Tag Archives: Rory Stewart

Cabinet ministers put Boris Johnson on a warning. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

Boris Johnson after being defeated in Parliament last week: One can imagine that he looked much the same when the warnings started trickling in.

After the resignations, the warnings: It seems both Nicky Morgan and Robert Buckland have sent warnings to Boris Johnson over his handling of Brexit.

It seems three cabinet ministers and nine junior ministers have also contacted quitter Amber Rudd, presumably for advice about what to do. Why? She has led by example and if they have serious concerns, they know what to do.

And other ministers have contacted our wannabe dictator to tell him the anti-“no deal” Brexit Bill can’t be ignored once it is passed.

Ms Morgan – nicknamed “Thicky Nicky” by This Site, has promised to “stay in the room” rather than quitting and weakening BoJob’s position more than it already has been by the losses of his brother Jo Johnson and Amber Rudd.

But she said Mr Johnson must be more “transparent” about his progress in negotiations with the EU – most probably because previous claims about discussions with the bloc’s representatives have been debunked by anybody able to pick up a phone and call Brussels.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has tweeted that speculation about him resigning was “wide of the mark”.

But he added that he had spoken with Boris Johnson “regarding the importance of the Rule of Law, which I as Lord Chancellor have taken an oath to uphold”.

The implication is clear: If BoJob breaks – or even bends – the law to get out of following the requirements of the anti-“no deal” Bill, then Mr Buckland will be out.

His position is supported (although he may not thank them for it) by rebel Tory MPs who were expelled from the party whip last week.

Rory Stewart said the idea that Mr Johnson could simultaneously apply for an extension to the Article 50 Brexit deadline while sending a letter urging the EU to reject the application was unlikely to come to fruition, echoing the words of former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption, who said it would not be legal.

Fellow rebel David Gauke said a second letter would be pointless as the EU would know it was not the will of the UK’s Parliament.

But Tory Brexiter Nigel Evans has gone on-record saying the government has around 20 options to bypass the Bill.

Speaking to The Guardian, he referred to just two: the government tabling a vote of no confidence in itself, or the government passing a one-line bill setting the date for an early election.

But both are problematic: The government could try to pass a vote of no confidence in itself, but that would open up a 14-day period in which MPs could agree to support an alternative PM and government. And Mr Johnson could try to pass a law requiring an election on October 15, but that would require a majority he does not have, and it could be amended in ways unacceptable to Downing Street.

So Boris Johnson looks increasingly boxed-in.

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Lib Dems drift further to the political right in possible deal with Tory rebels

Jo Swinson: It’s an old pic but we don’t have any actual images of her negotations with Rory Stewart and his pals.

If this is true (and it’s a Sunday Times report, so that’s debatable), then it confirms the Liberal Democrats’ rightward drift since Jo Swinson took over as leader.

Remember last week, when former Tory Phillip Lee crossed the floor of the House of Commons to sit with the Liberal Democrats – prompted the party’s LGBT representative, Jenny Rigg, to quit?

She tweeted her anger at what she saw as her party’s capitulation to Toryism.

And it seems she was right:

Rebel Tories expelled from the party are in talks with the Liberal Democrats about a non-aggression pact.

The former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron is helping to broker a deal between Rory Stewart, an expelled Conservative and neighbouring Cumbrian MP, and the new leader, Jo Swinson, insiders say.

Under the proposal, Stewart would stand as an independent MP at the next general election but agree to accept a soft Lib Dem whip in exchange for the party not fielding a candidate against him. It is understood that the Green Party would also stand aside in Stewart’s Penrith seat.

[Other expelled Tory rebels including Sam Gyimah and Margot James are implicated in the deal.]

Make no mistake: a deal would only be possible if the Liberal Democrat leadership and the expelled Conservatives were able to see eye-to-eye politically.

And Ms Swinson’s behaviour makes it clear that it is her party that has moved into conjunction with the Tories, not the other way round.

This must be heartbreaking for all the traditional Liberals who have supported their party through nightmares like the Coalition government and beyond – not to mention those who voted LD because they want to remain in the EU. What a bare-faced betrayal.

Source: Lib Dems to stand aside for Rory Stewart and other Tory rebels in general election | News | The Sunday Times

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The 21 Tories ejected from their party for voting with their consciences

Boris Johnson: How did it all go wrong so soon?

Dictator Johnson has gone through with his threat and withdrawn the whip from 21 now-former Conservative MPs.

The list includes extremely high-profile names including Father of the House Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer until only six weeks ago (at the time of writing).

Also out are recent Conservative leadership candidate Rory Stewart, Oliver Letwin, Dominic Grieve, David Gauke and Nicholas Soames (who is entirely forgettable apart from being Winston Churchill’s grandson).

And Guto Bebb, who said he would vote against the government, has also been ejected for going through with it.

