the Sun an SNP MP begged her for sex two hours into her first shift. Guido previously told the story of another young barmaid at Sports, who was told to “f**k off” by an SNP MP in his fifties when she tried to put a stop to his drunken behaviour:

“A young barmaid, only in her early twenties yet a seasoned veteran when it comes to turfing out unruly Westminster soaks, approaches a new SNP MP and politely asks him to pack it in. Words are exchanged. Multiple witnesses allege a drunken ‘f— you’ is uttered. Defeated, the barmaid retreats behind the bar to mocking male laughter. So upset is she by the incident, she will leave her job a few weeks later.”

Cybernats forever go on about “Wastemonster“. What they don’t see is how much their MPs enjoy it after hours…

Linesman MP Has Attended 96% of Votes, Better Record Than SNP MPs

The SNP are boarding the outrage bus about Tory MP Douglas Ross taking time out from his day job to run the line at the Barcelona Champions League game last night. SNP MP John McNally raised the issue at PMQs yesterday, accusing Ross of missing a (non-binding) vote and producing a red card from his pocket to brandish at the Tory benches. The stunt might have worked if McNally didn’t have a worse voting attendance record than Ross – he has only attended 92% of votes this parliament, compared to Ross’ 96% attendance rate. Indeed, for all the SNP’s wailing, Ross has a better attendance record than most of them. Some Nats are barely ever here: Mhiari Black has voted in just 21% of divisions, Angela Crawley just 54% and so on. Classic Nat fail.

Salmond and Tasmina’s Boozy City Break

The Daily Mail has a great hit on the extra-curricular activities of Alex Salmond and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. They’ve been caught on a three day jolly to Strasbourg enjoying “three-and-a-half-hour lavish booze-fuelled dinners” at a Michelin star restaurant. Guess who is picking up the tab? The Mail reports “Mrs Ahmed-Sheikh is a regular presence at Mr Salmond’s side”. These pics were taken close to the hotel where Salmond and Tasmina were staying:

Och aye the two…

SNP Minister Claims £4.68 on Expenses For 0.9 Mile Taxi Ride to Speech on Physical Activity

A classic of the expenses genre north of the border from STV. They’ve caught SNP health minister Maureen Watt claiming £4.68 on expenses for a 0.9-mile taxi journey to give a speech, wait for it, on the importance of physical activity. Watt ordered a cab from the Scottish parliament, travelled five minutes up one street to Meadowbank Sports Centre, where she spoke promoting the “benefits of physical activity” for people with learning difficulties. Classic Nat hypocrisy.

Sturgeon’s Strepsils Stunt

Hardly the most original gag.

Nasty Nat Picks on Tory MP’s Young Children

Who says the SNP don’t have any charm? When East Renfrewshire Tory MP Paul Masterson tweeted a sweet picture of his young son and daughter on her first day at school, West Lothian councillor Moira Shemilt jumped on the opportunity to fire off the snide (now deleted) remark: “Pink and sheep for girls, Tuff trucks for boys #genderstereotyping”. Going after an MP’s nursery age kids? Really?

Dad was having none of it:

Next time Moira, pick on someone your own size…

SNP MP Wears Scotland Football Shirt at PMQs

Hannah Bardell taking the relaxed Commons dress code a little far. Get a grip Mr Speaker…

Sturgeon Bottles IndyRef2

 

U-turn from Sturgeon. Win for Theresa and Ruth…

Tasmina Trouble: Sturgeon’s Double Standards

Yet another Nat is up to no good. Natalie McGarry, Michelle Thomson, Corri Wilson, Chris Law and Phil Boswell have all previously faced various misconduct probes, and now pressure is mounting on Nicola Sturgeon to suspend high-profile SNP poster girl Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh after details emerged of alleged financial irregularities. The splash of this morning’s Scottish Daily Mail discloses allegations relating to Ahmed-Sheikh’s work as a solicitor before she entered politics. The Law Society of Scotland is probing her role in administering “a trust fund set up to help a vulnerable person”. Another solicitor with whom Ahmed-Sheikh established a law firm is also facing a Law Society probe. 9% of SNP MPs elected in 2015 have faced some sort of financial irregularities probe.

So far Sturgeon is refusing to suspend Ahmed-Sheikh – this is the height of hypocrisy given SNP policy is to suspend MPs facing investigation. Just a few days ago Alex Salmond was banging on about dodgy Westminster politicians, what would he say about Tasmina?

