Nadine Dorries Blasts ‘Handful’ of ERGers in Mammoth WhatsApp Message

Nadine Dorries couldn’t make the ERG’s 6pm meeting last night and so instead has sent a list of seven key points she would have liked to have raised. She hits out at members who have “let the ERG down as a group”, those who see themselves as “above” sending a letter, and those who are constantly briefing journalists.

Read the mammoth message in full here:

At 6pm, I will be chairing the finance bill on the floor of the house and therefore, cannot attend the meeting. 
If I were there, I would be very, very  keen to speak and make the following points. I would be grateful if the chairman would  acknowledge my comments during the meeting. 

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Brandon Moves to Reassure Furious MPs as WhatsApp Leak Reveals Support For Boris

Brandon Lewis is privately attempting to reassure Tory MPs about CCHQ’s investigation into Boris – as the party chairman faces an outpouring of criticism on the Tory MPs WhatsApp group from colleagues backing BoJo. In messages leaked to Guido, Zac Goldsmith asked “What on earth is the Party doing?!”, while Anne-Marie Trevelyan slammed CCHQ’s inquiry into Boris as “bizarre and frankly shocking”. Trevelyan went on to demand: “Perhaps Brandon can explain why this inquiry is happening?”

Andrea Jenkyns posted Rowan Atkinson’s comments into the group, before Andrea Leadsom backed Munira Mirza’s ConHome article backing Boris:

Steve Double revealed he had has held private talks with Brandon Lewis and James Cleverly to raise his concerns about the Boris investigation. Double says that after speaking to Lewis and Cleverly his fears have been assuaged. Could Brandon be about to climb down?

Nadine Dorries then let rip into CCHQ for briefing out the announcement of the Boris investigation – against the usual protocol that these things are kept private – and criticised the “private chats with Brandon and James”:

Seems clear from their WhatsApp group that Tory MPs are backing Boris and want CCHQ to get a grip. Time for Brandon to drop it and move on?

Latest Tory MP WhatsApp Group Mishap

This unfortunate typo from Mark Francois greatly amused Tory MPs on their WhatsApp group last night. Guido is reminded that “t” and “r” and next to each other on the keyboard…

Claire Perry’s WhatsApp Leak Complaint Leaked

Claire Perry is not impressed that her WhatsApps were leaked to Guido earlier, admonishing the leaker for sending us the messages. Her message complaining about the leak has now also been leaked to Guido:

She has left the group in response.

Ultra-Remainers Defend May’s Deal in Tory WhatsApp Wars

It is all kicking off in a WhatsApp group of Tory MPs, with ultra-Remainers defending Theresa May’s Brexit deal – and Brexiteers branding it a “betrayal”. Leave supporter Sheryll Murray told the “Digital Comms” WhatsApp group of Tory MPs that the party needed to find examples of businesses that are “not biased towards remain”, only to be told by hardcore Remainer Antoinette Sandbach that none exist. As Antoinette continued to patronise her colleagues on Brexit, Steve Baker left the group:

Another big Remainer, Claire Perry, who once dubbed Brexiteers “swivel-eyed” and “jihadis”, outlined her support for the PM’s deal and warned Brexiteer critics that they are risking a general election. Sandbach also gave her backing to the government’s white paper. Tells you all you need to know.

As Remainers ganged up on Sheryll Murray, Nadine Dorries interjected to accuse the PM of “a betrayal of everyone who voted leave”. In a devastating assessment of the white paper, Nads cited the polls over the last few days to argue the Chequers plan “will be the end of Conservatives in government”. Sheryll agreed: “You are so right”. 

Still Sandbach wasn’t finished, hitting back that “swing voters win elections” and claiming the Tories failed to secure a majority in 2017 because “we ignored 48%”. Sheryll zinged back: “Yes they will swing from us to not voting”. Angry cat emoji. 

