Gisela v Bad Al

Polite machine-gunning of Alastair Campbell by the ace Gisela Stuart. Killer line: “You want a bad deal to prove you’re right…”

Grieve: Brexiteer Tory MPs “Unhinged”

Dominic Grieve spent five minutes on Pienaar decrying certain Leave-supporting newspapers for their OTT language, then labelled his Brexiteer Tory colleagues “unhinged“. Well done.

Hammond: There Are No Unemployed

Uh oh. Phil Hammond clumsily tells Marr “there are no unemployed people” – despite the number of unemployed being 1.42 million. In context itis clear he meant technology had not increased unemployment. He was forced to insist he hadn’t “forgotten” them. Labour will be banging on about this forever…

McDonnell: “You Don’t Need a Number” For Nationalisation Costs

Two gems from McDonnell on Marr this morning: he reckons when the government borrows to spend it is guaranteed a profit: “On those returns you will always get more than you pay out”. And he says the cost of Labour’s nationalisation programme is… nothing: “You don’t need a number because you swap shares for government bonds”. Not serious, and yet still McDonnell is closing the gap on Hammond on the economy…

Gove: Iran is Responsible, Boris Critics Playing Into Their Hands

Bang on from Gove, who gave Marr a passionate defence of Boris in the wake of increasingly hysterical point-scoring by his enemies. Gove argued:

“It’s plain wrong for us to try to find fault with democrats when the real responsibility is to say to the Iranian regime: you are a serial abuser of human rights, you are the principal sponsor of terrorism, you have blood on your hands in Syria, your responsibility is to insist that this British citizen is at liberty. We play their game, we play into the extremists’ hands if we do anything other than show solidarity in the face of their abuse of human rights.”

Look at those losing their minds about Boris this week: George Osborne’s Evening Standard, the Guardian, the Mirror, the Times, Jeremy Corbyn, Sadiq Khan, ultra Remain MPs and journalists. They are ignoring that Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, has said: “It’s not in Nazanin’s interests to have the Foreign Secretary battling for his job”. And yet Boris’ political enemies are cynically trying to make the whole story about his career rather than Nazanin. They are more interested in attacking Boris than getting her home…

Khan Lies His Way Through Marr

Asked by Marr if he regretted his broken promise to freeze travel fares in London, Sadiq Khan said he was “really proud” that fares have been frozen. Does he think Londoners are stupid? During the mayoral campaign Khan pledged: “Londoners won’t pay a penny more for their travel in 2020 than they do today.” Under Khan fares then rose on travelcards, daily caps and monthly Oyster cards. It’s no good blaming the government – TfL advised him he could freeze all fares and even gave him a cost plan. Interviewers shouldn’t let Khan get away with this broken promise of Nick Clegg proportions, not to mention the extraordinary shamelessness of saying he’s “proud” about it…

Then Marr asked him about Uber. Khan said “I’ve never knowingly taken an Uber”. He really does think we’re stupid. In a 2015 interview with the BBC he described himself as an “Uber man”. It is baffling that Khan gets away with all these demonstrable untruths and broken promises, whether on fares, housing, police, trees, green energy or strikes. Is he really proud?

Thornberry: “I’m Happy To Go”

Some confusion over the precise sequence of events regarding Labour’s suspended MP Kelvin Hopkins this morning, as Dawn Butler said on Marr:

“My understanding is… when the chief whip was informed of an issue against a member it was dealt with and both sides were happy with the outcome.”

Thornberry later stressed Kelvin “Twerk Me” Hopkins is under investigation and wouldn’t be drawn further on what Labour knew. The Shadow Foreign Secretary threatened to walk out of her interview on Paterson as she was pushed on why Hopkins was promoted after the allegations were first made:

“I’m sorry, that’s what you’re getting, I’m happy to go…”

Nerves wearing thin at the top of Labour…

Amber Rudd Claims Whips Have No “Black Book”

In happier days when he was the Chief Whip Michael Gove actually showed us the black book:

Maybe Rudd had a spreadsheet?

Geek of the Week: Mark Carney

Heidi Allen: By-Elections are the Right Thing

This will make her unpopular with her colleagues….

Rudd: Watershed Moment in Westminster

“We Need to Make Certain Lord Mandelson Gets His Pension”

Nigel Evans worries about pensioners like Mandelson…

Saj: We Are Lucky to Be British

The sort of upbeat message we don’t hear enough from this government. You could almost put it to music…

Fox: “I’d Take Up Being a Long Distance Swimmer”

Fox: “How Much Does EU Want to Punish Britain?”

Thornberry: “We Are Heading for No Deal”

 Some Remainers are pushing no deal more than Leavers at the moment…

Ukip Leader: I Could Kill a Badger With My Bare Hands

Move over DD, there’s a new Eurosceptic hardman in town…

Grayling Slaps Down Flights Scaremongering

Chris Grayling comprehensively slapped down remain scaremongering over flights post-Brexit, saying:

“Michael O’Leary’s got his own interesting challenges at the moment. Air France and KLM have just spent hundreds of millions of pounds buying a stake in Virgin Atlantic, they would not have done that if they thought there was the remotest danger of the planes stopping flying… People will be able to carry on booking their holidays. Does anyone seriously think the Spanish government, which would see hotel bookings collapse in 2019, is going to intervene to stop the planes flying? Of course they’re not.”

Zombie Project Fear’s latest BS not working….

NiMo Lands Amber In It

Nicky Morgan says she was contacted by a “very senior” member of the Cabinet who said “she” was appalled by briefings against Hammond. The only “very senior” member of the Cabinet (other than the PM) is Amber Rudd. Oops…

UPDATE: Remarkable hypocrisy from NiMo. Two weeks ago she said Boris “has to go” if he can’t keep quiet on Brexit. Last week she was widely implicated in the plot against the PM. Today Morgan says “it’s not helpful for anybody to have ministers being attacked, whether it’s the Chancellor or the Foreign Secretary” and criticises “self-indulgent” colleagues doing so. Eh?

McDonnell: Labour Would Accept Any EU Deal

John McDonnell on Marr:

“I will not countenance no deal, I’m not willing to countenance that, I don’t think it’s a realistic option…”

Labour would accept any EU deal, however punishing.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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