Tag Archives: confidence

Labour NEC challenged to hold ‘no confidence’ vote against Keir Starmer

Smug: Starmer can afford to look complacent, despite the call for a ‘no confidence’ vote, because it seems unlikely that Labour HQ will allow it to happen.

It won’t happen, of course – the centrists are digging themselves in deep and won’t let annoying facts get in their way.

But it is definitely worth your while to know that Momentum members Camden – all members of the Labour Party – have demanded that the party’s National Executive Committee call a vote of ‘no confidence’ in party leader Keir Starmer – their own MP.

The motion, passed on July 24, states that Starmer:

  • Took no immediate action against those former staff members whose racism, sexism, and ableism was exposed in the leaked report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
  • Reversed the overwhelming vote at Conference against the occupation of Kashmir, giving free reign to Prime Minister Modi’s imposition of martial law and spreading persecution of Muslims in India.
  • Downplayed the international Black Lives Matter movement as “a moment”, and labelled as “nonsense” the demand to defund the police in favour of greater community investment.
  • Kept in his Cabinet Rachel Reeves who joined Boris Johnson and other Tories in praising Lady Astor, a well-known Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite, while firing Rebecca Long-Bailey for retweeting a reference to Israeli training of US police – a fact which he described as an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”.
  • Said he “supports Zionism without qualification” and called attacks on Apartheid Israel “antisemitic”. In so doing he links all Jewish people with the crimes of a particular state – the very essence of anti-Semitism.
  • Refused to hold this Tory government accountable for its handling of the pandemic, making Labour complicit in a per capita death rate which is the second highest in the world and which has disproportionately affected people of colour.

This Writer expects the motion to get short shrift from the now-devoutly-centrist party hierarchy.

Starmer may find a procedural problem that means it can be dismissed as out of order.

Or, even if it comes to a vote, party apparatchiks may make excuses to disqualify hundreds of thousands of party members from voting.

What will happen? We’ll find out soon.

Source: Labour civil war: Sir Keir Starmer faces a vote of ‘no confidence’ from his own Camden Left-wing members – Labour Heartlands

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John Mann may go against his party in a ‘no confidence’ vote. Bassetlaw Labour: DESELECT

John Mann.

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, is the liar who accused Ken Livingstone of saying “Hitler was a Zionist” when he had said no such thing. It practically kicked off the so-called “Labour anti-Semitism crisis” that he and others have been stoking ever since.

Now it seems he would rather support Boris Johnson’s government than see his own party arrange a practical solution to another crisis – Brexit.

This man is no representative of the Labour Party and while Bassetlaw party members may think he is a good constituency MP (I don’t know; they may not) I’m sure plenty of other party members may manage the same while being excellent party representatives as well.

Here he is disgracing himself on LBC:

The process by which MPs may be deselected by their constituency parties has been simplified and I would certainly encourage party members in Bassetlaw to start it now.

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Back Labour’s ‘caretaker’ government after Johnson loses confidence vote – demand

Over-run: This graffito shows Jeremy Corbyn, having already run down David Cameron and Theresa May on his bike, in the act of doing the same to Boris Johnson.

Opposition parties will be challenged to put the good of the nation before their own ambitions if Labour wins a ‘no confidence’ vote against Boris Johnson’s government next month.

Political opponents of Mr Corbyn have suggested that a so-called ‘Government of National Unity’ could be formed if BoJob loses such a vote, but shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour would not support it.

This means the plan should fail, as too few MPs would support it.

Instead, Mr McDonnell said Labour would demand the keys to 10 Downing Street from Mr Johnson and he would personally put Mr Corbyn in a cab to Buckingham Palace, to tell the Queen that Labour would take over.

And he issued a challenge to members of other Opposition parties:

The shadow chancellor said that if the Conservative leader failed to quit he would not “want to drag the Queen into this but [he] would be sending Jeremy Corbyn in a cab to Buckingham Palace to say ‘we’re taking over’”.

Ruling out any deals with the Liberal Democrats or the Scottish National party, McDonnell said the only guarantee to other opposition parties would be to block a no-deal Brexit and organise a fresh EU referendum.