A change of subject, mercifully, from Andrew Bridgen. He suggested writing a letter to the PM to recommend a knighthood for England manager Gareth Southgate. Peter Bone gave his blessing, before Steve Brine burned them both: “Good idea… but can I suggest the messenger is as important as the message”. Ouch. 

Eventually Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis told them to pack it all in. To the relief of Caroline Nokes:

All is not well…

Brexiteers Turn On Each Other in ERG WhatsApp Group

Brexiteer Tory MPs are turning on each other in the ERG WhatsApp group as they split into two factions: those supporting and those opposing Theresa May’s deal. Laurence Robertson, who opposes the government’s Brexit plan, accused those backing the PM of being “sycophants and careerists” and warned “battle lines” are being drawn. Strong language which is not going down well with those on the other side of the party…

Maria Caulfield complained that MPs opposing the Number 10 plan have “overnight been turned into the enemy” and that some of those backing the PM do not “have her and the country’s best interest at heart”.

Philip Davies lambasted colleagues in safe seats who are backing the PM, accusing them of “not giving a stuff” about those in Leave-voting marginals:

He went on to accuse Downing Street of “lies”:

Andrew Bridgen summed up feeling among Leavers:

Probably the main reason May is still in place and unlikely to be removed is that the Brexiteers have divided. The mood is very bad…

Corbyn’s Office Use Multiple WhatsApp Groups to Coordinate With Friendly Journalists

A revealing line in Lucy Fisher’s profile of Corbynista journalist Ash Sarkar: “Sometimes she’s fielded by the leader’s office, which co-ordinates these trusted commentators through a WhatsApp group”. Guido can reveal that the Leader’s Office actually uses several WhatsApp groups to coordinate messages and broadcast appearances with friendly journalists. At least one group includes among its members a LOTO staffer and several of the younger Corbyn media cheerleaders. Another group includes several older Guardian journalists who support Jeremy Corbyn – they use the group to get their lines to take before appearing on TV. Guido is told Seumas is not a member of any of these WhatsApp groups. 

Worth remembering the next time you see Ash Sarkar or Zoe Williams on Sky News that they are often booked by the Labour Party and get their lines dictated to them by Team Corbyn, despite appearing on our screens supposedly as journalists. Shouldn’t Sky News call them ‘spokesmen’ given they never criticise the dear leader and get their messages straight from LOTO?

Livid Boris Vents Fury at “Allies” Briefing Press

Today’s Telegraph and Sun run quotes from anonymous “allies” of Boris calling for Philip Hammond to be sacked and claiming BoJo will “just say no” if Theresa May attempts to demote him. Boris is livid about these stories and says they have not been sanctioned by him and do not represent his views. In a furious tirade on the Tory MPs’ WhatsApp group last night, Johnson said he is “fed up to the back teeth” with anonymous “allies” briefing the press purportedly on his behalf:

“I do not know who these people are. I do not know if they are really my friends and allies or if they represent some sinister band of imposters. I heartily disagree with the sense, tone and spirit of what they are quoted as saying. Whoever they are they do not speak for me”

MPs who aren’t in the room with Boris are often appearing in print as his “allies”, claiming to speak for him. More often than not recently they are landing him in hot water, hence his frustration vented on WhatsApp. His declaration that “they do not speak for me” is as much as anything a plea to the Lobby not to report the views of excitable backbenchers as his own. Boris needs to take back control of his supporters…

Shapps Mauled in Tory MPs’ WhatsApp Group

Earlier Steerpike reported that Grant Shapps was added to the Tory MPs’ WhatsApp group this morning. Here are a selection of messages to Grant from MPs in the group via WikiGuido’s column in the i tomorrow:

“I’ve added you to this group of colleagues. The summary is WTF and STFU.”

“There are fewer signatures on your list than files sent to the CPS after the election campaign you ran as chairman.”

“Do yourself a favour and wind your neck in.”

“My constituents are demanding we get our sh*t together.”

“Keeping our sh*t together seems the most sensible approach.

“Totally agree on the sh*t front.”

