Sam Gyimah Defects to the Lib Dems

After a weekend of speculation, Sam Gyimah – former Tory MP for East Surrey before losing the whip 2 weeks ago – has been unveiled as the latest defector to the Lib Dems. Read Gyimah’s explanation of his decision here.

As one Twitter user points out, with Sam’s defection that brings the average Lib Dem MP majority is negative 6,800. Just to squeeze out any remaining air of democracy from the party’s reputation…

UPDATE: Watch Gyimah’s unveiling here

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Ipswich By-Election Result Rave

This week, old footage has re-emerged of the 2001 Ipswich By-election. Not usually where Guido would expect to find the most riveting content…

This, however, was a by-election with a twist. When the result was announced the new MP was welcomed to the stage with a bizarre laser rave show, put on by the local council, which concluded with sparklers and confetti. The elderly returning officer took the whole thing in her stride…

h/t @arcpolitics98

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Scargill Calls for the Left to Oppose Remain MPs

Former leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, Arthur Scargill, has called on all socialists to oppose any Labour MPs wanting to stay in the European Union. Good old traditional Labour…

Scargill proffered his Brexit call to arms at a meeting of the left-wing Brexit Group, Leave Fight Transform (LeFT), saying “every single MP who wants us to go back into Europe should be opposed… that is my view, as a socialist, as a Marxist”. 

Scargill went even further, criticising his former comrade, Jeremy Corbyn, for his Brexit u-turn from opposing the Lisbon Treaty to now creating a pro-EU Labour Party that is “indistinguishable from the 21 MPs who have left the Tory Party”. This will be an easy point for Boris to score at the next PMQs…

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BBC Presenter to Boris: Let’s See Who’s In the Job the Longest

BBC presenter Steph McGovern – who compered Boris’s Rotherham speech – slipped in a snide remark as Boris left the stage, saying:

“For the record, I am a girly swat and I’m proud of it… let’s see who’s in the job the longest”

Not very edifying…

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Brexit Party Take Over Hartlepool Council

Ten independent councillors elected to Hartlepool Council in May – turfing out the governing Labour Party in the process – have defected en masse to the Brexit Party, meaning the party now controls its first council in coalition with the Tories. At least the 70% of Hartlepool residents who voted for Brexit can rely on their council backing them, unlike Remain MP Mike Hill…

The new council composition therefore is:

  • 10 Brexit Party
  • 10 Labour
  • 4 Socialist Labour
  • 3 Conservatives
  • 3 Putting Seaton First
  • 2 Independents
  • 1 For Britain

The defecting 10 met with the Brexit Party at Nigel Farage’s rally in Sedgefield two days ago, where they informed Richard Tice of their decision. Guido suspects this will be far from the last council taken over by the Brexit Party if we don’t leave on the 31st…

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Government Advertises Brexit on Remainer Podcast

The Remaniacs Podcast has reacted with fury after discovering the Government’s ‘prepare for Brexit’ ads are being broadcast in front of the latest episode.

They’ll still be getting a tidy sum from the taxpayer however…

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Labour’s Anti-Semitic Conference Line-Up

A party’s conference is their opportunity to allow members to debate policy, market their party to donors, and show the public the best of what their party has to offer. The Labour party are ensuring they tick this last box this year with a number of very questionable fringe events this year, featuring Jackie Walker and Chris Williamson.

Labour conference-goers can also look forward to a “Labour Against the Witchhunt” meeting with Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker. The problem for Labour is surely within their party these views are no longer fringe…

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Tory MPs’ People’s Vote Campaign No Longer Contains Any Tories

The second referendum campaign for Tory MPs, Right to Vote, set up by Phillip Lee, no longer contains a single Tory MP among their ranks, following multiple defections, resignations and withdrawals of the whip by the Government. Coincidentally the website and campaign have since folded…

At its height, the group contained 10 Tory MPs in its fold, however, following a record number of MPs changing party, the supposedly Conservative campaign is now led by a Lib Dem and counts four independents, one ‘The Independents’ MP and one ‘The Independent Group for Change’ MP among others. Keeping up?

