Unfortunate scenes in the main Tory WhatsApp chat last night, as finger-on-the-pulse MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown announced to the group “Let’s hope Sir Tom recovers well“… sadly, one hour and thirty two minutes after his family announced his death. It took an intervention from Pauline Latham to convey to Clifton-Brown the sad news.
Following the hacking of one of No. 10’s EU negotiation team’s phones in August, Guido posed the question who would have most to gain from illegally accessing the WhatsApp messages of a top member of the UK’s Brexit team. Coincidentally, it’s been reported today the EU Council of Ministers has an “almost complete” resolution on the table to ban end-to-end encryption on apps like WhatsApp, mandating access of “competent authorities in area of security & criminal justice.” Another day, another reason to breathe a sigh of relief over Brexit…
The coronavirus epidemic is starting to have some irritating side effects for MPs, who are suddenly seeing Whatsapp activity shoot through the roof as a result of their isolated colleagues increased phone activity from their home. Guido hears that hundreds of messages are barraging Tory MPs from other Tory MPs sent both late at night and early in the morning, pelting other MPs and patient SpAds with questions and suggestions. One MP tells Guido they’re glad Maria Caulfield is going off to work in the NHS because it might mean she’ll contribute less in their groups…
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.
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?
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…