Others include: Richard Benyon, Steve Brine, Alistair Burt, Greg Clark, Justine Greening, Sam Gyimah, Stephen Hammond, Richard Harrington, Margot James, Anne Milton, Caroline Nokes, Antoinette Sandbach and Ed Vaizey.

Boris Johnson started his first Parliamentary session as prime minister with 311 MPs and a majority of one. He ends it with just 289 MPs and the stigma of being the first PM since Pitt the Younger to lose his very first Parliamentary vote.

It all bodes well for the future.

Stewart knocked out of Tory leader race as MPs signal support for ANOTHER racist PM

Tory tribalism really is coming out in the current leadership election.

In today’s (June 19) third round of votes, Conservative MPs rejected the diplomatic approach of Rory Stewart in favour of the statesmanship of a man who, in the words of SNP leader Ian Blackford:

  • Published a poem stating that the Scottish people are a “verminous” race that should be placed in ghettos and exterminated;
  • Called Muslim women “letter boxes”; and
  • Described African people as having “watermelon smiles”

That man is Boris Johnson. He gained 17 votes on yesterday’s poll, totalling 143 – while Mr Stewart lost 10, amassing only 27*.

Mr Johnson has also been accused of:

  • Cheating on his partner(s)
  • Helping a friend get a journalist beaten up
  • Wasting millions of taxpayer pounds on London water cannon and a Garden Bridge that never got built; and
  • Denouncing Tory donors by saying “f**k business”.

This is the man nearly half of Conservative MPs say should be prime minister.

Lunacy.

Can you picture him trying to face down Jeremy Corbyn over the allegations of different forms of racism in their parties? Mr Corbyn has been accused, yes – but falsely. The evidence against Mr Johnson is damning – and available for all to see.

He’ll never be able to make an appearance in front of a wide cross-section of the general public because they’ll be chanting “racist!” and “sexist!” at him.

And if he restricts his public appearances to a carefully-selected few members of the elite, then he’ll be pilloried in exactly the same way Theresa May’s image suffered during the 2017 general election campaign.

Mrs May was, of course, overtly racist herself – in her infamous “hostile environment” policies that targeted people belonging to ethnic minorities for deportation.

Of course, for political commentators like This Writer, he’ll be a dream come true.

For the duration of what I expect will be a historically short and disastrous premiership.

*By the way, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid are still in the race, too – not that anybody cares.

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From this showing, ‘Our Next Prime Minister’ will be a worse embarrassment than the last one

“Alternate reality”: Rory Stewart despairs of the BBC’s televised debate between himself and the other Tory leadership candidates. Was it something they said?

What the hell was Emily Maitlis doing, agreeing with Michael Gove that Jeremy Corbyn indulges anti-Semitism when he so obviously does not?

She came out with her extraordinary outburst during the BBC televised Conservative leadership debate, in which Michael Gove responded appallingly to concerns over Islamophobia raised by a Bristolian imam. Here’s that gentleman, explaining himself on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/AbdullahPatel94/status/1141088399241207815

https://twitter.com/AbdullahPatel94/status/1141088403984986113

Yes he did. Here it is – Michael Gove is so proud of his defamatory statement that he turned it into an infographic:

He went on to highlight the moment when Mr Corbyn accused two Zionist activists of failing to understand irony when they disrupted an event at which a Palestinian representative was speaking as an example of the Labour leader’s behaviour. The incident has long since been explained: Mr Corbyn was correctly referring specifically to the two individuals concerned but politically-motivated critics had, in bad faith, reinterpreted his words to claim that he was referring to all Jews. The claim is utterly ludicrous.

And Emily Maitlis – the host – supported Mr Gove! She cut off any further comment, saying: “I’m sure you all do agree.”

Quick reminder: The BBC is under investigation by Ofcom, under suspicion of violating its first duty – impartiality. It seems clear that Ms Maitlis was keen to ensure that Ofcom finds against her employer, all by herself.

Result: Public outrage:

“Her bias was showing,” tweeted ‘Biker Wolfie With Pilllion Daniel Blake.

“And people say BBC news isn’t biased,” added Nick Mapson.

“Really! That is outrageous!” exclaimed Linda Scott.

The only one who came out of that worse than Ms Maitlis was Mr Gove himself:

Mr Gove seems to have a Corbyn fixation. He also said: “Jeremy Corbyn isn’t interested in helping working people; he’s interested in standing up for the Iranian regime,” in a direct reference to the controversy over attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman (The US and the UK foreign office have blamed Iran without concrete evidence and Mr Corbyn has said proof is required).

https://twitter.com/SkyeCitySeries/status/1141085970328096768

If anything good came from that debate, it was Sajid Javid’s apparent securing of agreement from all the candidates that an independent investigation should be held into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

Another question was about what the candidates would do to lift the tax burden on the working classes – and Rory Stewart attracted undue flak, despite being the only person giving a realistic answer.

