This is the government line via Laura K:
“Tory sources say chief whip considered but did not go through with telling any MPs on short term pairs to vote even though they weren’t meant to”
But one of those paired Tory MPs tells The Sun:
“Julian told me I was needed and told me to come in and vote. Of course he knew I was paired. I didn’t vote and honoured my pair, and he demanded to know why not afterwards.”
Either that Tory MP or Julian Smith and the government are lying…
No coincidence that Labour chose yesterday, the day of two Cabinet resignations and total Tory chaos, to slip out Jared O’Mara’s mea culpa for his online comments. Jared would probably not be getting away with this excuse on a less busy day:
“I grew up in an environment where lad culture and prejudicial language were normalised. I was in a bad place back then, and after being bullied and called many of those abusive slurs myself, I repeated them as a way of deflecting from my own low self-esteem…”
Labour spin operation getting better at this… will he actually say anything in Parliament now?
An excellent, must-watch interview with Steve Baker in which he explains why Theresa May must change her Brexit policy, reveals how Downing Street blindsided Dexeu and expresses righteous anger at Number 10 briefing against Brexiters. Leave Tory MPs – especially those being offered career advancement – should watch and listen…
Have to say the Number 10 press team have played a blinder this morning. First they got Marr to agree to an easy pre-record interview rather than a live. Then they got the BBC to lead all morning on the Brexit dividend rather than the fact that the money is actually coming from tax rises. And to complete the hat-trick they had May interviewed by her former head of broadcast Tom Swarbrick on LBC. He was working in Number 10 three months ago. Good day for British journalism…
All the above photos are taken from Theresa May’s official Facebook page uploaded a few hours ago. Her and Phil apparently in the back of a Hercules flying to Quebec across the Atlantic, the Red Box strapped into the military transport, her thanking the pilot after arriving safely in Quebec. And then getting off an Airbus 330 Voyager kitted out for VIPs at a cost of many millions…
Hold on, the pictures above released on her official Facebook page show her roughing it in the back of a Hercules military transport. Yet Guido also has these pictures, showing Her Majesty’s Lobby holding power to account over some G&Ts in the luxurious surrounds of a VIP Airbus Voyager…
Are we being played? What is really going on?
UPDATE: Explanation from Number 10: She travelled to Canada on the Voyager, and then across Canada on a C130.
An extraordinary briefing from Number 10 to The Sun, essentially calling David Davis stupid and claiming he has been completely outplayed by May and Robbins. The “senior government source” told Tom Newton Dunn that DD had been “bamboozled by drafting again”.
“The language about the time limit is all expectations and aspirational. DD hasn’t got anything concrete.Remember, a few weeks ago DD agreed to the backstop because it was time-limited and would go alongside agreement of a preferred long-term end state for customs. As of now, he has nothing on long-term end state, and a highly dubious expectation of a time limit that has to be agreed by the EU Commission. I like DD, but she’s done him like a kipper again.”
Why is DD taking this?