“That means no coalitions or pacts, we just put it there [and] I think people of goodwill who are concerned about the interests of this country, about avoiding a no-deal Brexit, will vote for it,” he said.

The challenge will be particularly strong for the Liberal Democrats, whose new leader Jo Swinson has ruled out co-operating with Labour, claiming that Mr Corbyn is “unfit” to be prime minister.

But her party has framed itself as the champion of voters who wish to remain in the European Union and failure to support Mr Corbyn in a confidence vote would indicate support for a “no-deal” Brexit instead.

Of course there is also the question of whether the Queen would dismiss Mr Johnson if he refused to resign as prime minister voluntarily.

It is within her power but opinion is divided as to whether she would, with some saying it would only happen if the House of Commons indicated clearly who was to be prime minister in his place.

And this creates a challenge for all Opposition parties, and for potential Conservative rebels as well – as they are unlikely to want a man they have consistently described as a “hard-left Marxist” taking office.

But Mr McDonnell said Labour would form only a caretaker government while a “no-deal” Brexit is averted and a general election arranged.

Will this be enough to persuade MPs to back a “no confidence” vote in Boris Johnson? We’ll see. The clock is ticking.

Source: Corbyn should tell Queen ‘we’re taking over’ if Johnson loses confidence vote, says McDonnell | Politics | The Guardian

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What will Tories do if Theresa May refuses to say when she’ll quit as PM? Strike?

Hilarious: Conservatives used up all their “no confidence” options in supporting Mrs May. Now they want her to go but have no way of ejecting her.

The UK’s anti-trade union party might end up adopting trade union tactics to rid itself of its unwanted leader if all else fails.

Tories are holding an emergency meeting of the National Conservative Convention on June 15, when around 800 senior Tory activists will vote on a “no confidence” motion against Theresa May.

But the vote will be non-binding. The Conservative Party blew its chance to force Mrs May out when MPs supported her during party and Parliamentary “no confidence” votes in December 2018 and January this year.

So, if she refuses to be pushed out, what will they do?

It seems the only options left to them are those used by trade unions – tactics which Tories have loudly and consistently deplored.

Perhaps we’ll see them impose a “work to rule” protest in which ministers will only be in their offices from 9am until 5pm. That would be amusing, considering Parliament often sits until 10pm or later.

Maybe they’ll even go on strike. That would be very exciting, wouldn’t it?

The chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 committee, Sir Graham Brady, is already being described as a “shop steward” (see below). I wonder how he feels about that?

The whole fiasco highlights the hypocrisy of the Tory position – not simply in having supported Mrs May for the sake of holding onto power, which was the meaning of the December and January confidence votes.

It also shows the poverty of their argument against unions, now that union-style behaviour is all that is left to them.

Tory activists have confirmed the date for an unprecedented new no-confidence vote against Theresa May.

The ballot of around 800 activists will be held on Saturday 15 June, local chiefs have been told.

The vote will not be binding, but activists believe it will pile pressure on the Prime Minister to quit.

She is already meeting Sir Graham Brady, the shop steward for Tory MPs, today as pressure mounts for her to name a date for her departure.

The vote will be held at an emergency meeting of the National Conservative Convention, the forum for senior Conservative activists across the country.

It was triggered after more than 65 chairmen and women of local Tory associations signed a petition demanding the summit.

Source: Date CONFIRMED for Tory activists’ no confidence vote against Theresa May – Mirror Online

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Was Sunday Times smear timed to influence Jewish Labour Movement confidence vote on Corbyn?

Jeremy Corbyn is clearly not an enemy of the Jewish people.

Of course it was. We are looking at a co-ordinated campaign of disinformation about Labour and its leader.

In case you’ve been living under a rock since around 11pm on April 6: The Sunday Times has published another smear piece claiming a link between Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism. I debunked it immediately (here) and now the Labour Party has also attacked the article as a load of nonsense.

According to a Guardian report, “Labour said the figures… were not accurate and that lines had been selectively leaked from emails to misrepresent their overall contents.”

This corresponds exactly with the way the author of the Sunday Times article, Gabriel Pogrund, treated me when he smeared me in a piece in February last year.

