Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
23 November 2017

Commons Confidential: How Pestminster lives on

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.

By Kevin Maguire

Is Brexit red mist clouding the Remainiac Alastair Campbell’s judgement? Tony Blair’s aggressive former spin doctor went a bit Ukip at the Labour Leaver Gisela Stuart before the pair appeared on BBC One’s Sunday Politics. “When are you going to stop fucking up my country?” growled raging Ali. “It’s my country, too,” shot back the upset German-born Stuart, the Birmingham Edgbaston MP for two decades until quitting last June.

Campbell’s second verbal punch – “You’ve got another country to go to” – was so below the belt that, aimed by a Brextremist at a Stayer, might have had the snarling rottie denouncing xenophobia. Stuart has lived in Britain since 1974. Standing for Labour with the surname of her Bavarian parents, Gschaider, she was unsuccessful in the 1994 European elections. Three years later, under the Stuart name of her first husband, she won Edgbaston in Labour’s 1997 landslide. She never expected a loyalty test from a Labour Remainiac.

Theresa May has failed the suffragette test of deeds not words, this time over rooting out gropers on the Tory benches. The Prime Minister’s appeal for “handsy” MPs to be reported isn’t appreciated in her own whips’ office. The backbencher Andrew Bridgen’s reward for revealing that he’d passed on allegations against Dan Poulter, which, I acknowledge in the interests of fairness, the doctor and Suffolk MP denies, was a menacing buttonholing by a whip. Bridgen was warned that he’d be the most hated man in the Tory party if he referred more colleagues. That sounds like a threat to me.

One unintended consequence of police cuts is longer Labour selection meetings. The party’s international development spokeswoman, Kate Osamor, the Edmonton MP, was in a session of Tottenham’s West Green ward when a congregant who had been told that he wasn’t eligible to vote flatly declined to leave. The cops were called but the local police station answered that Tory cuts had left it with no officers to send. The protester eventually departed, presumably bored.

Back to the unguarded Nigel Farage, who, as this column last week disclosed, privately endorses a higher EU divorce offer to avoid a no-deal Brexit. The snout, who befriended the Brextremist at Lisbon Airport, whispered that the Ukip motormouth tipped Jacob Rees-Mogg for the Tory crown over Boris Johnson and David Davis.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

In Strangers’ Bar, the County Armagh-born St Helens Labour MP, Conor McGinn, was spied popping the TV remote control into his jacket pocket so English comrades couldn’t switch over from Ireland-Denmark to England-Brazil. He could have saved himself a lot of pain by letting them have it. The Republic were thumped 5-1.

Content from our partners
<strong>What you need to know about private markets </strong>
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

This article appears in the 22 Nov 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Europe: the new disorder