Theresa May holds up Belgium football shirt in PR gaffe on day of England’s World Cup match

From the Guardian: At the start of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, the British prime minister was ambushed by the Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, who presented her with a Belgian football team top ahead of the England v Belgium World Cup game.

Theresa May held up the strip, before realising that doing so might be a PR gaffe, and appeared to attempt to hide it away. Unfortunately her fellow leaders pointed to the TV monitors showing her reaction live to a packed hall of reporters.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

While Jeremy Corbyn was meeting Grenfell survivors, Theresa May dined with bankers

From Evolve Politics: A silent procession of thousands – police estimate 5,000 – marched solemnly in solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Grenfell disaster.

However, whilst Jeremy Corbyn attended and marched alongside the people – and as the Labour leader told reporters how the fire represented all the injustice and inequality in this country –Theresa May had already snuck away early in order to ‘woo’ super-rich bankers at an extravagant European financial services banquet.

There, while those at Grenfell grieved, May spoke to European finance bosses about how Government plans to remove doctors and nurses from the visa regime would open the way for banks to hire professionals from outside the European Economic Area.

Read more

Millionaire Tory MP: It is “impossible” to raise family on £67,000 – why not give us £225,000?

From Political Scrapbook: Wannabe Tory leader Adam Afriyie has claimed it is “impossible” to raise a family on £67,000 — suggesting instead that MPs should not be given a salary and audited expenses but an “allowance” of up to £225,000 to spend however they want.

In an interview with Chat Politics, the Windsor MP — a multimillionaire through technology businesses — says: “It is almost impossible to operate on the salary that is given to MPs if you come from a middle income family.”

[Read full article on Political Scrapbook…]

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen sparks controversy with ‘no rough sleepers’ in North West Leicestershire claim

From Leicestershire Live: Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has ignited controversy by stating there are no rough sleepers in his constituency, North West Leicestershire.

The Conservative politician highlighted the statistic in a debate about house building during Prime Minister’s Questions.

While the official figures back up what Mr Bridgen said, Mark Grant, the boss of Leicester-based charity Action Homeless said they did not reflect the current reality in the MP’s patch.

Mr Grant said: “We all know the limitations with the figures.

“They are based on a count of rough sleepers on one given night of the year. They are just a snapshot.

“It is no criticism of the council that carries out the count but we know rough sleepers can be hard to locate. If you did the count on a different night, you would get a different number.

“Pretending rough sleepers aren’t out there is not the way to tackle the problem.

“Not all is rosy in North West Leicestershire. We get rough sleepers from there presenting to us.

“In fact, North West Leicestershire and Charnwood are the areas in the county where we have most people presenting from and they do have their particular social and economic problems.

“We know rough sleepers from North West Leicestershire migrate to Leicester to get access to services there that aren’t available where they are from.”

[Read full article on Leicestershire Live website…]

Jacob Rees Mogg and 7 other Tory MPs make more from second jobs than Jeremy Corbyn earns in total

From Political Scrapbook: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have published their tax returns for the third consecutive year today. They showed Corbyn earned £136,762 from MP’s pay, his salary as leader of the opposition and pension, while McDonnell made £87,353 from MP’s pay and pension.

The amount earned by the leaders of the opposition pale into insignificance when compared to the sums raked in by top Tories from their side jobs alone. The register of MPs’ interests shows:

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is now favourite to become the next Tory leader, made £173,854 in the 2016/17 tax year from Somertset Capital, the investment firm he runs with Tory donor Dominic Johnson.
  • Nadine Dorries earned £144,000 over the same period for working 12 hours-a-week for a publishing company. She was previously forced to apologise for failing to declare her £82,000 ‘I’m a Celebrity’ appearance fee.
  • Michael Gove was paid £150,000 for writing a column for the Times before rejoining the Cabinet.
  • John Redwood, who wants to scrap workers’ rights from the EU, is being paid £183,600-a-year for a 75 hour-a-quarter commitment to an investment advisory firm.
  • Andrew Mitchell, who doesn’t know how much the rate of the minimum wage, is making £156,000-a-year from four separate side jobs.
  • Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, is raking in a whopping £222,168-a-year from three different side jobs.
  • And Nadhim Zahawi, the Children’s Minister who attended the Presidents Club gropefest, made £148,000 for just five months work as the Chief Strategy Officer for an oil firm before leaving the role in December.

Tory MP casts doubt on poverty claims by local primary schools

From The Guardian: A row is brewing between a Conservative MP and some of his Lancashire constituents after he suggested that claims by teachers about extreme poverty at local schools were untrue.

A report by ITV earlier this week went viral after it showed schools where teachers said they had to wash their pupils’ uniforms because their families couldn’t afford to pay the electricity bills.

But David Morris, the MP for Morecambe & Lunesdale, responded to the reports: “These claims are not those being experienced by myself or the jobcentre in the area.”

He later told ITV: “I’ve not got issues with the report that you’ve run, I’m just questioning the validity of it … [the schools featured] have very strong links to Momentum, and to be quite frank, all the indicators from Ofsted say that the child poverty at that school is absolutely no different to any other in the country.”

Amid claims that Morris has blocked people online who have questioned his statement, Morecambe residents are using the hashtag #blockedbydavidmorris and have started a Facebook group to air their grievances.

Read more

From the archives: Student newspaper report on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s arrival at Oxford

#JacobReesMogg #FromTheArchives: Oxford University student newspaper Cherwell reported on Jacob Rees-Mogg's arrival at…

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Oxford University student newspaper Cherwell reported on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s arrival at Oxford in the late 1980s:

“Jacob is one of the new breed of ‘serious’ students intent upon the maintenance of good old fashioned values and standards.”

“Whilst at Eton, Jacob maintained his decent and respectable status by employing other students to clean his shoes, or to hold an umbrella over him whilst running in the under fourteens.”

“Now at Trinity [College, Oxford], Jacob has yet to find time to take his suit off, so busy is he in his pursuit of uprightness.”

Boris Johnson recited Kipling during visit to temple in Myanmar

From The Guardian: The Tory foreign secretary has been accused of “incredible insensitivity” after it emerged he recited part of a colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem in front of local dignitaries while on an official visit to Myanmar in January.

Boris Johnson was inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in the capital Yangon, when he started uttering the opening verse to The Road to Mandalay, including the line: “The temple bells they say/ Come you back you English soldier.”

Kipling’s poem captures the nostalgia of a retired serviceman looking back on his colonial service and a Burmese girl he kissed. Britain colonised Myanmar from 1824 to 1948 and fought three wars in the 19th century, suppressing widespread resistance.

Johnson’s impromptu recital was so embarrassing that the UK ambassador to Myanmar, Andrew Patrick, was forced to stop him. Read more

Tory member of London Assembly: Overseas investors buying up blocks of new homes benefits us all

Channel 4 News video: Watch Tory member of the London Assembly for West Central, Tony Devenish, literally claim that new blocks of housing being bought up en masse by overseas billionaire investors benefits us all, and that there’s no alternative.

'New homes are not for Londoners or affordable'

“We are building lots of homes but who are they for? They’re for billionaire investors, they’re not for Londoners.”Author Anna Minton argues that new homes in London are not affordable.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Tuesday, August 1, 2017