I have to admit I am not wholly sympathetic to Labour as regards this defence, because the party is guilty of using the same practice – selectively quoting information – to create a false impression that I was an anti-Semite (from which Mr Pogrund took his cue when he wrote his piece about me, although he also altered the material to fabricate another false claim).

It would be easy to ask how party representatives feel, now that the shoe is on the other foot.

It would be satisfying to point out that this is what happens when you try to appease an aggressor by giving in to its claims and helping persecute innocent people.

And in the run-up to the Jewish Labour Movement’s annual general meeting, at which members are expected to support a vote of “no confidence” in Mr Corbyn, I think it is important that the Labour leadership be made aware of its huge blunder and the harm it has done to innocent people and the party’s own good name.

The Guardian quotes shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti pleading with the JLM “to stay in the Labour movement and to tackle racism together, not to personalise it and make it about Jeremy Corbyn, because he is one person and he won’t be leader forever”. Wrong!

Although it is the Labour Party’s official Jewish affiliate, the JLM does not require its members to be Jewish, or even to be members of the Labour Party. It is a huge security risk to Labour as it provides an opportunity for supporters of other political organisations to infiltrate and sabotage Labour affairs.

One example of this is the way JLM members have secretly and unethically recorded Labour members during events at party conferences in 2016 and 2017, at which those members had the right to expect confidentiality, in order to falsely accuse those members. Why on Earth would anybody do this?

It is clear that the Jewish Labour Movement has a different agenda from that of the Labour Party and it is time the organisation was expelled.

There are far more appropriate alternative organisations that could take over as the party’s official Jewish affiliate. Jewish Voice for Labour represents Jewish people who are members of the Labour Party exclusively – no entryists – and is far more appropriate as a representative of Jewish Labour views.

If you’re still unconvinced that The Sunday Times and the Jewish Labour Movement are trying to spread false claims that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite and that the Labour Party under him is rife with anti-Semitism, perhaps you should consider Mr Corbyn’s record. Feel free to check the following facts for yourself, if you like:

1. In October 1936, Jeremy Corbyn’s mother participated in the battle of Cable Street in defence of British Jews after British fascists had staged an assault on the area. Corbyn was raised in a household passionately opposed to antisemitism in all its forms.

2. In 23rd April 1977, Corbyn organised a counter-demonstration to protect Wood Green from a neo-nazi march through the district. The area had a significant Jewish population.

3. On 7 November 1990, Corbyn signed a motion condemning the rise of antisemitism in the UK

4. In 2002 Jeremy Corbyn led a clean-up and vigil at Finsbury Park Synagogue which had been vandalised in an anti-Semitic attack

5. On 30 April 2002, Corbyn tabled a motion in the House of Commons condemning an anti-Semitic attack on a London Synagogue

6. On 26 November 2003, Jeremy Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning terrorist attacks on two synagogues

7. In February 2009, Jeremy Corbyn signed a parliamentary motion condemning a fascist for establishing a website to host antisemitic materials

8. On 24th March 2009, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising British Jews who resisted the Holocaust by risking their lives to save potential victims

9. Nine years ago, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising “Jewish News”for its pioneering investigation into the spread of antisemitism on Facebook

10. On 9 February 2010, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion calling for an investigation into Facebook and its failure to prevent the spread of antisemitic materials on its site.

11. On 27 October 2010, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising the late Israeli Prime Minister for pursuing a two state solution to the Israel/Palestine question.

12. On 13 June 2012, Corbyn sponsored and signed a motion condemning the BBC for cutting a Jewish Community television programme from its schedule.

13. 1 October 2013, Corbyn appeared on the BBC to defend Ralph Miliband against vile antisemitic attacks by the UK press.

14. Five years ago Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning antisemitism in sport.

15. On 1 March 2013, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion condemning and expressing concern at growing levels of antisemitism in European football.

16. On 9 January 2014, Jeremy Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion praising Holocaust education programmes that had taken 20,000 British students to Auschwitz.

17. On 22 June 2015, Corbyn signed a Parliamentary motion expressing concern at the neo-nazi march being planned for an area of London with a significant Jewish population.

18. On 9 October 2016, Corbyn, close to tears, commemorated the 1936 Battle of Cable Street and recalled the role his mother played in defending London’s Jewish community.