Salmond Campaigning Hard

All that campaigning clearly getting the better of Alex Salmond. A well-earned kip on the flight home after a glass of his favourite pink bubbly…

Voter Tells Farron Sturgeon Needs “Kick Up the Arse”

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

Corbyn and Sturgeon at Same Event Today

The Tories’ main, barely believable attack line this election is that if you vote Labour you’ll get a “coalition of chaos” with the SNP. So, naturally, Jeremy Corbyn is heading up to Scotland to address the Scottish TUC conference this afternoon, when Nicola Sturgeon will be there giving her own speech. The SNP say there are “no plans” for Jez and Nicola to meet, but imagine the reaction in CCHQ if there was a chance corridor brush by. Incidentally, while Jez is up there the Scottish TUC congress will be voting on a motion to “reiterate its opposition to Trident renewal”…

An aside, senior puerile Tories have taken to using an acronym for their election attack line. They have been privately joking, “If you vote Labour, you’ll get Corbyn’s CoC”…

SNP’s Controversial NYC Visit: Timeline of What We Know

A row is brewing over allegations that the SNP used ‘short money’ – taxpayer’s cash given to opposition parties for parliamentary activities only – to fund a trip to New York City. Reports say four SNP MPs – Paul Monaghan, Joanna Cherry, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and Corri Wilson – travelled to the big apple on the public purse. Foreign trips by MPs are common, but questions are being asked as short money is subject to strict rules saying travel expenses must be incurred only “in relation to the party’s parliamentary business”Concerns were raised when the MPs were spotted holding an SNP banner during the city’s Tartan Day Parade…

The Scottish Daily Mail reports that the SNP has refused to release the full itinerary for the trip. Paul Monaghan and Corri Wilson do not hold a front bench portfolios. Joanna Cherry is SNP Spokesperson on Justice and Home Affairs. Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh is SNP International Trade spokesperson. Have they been undertaking activities relevant to the party’s parliamentary business or to their remit? 

Thursday April 6 – Group begins to arrive in NYC. Joanna Cherry travels from Montreal:


Friday 7th April – Attending launch of a musical album at the exclusive private members Norwood Club, Manhattan:

Saturday 8th April – Visiting the New York Times building

Saturday 8th April  – Attending a reception at the St Andrew’s Society of New York State with Nicola Sturgeon

Sunday 9th April – Meet UN bodies: UNDP, UN Women and UN Youth Envoy

Sunday 9th April – Attending a ceilidh at the New York Caledonian Club

Sunday 9th April – Attending the Tartan Day brunch

Sunday 9th April – Waving an SNP banner at the New York Tartan Day Parade

This is not a complete timeline and is not necessarily indicative of the substance of the entire trip. That remains unknown…

An SNP spokesman said the MPs were “representing the SNP Westminster Group” and that the trip consisted of:

“High level talks with representatives from UN Women, UNDP and UN Youth Envoy discussing work on gender and equalities, people living with disabilities, and international youth engagement”.

The MPs now appear to be back in the UK…

SNP Ring Around Played Down Referendum Chances

Scottish government ministers spent yesterday afternoon ringing around companies and trade bodies to discuss Sturgeon’s announcement on IndyRef2. One recipient of such a phone call reports that the SNP minister they spoke to was keen to allay business fears. The minister conceded that a Scottish referendum before Brexit is unlikely – despite Sturgeon’s demand for a vote by Spring 2019 – but they privately hope for one “shortly afterwards”. There are obviously significant obstacles to another Scottish referendum before Brexit is sorted, one being that Theresa May is hardly going to want one before, say, 2021. Almost as if the Nats aren’t being entirely honest with the public…

Sturgeon Calls For #IndyRef2

“It is clear that our voice and our interests can be ignored at any time and at any issue. This is where we stand today… I cannot pretend to the Scottish people that a compromise agreement looks remotely likely… I will now take the steps necessary to make sure that Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process. A choice of whether to follow the UK to a hard Brexit or to become an independent country… The Scottish government’s mandate for offering this choice is beyond doubt.”

She will next week seek a Section 30 order from the UK government to give Holyrood the power to hold a referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019…

Corbyn: ‘Well Done Our SNPs’

His allies have been talking up a “progressive alliance” but “our SNP” may be a bit much for Scottish Labour. Pressure is getting to him…

SNP Sing Ode to Joy as MPs Vote For Brexit

Sad!

UPDATE: Nigel Farage tells Guido:

“I thought John Bercow would win hypocrite of the week, but the SNP last night have shown themselves to be a fraudulent party who would rather be governed by Brussels than Scots.”

[…] Read the rest

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Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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