The only sign the group was ever Tory-affiliated is the two remaining Tory Lords, who will be grateful that Boris said he wouldn’t withdraw the whip from any Lords supporting the Surrender Bill. A good demonstration of the change seen in British politics over the last year.

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Privileged Shami’s Hypocritical Boris Attack

In response to the Scottish Court ruling this morning on the Queen’s prorogation of parliament, Labour’s Shami Chakrabarti issued a statement saying:

“This ruling shows that, despite what Boris Johnson has spent his privileged life thinking, he is not above the law.

Labour will not allow his elitist shutdown of Parliament to enable him to dodge scrutiny and force through a disastrous no deal Brexit”

With Shami going out of her way to paint Boris as privileged, Guido thought it would be useful to remind readers of her own, self-confessed wealth…

All this confected outrage is clearly a Sham-i…

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DUP’s Policy Director Hints at Boris Bridge Support

This morning it has been reported Boris is proposing a new 12-mile bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland to mitigate the backstop. Days since last Boris bridge suggestion: 0

The DUP believes such an infrastructure project could help solve  a “major positive impact on both countries economically”. And could act as a big bung to keep them on side during tricky EU negotiations…

Fuelling speculation that the ambitious project may be imminent, the DUP’s Director of Policy, Lee Reynolds, Tweeted the link to a BBC News article about an even longer bridge entitled “China opens ‘longest’ sea bridge”. Good to see the DUP and Number 10 once again engineering civility…

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Prorogation Ruled Unlawful in Scottish High Court Appeal

The Edinburgh Court of Session has ruled prorogation Parliament unlawful on appeal. Importantly, this ruling does not cancel prorogation. The real showdown will be in the Supreme Court next week. Developing…

UPDATE: Read the full ruling here:

UPDATE II: The reason the case was brought in Scotland is that Scottish law differs hugely from English and Welsh law, particularly over constitutional matters. Expert lawyer David Allen Green puts “chances of the action succeeding in London as zero”…

“something which unconstitutional can also be unlawful in Scotland, even if held to be lawful by High Court in London”

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MPs Believe Social Media has a Negative Impact on Politics

Four in five MPs believe that public attitudes towards politicians have been changed for the worse by social media. 

Research commissioned by Vuelio, the political and media software provider, has found that MPs believe social media has a negative impact on politics, with four in five (81%) of the 137 MPs surveyed believing public attitudes towards politicians have been changed for the worse as a result of social media. The research is released at a time of heightened speculation regarding an early general election.

According to MPs, there are specific ways in which social media has damaged public engagement. Over three quarters (79%) believe social media has made it difficult for the public to source information from trustworthy sources and 78% believe it leads to people being overloaded with information. This impacts policy making, with two in five (42%) MPs believing social media has changed the policy making process for the worse, and a third (36%) believe it has changed public understanding of policy for the worse.  

While MPs believe, on balance, that social media has had negative impact on politics, they do recognise some positives. Almost half (47%) of MPs say it has improved the transparency of politics and around two in five (44%) say it has improved engagement between politicians and the public.

Joanna Arnold, CEO of Vuelio said: ‘Social media has ushered in a new era of political immediacy that is reshaping how politicians engage with the public. While recognising that social media has improved transparency, four in five MPs believe it has changed public attitudes towards politicians for the worse. The depth of concern that MPs have is a timely reminder of the risks of social media as well as the potential it has to transform political engagement.’

Read the full research results and discover how MPs are using social media – download the white paper here. 

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Corbyn Gives Up on Having a Brexit Policy

After 3 years of dithering, u-turning and total confusion, last night Jeremy Corbyn finally gave up on trying to assert a Brexit policy on the Labour Party. He conceded to offering his cabinet a free vote in a second referendum should they win power…

Corbyn will also allow his MPs to campaign on either side of his proposed referendum – granting a huge choice between remaining, and staying in the customs union and regulatory orbit of the single market.