19. On 3 December 2016, Corbyn made a visit to Terezin Concentration Camp where Jewish people were murdered by the Nazis. It was Jeremy’s third visit to such a camp, all of which were largely unreported in the most read UK papers.

20. Last year, a widely-endorsed 2018 academic report found ninety-five serious reporting failures in the reporting of the Labour antisemitism story with the worst offenders The Sun, the Mail & the BBC.

21. On 28 February 2016, five months after becoming leader, Jeremy Corbyn appointed Baroness Royall to investigate antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club.

22. On 27 April 2016 Corbyn suspended an MP pending an investigation into antisemitism.

23. A day later, Corbyn suspended the three times Mayor of London after complaints of antisemitic comments.

24. On 29 April 2016, Corbyn launched an inquiry into the prevalence of antisemitism in the Labour Party. In spite of later changes in how the inquiry was reported, it was initially praised by Jewish community organisations.

25. In Corbyn’s first seven months as leader of the Labour Party, just ten complaints were received about antisemitism. 90% of those were suspended from the Labour Party within 24 hours.

26. In September 2017, Corbyn backed a motion at Labour’s annual conference introducing a new set of rules regarding antisemitism.

27. In the six months that followed the introduction of the new code of conduct, to March 2018, 94% of the fifty-four people accused of antisemitism remained suspended or barred from Labour Party membership. Three of the fifty-four were exonerated.

28. When Jennie Formby became general secretary of the party last year, she appointed a highly-qualified in-house Counsel, as recommended in the Chakrabarti Report.

29. In 2018, Labour almost doubled the size of its staff team handling investigations and dispute processes.

30. Last year, to speed up the handling of antisemitism cases, smaller panels of 3-5 NEC members were established to enable cases to be heard more quickly.

31. Since 2018, every complaint made about antisemitism is allocated its own independent specialist barrister to ensure due process is followed.

32. The entire backlog of cases outstanding upon Jennie Formby becoming General Secretary of the Labour Party was cleared within 6 months of Jennie taking up her post.

33. Since September 2018, Labour has doubled the size of its National Constitutional Committee (NCC) – its senior disciplinary panel – from 11 to 25 members to enable it to process cases more quickly.

34. Under Formby and Labour’s left-run NEC, NCC arranged elections at short notice to ensure the NCC reached its new full capacity without delay.

35. Since later 2018, the NCC routinely convenes a greater number of hearing panels to allow cases to be heard and finalised without delay.

36. In 2018, the NEC established a ‘Procedures Working Group’ to lead reforms in the way disciplinary cases are handled.

37. The NEC adopted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and all eleven examples of antisemitism attached to it.

38. A rule change agreed at Conference in 2018 means that all serious complaints, including antisemitism, are dealt with nationally to ensure consistency.

39. Last year, Jennie Formby wrote to the admins and moderators of Facebook groups about how they can effectively moderate online spaces and requested that any discriminatory content be reported to the Labour Party for investigation.

40. Since last year, no one outside Labour’s Governance and Legal Unit can be involved in decision-making on antisemitism investigations. This independence allows decisions free from political influence to be taken.

Is that clear enough for everyone?


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Seven things we learned from Theresa May’s ‘confidence’ vote

Theresa May: Thanks to Conservative MPs, we’ve all been stuck with lame duck for Christmas. And we’ll all be stuffed!

Theresa May – now a lame duck prime minister – hauled herself out onto the steps of 10 Downing Street to make a statement after winning a ‘confidence’ vote in her leadership, held by Conservative MPs.

It wasn’t convincing – but then, neither was her victory. She won by a margin of just 83 votes. Of those who voted for her, 139 were members of the government and were voting to keep themselves in higher-paying jobs. She had support from only around one-third of backbenchers.

And support for her Brexit deal in Parliament can be seen to stand at just 200 votes – although this may change, depending on the corruptibility of MPs’ opinions.

Here’s Graham Brady, announcing the result, followed by Mrs May’s statement:

https://twitter.com/rosskempsell/status/1072967308849676300

So what have we learned from the vote? Consider the following:

1. Mrs May gained four votes fewer than Margaret Thatcher in 1990. Thatcher resigned, but May has said she is determined to continue*.

