Cabinet Fury Over Cameron’s 18 Day ‘Free Reign’

EU REFORM

Downing Street have cleared the grid for the next two weeks so Cameron can sell his renegotiation deal to the public. Eurosceptic ministers are furious that he will have two weeks’ “free reign” to make the pro-EU case, while they remain gagged. Ministers who want to campaign to Leave are barred from doing so until the conclusion of the post-EU council Cabinet meeting, which will take place after February 19. This is from Cameron’s letter to ministers:

So in the 18 or so days between today and that Cabinet meeting, Cameron is free to defend his deal without opposition from Eurosceptic ministers. They are seething…

Ken Pushes New Zac Attack on Sadiq

This is the new Tory attack poster on Sadiq Khan released this morning, ramming home the line that Labour’s mayoral candidate is “Corbyn’s man in City Hall”. Sadiq nominated Corbyn for leader and has since been attempting an unconvincing differentiation strategy. So he won’t be thrilled to see Ken Livingstone has just helpfully parroted the very same Tory attack line in the Standard.

In an article headlined “London needs to vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s vision of a better city”, Ken tells voters that “Corbyn has the right economic policy” and “he is the last chance we’ve got to create a fairer world”. The former London mayor agrees with Zac – Sadiq is Corbyn’s man in City Hall. Good news for Khan is at least Ken isn’t backing his old mate George Galloway…

‘Senior Labour Source’ on Putin

Wonder what a “senior Labour source” thinks about the Litvinenko findings?

Here is an idea of Seumas Milne’s view…

McBride Knifes Baldwin

baldwin mcbrde
It appears our old friend Damian McBride couldn’t resist sticking the knife in to Ed Miliband’s shambolic media operation. McBride was happy to recount the following anecdote about a grim-faced Tom Baldwin, the ex-Times hack who became Ed’s press guru.

“Tom Baldwin was in a very dark mood at a party one night. I told him ‘Tom, what have you got coming up, what are you looking forward to?’ And he just stared at his shoes for 15 seconds. And then he walked out to have a cigarette as though I’d deliberately tried to say something to offend him. I just thought he’s clearly got no good answer to that question. If you’ve got no good answer to that, if you’ve got no plan to turn it around, you can’t survive in this. When Gordon got himself deep into that territory I always kept him out of the hole by saying, ‘the next speech will turn it around’ or ‘I’ve got this great stuff we can leak about the Tories. Ed Miliband got himself into a place where just to get himself some good press he’d just deal with the Guardian and Observer and all the exclusives were given to them. It was crazy, it was just so Tom could walk around and say ‘Oh we got a good splash in the Observer.’ Who cares?”

Perhaps  psycho-spinner Baldwin, whose main contribution to Miliband’s mauling was his tasteless remarks on Ed’s “Milly Dowler moment“, actually left the party to powder his nose?

Boys Keep Spinning: Corbyn’s Today Programme Porkie

Jeremy Corbyn told the Today programme that he did not know which member of his team briefed the press that he intended to sack Hilary Benn: “I’m not sure where the briefing came from”. Seumas Milne is widely believed to be responsible for the first two anti-Benn briefings that appeared, in the Telegraph on Christmas Eve and in the Sindy three days later. Yet when rumours persisted on the Monday of the reshuffle that Benn was set for the chop, a furious Corbyn ironically tasked Milne with identifying the source. He reported back that it was John McDonnell’s office which was responsible. So Corbyn was spinning about the spin of his spinners this morning…

McDonnell Wipes Mao From Official Video of Speech

Just when you thought today couldn’t get any worse for John McDonnell, he decided to tweet out a video of his response to the Autumn Statement. Yet mysteriously, when he starts his section on China, the film oddly fades to black and then skips forward a couple of minutes. McDonnell’s team wiped his Little Red Book section from their official record. Forget Mao, that’s more Stalinist…

H/T @nigelfletcher

Prang Spin

momentary-prang

The PM’s official spokesman says his official car “momentarily touched” another vehicle while manoeuvring in Downing Street. “PM was not inside, no damage done”, they also deny it was a “car crash”Never believe anything until it is officially denied…

Seumas Milne’s Closeness to Guardian Editor

There has been consternation in Labour circles and at the Guardian over Seumas Milne being allowed to work for Jeremy Corbyn while “on leave” from King’s Place. The bizarre arrangement suggests he still has his column waiting for him if and when things go south with Jezza. How was the curious deal allowed to go ahead?