The move comes after Emily Thornberry’s excruciating Question Time appearance last week, where she had to explain with a straight face that if Labour came to power she would help negotiate a new deal with the EU, then campaign against it to stay in.

Meanwhile, deputy party leader Tom Watson has come up with yet another excuse to vote against a general election – saying there should be a second referendum beforehand. Maybe the new strategy is to make Britons so exhausted with as many votes as possible that they don’t notice Labour’s spinelessness…

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Ed Miliband Called Geoffrey Boycott ‘My Hero’

Since the news of Theresa May’s resignation honours broke, Labour MPs have been falling over themselves to call for cricketing legend Geoffrey Boycott to have his proposed Knighthood withdrawn due to his abuse conviction.  Harriet Harman, coincidentally running for the next speaker, has been vocally touring the studios…

Labour figures haven’t always been opposed to Boycott, in 2010 Ed Miliband described the England cricketer as “my hero”, due to being attracted to the “charisma of imperfection”. Who was deputy leader under Ed Miliband? None other than Harriet Harman…

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EU Commission Wants to ‘Protect Our European Way of Life’

The EU has announced the planned structure of Ursula von der Leyen’s forthcoming Commission, with a new college of eight ‘vice-presidents’. A whole swathe of new bureaucrats to be thoroughly bored by…

One role attracting attention, however, is that given to Greece’s Margaritis Schinas who will be taking up the role of ‘Protecting our European Way of Life’, which – when clarified – will cover migration and security. Guido’s sure if Donald Trump had created a ‘protecting our way of life’ job to deal with immigration, pro-EU lefties would be losing their heads…

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Sikh Councillor Quits Labour, Saying Party is No Longer Compatible With His Faith

A Sikh councillor in Plymouth has quit the Labour Party, saying membership is no longer compatible with his faith. This follows Labour becoming the second ever political party to be formally investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, after the BNP…

In his  resignation letter, Cllr Chaz Singh said his decision to resign was “based upon the fact that I believe that my continued membership is no longer compatible with my faith” saying concerns he had voiced had not been “addressed properly” by local party officials.  His decision embarrassingly undermining Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi’s PMQs rant last week about Boris’s Burqa comments…

Later on Twitter, Singh claimed two more BAME UK Labour members in Plymouth have cancelled their membership. Local MP Luke Pollard has called for the newly-independent councillor to resign – rather than address Singh’s concerns with the Labour Party…

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See all of Theresa May’s Resignation Honours

Following her resignation six weeks ago, Theresa May’s resignation honours have now been announced. Read them all below…

Peerages

Theresa May’s Nominations (Conservative)

  • Rt Hon. Gavin Barwell, former Chief of Staff to Theresa May
  • David Brownlow CVI DL, Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party
  • Stephen Parkinson, Political Secretary and former SpAd to the Home Office
  • Joanna Penn, Deputy Chief of Staff and former SpAd to the Home Office
  • Elizabeth Sanderson, Former SpAd to Theresa May in No. 10 and the Home Office

Theresa May’s Nominations (Crossbench)

  • Sir Simon Woolley, Founder and Director of Operation Black Vote
  • Ruth Hunt, Former Chief Executive of Stonewall

Conservative Party Nominations

  • Zameer Choudrey CBE, Chairman of Conservative Friends of Pakistan and Chief Executive of Bestway Group
  • (Henry) Byron Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Conservatives and former MP for Gower
  • Raminder Ranger CBE, Chairman of Conservative Friends of India

Labour Party Nominations

  • Christine Blower, Former General Secretary of NUT
  • John Hendy QC, Barrister and Honorary Professor at UCL
  • Cllr. Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council

