Kwarteng U-Turns 45p Rate: “We Get It, and We Have Listened”

After The Sun broke the exclusive of conference late last night, the Lobby’s just been informed that the government will now not be going ahead with the 45p rate abolition, with a u-turn expected to be announced within the next hour. Just yesterday the press were briefed that Kwasi was to tell conference “We must stay the course. I am confident our plan is the right one.”

This morning the course has not been stayed – it has been re-directed in another direction altogether. Kwasi’s statement:

From supporting British business to lowering the tax burden for the lowest paid, our Growth Plan sets out a new approach to build a more prosperous economy. However, it is clear that the abolition of the 45p tax rate has become a distraction from our overriding mission to tackle the challenges facing our country. As a result, I’m announcing we are not proceeding with the abolition of the 45p tax rate. We get it, and we have listened. This will allow us to focus on delivering the major parts of our growth package. First, our Energy Price Guarantee, which will support households and businesses with their energy bills. Second, cutting taxes to put money back in the pockets of 30 million hard-working people and grow our economy. Third, driving supply side reforms – including accelerating major infrastructure projects – to get Britain moving.

The move came after crisis talks yesterday between the PM and Chancellor; their hands forced by Tory MPs continuing to state on the record they couldn’t vote for the plans, despite an open warning from Jake Berry that they’d lose the whip. Gove was at the forefront of the rebellion…

mdi-timer 3 October 2022 @ 07:17 3 Oct 2022 @ 07:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory MPs Told to Expect January 2025 Election

With the pound bouncing around all over the place, backbenchers already rebelling and a 30-point poll lead for Labour, Tory MPs are seemingly receiving increasing emails from constituents asking when they might be allowed to have their say on the new government. In answering these voters’ inquiries, staffers’ eyebrows have been raised after they received guidance from their Parliamentary Research Unit, a Conservative Party briefing team in parliament who feed lines to MPs’ caseworkers based on information from departments, ministers and SpAds. The line they’ve been sent in full:

“At this moment, it is my understanding that the Government intends to stick to the election timeline of January 2025, whereby a general election will be held.”

Guido’s sure activists, MP hopefuls and journalists alike will be joyous at the thought of a January election. Like 2019’s December campaign without the hope of Christmas to get you through… 

mdi-timer 30 September 2022 @ 14:56 30 Sep 2022 @ 14:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Ben Elliot Resigns as Tory Co-Chairman

Ben Elliot has stepped down as co-chairman of the Conservative Party. In a statement this afternoon, Elliot said:

“Serving as co-chairman of the Conservative Party has been a huge honour and privilege. I would like to thank my various co-chairmen, colleagues on the Party Board, the National Convention, the excellent senior staff at CCHQ and of course all our professional staff, members and volunteers across the country. I would like to thank Boris Johnson for appointing me, and wish Liz Truss every success in leading our great country, particularly given the challenges of the winter ahead.”

Guido hears this may not be the last resignation before Liz enters No.10 tomorrow…

Hat-tip: Glen Owen

mdi-timer 5 September 2022 @ 14:36 5 Sep 2022 @ 14:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory Membership 30,000 Larger than Believed

On August 17th the Tories, LibDems and Labour all had their party accounts published by the Electoral Commission – only the Tories didn’t include their membership figures. Labour’s were down 91,000 on the previous year and the LibDems are down 53,000 since Sir Ed Davey took over. Speculation about the Tories’ hordes has been rife, not least because we don’t know how many Brits have been eligible to vote in the leadership election.

While 160,000 eligible members is the understood ballpark, this afternoon Guido was told the true membership figure is now closer to 190,000, which is around 10,000 higher than the figures reported by then-party chairman Brandon Lewis ahead of the 2019 leadership election. CCHQ were at pains to emphasise the number of members eligible to vote in the leadership election is much closer to the already-reported 160,000, though the true figure is a decent number for Liz to build on…

mdi-timer 1 September 2022 @ 16:42 1 Sep 2022 @ 16:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Top Tory Donor Funding Chinese Communist Party Hong Kong Propaganda

With Liz Truss announcing that as PM she would declare China an “acute threat” — whatever that means, Guido has been perusing Tory links to China. Liz might want to consider some of her party’s donors before she can be taken seriously. 

Billionaire Tory donor, Hong Kong tai-pan, and former owner of The Spectator, Sir Henry Keswick, is proving himself to be quite the political chameleon — with his political allegiances miraculously changing east of Suez. Guido was amused to see photos out of Hong Kong sent by a co-conspirator that show Hongkong Land, a subsidiary of Sir Henry’s family company, Jardine Matheson, paying for hundreds of Chinese propaganda posters that have been installed across much of central Hong Kong for the 25th anniversary of the handover.

These posters hailed the arrival of “Stability. Prosperity. Opportunity”. This joyous patriotic occasion was marked by a sham rigged election of a new Chief Executive, a visit by Xi Jinping, and the banning of media organisations from attending events. 47 democrats are soon to go on trial for ‘subversion’ after 15 months in custody for holding an election primary — for their own party. Sir Henry clearly hasn’t read his wife’s advice about not “grovelling up to China”.

Back in the UK, Sir Henry has been enjoying his well-earned retirement. When not shooting at his 18,000-acre country pad, Sir Henry has kept up with his hobby of donating to the Conservative party — around £800,000 in the last five years. Guido couldn’t help noticing that some of these donations are often conveniently timed around when Jardine Matheson representatives meet with government ministers. Handy. Others who have enjoyed the fruits of Sir Henry’s hard work include Jacob Rees-Mogg (£2,000), Dominic Raab (£2,000), Nickie Aitken (£2,000). Winner, however, was fellow OE, Danny Kruger (£10,000). Jardine Matheson is now led by Sir Henry’s nephew, Ben. Sir Henry remains chairman-emeritus. Fortunately for Sir Henry, he doesn’t have to worry about recouping his losses — his net worth increased by a cheeky £2.4 billion in 2020.

mdi-timer 30 August 2022 @ 10:30 30 Aug 2022 @ 10:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tory MPs Prepare for Conference Shafting

Apologies to anyone still eating breakfast, Guido’s just been sent a press release from the Tories’ LGBT wing announcing a new range of “limited-edition” political-themed condoms in time for this year’s party conference in Birmingham. Some of which bear the names of MPs…

Slogans include:

  • Strong and Stable
  • Unleash Britain’s Potential
  • Honourable Member
  • Labour isn’t working, but this condom will (*99% of the time)

Some patrons of the group, including two MPs also have personalised versions:

  •  Gary Sambrook: Strap it for Sambrook
  • Peter Gibson: Glove it for Gibbo
  • Andrew Boff: Boff – Safely
  • Emma Best: Bang for Best
  • Nick Rogers: Roger for Nick

Not a Johnson pun in sight…

LGBT Conservatives chair Elena Bunbury comments, “This is just a small step in the work we have done towards safer sex, but we hope it provides a fun tool and useful memento for all those using them.” A fun tool indeed…

mdi-timer 22 August 2022 @ 09:58 22 Aug 2022 @ 09:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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