Brexit crisis: will Johnson and Farage bury party differences?

Today’s unanimous verdict by the Supreme Court, ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully in obtaining the prorogation of Parliament, throws the entire Brexit process into doubt.

Johnson no longer controls the House of Commons, which at any time during the run-up to the October 31st deadline could have thrown a spanner in the works, preventing either a “no deal” Brexit or whatever new terms Johnson himself might negotiate.

Neither was he able to seek a fresh mandate at a General Election: since the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 makes an early election impossible without the opposition’s consent – and there was no chance of such consent until Brexit had been delayed or frustrated. So Johnson’s team believed they could put Parliament out of action for a few weeks, leaving MPs with insufficient time for Brexit-blocking.

That cunning plan has badly misfired.

Amid the confusion one thing is clear: Brexit will be dead unless Prime Minister Johnson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage can work together.

Leading government adviser Dominic Cummings is the main block to any deal between Johnson and Farage

Today such cooperation looks unlikely. The PM’s chief aide Dominic Cummings loathes Farage (which is the main reason why there were two rival pro-Brexit campaigns at the 2016 Referendum). That split didn’t matter during the referendum: in fact it might have been an advantage, but it would be fatal at a General Election. Farage reciprocates the loathing: his main reaction to today’s judgment was not to defend the Brexit process but to attack Dominic Cummings.

H&D readers are themselves divided on the merits of Brexit itself. But for Brexiteers the imperative is clear: Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage must not turn on each other, or the entire process will be derailed.

Foreign Secretary dismissed London Holocaust memorial as “preposterous”

Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Carrington, who had won the Military Cross for his bravery during the Second World War, wrote of the original plans for a London Holocaust Memorial: “The whole idea is preposterous”.

Following extensive research at The National Archives, Heritage and Destiny can reveal that the original proposal for a London Holocaust Memorial was strongly opposed by three senior Cabinet ministers and by Britain’s leading diplomats. Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington wrote to colleagues: “The whole idea is preposterous”.

This original memorial was first mooted in the spring of 1979, and was a far more modest proposal than the gigantic project presently being discussed by the planning committee of Westminster City Council.

H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton has submitted a detailed report to Westminster’s planning committee, revealing the full story behind the original memorial plans, and the reasons for senior ministers’ objections, which are even more valid in relation to the vast project now under consideration.

Leading proponent of the latest Holocaust memorial, Lord Pickles (ex-chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) seen here with former Prime Minister Theresa May

The record also reveals that the Jewish community itself was deeply divided over these plans. Their original proponent Greville Janner (later ennobled as Lord Janner and disgraced in a series of ‘paedophile’ scandals) wrote secretly to Tory ministers attacking his fellow Jewish Labour MP Reg Freeson (a former editor of the ‘anti-fascist’ magazine Searchlight).

Earlier sketchy and inaccurate reports about the original London Holocaust Memorial have mentioned that Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington opposed the plans, but the true story – reflecting a consensus among Britain’s senior diplomats against the plans – can only now be told.

Click here to read H&D‘s report.

“The whole idea is preposterous”: the true story behind London’s Holocaust Memorial

The ‘Holocaust Memorial’ presently being considered by Westminster City Council is on a far vaster scale than anything contemplated in 1980 – but even then the proposals were dismissed as ‘preposterous’ by the British Foreign Secretary.

In April 1980 Michael Heseltine, Environment Secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government, wrote to his colleague Lord Carrington, Foreign Secretary, to consult him about plans that Heseltine had been discussing for the past year with the Board of Deputies of British Jews, “to erect a memorial to those of all faiths who died in the Nazi Holocaust.”

This triggered more than 18 months of strong opposition by Lord Carrington, some of his fellow ministers, and the most senior officials of the Foreign Office to the proposal for a London “Holocaust” Memorial, even though both the Board of Deputies and Heseltine regularly stressed its “modest” scale.

