Tory Tea Room Trickery

Tory MPs have been lightening up the leadership race with this picture currently doing the rounds on WhatsApp of a mischievously modified Jaffa Cake box that has mysteriously appeared in the Members’ Tea Room:

Boris supporters have not been letting this delicious deviousness go unchallenged. A rival image has now made its way into Tory WhatsApp circles as well:

Which one do Tory MPs find more palatable? We’ll find out this afternoon…

Tory Leadership: Decision Day

It’s crunch time in the Tory leadership race – by the end of the day we will know who the final two are, however many votes it takes. After last night’s results, Saj is trailing Hunt and Gove by several votes, however he was quick to insist that he wouldn’t be withdrawing. This means there will be at least two votes today:

  • 10 a.m.-Midday: MPs vote in fourth ballot
  • 1 p.m.: Fourth round result – three candidates left
  • 3.30-5.30 p.m.: MPs vote in fifth ballot
  • 6 p.m.: Fifth round result – two candidates left

In the unlikely event that there’s a tie, there will be an extra round of voting into the night from 7.30-9.30pm, with the final result as soon as possible after that. With many MPs going back to their constituencies on Thursday afternoon, as many as 25% of votes today are expected to be by proxy. One person who will definitely be voting by proxy is Theresa May who’s heading off to Brussels for another EU summit. 1922 Committee Vice-Chair Charles Walker has been entrusted with her vote…

With the unpredictable factor of Rory Stewart now out of the race, the talk this morning is that Team Boris is now on maneouvres to take out Gove by pushing the Saj through at his expense. Gove’s 2016 betrayal has still not been forgotten by many Boris supporters, they are out for revenge by dumping him out this time…

Tory Leadership Round Three Results in Full

Here’s how the results break down for round three of the Tory leadership contest (round two results in brackets):

  • Boris: 143 (126)
  • Hunt: 54 (46)
  • Gove: 51 (41)
  • Saj: 38 (33)
  • Rory: 27 (37) ELIMINATED

Rory walks…

Rory Out

Rory’s 10 Most Messianic Tweets

Rory Stewart’s success at turning himself into a social media meme seems to have slightly gone to his head, to the extent that he was calling for all the other candidates to drop out and support him alone this morning. Guido has compiled his most Messianic/Macronic moments for your enjoyment…

Britain’s answer to Macron, really?

Me, he…Talking about yourself in the third person. Guido asks “What kind of egomaniac does that?”

Raab Backs Boris

Dominic Raab’s exit from the leadership race yesterday has seen a large number of his supporters flock over to the Boris camp – now Raab has given him a birthday gift of himself. Raab backs Boris as the “only candidate” who can deliver Brexit by October 31…

Boris now has a clear majority of public declarations. Despite Rory pulling ahead of Saj last round his supporters are still unwilling to out themselves – after Rory’s poor performance in the debate last night it’ll be a close call as to who gets the chop. Team Boris have been putting pressure on Saj to drop out to leave Rory in last place and therefore face automatic exclusion although Saj isn’t playing ball. Will they try lending Saj votes instead to knock Rory out directly?

Judge Lets Off Convicted Cocaine User Citing “Gove Defence”

A defendant, who has not been named, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of possession of a class A substance.

Judge Owen Davies set him free, allowing the cocaine user to walk free from court with a 12-month conditional discharge, after suggesting during legal argument with the defence that the defendant “should suffer no more for dabbling in cocaine than should a former Lord Chancellor.” Gove, who bases his leadership campaign on effectively driving policy change, has effectively decriminalised cocaine possession…

Rory in Talks With Gove Over “Combining Forces”

“We’re talking about combining forces, because it’s clear that Boris is going in to the last round and the question is who is best placed to sit on a stage with Boris Johnson and who is best placed to ask the testing questions that need to be asked.”

Is this a kamikaze effort from Rory..?

Abdullah is Primary School Teacher, Doesn’t Think Girls Should Be Alone With a Man

Guido revealed last night, the BBC’s ‘star guest’ Abdullah Patel from Bristol happens to be a big fan of Zionist conspiracy theories. It turns out that he’s also fond of giving advice to women:

Which is awkward because Abdullah is also a Deputy Head at Al-Ashraf Schools in Gloucester, which includes a primary school and an all-girls secondary school. Abdullah won’t be teaching many classes if he’s following his own advice…

Al-Ashraf Primary and Secondary schools were heavily criticised and labelled “inadequate” and “require improvement” by Ofsted inspectors last year. Hardly surprising given the unsavoury views of their Deputy Head…