The vote shows fewer Tory backbenchers support Mrs May than supported John Major when he faced a confidence vote.

By the way, the ConservativeHome website conducted a snap survey of party members that revealed two-thirds of them want Mrs May replaced as leader:

https://twitter.com/Ollie4themany/status/1072960620205670405

2. She only won the votes she had by promising to resign before the next general election*, which suggests that far fewer Tory MPs have real confidence in her leadership than was demonstrated by the result of the ballot.

3. She restored the party whip to two MPs who had been suspended because of sexual misconduct – and allegations of the same. This shows she remains capable of huge failures of judgement.

4. Her Brexit deal is dead; she can only muster 200 votes for it, from among 650 MPs.

… Or is it? Remember, Tories are notorious for lying and going back on their claims. Mrs May has a little time with which to bribe her rebellious backbenchers.

On the other hand…

5. Brexiters in the Conservative Party are a bunch of hypocrites.

But this does not help Mrs May as they oppose her. Mr Rees-Mogg has already stated that he hopes Mrs May will resign:

6. She has given the Democratic Unionist Party another reason to ditch the ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement that keeps her government in office.

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1072966961624219656

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1072959949205061632

Add it all together and there’s only one conclusion possible:

7. Winning the confidence vote was the worst result Mrs May could have had.

It will be interesting to see if she does bring her deal back to Parliament next week.

If not, the result will be worse for her.

*I know: What Mrs May says and what she does are two separate things. We’ll have to see whether this is yet another of the lies for which this clergyman’s daughter has now become notorious.

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Listen and watch as two British comedy greats skewer Theresa May and Brexit


Legends of British comedy have lined up to deal staggering blows to Theresa May and her plan for the UK to leave the European Union, as MPs prepare to vote on it.

Mike Harding used to be all over TV and the radio when I was younger, but seemed to have taken a step back from broadcasting in recent years.

That changed when a letter he wrote to prime minister Theresa May, in response to her missive to the nation demanding our support, went viral.

It’s a powerful piece – listen to the author reading it, if you don’t believe me – he recorded it for LBC’s James O’Brien. I’ll copy the text below.

The other comedy legend who slammed Brexit this weekend is Stephen Fry.

He shared an 11-minute animated video on YouTube and Twitter, detailing “the story of how a mythical EU dragon was conjured up” and outlining the “myths” that were spread by the campaign to leave the EU.

Here it is:

These attacks on Mrs May and Brexit – both of which have gone viral, gaining huge popularity with the general public – are critically important at this time.

Today (December 3), Parliament will find out whether Mrs May can be bothered to honour a binding vote by MPs, demanding in the name of the Queen that she make available all legal advice given to her on her Brexit plan.

Failure to provide the information will trigger proceedings against Mrs May and her government for contempt of Parliament, which used to be a serious matter but may now be worth very little.

More importantly: If she refuses, we will take this as tacit admission that the advice suggests her plan is not only bad, but disastrous.

That may be vital in swaying MPs to vote against it in the “meaningful vote” on the Brexit plan, to take place next week (December 11? 12? Thereabouts).

The information provided here by Messrs Harding and Fry could be instrumental in helping swing MPs against Mrs May’s plan – if you, as constituents, send it to your MPs in support of your own call for them to vote it down (assuming that this is what you want. If you support the plan, you’ll have to find your own supporting information. Good luck with that).

If the plan is voted down – and some commentators are suggesting that Mrs May could lose by a margin of as many as 400 votes – then Labour will demand a vote of “no confidence” in the government.

It seems the Conservative government is exerting pressure on its local party memberships to demand that MPs support the plan:

Ultimately, it may be a matter of reminding all our Parliamentarians that their behaviour will be a matter for discussion by future historians. The names of all those who take part in these crucial votes will be recorded – and may be vilified if the decision they take proves to be as disastrous as Messrs Harding and Fry suggest.

Does any MP – even the most spineless of the party faithful – want to be remembered as a toady who brought ruin down on the country?

I suppose we’ll find out in the very near future. We’ll have the names of all such representatives – if that’s the right word for them – before Christmas.