Green Party Nominations

  • Natalie Bennett, Former Leader of the Green Party

Non-Affiliated Peerages

  • John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw and Government Antisemitism Advisor
  • Margaret Ritchie, Former leader of the SDLP and MP for South Down

Crossbench Nominations

  • Harold Carter CB, General Counsel, No. 10
  • Rt Hon. Lady Justice Hallett, VP of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division
  • Sir (Nigel) Kim Darroch KCMG, Former Ambassador to the US and National Security Adviser

Other Honours

Order of the Companions of Honour (CH)

  • Rt Hon. Sir Patrick Mcloughlin MP, MP for Derbyshire Dales and former Chairman of the Conservative Party

Knight/Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG)

  • George Hollingbery MP, MP for Meon Valley and former Minister of State for Trade Policy and Former PPS to the PM
  • Oliver Robbins CB, Theresa May’s former Europe Advisor and Chief Brexit Negotiator

Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB)

  • Rt Hon. David Lidington CBE, MP for Aylesbury and former Deputy PM
  • Peter Storr CB, Former European Adviser to the PM

Knight/Dame Commander (KBE)

  • Cressida Dick CBE QPM, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service
  • Charles Walker OBE, MP for Broxbourne and Chairman of the House of Commons Procedure Committee

Knighthood (KT)

  • Geoffrey Boycott OBE, Former captain of the English National Cricket Team
  • Ashley Fox, Former MEP for the South West and Gibraltar and leader of the Conservative delegation in the European Parliament
  • Robbie Gibb, Former Director of Communications at Downing Street
  • Andrew Strauss OBE, Former Captain of the English National Cricket Team
  • Ehud Sheleg, Treasurer of the Conservative Party

Companion of the Order of Bath (CB)

  • Peter Hill, PPS to the Prime Minister and former Director of Strategy at the FCO
  • (David) Jackson Carlaw MSP, MSP for Eastwood and Interim Leader of the Scottish Conservatives
  • Ian Gallen, Consultant physician and endocrinologist at Royal Berkshire Hospital
  • Fiona Hill, Former Joint Chief of Staff to Theresa May
  • Richard Jackson MBE, Former Head of Operations at Downing Street
  • Rt Hon. Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth and Minister of State at the Home Office, former Tory Party Chair
  • James Marshall, Former director of the PM’s No. 10 Policy Unit
  • James Slack, PM’s Official Spokesman
  • Rt Hon. Julian Smith, MP for Skipton & Ripon, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and former Chief Whip
  • Nicholas Timothy, Former Joint Chief of Staff to Theresa May

Order of the British Empire (OBE)

  • Kirsty Buchanan, Director of Communications and MHCLG and former No. 10 SpAd
  • Victoria Busby, Former Director for Events & Visits at No. 10
  • Keelan Carr, Former Director of Research and Messaging at No. 10 and SpAd
  • Alexander Dawson, Former Director of Researcher and Messaging at No. 10
  • Philip Dumville, Agent to Maidenhead, Beaconsfield and Chesham & Amersham Conservative Associations
  • Paul Harrison, Former Press Secretary to the PM
  • Hon. Caroline Haughey QC, Barrister, Furnival Chambers and Independent Reviewer of the Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Seema Kennedy, MP for South Ribble and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office. Former PPS to the PM. 
  • Matilda Macattram, Founder and Director, Black Mental Health UK
  • James McLoughlin, Former SpAd to the PM on Business Relations
  • Dr. Deborah Milligan, GP at Swallowfield Medical Practice
  • Raoul Ruparel, Former SpAd to the PM and DExEu
  • William Vereker, Former Business Envoy to the PM

Member of the British Empire (MBE)

  • David Beckingham, Political Adviser at No. 10
  • Clare Brunton, Private secretary to the PM
  • Eleanor Nicholson, Former Deputy Director of the Cabinet Office Europe Unit Secretariat
  • Jennifer Sharkey, Executive Secretary to Theresa May

British Empire Medal (BEM)

  • Graham Howarth, Head Chef to the Chequers Estate
  • Debra Wheatley, Housekeeper at 10 Downing Street

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Swinson More Popular than Corbyn With Labour 2017 Voters

New Opinium approval ratings for party leaders has shown that Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson is 8% higher than Corbyn… among Labour’s 2017 voters. 