Guido hears that the key factor was his very close personal relationship with Guardian editor Kath Viner. The couple have been close friends for years and Kath is known to have always loved his column. Though staff on the paper have been perplexed at why £340,000-a-year Viner, a relative moderate politically, is so enamoured with the handsome revolutionary firebrand. Kath – 44 years-old and unmarried – is such a close ally of Seumas that he even “canvassed on her behalf for several months” when she was campaigning for the editorship. Sources say he was drumming up support for her “night and day 24/7”, causing many raised eyebrows at the time. The Guardian and the Labour leadership are closer than they’ve ever been…

Seumas Milne: “It Wasn’t Only Negative What Happened in the Riots”

As ‘anarchist’ rioters (who want a bigger state) rampaged through London last week, setting a police car ablaze and blinding a horse with a firework, it’s worth asking what Team Corbyn think. Here is Seumas Milne speaking after the London riots. Guess what? He’s a fan. 

“Riots do express fundamental social anger and that’s something that’s happened throughout history… Actually, I thought they were quite, you know, despite the way they were portrayed at the time, there was a lot of very political expressions, certainly in particular, in some areas in particular, certainly in East London but in other places as well, where people were expressing, in quite a strong class-orientated way, a hatred not only of the police but of the system… So, I mean, it wasn’t only negative, what happened in the riots. And I think that those people clearly are part of what, of the people that need to be organised and need to find a political expression and social organisation… But it’s also an opportunity. It’s a huge opportunity to channel that anger.”

There you have it: Labour’s new core vote strategy…

H/T Harry’s Place

Corbyn’s New Spin Doctor is a Pro

Which spin doctor broke the cardinal rule of SpAds and walked into shot not once but twice as Corbyn was being interviewed by Sky? And who let Jezza be filmed in front of a load of posters showing Labour in the 70s? Seamus is a pro…

UPDATE:

Another Labour Opponent Linked to Top Corbyn Job

Speculation is swirling in Labour circles that Corbyn is about to appoint New Economics Foundation chief and hardcore ex-Socialist Workers Party member James Meadway as his new economics adviser. This won’t be the last time you hear his name if it becomes official…

Just like Andrew Fisher, Meadway has openly backed non-Labour candidates in a number of elections, writing for the SWP splinter group Counterfire after George Galloway defeated Labour in Bradford West:

“All those who oppose austerity and war should be walking a little taller this morning… The gap between Britain’s corrupt and squalid political class, and those they claim to represent – already large – yawns wider as a result.”

He endorsed Tower Hamlets First (then independent) candidate Rubina Khan, who fought against Labour:

Meadway is an apologist for the disgraced wrong ‘un Lutfur Rahman. The full list of tweets on this is quite something:

And rejoiced when Dougie Alexander lost his seat:

He backed Caroline Lucas over the Labour candidate:

He also says Jim Murphy is “so, so far right”:

And of course supports boycotting Israel:

The fact Meadway was deleting his tweets late last night suggests there may be something in the rumours. Perhaps he too will say it was all a big joke? Lucky Guido has screengrabs.

Given Corbyn has just been embroiled in an almighty mess over Andrew Fisher backing rival candidates – something that is against Labour’s membership rules and he has had to apologise for – surely he will not appoint another adviser who has opposed Labour as recently as this year? Can’t he find any actual Labour supporters who are willing to work for him?

CCHQ Offer No “Verdict” on Tax Credits Defeat

Each morning CCHQ emails MPs a news summary outlining which stories appeared on the previous night’s news bulletins, with a “verdict” on how the coverage fared for the government. On Sunday Guido revealed the internal view on tax credits was “verdict: government loss”. The private admission that the Tories were being killed on tax credits was included in the memo no fewer than five times.