I don’t think there will be many, though. I think the arguments against the plan are persuasive, and that MPs will accept the need for a change of government rather than risking everything for the weakest and worst prime minister in living memory.

It would be ironic if a couple of comedians were responsible for swaying such a serious matter – but it would also be quintessentially British. Let’s make it so.

Here’s the text of Mr Harding’s letter – from the LBC website:

“Dear Mrs May,

“I am in France having a break having come here on the train all the way from Settle. I just read your letter to me and the rest of Britain wanting us all to unite behind the damp squib you call a deal. Unite? I laughed so much the mouthful of frogs legs I was eating ended up dancing all over the bald head of the bloke on the opposite table.

“Your party’s little civil war has divided this country irreparably. The last time this happened Cromwell discontinued the custom of kings wearing their heads on their shoulders.

“I had a mother who was of Irish descent, an English father who lies in a Dutch graveyard in the village where his Lancaster bomber fell in flames. I had a Polish stepfather who drove a tank for us in WW2 and I have two half Polish sisters and a half Polish brother who is married to a girl from Donegal.

“My two uncles of Irish descent fought for Britain in N Africa and in Burma.

“So far you have called us Citizens Of Nowhere and Queue Jumpers. You have now taken away our children and grandchildren’s freedom to travel, settle, live and work in mainland Europe.

“You have made this country a vicious and much diminished place. You as Home Sec sent a van round telling foreigners to go home. You said “ illegal” but that was bollocks as the legally here people of the Windrush generation soon discovered.

“Your party has sold off our railways, water, electricity, gas, telecoms, Royal Mail etc until all we have left is the NHS and that is lined up for the US to have as soon as Hannon and Hunt can arrange it.

“You have lied to the people of this country. You voted Remain yet changed your tune when the chance to grab the job of PM came. You should have sacked those lying bastards Gove and Bojo but daren’t because you haven’t the actual power.

“You have no answer to the British border on the island of Ireland nor do you know how the Gib border with Spain will work once we are out.

“Mrs May you have helped to divide this country to such an extent that families and friends are now no longer talking to each other, you have managed to negotiate a deal far worse than the one we had and all to keep together a party of millionaires, Eton Bullingdon boys, spivs and WI harridans. Your party conserves nothing. It has sold everything off in the name of the free market.

“You could have kept our industries going with investment and development – Germany managed it. But no – The Free Market won so Sunderland, Barnsley, Hamilton etc could all go to the devil.

“So Mrs May my answer to your plea for unity is firstly that it is ridiculous.

“48% of us will never forgive you for Brexit and secondly, of the 52% that voted for it many will not forgive you for not giving them what your lying comrades like Rees Mogg and Fox promised them.

“There are no unicorns, there is no £350 million extra for the NHS. The economy will tank and there will be less taxes to help out the poor. We have 350,000 homeless (not rough sleepers – homeless) in one of the richest countries on Earth and you are about to increase that number with your damn fool Brexit.

“The bald man has wiped the frogs legs of his head, I’ve bought him a glass of wine to say sorry; I’m typing this with one finger on my phone in France and I’m tired now and want to stop before my finger gets too tired to join the other one in a sailors salute to you and your squalid Brexit, your shabby xenophobia and Little Englander mentality.

“Two fingers to you and your unity from this proud citizen of nowhere. I and roughly half the country will never forgive you or your party.

“Yours,

“Mike Harding.”

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It’s a Tory total collapse as they are forced to accept every Labour amendment to the Budget

Labour could have moved that the Treasury be re-named “Philip Hammond is a dunce” and the government would probably have agreed to it.

Too harsh? Well, let’s be satisfied with the amendments to the Finance Bill on tax evasion, gaming duty and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals – and with the promise that there is worse to follow for Theresa May and her cronies.

She had to capitulate because, if a vote had been taken and she lost, it would have been considered proof that her government does not have the confidence of the Commons. By convention, any government in such a position should resign and allow the main Opposition party a chance to form an administration.

Instead, Mrs May is now the head of a minority government, critically vulnerable to collapse if the Opposition parties demand a vote of “no confidence”, because the Democratic Unionist Party has withdrawn its support over her disastrous Brexit agreement with the EU.

