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Ed Miliband's G4S nightmare over party conference security

Kevin Maguire's commons confidential.

Ed Miliband may have left himself exposed after demanding that G4S, winner of Olympic gold for corporate incompetence, be suspended from bidding for public contracts. The name of the firm hired to provide security at this autumn’s Labour conference? G4S. Should Ed Mili hear the snap of rubber gloves being pulled on for a strip search after he’s called out of the line, he should take it personally.

David Cameron will be shedding no tears this summer for Bob Diamond. Indeed, I hear the Prime Spinner chuckled when the shamed former Barclays boss proved Diamonds aren’t for ever. The PM has the prodigious memory of an elephant and the thin skin of a butterfly wing. He recalls, I’m told, an occasion when Diamond treated him like a failed bond dealer in front of officials during a No 10 summit. He who laughs last, etc.

The Tory infantryman Tobias Ellwood, on the other hand, has a suspect memory. The one-time Royal Green Jackets captain was overheard expressing pride in troops parading under Big Ben. Hmm . . . the Bournemouth blusterer led the campaign to rename the Clock Tower the Elizabeth Tower in honour of Her Maj. Capt Ellwood’s failure to use the correct designation suggests it’ll never catch on.

The sad death at 57 of Marsha Singh, four months after he resigned in Bradford West, prompted a Labour snout to mutter that the ex-MP’s passing proved Harriet Harman wrong. Bradford’s by-election brought the third coming of “Gorgeous George” Galloway after he showed no Respect to Labour’s candidate, Imran Hussain. Harperson had questioned Singh’s retirement on grounds of ill-health, suggesting it smacked of an old-fashioned fix to deliver the seat to Hussain after she failed to secure a women-only shortlist. The end of Singh, a kindly man, settles that.

Disbelief, too, at Labour HQ that Alun Michael, who wants to be police commissioner of South Wales, is claiming that it would’ve been a fix to use a wimmin-only list to select a replacement in his seat of Cardiff South and Penarth. Michael was the beneficiary of the mother of all Millbank fixes that foisted him on an unwelcoming electorate as the first first minister of Wales. By happy coincidence, the Labour standardbearer selected for the looming byelection, Stephen Doughty, was championed by Michael. No stitch-up there, then.

The Labour warhorse David Winnick has been asking why Cameron is accompanied by armed detectives in secure parts of the House of Commons restricted to MPs. The PM may be more wary of right-whingers than we appreciated.

The parliamentary pop group MP4 is printing T-shirts for a tour of the Labour, Con and SNP conferences. No Lib Dem gig? The Labour guitarist Kevin Brennan replied it was cancelled due to lack of principles. Ouch!

This column is taking its usual summer break and will be back before the TUC in the autumn. Kevin Maguire is associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 30 July 2012 issue of the New Statesman, The London Issue