Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
16 November 2017

Commons Confidential: Nigel Farage was uncut and uncensored

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.

By Kevin Maguire

Garrulous Nigel Farage was uncut and uncensored when my Remainer snout sidled up for a casual chat at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport. I am reliably informed that the loquacious Brextremist endorsed the idea of the government raising a €20bn divorce offer closer to “probably” €50bn because it is vital to “secure some form of continuity” transition, since “no deal” is “not a good outcome”. Farage’s advice is to use the Italians to bypass the French and Germans. Oh, and another referendum is unnecessary but not undemocratic. Intriguing.

Lamp posts in Saudi fanboy Daniel Kawczynski’s Shrewsbury backyard have been plastered with “Dirty Dan’s Escorts” posters since the Tory MP was reported to the party’s disciplinary panel after an alleged unsavoury episode caught up with him. Eleanor Laing, the deputy speaker, reportedly confronted Dirty Dan in 2013 for asking her young researcher to go on a date with a wealthy overseas businessman old enough to be her father. The dishonourable member for Riyadh Central should reflect that in the tyranny he defends, his corpse might now be swinging from a lamp post.

A Labour source mumbled that party attack dogs overlooked a couple of inconvenient truths when savaging Theresa May and half the cabinet for paying homage to Paul Dacre. Seated among the supplicants at a London bash celebrating the Godfather of Fleet Street’s 25-year fatwa as the editor of the Daily Mail were Jack Straw and David Blunkett. May, fresh from Priti Patel’s departure over her Israel secrecy, lauded Don Paul as a giant of journalism. Can she resist awarding him the coveted knighthood?

Back to the Ukip motormouth in Portugal. Farage was contemptuous of two Tory Brextremists, dismissing Priti Patel as “inexperienced in politics” and Boris Johnson as “not suited for politics”. The Foreign Secretary, he said, would be a better university professor. Unless Johnson secures Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release, he may well be looking for another job soon.

Perhaps it was an unspoken threat to spill soup on laps but Tories on the House of Commons commission buckled under union pressure to concede pay rises of up to 2.76 per cent for catering staff, pushing a food trolley through the old 1 per cent cap. The increases are higher than the deals for coppers and prison officers. Teachers and nurses take note.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • 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
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

The life of Rodney Bickerstaffe is to be celebrated next April in Methodist Central Hall in Westminster. According to Unison, the deceased former general secretary didn’t want elderly trade unionists risking their safety by travelling in winter. Courteous beyond the grave.

This article appears in the 15 Nov 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The plot to stop Brexit