Andy Burnham: Second referendum campaigners are “arrogant”

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Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester and former leadership contender, has taken the line of the leaders’ office, naming the campaigns for a People’s Vote as “inflaming the idea of an arrogant political class, which is isn’t listening and isn’t dealing with the issues.” This comes at a time when a new poll has found that Labour voters would back a second referendum.

Gerry thinks that the splits are beginning to emerge and a new centrist party is getting ever closer…

Another fun Brexit ‘crisis summit’ to quell fears

Theresa May is going to treat her Cabinet to yet another summit to talk about the now almost inevitable situation of a no-deal. This is obviously the result of lobbying from Brexiteers, furious about the Chequers deal.

Gerry has lost count of however many times we have been informed of ‘crisis summit’, it seems as though there’s one every week.


Vince Cable to resign next month

Gerry is much pleased to hear that lacklustre Lib Dem leader Sir Vince will signal next month that he plans to resign before the next election and will clear the way for a leader who is not an MP, changing party rules, since they have so few of them left. Insiders say that if the next vote is held in June 2022, he will resign before.

Britain should make a national sport out of resigning…

Select Committee: Social media companies have failed disabled people

The Petitions Committee has concluded that social media companies and the Government have failed disabled people, that they fail to consider them when developing policy and practice and that the law is insufficient in dealing with disability hate crime. The chair of the Committee, Helen Jones, said:

“Our inquiry into online abuse and the experience of disabled people has shown that social media is rife with vile, degrading and dehumanising comments about people with disabilities. It’s time for action.”

Sammond: I have never harassed anyone

This is the statement that Alex Sammond gave earlier to allegations of sexual harrassment, including during his time as First Minister:

‘For many months now, and on the advice of senior counsel, I have attempted to persuade the permanent secretary to the Scottish Government that she is behaving unlawfully in the application of a complaints procedure, introduced by her more than three years after I left office.

‘This is a procedure so unjust that even now I have not been allowed to see and therefore to properly challenge the case against me. I have not been allowed to see the evidence. I have tried everything, including offers of conciliation, mediation and legal arbitration to resolve these matters both properly and amicably. This would have been in everybody’s interests, particularly those of the two complainants. All of these efforts have been rejected.

The permanent secretary chose to deny me contact with any current civil servant, many of whom wished to give evidence on my behalf and access to documentation to allow me to properly challenge the complaints, all of which I refute and some of which were patently ridiculous. The procedure as put into operation by the permanent secretary is grossly unfair and therefore inevitably will lead to prejudicial outcomes.

‘It is therefore with great reluctance that I have today launched a judicial review in the Court of Session which will decide the issue of the lawfulness of the procedure which has been used against me. If I lose then I will have to answer to the complaints both comprehensively and publicly. Until then I am bound to say nothing which would impinge on the Court proceedings.

‘In our submissions on judicial review we have asked that the complainants’ identity be protected. If the Court of Session finds in my favour then the administration at the senior levels of the Scottish Government will have the most serious questions to answer. In my opinion and for whatever reason the permanent secretary has decided to mount a process against me using an unlawful procedure which she herself introduced. I will let a real court decide whether it was lawful for her to do so.’

Gerry doesn’t think that RT will sack him…