DD Slaps Down Hammond on Divorce Bill

David Davis says Philip Hammond was “not right” to suggest Britain would pay exit money to the EU under any circumstances. Hammond made the comments in a select committee appearance earlier this week. DD said on Marr this morning:

“It is conditional on an outcome… it is conditional on an implementation period, a trade outcome and also the other elements of the treaty, security, foreign affairs…”

Sorry Phil…

Labour Won’t Rule Out Second Referendum, More Payments, “Easy If Not Free” Movement

Keir Starmer didn’t deny that Britain would become a “vassal state” of the EU under his proposals in a revealing interview that showed his party’s true colours on Brexit. Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary repeatedly refused to rule out his party backing a second referendum, saying only: “we haven’t called for a second referendum”. Under Labour’s proposed ‘Norway style’ treaty, Starmer accepted that there would be:

  • Continuing payments to the EU (“Norway pays money in, there may have to be payments”);
  • Close to free cross-border movement of labour, described as “easy movement if not free” (“the end of free movement does not mean no movement… of course we would want people to come from the EU to work here”);
  • Continued mapping of EU regulations and standards with a copy and paste approach – but with no say over them.

Starmer also didn’t deny that he would rather Britain stayed in the single market outright. This was a significant interview where Starmer showed his true hand. Labour has nothing to offer Brexit voters…

John Sentamu Puts His Dog Collar Back On

Ten years after removing it in protest at Mugabe.

Dawn Butler: Theresa May Is No Friend of Women

Charming as ever from Labour’s Dawn Butler, who says Theresa May “might be female but she is no friend of women”, and that the Tories have done nothing for women despite having had two female Prime Ministers. Bold given Labour hasn’t even had a female leader.

McDonnell: I Can’t Predict How Much Extra Borrowing Will Cost

Still doesn’t have a figure five days later…

Barry Gardiner Can’t Say When Labour Would Eliminate Deficit

Marr: “Can you say when the deficit under your plans will be eliminated?”

Gardiner: “No, I’m not going to say that at all.”

Spoiler: it won’t be. Not that the Tories have a much better idea, they said it would be closed by 2015, then 2020ish, now 2030ish…

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”

[…] Read the rest

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