Understandably, Carrington felt that “any monuments in the area concerned should be of a British national character.” He added: “It is by no means self-evident that Crown land in London should be used for a memorial to events which did not take place on British territory or involve a large part of the British population. In addition, a long time has passed since the events which the proposed Garden would seek to commemorate.”

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin – who consistently sought to use the ‘Holocaust’ as a diplomatic weapon against Britain – had been boss of the Irgun terror gang that butchered two British sergeants, causing international revulsion in 1947.

Reflecting wider Foreign Office concerns, Carrington also suggested that “some Arabs might see the monument as endorsing Mr Begin’s point that the fate of the European Jews in the ’30s and ’40s should influence British policy on the Arab/Israel question in the ’80s.”

This was a reference to then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, former leader of the anti-British terrorist group Irgun, who during the early 1980s persistently used the Holocaust as a diplomatic weapon against British, French and German governments.

Archival records show that Carrington was echoing the views of senior diplomats including the Foreign Office Political Director Julian Bullard (later British Ambassador to West Germany).

Julian Bullard, Political Director of the Foreign Office, was one of the most eloquent and well-informed opponents of the Holocaust Memorial project.

A memo by Bullard (whose father and several other relatives were also senior British diplomats) explained:

“I continue to see no particular reason why Crown land in London should be used for a memorial to events which did not take place on British territory or involve a large part of the British population. The lapse of time (now 35 years) prompts the question why, if a memorial in Britain was desirable, it was not organised at the time, when the memory was greener.
“I continue to suspect that at least some of the sponsors of the project are hoping that, if realised, it would strengthen the idea that Britain has some sort of special responsibility towards Israel on account of the events of 1933 to 1945, and that these events are or should be still a factor in British policy in the Middle East. A perhaps even more unworthy thought is that some of the sponsors may be deliberately throwing down a challenge to anti-semitic elements in this country.”

Bullard’s colleague Sir John Graham, then Deputy Under-Secretary for the Middle East, agreed:
“I fully share Mr Bullard’s doubts. Why should not the Jewish Community buy a site and erect a memorial if they wish? Would we permit a monument to Deir Yassin in a Royal Park? And yet our responsibility for that massacre was as close (or as distant) as for the massacre of the Jews by Hitler.”

In a later memorandum, Sir John (a baronet and career diplomat who later served as British Ambassador and Permanent Representative to NATO) repeated and amplified this argument:
“The possible followers of the precedent include the Armenians (Turkish massacres), the PLO (Deir Yassin), the supporters of Allende and so on. Of course it is a free country and people may erect monuments, subject to planning permission, but they ought to do it on their own land and at their own expense.”

Senior Foreign Office diplomat David Gladstone compiled a summary of the arguments against a London Holocaust Memorial

A summary of the argument against the memorial was drawn up by David Gladstone, head of the Foreign Office Western European Department. He wrote:
“Mr Begin and other members of his government refer frequently to the Holocaust to justify their current security policies and to demonstrate, in the absence of convincing rational argument, why Europe is necessarily disqualified from any role in peace efforts and is not entitled to challenge Israel’s own view of her security needs. The Israeli Ambassador in London has taken a similar line in two recent speeches here, in which he has also suggested more or less explicitly that the motives for our policy are purely commercial. A memorial in London on government land might prove an irresistible stick with which to go on beating HMG from time to time.”

An aide memoire drawn up for Carrington before a Downing Street meeting on the project read:
“Why a memorial to Holocaust after 35 years? Is real motive political? Concerned at use made of Holocaust by present Israeli government to justify unacceptable policies and pillory European peace efforts unjustifiably.”

Julian Bullard once again weighed in: “This incorporates my views, which have strengthened with the passage of time. It cannot be wise to contemplate authorising the proposed memorial at a time when Arab-Israeli problems, and Britain’s attitude to them, is constantly on the front pages. But the Secretary of State will want to be sure that his colleagues support him, given the likelihood of press stories.”