He said he wasn’t thinking about promises for the next 15 days, but about the next 15 years.

The questioner’s response defies belief:

What a swivel-eyed loon!

Jeremy Hunt shamed himself when he said the Conservatives had cut social care funding too much. The problem with that answer is obvious:

Mr Hunt also came out with a howler when he claimed that the UK was one of the most open and accepting countries for people of other ethnicities than the majority. That simply isn’t true any more, and the reason is divisive rhetoric from the Conservative government that has set racism soaring.

At least he got through the whole hour without hearing his name mispronounced once.

Who came out of it best? Rory Stewart, according to the public.

It’s probably because he responded to the comments of his fellow candidates in the same way as the rest of the viewing public:

Interviewed afterwards, he was questioned on why he took off his tie (and on why his performance was “lacklustre”, which seems to be another example of BBC bias). He replied that he had felt as though he had been drawn into an “alternate reality” and was trying to re-establish a sense of what was genuine:

He wasn’t alone:

Boris Johnson – the front-runner in terms of votes cast by his follow Conservative MPs – was absolutely nowhere. Asked if, as prime minister, he would do the decent thing and call a general election in order to gain a mandate from the public, he said no.

Ms Maitlis pounced: “‘It’s the arrogance’ – that’s what you said when Gordon Brown became prime minister. ‘That’s what gets me. Gordon Brown will now be in 10 Downing Street without a mandate from the British people. No-one elected Gordon Brown as prime minister. Let’s have an election without delay.’ Why does the same not apply this time?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Because he wasn’t taking over in the context of a national political crisis in which we have to get Brexit over the line.”

It doesn’t take a genius to come up with appropriate response to that howler:

https://twitter.com/mattforde/status/1141072808904187905

The final verdict:

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Stewart surge knocks Raab out of Tory leader race – and threatens even Johnson

Sucker punch: Dominic Raab has been knocked out of the Conservative leadership race after Rory Stewart enjoyed a surge that doubled his support among MPs.

Surprise results from the second round of the Conservative Party leadership election show a big leap in support for Rory Stewart.

Mr Stewart, who scraped into the second round of the election in bottom place, has doubled his support, leapfrogging both Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid.

Mr Raab is out now; Mr Javid may be out next time.

Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove will be disappointed; their support base has hardly changed since the first round.

Neither has Boris Johnson’s. And he will have been hoping to dodge having to clash with Mr Stewart in the BBC’s televised debate this evening (June 18).

Mr Stewart will want to ask the race leader whether he has been making contradictory promises to different groups in order to secure their support and Mr Johnson’s response to this and other questions may dictate the result of the contest.

But who will get Dominic Raab’s votes?

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Tories vote in second round of Tory leadership contest, as candidates round on Rory Stewart

Not that confident: Rory Stewart.

The second round of the Conservative Party leadership election has begun, amid acrimony between some candidates and dark horse contender Rory Stewart.

Mr Stewart, who polled lowest among contenders who got through to the second round, has been quietly (and politely) amassing a surprising amount of momentum.

He came second in a survey of candidates by ConservativeHome, behind Boris Johnson.

He was considered the most impressive candidate in the Channel 4 televised debate on Sunday – in which Mr Johnson was “empty-chaired”.

And it seems he is thought to be the most “disruptive” candidate apart from Mr Johnson.

This could make him a danger to Mr Johnson’s own chances if they face each other in the BBC televised debate today (June 18). It seems likely that, if he does get through the current round of voting, he’ll be asking awkward questions about the promises Mr Johnson has been making.

It seems Mr Johnson has persuaded groups that have irreconcilable differences to back him and Mr Stewart is likely to ask whether this means he has been offering different things to different groups, telling them what they want to hear rather than what he intends to do.

Strangely, it seems the other candidates don’t want this to happen and would prefer Mr Johnson to have an easy time of it, as they are doing their level best to gang up on Mr Stewart.

Sajid Javid said Mr Stewart was effectively the candidate for remaining in the European Union: “I think [Stewart’s] effectively telling us that we should remain in the EU and there is a small constituency amongst my colleagues that would rather remain than leave, and I think that is part of the challenge that we have to deal with. And so I think up to a point Rory can attract that support but it’s not going to get us any further.”

It is possible the claim was prompted after Mr Stewart, who is MP for Penrith and the Border in Cumbria, commented that he was concerned about the effect of a no-deal Brexit on sheep farmers in his constituency. He has repudiated Mr Javid’s words:

There have also been rumours that Mr Stewart may have been a spy for MI6 when he worked as the British Representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo campaign in 1999. If he had been, he certainly would not admit it – and in any case, he said, the press would not be allowed to report it, according to the law.

Will this combined criticism cause Mr Stewart’s support to collapse? We’ll know very soon.

