Ex-Tory Remainer Rebels Are Sick of Rory Taking Credit

Guido hears that some among the 21 ex-Tories who voted for the Benn ‘Surrender Act’ are sick to the hilt with the former leadership contender swanning TV studios taking credit for action against the government. The whispers are that Rory did not help at all with the bill, other than swooping in at the end to vote for it and claim all the credit. Guido can scarcely believe that the Cabinet-minister-for-two-minutes turned artificially inflated leadership contender could be so self aggrandising… 

Tory Conference Cuts 76% of Keynote Speeches

This year’s Tory Conference will ditch the dreadful visuals of minor Cabinet ministers speaking to mostly empty auditorium. Last year 29 individual keynote speeches were made from the main stage. This year’s conference cuts that number down to just seven.

Major speeches will only be made by the Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign, and Home Secretaries, Party Chairman, and London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey with one shorter presentation by the Education Secretary too. Other ministers will only be able to grace the main stage in the form of panel discussions, bunching them into groups of three or four taking to the stage at the same time. Journalists who have had to sit through years of minor boasts from borderline non-entities will be breathing a sigh of relief…

Is Rudd Resignation Really a Big Loss?

Amber Rudd was the least satisfactory member of the Cabinet in the eyes of Conservatives, according to the latest ConservativeHome polling. Pundits claiming Amber resigning will be a “huge loss for the Conservative Party” don’t understand the party or the reboot that is underway to align the party more closely with Brexit voters. Take their forecasts with a pinch of salt…

Amber Rudd Resigns

Amber Rudd has resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary, and the Conservative Whip.

Read her resignation letter here:

UPDATE: Watch Rudd speak to the Sunday Times explaining her decision

Hammond’s Agent Claims Support of Members Denied Vote

This was emailed to members of Philip Hammond’s Conservative association by Suzi Coul, his agent:

The Association is pleased to announce the reselection of Philip Hammond. Philip has been an excellent MP for Runnymede and Weybridge since 1997, and has retained the overwhelming support of residents, members and the Association Executive throughout that time.

Despite the focus of national politics, our meeting tonight was not about Brexit or the next two months, but about the selection of our candidate for the next Parliamentary election; and tonight’s vote reflects the confidence members of the Association Executive have in him as our local MP, based on his hard work and commitment to Runnymede and Weybridge over 22 years.

Defensive and also not entirely true, ordinary members were not given the chance to express their confidence or otherwise…

CCHQ has Unchecked Power to Deselect Hammond

Philip Hammond, the former Chancellor turned leading advocate of what Downing Street are terming “the Surrender Bill”, took to the airwaves this morning to whine about the possibility of being deselected for the mere misdemeanour of siding against the Government in an effective confidence vote. He made it clear that he thinks he is undeselectable…

“I don’t believe they [have the power to stop me standing], and there would be the fight of a lifetime if they tried to.”

“A legal fight if necessary?”

“Possibly.”

Unfortunately for Phil there are plenty of precedents in his party for senior MPs to be deselected by the central party. in 2005, Michael Howard controversially deselected former Deputy Party Chairman Howard Flight for harming the Tories’ electoral prospects. Hammond clearly doesn’t know the party rules as well as he thinks he does. Adrian Hilton took the party to court in a not dissimilar case and lost. The Conservative Party rules are very clear; the central party has the final say…

If Hammond is one of a dozen or so Tories who vote to neuter their Government and put a Marxist in Downing Street, the rules are clear. They’re out…

UPDATE: Runnymede and Weybridge is selecting a new candidate.

Justine Greening to Stand Down at Election

Whilst talk of a general election is still only speculative – with Boris saying “I don’t want an election; you don’t want an election” outside Downing Street last night – remain MPs are already jumping before they’ve been pushed. Just like they resigned from the Cabinet before Boris became PM all over again…

The first out the door this morning is former Education Secretary, Justine Greening, who announced her widely expected decision on the Today Programme, on the way out accusing the Tories of becoming “the Brexit Party”. Farage would disagree…

The Putney MP – who supports a second referendum – has a wafer-thin majority of only 1,554, so her re-election prospects were not assured in any case. Already, eulogies have been flooding in from luminaries such as Change UK MP Heidi Allen and Corbynite Paul MasonDowning Street is yet to comment…

Hammond Toasts His Re-Selection With Champagne

Big Phil Hammond turned up to the local pub, the Half Moon in Windlesham, next to the Constituency Office in Surrey Heath, with a few supporters and ordered champagne to celebrate his re-adoption by the Runnymede and Weybridge Conservative Association’s executive committee. The wider local party membership have reacted furiously to Guido’s investigation revealing Hammond had requested a secret meeting of his local party executive to ensure his candidacy for the next election is waved through – without consulting the wider local party membership as took place in 2017. Will he still be celebrating by the end of the week?