Arguments against the Memorial were “strongly endorsed” by the Permanent Under-Secretary himself – Sir Michael Palliser, Head of the Diplomatic Service.

Two of the senior ministers opposed to the Holocaust Memorial were Home Secretary William Whitelaw (above left) and Minister of Defence Francis Pym (above right), seen here attending the Thanksgiving Service after the Falklands War in 1982. Both Whitelaw and Pym had been awarded the Military Cross for their bravery under fire during the Second World War.

Carrington and his Foreign Office advisers received support from other senior figures. Francis Pym, Minister of Defence, wrote that a Holocaust memorial “would be rather a strange newcomer to a part of London where the existing memorials – whether one thinks of the Cenotaph itself or of the military leaders commemorated in Whitehall or around the Ministry of Defence Main Building – relate very much to the British national tradition and to our own victories and sorrows. Indeed I am afraid that I am still not entirely clear what is the object of the proposed memorial.”

Home Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister William Whitelaw agreed: “I have strong reservations about the erection in Whitehall of such a memorial. …I am also puzzled about the purpose of the memorial.”

It is worth pointing out that the three senior ministers with reservations or objections had all seen active service during the Second World War, and all three had been awarded the Military Cross, granted for “an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land.” Carrington spent a decade with the Grenadier Guards from 1939 to 1949, eventually with the rank of acting major, and was awarded the MC in March 1945 for his bravery while commanding a tank crossing the Rhine, capturing and holding a bridge at Nijmegen. Pym served in the 9th Lancers in North Africa and Italy, also to the rank of major, and was awarded the MC after being twice mentioned in despatches. Whitelaw was with the Scots Guards, and later the 6th Guards Tank Brigade, commanding tanks during the Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944. His MC was awarded after the 26-year-old Whitelaw took over from his battalion’s second-in-command who had been killed in front of him.

The future Lord Carrington (centre) with his fellow Grenadier Guards

However on 12th November 1981 Prime Minister Thatcher – for largely political reasons – overrode these objections and a “modest” Holocaust memorial was eventually erected in Hyde Park, officially unveiled in June 1983.

The full story of this memorial, and the planning arguments involved – highly relevant to the present battle within Westminster City Council’s planning committee over whether to approve a far more grandiose memorial – is told in a detailed report submitted to Westminster City Council by H&D‘s Assistant Editor Peter Rushton.

Click here to read this detailed and fully documented report.

Tories expel ‘Islamophobes’

Baroness Warsi, former chairman of the Conservative Party, has called for an inquiry into ‘Islamophobia’ in Tory ranks

The Conservative Party today expelled fourteen members for alleged ‘Islamophobic’ posts on a Facebook page.

This followed the resignation of Peter Lamb, who had been due to stand as a Conservative candidate in May’s local elections for Harlow Borough Council.

Mr Lamb had made several anti-Muslim posts on Twitter and had become the focus of demands by the party’s former chairman Baroness Warsi (herself Muslim) for an internal inquiry into the extent of Tory ‘Islamophobia’.

Peter Lamb has quit as a Tory council candidate following controversy over his anti-Muslim posts on Twitter

Many of the comments by purported Tory activists are remarkably stupid, but it does look as though Prime Minister Theresa May has seized on this mini-scandal in an effort to contrast her party with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, where Jewish activists claim there has been a reluctance to deal with ‘anti-semitism’.

However like many such unprincipled gestures, it risks tainting the Tories among potential UKIPish, ‘BNP-lite’ voters, while failing to gain them much on the other side, because most committed liberal, obsessive ‘antiracists’ wouldn’t vote Tory at present in any case – unless they are Jews on the liberal left who prioritise defeating Corbyn, in which case they probably don’t care about Islamophobia…

Prof. Rob Ford of Manchester University (co-author of a book about the rise of UKIP) has posted interesting comments about the Tories’ dilemma over multiculturalism. (see series of tweets below)

Many H&D readers will think Prof Ford is too obsessed by the supposed need to modernise the Tories long-term in order to capture liberal/non-white votes. An equally plausible route to power would be to appeal to White social conservatives.