As Mrs May is determined to have her deal or no deal, and the DUP’s MPs believe neither will support what they consider to be good for Northern Ireland, it seems unlikely that they will restore their support for her government.

I predict that if the current Brexit deal goes to a vote, Mrs May will lose badly. Labour may then demand a vote of “no confidence” in the Conservative Party’s ability to govern – and such a vote seems certain to topple the government.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was quick to capitalise on the situation. He said: “It’s absolutely staggering that the Government has accepted all Labour amendments to the Finance Bill because it couldn’t rely upon the DUP’s support. The Tories are in office but not in power. We’re watching a government falling apart in front of us.”

Mrs May is currently in Brussels, where she is probably begging the Eurocrats for latitude to resolve the impossible situation into which she has put herself – because we should all remember that this is a crisis entirely of the Conservative government’s own making.

Meanwhile Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond are both set to appear at the DUP’s conference over the weekend. If they think they can bully the Irish into backing them again, they’ll be in for a shock.

It has been great fun watching the drama play out on Twitter:

So the current situation can be summed up as follows:

https://twitter.com/MsParaDoxy/status/1064673997974065152

Of course we now know that Mrs May’s strings are being pulled by the Opposition parties – and any opportunity available (to mention the backdrop sign at the Tory conference) will be theirs.

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Another Labour right-winger has lost a ‘no confidence’ vote. Here are the facts she doesn’t want you to know

Angela Smith: Her claims about a “cabal of hard-left members” in her local Labour Party appear to be false.

Right-wing Labour MP Angela Smith has denounced members of her own constituency party as “a cabal of hard-left members” after she lost a vote of “no confidence” on Friday, November 16.

Penistone & Stocksbridge Labour Party supported the motion of “no confidence” in their MP by 27 votes to 20 against.

In response, Ms Smith released what can only be described as a rant on Twitter, as follows: “I take my responsibilities as a Member of Parliament very seriously and my first priority is always to do my job, to the best of my ability.

“It is frankly astonishing that a cabal of hard left members has absorbed everyone’s precious time and energy on an inaccurate and divisive motion of no confidence. Given that the country is facing its biggest crisis since Suez, one would have thought their attention would be better focused on the huge decision facing the country, a decision that will affect the lives of every one of my constituents for years to come.

“I will continue to prioritise our area and my constituents and will not be distracted by internal political posturing such as this.”

From my own point of view, it is less than a week since I was expelled from the Labour Party on a series of false, trumped-up charges, including one that I supported a claim that Tony Blair had been influenced, during his time as prime minister, by “a cabal of Jewish advisers”. I didn’t – but it seems to me that anyone using the word “cabal” is suggesting a conspiracy of some kind and deserves to have their behaviour examined.

Members of Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP have responded to Ms Smith’s rant by releasing the full text of their motion – to show that her claim that it was “inaccurate and divisive” is false. Here it is:

“This CLP notes that
1. Angela Smith has represented this CLP since it was created in 2010. Before that she was MP for Sheffield Hillsborough from 2005 to 2010. (1)
2. In 2015 Angela Smith voted against greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes. (2)
3. Angela said earlier this month at a water industry conference in Manchester that Labour’s plans for the return to public ownership of the privatised water industry were “undeveloped, uncosted and should not be a priority among so many post-Brexit challenges”. She denounced the proposals, promoted by John McDonnell, as ideological and founded in “the politics of the past”. (3)
4. Angela Smith has written in the press articles that undermine the leadership and the wider Party. (4)
5. Angela Smith tweets and retweets criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. (5)
6. Angela Smith was invited to the Annual Dinner in February. However, she advised the organisers that she would not be attending the Annual Dinner, but she would in fact be attending another event that was being held at the same venue, Wortley Hall.

“This CLP believes that:
• Angela Smith has by her conduct, her actions, and in articles she has written demonstrated that she no longer represents the views of the CLP.
• She has been a persistent and visceral critic of Jeremy Corbyn and through her divisive attacks on him she has damaged the Labour Party locally and nationally.
• Her articles and comments on Fracking and Privatised Water Companies that are contrary to the Labour Party Manifesto commitments demonstrate that she has lost touch with the Party and the constituents she was elected to represent.
• She has snubbed this CLP very publicly at an event to raise funds for her election campaign.
• The relationship of trust and respect that is an essential and fundamental requirement between an MP and their Constituency Party has broken down, perhaps irrevocably, and as a result this CLP has no confidence in Angela Smith to represents its members as our MP.