Picture Credit: facebook.com/GreatBrexitDebate

CCHQ Target Wollaston With Attack Ads

Now Sarah Wollaston has joined the LibDems she is fair game as far as her former party is concerned. CCHQ are talking, not unfairly, about betrayal and her failure to accept and respect the vote as she promised. She’ll have a fight to hold the seat, if she is even selected as the local Lib Dem candidate

Tory Associations Begin Hiring for General Election

Local Tory Associations are contributing to the worst-kept secret in Westminster – that we are soon heading for a general election – by posting a slew of adverts for campaign managers as they ramp up preparations for Britain going to the polls. Six vacancies have been posted in just the last 5 days…

Boris notably failed to rule out an election in his ‘People’s PMQs’ today, while Damian Hinds’s accidental email leak yesterday was another sign that election preparations are underway. While the Tories are ramping up, Jeremy Corbyn remains on holiday in Romania, while his followers are yet to begin their deselection campaigns against their “centrist” MPs…

Young Tories Step Up Calls for Harassment Investigation

A group of young Tories have released a statement following Guido’s story this morning about the senior activist accused of harassment, Robert Winfield:

“This is a statement to clear up the previously discussed incidents.

Firstly we want to make this clear – we never wanted to go public. We tried numerous times to solve this behind closed doors, we also have the evidence to prove this. This was never about publicity, we have turned down over 30 media invitations, as we don’t see it further helping our cause.

This was never a witch-hunt. We anonymised documents, statements and asked others to do the same, repeatedly.

The Guido Fawkes article was not signed off or written by us. When it was published we immediately asked them to remove names and take it down to risk ruining any investigation.

We have been left with no choice. The party didn’t listen, the association didn’t listen, CPF didn’t listen. So, we had to be bold and be public to ensure our voices were heard. To ensure that people were safe.

Continue reading

Tories Overwhelmingly Happier With New Boris Cabinet

The first ConHome Cabinet League Table of the Boris era is out and net satisfaction ratings are through the roof. New Chancellor Sajid steals into top spot with +80.5% net satisfaction, just ahead of the new PM on +77.2%. May’s final rating was a full 138% lower on -61.2%…

The entire Cabinet is in positive territory for the first time in a long time, even Amber Rudd in bottom spot has bounced from up -25.2% to a healthy +21.3%. The shock faller is Ruth Davidson, who drops a hefty 28% from last month. Davidson may feel she has to distance herself from Boris to preserve her image in Scotland. Evidently it’s not going down so well with Tory members at large…

Phillip Lee Ruins Lib Dem Reshuffle Plans by Delaying Defection

Arch-Remainer Tory and cringe-worthy ‘Great British Hero’ Phillip Lee has declared he is to spend the summer considering whether to defect to the Lib Dems, finally wiping out the Tory’s one* seat majority. While the news will not come as a surprise to most Brexiteers, the wait to hear his decision has apparently disrupted new Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson’s reshuffle plans, who Guido hears had been delaying the party’s reshuffle in advance of the Lee’s anticipated defection. 

On the On The House’ podcast, Lee described politics as “like plate tectonics […] and I feel like I’m straddling the San Andreas Fault of the Conservative party at the moment” going onto reiterate his opposition to no deal and saying “I’m going to spend the summer thinking” about jumping ship to the Lib Dems. No doubt it will have been a blow to Lee’s ego that it took three days for anyone to notice his big announcement…

*In practice three, including the suspended Charlie Elphicke and assuming the Lib Dems win the Brecon by-election…

Heidi Meets the Rees-Moggs on the Campaign Trail

Heidi Allen met the Rees Moggs – senior and junior – out campaigning in the Brecon and Radnorshire sunshine. She’s campaigning for the LibDems…

Bracknell Tories At War Over Phillip Leaks

Despite his local Executive overwhelmingly passing a motion against him last week, it turns out that Phillip Lee isn’t compleetely friendless in his local Association. Local Lee-nthusiasts took to the private Bracknell Conservatives Facebook group to complain that the story had made its way to Guido. Guido has bad news for them. Their complaints have too…

Looks like Lee actually had at least three votes in his favour rather than just two, Guido is happy to correct the record. Only 31 votes against him now!