Another MP tells Guido: “It’s so bad, if I were him, I wouldn’t go anywhere near Westminster next week”. Conference and leadership gossip round-up here

MPs Set Up “2017 Victim Support” WhatsApp Group

Ousted Tory MPs have set up a WhatsApp group called “2017 Victim Support” to console each other about losing their seats. It has provided a forum to air frustrations about the Tory campaign and Theresa May’s lack of emotional intelligence in failing to mention them in her post-election speech on the steps of Downing Street, or to get in touch since Friday. Many of the defeated MPs have still not had a phone call from the PM. Karl McCartney has been bemoaning how awful IPSA is, so some things haven’t changed. Ousted 2015 intakers, who were MPs for two years and one month, have expressed concerns about qualifying only for a measly parachute payment. Theresa May’s implied offer of financial support from the Tory party for defeated MPs has not materialised, she would be wise to get a move on…

Bryant’s WhatsApp Rejection

Chris Bryant is defending a 7,445 majority in his Leave-voting Rhondda constituency, so he needs all the help he can get. Several non-Labour voters were bewildered to find themselves invited into Bryant’s campaign WhatsApp group this week. Judging by the number who immediately left the group, the request for help was not universally well received. 

His voter targeting needs work…

Amber Rudd and Fleet Street Don’t Understand Encryption

Following Amber Rudd’s talk of “necessary hashtags” and how “we don’t want to go into the cloud”, you’d be forgiven for thinking she is something of a digital immigrant. The Home Secretary has her sights trained on the messaging service WhatsApp and end-to-end encryption, the system which means a conversation can be read only by the sender and recipient and not intercepted by a middle man. Here’s why that’s a red herring…

1. A backdoor to end-to-end encryption would not have stopped the Westminster attack

Khalid Masood was not on the security services’ radar. So even if MI5 and GCHQ were able to intercept his WhatsApp messages before the attack, they would not have done so. The attack would have proceeded all the same. Any change in law or policy would have made no difference.

2. End-to-end encryption is not preventing MI5 read Masood’s messages

Rudd says detectives cannot access Masood’s final messages and that WhatsApp’s complicity in this is “unacceptable“. Today’s Telegraph front page says “Internet giants hide terrorist’s final note”. This is just wrong. WhatsApp do not have access to the unencrypted messages – the messages can only be read on the phones of the sender and recipient. The police presumably have Masood’s phone, it is highly likely they are now inside and able to read the messages. The only thing stopping them get in would be the phone’s passcode. Which is nothing to do with WhatsApp.

3. Encryption is binary

Either you have end-to-end encryption or you don’t. Giving MI5 and GCHQ a backdoor into WhatsApp means the service is no longer secure and any hacker can break in to any user’s messages. As Open Rights Group say, “compelling companies to put backdoors into encrypted services would make millions of ordinary people less secure online. We all rely on encryption to protect our ability to communicate, shop and bank safely”Rudd is asking WhatsApp to open up all their users to attacks by cyber criminals and foreign regimes. 

The Home Secretary is using encryption as a scapegoat when it is completely irrelevant to the Westminster attack. She is being aided by establishment journalists who do not understand technology – Andrew Marr’s interview was pathetic in its amateurism and today’s Telegraph front page is factually incorrect. As a side note, newspapers have splashed on attacks on Facebook, Google, YouTube, Uber and WhatsApp in the last week, today’s Mail bizarrely claims WordPress is helping terrorists. Almost as if Fleet Street has an advertising revenue-shaped ulterior motive for going after tech companies…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Rudd: WhatsApp Unacceptable

Dave’s Snapchat Plan Crushed by EU

The European Parliament has done something good. Last night it voted to adopt a report from Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake that calls for the EU to refuse to limit the use of encryption. Digital Dave has been on a crusade to ban the secure encryption used by popular messaging apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp…

Here’s a video of Marietje Schaake explaining her report:

Isn’t she lovely?