The Ofsted report noted that “The leadership of safeguarding is inadequate. Systems to investigate, record and monitor concerns lack rigour.” Same could be said for BBC’s editorial team after last night…

Who’s Backing Who After Raab

Boris now has an absolute majority of public declarations. Backing Rory is the backing that has no names, perhaps for fear of inflaming the Boris backing membership. He has only 14 MPs publicly backing him and yet got 37 actual votes from MPs. All new spreadsheet here: order-order.com/backers

Tory Leadership Second Round Results in Full

Here’s how the results broke down for round two of the Tory leadership contest (round one results in brackets):

  • Boris: 126 (114)
  • Hunt: 46 (43)
  • Gove: 41 (37)
  • Rory: 37 (19)
  • Saj: 33 (23)
  • Raab: 30 (27) ELIMINATED

Boris still has more votes than 2nd, 3rd and 4th combined…

Raab Out

Meet the Candidates: Team Rory

Much like the man himself, Rory Stewart’s campaign has meandered between novelty and farce, what there’s no doubt about is that he’s made the biggest impression of all the rivals jockeying for position behind Boris Johnson. Behind the stunts and awkward videos however, there’s a well-organised campaign team skilled in the art of astute press management. Just look at the Telegraph’s front page this morning which Rory has cleverly tried to spin as an attack on his past links to MI6 – as if a front page putting him in the same bracket as James Bond is remotely negative publicity. Guido lifts the lid on the team holding the camera while Rory takes his “selfie” videos…

Rory’s campaign manager is his wife, Shoshana Clark, who moved to Afghanistan with her first husband to work for Stewart’s Turquoise Mountain charity in 2006, only to promptly leave him for Stewart and become Chief Executive of the charity. Another key part of the team is Rory’s SpAd Lizzie Loudon, an alumni of Vote Leave, Theresa May’s press team and, naturally, Hanbury Strategy. Also on Team Rory are Ramsay Jones, David Cameron’s former Scotland adviser and James Johnson, a current Downing Street SpAd and Theresa May’s pollster. Guido hopes the SpAds are following the strict civil service rules and have either resigned their jobs or are taking unpaid leave to work on the campaign…

Rory’s robust anti-No Deal stance has scooped him up endorsements from key members of the Tory Remainer establishment that previously looked to be getting behind Hunt – Justice Secretary David Gauke is a key part of his campaign while May’s deputy David Lidington also came out for Rory yesterday. Regular Remainer rebels including Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, Nicholas Soames, Antoinette Sandbach and Caroline Spelman have all lined up behind Rory as well, he’s yet to win backing from a single Brexiteer. Not exactly a representative cross-section of the Tory Party…

Rory’s trousered over £50,000 in the last few weeks including £10,000 from Russian Hedge Fund manager Lev Mikheev, £10,000 from Khaled Said, son of Saudi political fixer Wafic Said, and £5,000 from Edwina Snow, wife of Remainer snowflake Dan. A handsome war chest for Team Rory to play with, if they can make it through this week…

Social media support: Rory’s eccentric social media game needs little introduction, it has achieved levels of cut-through most of his rivals can only dream of. Rory’s personal Twitter following has rocketed up to 169k in recent weeks while he has a moderate Facebook following of 15k. He’s even got more Instagram followers than Insta-queen Liz Truss…
Mainstream media support: Pretty much every non-Tory in the media…
ConservativeHome members survey: 16.33% (2nd)
PaddyPower odds: 8/1 (2nd)

Patten’s Glaring Hypocrisy Over Boris Jibe

Second referendum and Rory Stewart Backer Chris Patten launched into an undignified attack on Boris Johnson this afternoon on Politics Live, attempting to present Boris as an enemy of LGBT rights all precariously based upon one 1998 column where Boris used the word “bumboys” once. Here’s how their records stack up…

  • Boris voted to repeal the notoriously homophobic Section 28 legislation, against the tide of his party in 2003. Jeremy Corbyn abstained…
  • Patten voted to introduce Section 28.
  • Boris launched the campaign for equal marriage, when the majority of the country and Tory MPs opposed the idea.
  • Patten didn’t bother to vote to defend equal marriage legislation in the House of Lords in 2013.
  • Boris as Mayor of London supported the annual Pride celebration. Pink stetson and all…
  • Patten, as far as Guido can see, has not yet attended a Pride parade. Nor has he worn a pink stetson…

Patten’s support for the European Union means he wins the liberal plaudits despite a deeply illiberal voting record. Meanwhile the chattering classes ignore Boris’ actual consistently liberal record because they’re still upset about Brexit…

