Bruce Forsyth and some other highlights

Election 2010: Guffwatch!

Highlights so far. The main one has to be that absolutely excruciating moment when Bruce Forsyth tried to rally a 1985-style BBC boat party into a "To see you NICE" chant. The horror, the horror.

Otherwise let's take a long, hard, analytical look, not at the exit polls but at the . . . BBC coverage! Yes, indeed. First there was a surge of soundtracked strings, à la Hollywood. Then good old David Dimbleby, holding the proverbial ship together as the sound failed all around him, and then, at last, Paxo with his trio of party spokespeople and an odd time-lagged interview with Alan Johnson that made it sound like an awkward conversation between two teenagers hoping for a first date.

But in conclusion. Go, Bridget Phillipson! Sunderland, in the bonkers race to be first, seemed almost to trip over itself with all its bouncing students carrying ballot boxes. But they made it in the end. And if no one else who you like wins for the rest of the night, just think of the election officials of Houghton and Sunderland South, counting those votes quicker than anyone else. Yessss!

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Supreme Court Article 50 winner demands white paper on Brexit

The Supreme Court ruled Parliament must be consulted before triggering Article 50. Grahame Pigney, of the People's Challenge, plans to build on the victory. 

A crowd-funded campaign that has forced the government to consult Parliament on Article 50 is now calling for a white paper on Brexit.

The People's Challenge worked alongside Gina Miller and other interested parties to force the government to back down over its plan to trigger Article 50 without prior parliamentary approval. 

On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court ruled 8-3 that the government must first be authorised by an act of Parliament.

Grahame Pigney, the founder of the campaign, said: "It is absolutely great we have now got Parliament back in control, rather than decisions taken in some secret room in Whitehall.

"If this had been overturned it would have taken us back to 1687, before the Bill of Rights."

Pigney, whose campaign has raised more than £100,000, is now plannign a second campaign. He said: "The first step should be for a white paper to be brought before Parliament for debate." The demand has also been made by the Exiting the European Union select committee

The "Second People's Challenge" aims to pool legal knowledge with like-minded campaigners and protect MPs "against bullying and populist rhetoric". 

The white paper should state "what the Brexit objectives are, how (factually) they would benefit the UK, and what must happen if they are not achieved". 

The campaign will also aim to fund a Europe-facing charm offensive, with "a major effort" to ensure politicians in EU countries understand that public opinion is "not universally in favour of ‘Brexit at any price’".

Pigney, like Miller, has always maintained that he is motivated by the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, rather than a bid to stop Brexit per se.

In an interview with The Staggers, he said: "One of the things that has characterised this government is they want to keep everything secret.”

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.