Sign Up For Guido’s New Breaking News Alerts

Guido is trialling a new breaking news alert service, where subscribers can have the biggest stories sent straight to their phone as soon as they break, via Whatsapp. This won’t be like some “breaking news” apps, which send you half hour-old news, news will come to your phone as soon as it happens. We won’t spam you either, subscribers will only be sent alerts for the major stories they need to know immediately. What’s more, it is completely free…

The sign up process is simple, Whatsapp users put their name and number in the box below:

You will then receive a text message. Simply add Guido as a contact, open Whatsapp and send us the word ‘JOIN’ to confirm your subscription. We won’t share your number and you can unsubscribe at any time by messaging ‘STOP’.

If enough people find the service useful, Guido will continue it beyond the summer. Sign up to stay in the hyperloop…

Sign Up For Guido’s New Breaking News Alerts

Yesterday, subscribers to Guido’s Whatsapp breaking news alert service were the first to know the names of the expenses shame MPs and dodgy donors who were bunged honours. For those who haven’t yet signed up…

Guido is trialling a new breaking news alert service, where subscribers can have the biggest stories sent straight to their phone as soon as they break, via Whatsapp. This won’t be like some “breaking news” apps, which send you half hour-old news, news will come to your phone as soon as it happens. We won’t spam you either, subscribers will only be sent alerts for the major stories they need to know immediately. What’s more, it is completely free…

The sign up process is simple, Whatsapp users put their name and number in the box below:

You will then receive a text message. Simply add Guido as a contact, open Whatsapp and send us the word ‘JOIN’ to confirm your subscription. We won’t share your number and you can unsubscribe at any time by messaging ‘STOP’.

If enough people find the service useful, Guido will continue it beyond the summer. Sign up to stay in the hyperloop…

Sign Up For Guido’s New Breaking News Alerts

For those who have signed up to Guido’s new Whatsapp breaking news alert service, do not fear if you have yet to receive anything, we will start the service later this week. For those who haven’t yet signed up…

Guido is trialling a new breaking news alert service, where subscribers can have the biggest stories sent straight to their phone as soon as they break, via Whatsapp. This won’t be like some “breaking news” apps, which send you half hour-old news, news will come to your phone as soon as it happens. We won’t spam you either, subscribers will only be sent alerts for the major stories they need to know immediately. What’s more, it is completely free…

The sign up process is simple, Whatsapp users put their name and number in the box below:

You will then receive a text message. Simply add Guido as a contact, open Whatsapp and send us the word ‘JOIN’ to confirm your subscription. We won’t share your number and you can unsubscribe at any time by messaging ‘STOP’.

If enough people find the service useful, Guido will continue it beyond the summer. Sign up to stay in the hyperloop…

Sign Up For Guido’s New Breaking News Alerts

For those who have signed up to Guido’s new Whatsapp breaking news alert service, do not fear if you have yet to receive anything, we will start the service later this week. For those who haven’t yet signed up…

Guido is trialling a new breaking news alert service, where subscribers can have the biggest stories sent straight to their phone as soon as they break, via Whatsapp. This won’t be like some “breaking news” apps, which send you half hour-old news, news will come to your phone as soon as it happens. We won’t spam you either, subscribers will only be sent alerts for the major stories they need to know immediately. What’s more, it is completely free…

The sign up process is simple, Whatsapp users put their name and number in the box below:

You will then receive a text message. Simply add Guido as a contact, open Whatsapp and send us the word ‘JOIN’ to confirm your subscription. We won’t share your number and you can unsubscribe at any time by messaging ‘STOP’.

If enough people find the service useful, Guido will continue it beyond the summer. Sign up to stay in the hyperloop…

Sign Up For Guido’s New Breaking News Alerts

Guido is trialling a new breaking news alert service, where subscribers can have the biggest stories sent straight to their phone as soon as they break, via Whatsapp. This won’t be like some “breaking news” apps, which send you half hour-old news, news will come to your phone as soon as it happens.[…] Read the rest

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Ruth Davidson on working with PM Boris

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