This morning’s email bounced into inboxes with a round-up of the coverage of last night’s defeat. Curiously, since Guido’s story, the “verdict” section has been scrapped. Not that MPs will be in any doubt that it was a resounding “government loss”…

Corbyn Aide: Moderate Labour MPs Should “Join the Tories”

Capture

Corbyn’s new policy chief Andrew Fisher has made headlines over his punchy Twitter feed – at the weekend Guido revealed he dropped the F-bomb at Vinnie Jones and Ray Winstone. He was also telling moderate Labour MPs to “join the Tories” well before the Corbynista trolls made it a lefty internet meme:

He also called Rachel Reeves a “w*nker” and suggested she had “defected to UKIP“:

Absuing female members of your own party online is apparently the “new politics”…

Milne Threatens Shadow Cabinet Purge

Speaking on Putin propaganda channel Russia Today just two weeks ago, Labour’s new strategy chief warned:

“… There will be some shake-up in the existing Shadow Cabinet – this is a kind of stabilisation Shadow Cabinet… There are a whole lot of progressive people who came in in the May election, young MPs who are fully supportive of Corbyn. The Tories are planning to bring in new boundaries for constituencies around the country and that will mean there will have to be reselections.”

Well he is a former Stalinist…

H/T Times

Corbyn Aide Called Sarah Vine “Piece of S**t”

Capture

New Corbyn policy chief Andrew Fisher has taken a battering in the left-wing papers this morning over his, er, punchy Twitter feed. Here’s one they missed: the former RMT heavy called Sarah Vine a “piece of s**t” and “scum”: 

Swearing at female journalists is sure to help Jezza’s women problem…

Here are some of his musings about his own side:

Ironically Fisher once favourited a Jeremy Corbyn tweet calling on his supporters to end personal attacks…

Corbyn’s New Spinner Making Friends

Corbyn has hired former Ken aide Neale Coleman to head up his rapid rebuttal team. He must be a masochist…

Like Corbyn’s chief of staff Simon Fletcher, Comrade Coleman was part of the Trotskyite splinter group Socialist Action. He is also currently paid £148,000 a year, more than the Prime Minister. And he didn’t have any problem kneeling before the Queen…

Corbyn’s Labour HQ Purge Underway

In yesterday’s Sun column Guido revealed Corbyn’s plan to ruthlessly replace the current team running Labour HQ with his Corbynista supporters. Sources in the know report that when Corbyn walked into Brewer’s Green yesterday the staff refused to applaud him. Their jobs are now being advertised on W4MP:

Respected comms chief Paddy Hennessy is also out, he’s off to spin for Sadiq Khan. A new press operation is expected to be confirmed today. The plan is that if Corbynistas control the party hierarchy at every level, from the press office up, it will be harder for moderates to depose him. Will the last person to leave Labour HQ please turn out the lights…

Guardian Grumbles Over #Jones4Jez

More than one Portcullis House onlooker noted Owen Jones working the atrium with Corbyn fixer John McDonnell and Jezza’s son on Wednesday afternoon. Whispers from the Guardian newsroom suggest the paper – which backed Cooper – is less than delighted by his overt support for Corbyn during the last few weeks. “He’s never pretended to be a journalist, he’s an activist who writes a column”, says one Kings Place source: “I haven’t seen him in the office for ages“. They point to Owen being on stage and sitting next to Corbyn at nearly all of his most recent rallies. Meanwhile it is being mooted in mischievous Labour circles that OJ might make it official and take a job on Jez’s team once the revolution comes. Surely a very severe case of gallows humour… 

Tory Corbyn Spy Crick’d

To be fair to “Mr Watkinson from the Conservative Party”, he doesn’t half make a quick exit…

Faster than Crick could manage…

He doesn’t like it up him…

Baldwin Squirms Over “Milly Dowler Moment”

Miliband’s former psycho-spinner Tom Baldwin squirmed in his seat as the Daily Politics grilled him on his toxic press briefings during the election. On the infamous “weaponise the NHS” comment, Baldwin complained it was “intended to be off the record“.[…] Read the rest

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