The Association Chairman then intervened as well. Looks like he’s better at respecting the outcomes of votes than his MP…

Hypocritical Brown Criticises Tory Leadership Election

The former Prime Mentalist has just told an audience at the IPPR “More people voted for Ed Balls on Strictly than for our next Prime Minister.” Tens of thousands of Tories will have voted for Boris to become leader. The country made the Tories the biggest party and in Britain’s system of democracy that gives them the opportunity to form a government. Precisely zero people voted for Gordon Brown to become PM because his thuggish reign of terror scared off any opponent in his party from standing against him. Unbelievable hypocrisy…

Charlie Elphicke Charged With Sexual Assault

Tory MP for Dover and Deal Charlie Elphicke has been charged by the CPS with three counts of sexual assault against two different women. He will appear in court in September…

The CPS have put out a statement:

“The CPS made the decision to charge Mr Elphicke after reviewing a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police.

“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Elphicke are now active and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Phillip Lee’s Local Executive Overwhelmingly Vote Against Him

Phillip Lee’s strategy of treating his local party members with contempt is not paying dividends. Last month he tried to brush off his local Association’s vote of no confidence in him as an “orchestrated, destructive campaign from outside the Party” and refused to even turn up to the meeting. Now his Executive Council have overwhelmingly passed a motion for Lee to seek reselection.

Lee can hardly accuse the Executive of being ‘entryists’, not that there is any evidence for it anyway, these are long-standing local members. They voted roughly 31-3 in favour of a motion for him to seek re-adoption. At which point he can be formally replaced as the Tories’ candidate for the next general election…

Due to the ambiguities of the Conservative Party constitution there is no time limit for Lee to do so until the next election is called, Guido understands that he has made it clear to local members that he will delay as long as possible. Given the numbers it looks like he’s just delaying the inevitable, if he hasn’t defected to the Lib Dems already by then…

Harrington’s Watford Campaign Launch Descends into Acrimony

Guido readers will have been following the unusual goings-on in Watford where local MP Richard Harrington has been accused of launching a “coup” against the Conservative Association and replacing it with a new campaign organisation under his personal control instead. Harrington’s ‘Conservative Campaign Group’ had its official launch at the Watford Palace Theatre yesterday evening. From what Guido hears it wasn’t exactly an unmitigated success…

About 50 people turned out for the launch, Harrington reportedly wouldn’t address any questions on Brexit or his local machinations. Instead, Harrington managed to alienate many of the people there by effectively accusing local activists of not putting enough effort in to collect local canvassing data for him, using that as his justification for setting up his new group. Harrington himself is not exactly renowned for pounding the pavements of Watford…

Harrington’s announcement that he wanted his new group to take over all local campaigning hasn’t exactly filled local members with confidence after a lacklustre recent local election campaign where campaign literature was reportedly in very short supply and the Tories even failed to field candidates in four seats after a nomination papers fiasco under former agent Chris Baxter. Baxter resigned as the agent after the elections – to take over the running of Harrington’s new group…

One person in the audience told Harrington it was unfair for him to criticise the work of unpaid volunteers giving up their spare time while he had full-time paid campaign staff. The mood turned increasingly sour as an angry Harrington got into an open confrontation and accused them of contacting Leave.EU to try to organise a vote of no confidence against him.

There is zero evidence that Leave.EU or ‘entryists’ have been behind any of the votes of no confidence in Remainer MPs – Leave.EU sending out a few tweets trying to claim responsibility does not make it so. The basic facts on the ground in every case Guido has investigated are that long-standing local members are simply fed up of their MPs going rogue and trying to undermine their party and the policies they were elected on. Harrington has basically told his entire local party he has no confidence in them, it’s a bit rich of him to start throwing accusations the other way…

YouGov Debunks Claims of Large-Scale Tory ‘Entryism’

Remainer Tory MPs’ go-to excuse when facing local members angry over flagrant betrayals of their manifesto commitments has been to dismiss it as “entryism”, despite there being no solid evidence for it whatsoever. It suits Remainer Tory MPs to blame Leave.EU rather than unhappy local members.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

In response to the news that Emily Thornberry described the Lib Dems as “like the Taliban” over their new revoke Article 50 Brexit policy, the former Lib Dem leader responded:

“Come on Emily, if we really were like a Middle East terrorist group, don’t you think Jeremy would’ve invited us to a conference fringe meeting before now?”

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