At present one big problem is that many of these, while potentially agreeing with a conservative agenda on immigration and other social issues, profoundly disagree with the Tory (and for that matter UKIP) policies on economic austerity, privatisation of former nationalised industries such as rail and the Post Office, and the worship of the ‘free’ market.

Is it Corbyn or the mainstream media who’s “lost the plot”?

Tomorrow’s Daily Mail predictably attacks Jeremy Corbyn for having “lost the plot”, choosing to print a photograph of the Labour leader gardening on his allotment as the storm clouds gathered and seven of his rebellious MPs broke away to form an “Independent Group”.

Their assumption seems to be that it was somehow weird or arrogant for Corbyn to be on his allotment at such a time.

I wonder whether voters will see it that way? They don’t share the obsessions of political journalists and part of Corbyn’s success at the 2017 election was because (despite his ‘extremist’ policies) many Britons saw him as a normal bloke – his allotment and Arsenal allegiances were part of that.

If most voters were concerned about Corbyn’s previous associations with Sinn Fein, or his links with alleged ‘antisemites’, then they would have ditched the Labour Party long ago.

The Jewish Chronicle has long attacked Corbyn for ‘antisemitism’: most voters don’t care

Sadly for Fleet St, and sadly for many H&D readers, most Labour voters are probably more concerned about the effects of Tory austerity cuts than they are about terrorism in Northern Ireland, arguments about Zionism and ‘antisemitism’, or even Britain’s membership of the EU.

That’s why when in 2017 Theresa May offered them the opportunity to elect a House of Commons committed to securing Brexit, the voters instead returned the present hung parliament.

Doubtless the latest split will do some electoral damage to Labour, but a great deal might depend on whether the Tories also split, and especially on whether really heavyweight Tories can be persuaded to join the breakaway.

Latest rumours are that a gang of four female Tory MPs are most likely to defect: Anna Soubry (who has already removed references to the Conservative Party from her Twitter biography), Dr Sarah Wollaston, former cabinet minister Justine Greening, and Heidi Allen.

Perhaps a bigger prize would be Sir Alan Duncan, who is still in Theresa May’s government as a Foreign Office Minister of State responsible for Europe and the Americas. Whereas some of the defectors are pretty much in the ‘wet’ Tory Reform Group (TRG) tradition, Alan Duncan was closely associated with William Hague and in his student days was a leading figure in the so-called ‘Magdalen machine’, the main ‘right-wing’ rival to TRG inside the Oxford University Conservative Association.

In common with several other leaders of the ‘Magdalen machine’, Sir Alan is a homosexual. He is also unusual among modern Tories in taking a broadly pro-Palestinian line on Middle East matters, and was among the main targets for the covert Israeli Embassy lobbyist Shai Mosat, exposed by Al Jazeera in 2017.

In this respect Sir Alan would make an unusual ally for the solidly pro-Zionist Labour faction who have created the ‘Independent Group’. However it’s possible these hardcore Zionists might welcome him for this very reason, as it would help to deflect suspicions that the whole business is a Mossad plot to prevent a Corbyn premiership!

Labour splits: is this the end of the two-party system?

This morning the long-expected split began in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Seven MPs resigned and will now sit as an ‘Independent Group’ in the House of Commons.

The group includes one relic of the 1990s New Labour project, Stockport MP Ann Coffey who was Tony Blair’s parliamentary private secretary. However another is Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East, who during New Labour’s civil war was a supporter of Gordon Brown rather than Blair, and is married to one of Brown’s former aides.

