Thursday, August 05, 2010

Commons Confidential in the New Statesman

I'm writing Kevin Maguire's Commons Confidential column in the New Statesman for the next three weeks. You can read it on the New Statesman website HERE. For those not familiar with the column its basically like Black Dog in the Mail on Sunday - snippets of political gossip and whimsicalness :). Here's a taster...

There's nothing as "ex" as an ex-MP, as the former home secretary Charles Clarke is finding out. He was spotted lunching recently at the Haymarket Hotel with the former Blairite gatekeeper Anji Hunter, who now handles PR for Anglo American, the mining company. My lobbyist snout couldn't help but overhear the phrases "I'm skint" and "No one's interested". I can already hear the laughter emanating from Kirkcaldy. But it wasn't just Charlie C who was speaking too loudly. If my snout heard correctly, it seems that Hunter has not found it very easy to get close to David Cameron. Apparently, this Prime Minister is a little less accessible than the last.

Now the truth can be revealed. When David Davis used the phrase "Brokeback Coalition", he did so without ever having seen Brokeback Mountain the film. "I'm going to have to get the DVD," he told another Tory MP recently. I'd like to be a fly on the wall watching him watch it. Or perhaps not.

One question that is vexing Tory whips is the identity of the MP who, in the early days of Gordon Brown's premiership, was on the verge of defecting. Cosy tête-à-têtes were held at No 10, but in the end the MP in question uncharacteristically wimped out. A clue: it wasn't John Bercow.


Penfold said...

So nice to hear the good news regarding ole Charlie Clarke.

And, pray explain, just why Anji should find it so hard to access "Call me Dave", surely she and her wretched employer are not trying to capitalise on her prior employment history? Are they?, is she?, shock horror, what a surprise. And here I was thinking that NuLab was so altrustic and above the grubby stuff.

Let's hope that Anji's employers are persuaded that she is a serious liability, notwithstanding her marriage to Sky's Andrew Boulton. An all too incestuous union.

Unknown said...

so very happy at the idea of Tory whips being vexed... couldn't happen to a nicer set of sharks... Long may it continue.

Anonymous said...

Whimsy, shurely?

Bryan M Rose said...

Can't believe your writing for that trash.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Anji Hunter in charge of John Browne's PR when he lied to the Court about his private life and got caught out because there was documentary evidence contradicting his story? Her role in BP corporate PR coincided with the worst period in decades (until Macondo a few days before the election) for damage to its reputation - the Texas City explosion, leaks in Alaska, virtually pulling out of solar cell manufacture after spending billions on the "Beyond Petroleum" vision. She was corporate PR at No 10 when Brown's PR machine made him look better than Blair to enough people for New Labour to push Blair and bring Brown in as the worst Prime Minister in living memory.
So why should she be surprised that David Cameron doesn't want to listen to her? I am sure that one of Dave's secretaries would take a message and pass it on if Cynthia Carroll 'phoned but a New Labour serial failure???