Tories Won’t Kick Out Pendle Racist Joke Councillor

Confusing message from the Tories this morning over the Pendle councillor who was re-instated therefore securing a majority despite having been suspended for posting a racist joke online. On Sky Party Chairman Brandon Lewis said he would look at the case again, noting the councillor had been through “diversity training” and served her punishment. But Greg Clark, over on BBC One, said she had no place in the party “if those are her views.” Accusing Labour of racism has been the Tories’ main attack recently. Trust them to throw it away…

UPDATE: Pendle Tories said:

“In June last year Rosemary Carroll was suspended from the Conservative Party for three months over a post made on social media. The post was shared in error but Rosemary fully accepted the potential upset caused and sincerely apologized. Having served her suspension period she re-joined the party and completed additional diversity training.”

Mogg: Customs Partnership is Effectively Staying in EU

It’s nearly two years since the referendum and the government still hasn’t decided its position on customs. Number 10 want to further delay the decision to the Autumn (by which point any remaining negotiating leverage will have disappeared). Senior Tories are now in open warfare on TV over the issue. It’s hard to understate how serious the next few days are…

On Peston Jacob Rees-Mogg clearly explained why the customs partnership would require adherence to single market rules to function. “We would not in effect be leaving the European Union”… 

He then accused Business Secretary Greg Clark of fostering “scare stories” and “Project Fear”:

“You’d have thought it would have come to an end by now.”

Finally Mogg took apart the remainer argument over terrorism, security and the Irish border, suggesting it is disgraceful for remainers to mobilise fear of terrorism for their political ends. Starting to feel like it could really come to a head this week…

McDonnell: Anti-Semitism “Had Its Effect” On Local Elections

John McDonnell admitted the anti-semitism scandal hurt Labour at the local elections. Speaking on Marr the Shadow Chancellor said:

“We’ll be meeting some Barnet councillors next week… anti-semitism certainly had its effect, there’s no doubt about it in Barnet itself… I’m hoping the measures we’re putting in place now – the Chakrabarti report implemented in full, Jennie Formby new general secretary – Jeremy Corbyn said to Jennie, your first priority is tackling this issue.”

That response won’t reassure concerned activists and councillors…

Meanwhile on Sky Party Chairman Ian Lavery also admitted anti-semitism cost the party:

More tough talk …

Greg Clark’s Project Fear 2.0

Business Secretary Greg Clark launching Project Fear 2.0 on Marr this morning. Clark, one of the most ultra Remain cabinet members, scaremongered in defence of their customs partnership. This week could really kick off…

JoJo: Rudd an Outstanding Figure in Our Politics

An amusing aside to the Windrush scandal is that Amelia Gentleman, the Guardian journalist who might end up scalping Amber Rudd, is married to Jo Johnson…

Khan: Give EU Migrants Preferential Treatment Over Non-EU Migrants

One of the advantages of Brexit is we can now have a fair immigration system that treats people from outside the EU the same as people from inside. Would be a shame if the government sides with the Remainers and shows a lack of ambition on this too…

Lewis: I Told Rudd About Migrant Removals “Ambition”

So Rudd knew of an “ambition” to increase migrant removals, but Brandon Lewis claims that is different to a “target”. You’d have thought she might have mentioned that to the Home Affairs select committee last week…

Maureen Lipman Invites Corbyn Out for Dinner at Joe Allen’s

Gauke: Rudd Shouldn’t Resign

Thornberry: I Met “Appalling” Labour Anti-Semite in the Street Last Week

Did she get them kicked out of the party?

Boris: “Extraordinary” to Deny Russian Responsibility For Salisbury Attack

He says the Russians are “demented” for claiming Britain did it…

Jean-Luc Picard ‘Would Have Voted Remain’

Patrick Stewart tells Marr his Star Trek and X-Men characters Jean-Luc Picard and Charles Xavier would have voted Remain. Boris dismisses him as “something to do with Star Wars” and says:

“We’ll be able boldly go again to areas that perhaps we’ve neglected…”

Corbyn Not Yet Convinced Russia Did Salisbury Attack

Not sure who else he thinks it could’ve been…

He also isn’t convinced the Assad regime was responsible for the Douma gas attack either, saying that Assad “or any other group” that carried it out must be confronted with evidence.

There’s a theme here…

Corbyn: I’d Only Back Syria Action If Russia Doesn’t Veto It

Corbyn continues to say intervention in Syria should only take place through the UN. Which Russia has repeatedly vetoed…

Julia Hartley-Brewer Skewers BBC Over Gender Quota

A very pleasing dig at the BBC’s new gender quota for TV guests from Julia Hartley-Brewer on Marr this morning. Julia, who was discussing the gender pay gap story on the sofa alongside Polly Toynbee, said:

“I know obviously that we are making up the gender quota for expert commentators for the BBC today. Nice to be invited for that and not for actually our views but there we are…”

No comeback from Marr…

“Crazy, Shouty” Adonis “Going a Bit Paul Mason”

Sky’s Niall Paterson read out Guido’s analysis showing Andrew Adonis had tweeted 72 times about the BBC in a week and concluded: “It’s all getting a little bit Paul Mason, isn’t it? You’re turning into the crazier, shoutier end of Twitter”. A live TV intervention…

Saj: We’ll Consult on Extending Stop and Search

Another consultation…

Starmer: Labour Would Waste £120 Million Making Blue Passports in Britain

Keir Starmer flaunting his protectionist credentials this morning by stating Labour’s opposition to the blue passports deal. Starmer said they should be manufactured by a British company at an extortionate cost to the taxpayer. As Guido reported, savings on the Franco-Dutch arrangement will be £120 million over five years – not to mention the free benefit of awkwardness for remainers as the contract rather dispels the ‘inward-looking nation’ myth they constantly parrot. Labour would rather the money went to an uncompetitively expensive firm instead of on, say, public services…

‘Europhile’ Starmer said:

“To put it to a French company is the wrong thing to have done.”

Remainers jumping the shark again…

Oakeshott vs Cadwalladr: “Will You Investigate Remain Campaign?”

A fiery exchange between Isabel Oakeshott and Carole Cadwalladr over the Observer splash this morning. Isabel challenged Cadwalladr:

“I feel this is utterly baffling to most people… you’ve been incredibly persistent, incredibly dogged, but at the end of it all I think you’ve proved is that Cambridge Analytica is a pretty dodgy and bad company… I have one question for you, are you going to apply this same forensic investigation to the remain campaign?”

Cadwalladr replied:

“This isn’t about remain or leave.”

Quelle surprise…

Watson Wrongly Claims Corbyn Apologised for Anti-Semitic Mural Comments

Tom Watson was wrong to claim Jeremy Corbyn has apologised for his anti-Semitic mural comments.[…] Read the rest

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Dame Laura Cox report into Pestminster slams Bercow and his team…

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