Flanked by not one but two Union flags, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer — once a passionate advocate of a second referendum on EU membership — pledged in his New Year keynote speech last week to try to ‘make Brexit work’.
It was an astounding U-turn, even by Captain Hindsight’s standards. But whether or not Starmer, who served as the Brexit minister under Jeremy Corbyn’s Remoaner junta, has finally accepted Britain’s decision, it seems not everyone in his party is reading from the same hymn sheet.
A statement last week by the all-party pressure group, the European Movement, pledged to launch a campaign to rejoin the EU.
‘We are committed to restoring this country’s place at the heart of Europe. It will take time, but there is no excuse for delaying that process by a day longer than necessary,’ the statement read.
Chaired by Lord Adonis, head of policy during Tony Blair’s tenure in No. 10, the European Movement is awash with Labour luvvies.
Its supporters include Baroness Quin, Blair’s Europe minister, former Labour MEPs Mary Honeyball, Dame Pauline Green and Richard Corbett, and Clare Moody, a former adviser to Gordon Brown.
The group describes itself on Twitter as ‘the largest pro-European organisation in the UK’. ‘We will always be European!’ it says.
Last week, Lord Adonis said: ‘This is not finished business as far as the public is concerned.’
Indeed, confident of this public mandate, the group advertises an online petition demanding ‘a real alternative to this failed Brexit’.
How many signatures does the campaign boast? Just over 1,600.
Starmer certainly has his work cut out dragging his party into the real (and democratic) world.
Surely Glenda deserves a gong!
Video: COVID-19: PM says ‘act cautiously’ (Sky News)
Vanessa Redgrave, 84, a former stalwart of the Workers Revolutionary Party and life-long republican, was given a surprise damehood in the New Year honours list.
But why no damehood for the excellent Glenda Jackson? She’s a double Oscar-winner — one more than Redgrave — who had a second career as a Labour MP and government minister.
Jackson then returned to acting, winning a Tony award in 2018 for her Broadway role in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women at the ripe young age of 82.
Ed Davey was embarrassed on The Weakest Link quiz show last week after a contestant was asked which ‘Ed’ leads the Lib Dems and replied: ‘Is it Ed Miliband?’
Worse was to follow. At PMQs on Wednesday, the Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle called for: ‘Ed Balls . . . Ed Davey.’ Ed who?
The PM’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds is said to have been lined up as the ‘fall guy’ when the Cabinet Office’s official inquiry into whether rules were broken at No 10 gatherings during lockdowns concludes.
Reynolds is said to have sent an email invitation, and was also pictured with Johnson and his then fiancee Carrie Symonds in May 2020.
But all is not lost. Reynolds will be made an ambassador, my mole tells me. Saudi Arabia is one option, as he speaks Arabic. Reynolds should remember boozy parties are frowned upon in the ‘dry’ kingdom.
Labour MP Barry Gardiner received a rap over the knuckles last week from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Gardiner had failed to register £30,000 of donations from two trade unions within the required 28-day period.
Baz blamed personnel issues, saying: ‘The period was busy. Two of my staff had been ill and one caseworker had left.’
He should have a word with his constituency office manager. It’s his wife Caroline after all.
BoJo struggles with the bill
Few can forget that dinner at the Garrick Club for past and present Telegraph hacks in November. It was, of course, the event at which it was alleged the PM was persuaded by pals of Owen Paterson to try to reverse the Commons standards committee’s ruling that the Tory backbencher had broken lobbying rules.
Perhaps the ensuing uproar and humiliation for Johnson — with Paterson forced to resign as an MP and a subsequent by-election victory for the Lib Dems — was rather distracting.
For as the Oldie magazine reports, one of the journalists there has yet to pay their £85 share of the bill. And the guilty party? The PM!
Source: Thanks msn.com