“This CLP resolves to:
1. Propose a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Angela Smith at the CLP General Meeting on 16 November 2018.
2. Write to the Chief Whip and ask that she has the whip removed.

“Appendix [also written by proposers of motion]:
1. Angela Christine Smith (born 16 August 1961) is a British Labour Party politician and former lecturer. She has represented the parliamentary seat of Penistone and Stocksbridge since 2010. Before boundary changes she was Member of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Hillsborough from 2005 to 2010.
2. Angela Smith voted against greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of oustanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes. A majority of MPs disagreed and voted for greater restrictions on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas in National Parks, the Broads, areas of oustanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes. 296 for, 259 against, 0 abstained, 91 absent.
3. ‘Labour MP savages party’s water policy’, The Times, 17 April 2018
4. ”Car crash’ Jeremy Corbyn under pressure over foreign trips’, Daily Express, 20 August 2018
5. https://twitter.com/angelasmithmp/status/980930274405085184

It should also be noted that the motion was submitted by a branch of the CLP at the beginning of October – long before the current crisis over Brexit began.

Ms Smith’s behaviour has attracted justifiable criticism:

But it is fair to say that she has also attracted support – from some of the usual so-called “centrist” suspects, like Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie. Their comments appear below, along with representative responses:

It seems some members of Labour’s higher echelons still think they have a right to trample over the membership at large. Considering my own treatment at the hands of the National Constitutional Committee, it seems there may be some justification in that belief.

But times are changing, as the recent swathe of “no confidence” votes indicates.

Perhaps the following Tweet sums up the situation best:

https://twitter.com/James4Labour/status/1063721748703653888

Any questions?

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May survives meeting with Tory backbenchers – but was the confrontation stage-managed?

A crunch meeting with disgruntled Tory backbenchers proved to be nothing of the sort for Theresa May in what members of her own party claimed – before it happened – was a “rigged” event, with loyalists in key places to “desk bang and cheer”.

Mrs May was said to have been summoned to the meeting of the Tory 1922 Committee on October 24 in order to persuade MPs not to submit the required 48 letters demanding a vote of “no confidence” in her leadership – to plead for her career, in effect.

But the meeting showed no evidence of any threat to her. Nadine ‘Mad Nad’ Dorries reckons it was stage managed by the Conservative Party whips – all of whom were, apparently, in attendance:

Mrs May turned up, gave a speech, and walked away with her position intact:

Some critics have seen this as proof of what we’ve seen many times before – that Tories are all talk. If their Parliamentary majority is under threat, they will always defer to whoever happens to be the leader:

Was it really a stitch-up by party whips?

Probably not.

See, for opponents of Mrs May, this is a mathematics problem.

A rebellion by the backbenchers requires 48 of them to send letters, demanding a “no confidence” vote in Theresa May, to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee. After that, 160 Tory MPs would have to vote against her.

That’s a tall order!

A better bet would be voting against Mrs May’s proposed Brexit deal, when it finally comes back to Parliament – and in whatever form it finally takes. Only around 15 votes would be needed to achieve that defeat, and it is possible that she would not recover.

But there is a random element: A small number of Labour Brexiters might defy their party’s whip to support Mrs May.

They could do it to ensure that the UK leaves the EU – or they could do it to ensure that the Tories remain stuck with their lame-duck leader, who will turn public opinion further and further against them, the longer she stays in Downing Street.

Neither would be wonderful for the United Kingdom, but these are Labour Brexiters, so that is hardly likely to enter into their calculations.

The end result is that Mrs May remains the titular – but ineffective – head of the Conservative Party and the Tory government, but her position remains precarious in the extreme.

As for the 1922 committee, and its failure to carry out a simple function for the good of the UK – here’s a tweet that sums it up perfectly (apologies for the naughty word at the end):

Who can argue with that?

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