Asked how he was feeling when he cast his own vote, Mr Stewart admitted: “Not that confident.”

Possibly the most interesting comment on it has come from David Gauke, who supports the Stewart campaign. He tweeted:]

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POLL: Does anybody care about all these Tory leadership hopefuls and their druggie pasts?

Andrea Leadsom: She’s the fourth Tory leadership candidate to admit having smoked “weed”.

Can somebody please tell me how having taken drugs in the past makes someone a better candidate to be the leader of the Conservative Party – let alone prime minister?

Jeremy Hunt was the first; he admitted taking a cannabis lassi (it’s a kind of drink made in India).

Then Rory Stewart said he took opium at a wedding in Iran, prompting speculation in some quarters that he was pre-empting a revelation – possibly by a rival.

And then the floodgates opened.

Boris Johnson took cocaine and cannabis at college. Can anybody say they’re surprised?

Dominic Raab has had cannabis, and so has Andrea Leadsom.

And Michael Gove took cocaine. In his confession, he went on at length about the drug’s harmful effects (“drugs damage lives”) and about his feelings on the subject now (“it is something I deeply regret”). This caused more rancour than the straight confessions of the others.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said it was “rank hypocrisy” to admit to “mistakes” while “backing policies that perpetuate harm”.

Crispin Blunt, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for drug policy reform, said: “Michael has delivered a politically-crafted and deeply unconvincing hand-wringing statement of regret for committing a victimless crime. He should have used the opportunity to join a vital and urgent policy debate.”

Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron pointed out that all six “continue to back policies that send less fortunate folk to prison for the same thing. It’s disgusting”.

And current Lib Dem leadership hopeful Ed Davey observed: “They might all be historical confessions but the way this Tory leadership is going it’s like they’re all off their heads.”

That certainly appears to be the conclusion of the satirists, who have been having great fun concocting fictional pasts for other MPs. I particularly enjoyed the idea of Jacob Rees-Mogg having used camphorated tincture of laudanum with his nanny in 1899.

And apparently Larry the Downing Street Cat has admitted a continuing fondness for catnip. Well, why not?

In the interests of full disclosure, This Writer is happy to admit a long history of substance abuse including cocktails of diesel, metal polish and (when I can get it) Uranium-239. We journalists run on heavy fuel!

But there is a serious question here.

The issue of illegal drugs has been a major political football for decades. Remember the “war on drugs”? The lives of millions of people have been affected – many ruined – by organised drug-pushers; Michael Gove wasn’t wrong about that. And many people have been punished – sometimes jailed – simply for possession of certain substances.

And the hypocrisy of the mass media should also be taken into account. Remember the thunderous furore after Diane Abbott drank a mojito on a train? In comparison, we get hardly a whimper after people who may become prime minister confessed to serious historical crimes.

Against this background, it is right to question the attitude of these confessors. Let’s have a poll:

Source: Tory leadership hopeful Andrea Leadsom becomes 6th candidate to admit drugs past – Mirror Online

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Don’t be fooled by Rory Stewart’s bid to charm you. He’s a Tory and his voting record betrays him

Rory Stewart: Not as charming as he wants to appear.

Tory Rory Stewart wants you to think he’s a thoroughly likeable chap.

That’s why he admitted taking opium – on one occasion in the past; it was to show that he has given in to human weaknesses, and then gone past them.

Here he is on the BBC’s Question Time giving us more of the same: He wants to heal our divisions with love.

How nice.

How false.

See for yourself the reason it is false. It only takes two tweets:

So much for Tory Rory’s love.

It begins and ends with himself.

That’s why he wants to be leader of the Conservative Party (and prime minister as well) – for his own gain, not yours.

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Rory Stewart admits smoking opium in Iran. Is anybody surprised?

The eyes have it: Rory Stewart has admitted taking opium and to judge from his expression he is still experiencing the comedown.

This explains a great deal.

I would differ with Mr Stewart over his claim that the opium had no effect on him – at least, until I find another explanation for his behaviour*.

Jeremy Hunt’s revelation is also no surprise.

One awaits further confessions from the remaining Conservative leadership candidates. Who knows what they may say? I feel that, whatever is revealed, we will all find it… cathartic.

Rory Stewart has revealed he smoked opium in Iran as the Tory leadership contender embarked on the latest leg of his round-Britain tour meeting voters one at a time.

Days after Jeremy Hunt said he once drank a cannabis lassi, his rival went significantly further and disclosed he tried the Class A drug at a wedding while travelling in the region.

The International Development secretary went on to insist the opium “had no effect” on him “because I was walking 25-30 miles a day”.

*He does, after all, want to be leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister. At the moment that’s the equivalent of longing for a nervous breakdown and a full-frontal lobotomy to cure it.

Source: Rory Stewart admits smoking opium in Iran as he continues leadership tour of Britain 

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook