With wannabe MPs of all parties squabbling over a rapidly evaporating pool of winnable selections, the race is hotting for the safe Tory seat of Havant — and so are the negative briefings.
Now that the hopefuls have been whittled down to four, supporters of other candidates have decided to remind everyone that one of their rivals, the shortlisted Alan Mak, was forced to quit his position at the Cambridge Union — and the race for its presidency — after he was accused of forging an invoice for, errr, £100 of paper plates and cutlery.
Speaking to student paper Varsity at the time, outgoing CU president Will Gallagher, whose friend Kate Steadmansucceeded him days later, said:
“I don’t think you forge an invoice by mistake, there is no place for corruption in the union.”
But something tells Scrapbook that Gallagher and Steadman won’t be commenting on the record this time:
As for ‘paper plate fraud’, Mak strongly denies the historic claims, telling Scrapbook:
”The allegations made 11 years ago in a student newspaper are untrue. I made an honest mistake, which I apologised for at the time and which was accepted and the matter was closed.”
Good to see the candidates and their supporters have moved on since 2003. Errrrr …
Here’s a graph comparing results from two surveys: the proportion of MPs who think they are trusted by their constituents — versus the proportion of the general public who trust their MP to represent them in parliament:
Well at least the mistrust is mutual. Nick Clegg’s so-called ‘Recall Bill’ will only allow constituents to sack crap MPs if a committee of their Commons colleagues says it’s okay first!
A comment article on 13 August about the European Court of Human Rights said that the supply of heroin and gay porn to prisoners was now a ‘right’.
We are happy to clarify that this was not meant to be taken seriously and is not the case.
While Viscount Rothermere keeps a veritable stable of columnists capable of such bile, congratulations to those that guessed the original piece was spewed forth by Richard Littlejohn:
An earlier version of this article was amended to make clear that not all prisoners’ claims to be allowed voting rights were made ten years ago. Earlier versions also carried a joking reference to the ‘right’ to heroin and gay porn behind bars. A clarification pointing out that this was not meant seriously was published on 29 September 2014.
Some clearly struggle to differentiate fact from fiction — which may explain why they’re reading the Mail in the first place.
Tory toff Jacob Rees Mogg has been in talks with the treasurer of UKIP — plotting to block government policy using the courts. The Telegraphreports that millionaire Stuart Wheeler met with the Somerset MP in the Commons over plans to bring a judicial review against the implementation of the European Arrest Warrant.
Rees Mogg has already suggested that Nigel Farage could be given a seat in government.
This latest embarrassment to David Cameron looks to be part of a trend for Tory MPs to openly defying his authority. Appearing on Newsnight earlier this month, Essex MP John Baron refused to rule out crossing the floor to UKIP, stating that he would “never say never”.
This week two other Tory backbenchers — Peter Tapsell and Zac Goldsmith — were the ones to introduce defector Douglas Carswell to the Commons as a UKIP MP (VIDEO):
“Stuart Agnew MEP will recall how he was initially seduced, then financially raped; describe how the climate scare developed, produce some inconvenient truths, de-toxify CO2, recall ‘climategate’ and challenge the IPCC.
Agnew already has form, having landed himself in hot water over remarks that women with babies ‘lack ambition to get to the top’.
Scrapbook is trying to establish whether the provenance of this particular comment lies with Agnew’s office or the conference organisers.
Either way, one wonders what ‘event partners’ the Environment Agency think of their logo being displayed prominently alongside such a reference.
UPDATE: The conference organisers have blamed Agnew’s office …
“We did not write this it, was sent in by Stuart Agnew’s office an unfortunately uploaded to our website in bulk with 30 other seminar contents and this particular speaker’s content was not spotted. We have removed this from our programme the instant we realised, and are implementing much stronger checking processes from now onwards.
The political future of DWP minister Lord Freud hangs in the balance this afternoon — after Labour ambushed the Tories with a recording in which he suggests that disabled people are “not worth the full [minimum] wage”.
The details were released just before PMQs — with Miliband duly challenging David Cameron to sack the millionaire minister.
Scrapbook doesn’t expect to win any popularity contests for pointing this out, but in response David Cameron clearly referenced his disabled son Ivan, who tragically died in 2009 at just six years of age:
“I don’t need lectures from anyone about looking after disabled people. So I don’t want to hear any more of that.”
This comes exactly two weeks after the prime minister invoked his son’s memory as a backstop against criticism of his NHS policiesduring conference season.
New Statesman and Guardian writer Alex Andreou in 2012:
“Last week David Cameron referred to baby Ivan during Prime Minister’s Questions again. It was the sixth or seventh time he has done so, either obliquely or directly, in response to difficult questions about the NHS or welfare or disability benefits.
“In last week’s PMQs Cameron was asked by Dame Joan Ruddock about cutting the benefits to one of her constituents – a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. In his response he denied that the benefits available to disabled children were being cut (a distinct untruth with regard to new claimants as explained in this factcheck) and continued: “As someone who has actually filled out the form for disability allowance and had a child with cerebral palsy, I know how long it takes to fill in that form.”
“No reference to the girl about whom the question was; no offer to look into her case; no attempt to answer the question. Only an out-of-context reference to Cameron’s dead child, offered as irrefutable proof that his reforms must be right and implied rebuke for daring to question them.
‘My son was disabled. This means your criticism of my government is improper.’