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article said that Patten voted to kill off equal marriage legislation in the House of Lords.” This was in fact Lord (John) Patten, not Lord (Chris) Patten of Barnes. Guido is happy to clarify that Lord Patten of Barnes simply failed to turn up to vote…

Raab Comes Out Fighting, Saj Cries Foul Over Stewart

Despite ConHome’s latest survey showing Dominic Raab beating everyone but Boris in runoffs with the Tory membership, Raab is one of the candidates who’ll be sitting least comfortably when the second round votes come in tonight. He’s come out fighting with a new video showcasing his karate skills and other parts of his backstory. Team Raab say they are quietly confident but the Boris bandwagon has left Raab struggling to get the numbers…

The issue for Brexiteers is that if Raab gets knocked out, the further the debate will get pulled towards the Remain side of the argument. Boris will be fending off Remain-framed attacks on the merits or otherwise of no deal, rather than debating how best to deliver Brexit by October 31st in any circumstances…

Sajid Javid is the other candidate glancing most nervously over his shoulder, his campaign supremo Nick King has taken the unusual step of publicly calling out Rory Stewart’s campaign for trying to poach his supporters. Can Stewart succeed in stuffing Saj or will his media-friendly antics flop among the one audience that actually matters right now, Tory MPs…

Sneak Peak of Tonight’s Debate

The BBC’s Rob Burley has revealed the set for tonight’s ‘Our Next Prime Minister’ debate, and it’s not particularly Prime Ministerial, with spindly chairs and no lecterns. Look more like the set of the Victoria Derbyshire Programme than a grand debate on the future of the nation…

Who Beats Who

ConservativeHome’s latest members’ survey has revealed that Boris beats all other candidates in hypothetical run off elections by double digit margins, never dipping below two thirds of the membership vote. Rory loses to Boris 24-73, Gove 25-50, Hunt 26-49, Saj 27-54, and Raab by 29-63…

Boris beats every candidate, Raab beats everyone but Boris, Saj beats everyone but Boris and Raab, Gove only beats Hunt and Rory, and Hunt only beats Rory. See the full results here…

Tory Leadership Cat-astrophe

Pakistan’s ruling party discovered the purrils of social media over the weekend after an unfur-tunate incident – politicians from Imran Khan’s party were left unamew-sed after the party’s official Facebook feed livestreamed a press conference. With a cat filter on:

The party evidently didn’t see the funny side and issued a humourless clarification for their cat-astrophic error. To stop Westminster watchers feline left out, Guido has given the Tory leadership contenders a similar makeover for your purr-usal:

Purr-haps the only surprise is that Rory Stewart hasn’t done it himself already…

How Rory-Mania Could Lead To Boris’ Coronation

Boris Johnson could become Prime Minister tomorrow, thanks to Rory Stewart, obviating the need to go to any public hustings. The 1922 Committee’s new threshold rules mean that any candidate who gets fewer than 33 votes tomorrow is automatically eliminated from the contest, meaning if all but Boris fail to meet the threshold, he becomes PM. There is a real (if small) chance that due to Rory’s disruption, Hunt and Gove could slip back a little and other candidates not gain enough new supporters for an accidental coronation to happen…

Guido’s tracker of public declarations shows that Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove are both sitting on just on 34 public declarations, meaning Rory only has to attract two public switchers from each for neither to reach the 33 vote cut off. Among Gove’s declared backers are uber-Remainers Claire Perry and Oliver Letwin. Among Hunt’s are Amber Rudd and Greg Clark. All four could switch ship if they are keen to ensure Rory makes it into Tuesday night’s BBC debate, accidentally knocking out Gove and Hunt…

Even going by non-public votes from last round, Hunt would have to lose just eleven, and Gove just five MPs to fall below the vital threshold. Assuming a full turnout, Boris would only need to take 153 votes, for every other candidate to rest on 32, and an accidental coronation to take place…

30 Second Pitches: Gove, Hunt, Stewart, Javid, Raab

  • Gove – I’m a serious candidate for serious times
  • Hunt – I can be trusted to deliver
  • Stewart – I’m an honest and trustworthy outsider
  • Javid – I’m an outsider who looks like modern Britain
  • Raab – I’m the only one here committed to Brexiting on October 31

Boris tells them all, see you next Tuesday…[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Fresh from making his campaign pledge to kill off old people, Jeremy Hunt says on Islamophobia…

“We have to be whiter that white ourselves… we have to make sure we are dealing with this issue…”

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