The news of this reality was responded to by utter disbelief by members of the Absolute Boy’s Fan club, naturally.

By comparison, Tory 2017 voters are very much behind the Prime Minister, on +43pts. Versus Corbyn’s -85…

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John Bercow to Stand Down

In perhaps the best news for Brexiteers since Boris became PM, the constitution-wrecker-in-chief, John Bercow has announced he will be standing down as speaker and an MP at the next election, following news the Tories were planning on fielding a candidate against him…

If an election passes tonight, he’ll stand down immediately. If not he’ll hang up his golden robes on the 31st October.

The man who’s done more than anyone to up-end Britain’s political institutions to suit his own aims announced his intention in the Commons just now via a personal statement, watched on by his wife Sally from the Gallery. Good riddance

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Remain MPs Demand SpAds Handover Private Messages

In a last-minute desperate attempt to prevent prorogation, remain MPs have submitted a request for a Humble Address motion – an archaic procedure only used three times since 1866 – to force certain Special Advisers to handover their personal and private communications sent via Facebook, Whatsapp, iMessage, and private email, among other methods. A disturbing invasion of privacy…

It will be up to John Bercow to grant the debate, which will then require a vote, that if passed has been targeted at Government officials, some who have barely spent two weeks in their job:

  • Hugh Bennett
  • Simon Burton
  • Dominic Cummings
  • Nikki da Costa
  • Tom Irven
  • Sir Roy Stone
  • Christopher James
  • Lee Cain
  • Beatrice Timpson

And will include all communications relating to operation Yellowhammer sent via WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook Messenger, private email accounts – both encrypted and unencrypted – text messages and iMessage. How the Remainer MPs will determine which messages are related or unrelated to Yellowhammer, or who will sift through the private contents of these personal devices is unknown.

We already know Cummings doesn’t believe MPs have the right to hand over this information, so be braced for another huge bust-up between Parliament and No. 10. Jokes on Remainer MPs when they find out Downing Street have exclusively been using the Matt Hancock app to communicate over the last couple of months…

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Rudd Was Not on No. 10 Negotiation Committees

When Amber Rudd resigned on Saturday night, she offered the explanation that there is “insufficient planning for a deal” by Downing Street. The only flaw with this explanation is that Amber Rudd did not sit on a single one of No. 10’s Brexit committees. So she was not privy to negotiating information…

Rudd attended neither Downing Street’s strategic Brexit ‘XS’ committees chaired by Boris, nor did she regularly attend the daily Brexit operations ‘XO’ meetings chaired by Michael Gove. Unsurprisingly, big leaky cabinet meeting don’t deal with the particulars of negotiation. Is it any wonder Rudd wasn’t knowledgable about the Government’s negotiating strategy..?

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Parliament to be Prorogued This Evening

Downing Street has confirmed Parliament is to be prorogued after the close of business tonight, with MPs to return on the 14th October for a Queen’s Speech.

The Queen’s original order allowed Boris to pick any time between today and the 12th. Hilariously, Bercow has to announce the prorogation order in Parliament, which he won’t be too pleased about…

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Strong July Growth as Recession Threat Dies

Threats of a recession in the UK have faded after the UK economy showed solid growth in July. Defying remainer expectations.

As the BBC’s Economics Editor, Faisal Islam, concedes, “strongly suggesting [a] return to growth in Q3, albeit Q3 hasn’t finished yet – so recession not looking likely”.

The 0.5% growth rate – driven greatly by construction growth – comes after a 0.2% contraction in the second quarter of the year, and marks the strongest month of growth since January. 0.3% growth is three times higher than predicted – expect more economic predictions to be defied over the coming months…

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