Two others are among the most strongly pro-Zionist MPs in Parliament: Luciana Berger, Jewish MP for Liverpool Wavertree, and Mike Gapes, who though not Jewish himself is best known for his five years as a very pro-Zionist chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

It seems likely that some of Corbyn’s other Jewish critics have deliberately avoided joining the rebel group because they didn’t want it to be perceived as disproportionately Jewish. If significant numbers join the seven initial members, one would expect them eventually to include Dame Margaret Hodge and Dame Louise Ellman, though the latter has tweeted that she will continue to “fight the virus of antisemitism in the Labour Party from within”.

For the time being the “Independent Group” will not be a registered political party and will not fight elections. This avoids them having to contest the forthcoming local elections in May, where they would doubtless be crushed.

Chuka Umunna, effective leader of the Independent Group and once seen as a future Labour Prime Minister – has he committed political suicide?

Yet the intellectual leader of the group, half-Nigerian MP for Streatham, Chuka Umunna, has strongly implied that he sees the group evolving into a new “centrist” party. Umunna is a former City lawyer whose maternal grandfather, Sir Helenus ‘Buster’ Milmo, was the leading MI5 interrogator during the Second World War before becoming a High Court judge.

Westminster has been rife with rumours for the last fortnight that Umunna was about to launch such a party alongside Anna Soubry and other fanatically pro-EU Conservatives. Perhaps these rebel Tories have been put off by the undoubted practical difficulties of launching a new party, but if Theresa May does eventually position the Conservative Party as unequivocally pro-Brexit, or if she is replaced by a Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson, we can assume Ms Soubry and a few others will team up with Mr Umunna.

According to an email circular this morning from Stephen Bush, the well-connected political editor of the New Statesman, it was Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South, who helped persuade the other six that it was time for a formal split. Mr Shuker is an unusual character, who in one respect has nothing in common with New Labour ‘centrism’. Before standing for parliament in 2010 he was leader and pastor of the City Life Church in Luton: he opposes ‘gay marriage’ and has taken a number of other stances on ‘moral questions’ that put him at odds with the liberal consensus.

Gavin Shuker, the former Christian pastor who registered the limited company behind the new ‘Independent Group’ of MPs

The group is not registered as a party with the Electoral Commission, but it operates from an office in Altrincham, near Manchester, in the name of a limited company called ‘Gemini A Ltd’ which Shuker created on January 16th this year.

One of the Labour rebels, Angela Smith, MP for the marginal Yorkshire seat Penistone & Stocksbridge, made much of her working-class roots (in contrast to the well-heeled Umunna). But a problem for such people is that while working-class Britons might find their traditional Labour loyalties strained by Corbyn’s trendy-left, London-dominated Momentum faction, many such voters (including in Ms Smith’s own constituency) voted to leave the EU and remain pro-Brexit.

Anna Soubry, notoriously pro-EU MP for Broxtowe, and the most likely Tory to join Umunna’s ‘Independent Group’

Umunna’s “independents” have made it clear that being pro-EU and campaigning for a second referendum to overturn the 2016 result is a fundamental component of their so-called ‘centrism’.

That’s why the best known earlier anti-Corbyn rebel, Birkenhead MP Frank Field who quit Labour to sit as an independent last August, will certainly not be joining Umunna’s group. Similarly other anti-Corbyn MPs who might be thought on the right of Labour – Kate Hoey, Graham Stringer and John Mann – will certainly not be on board.

In fact one might logically expect two Independent Groups to the right of Corbyn’s Labour – one pro-Brexit and one pro-Remain!

If this really is the long-overdue breakup of the two-party stranglehold on British politics, one eventual consequence will have to be a change in the electoral system.

Only then will we see a realistic chance for the views of forgotten millions of British voters to be represented at Westminster, and a real challenge to the dead consensus of multiracialism.

Prime Minister May blunders in attacking ‘anti-semitism’

Prime Minister Theresa May, alongside Sir Eric Pickles (chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) declares “I am a Jew”

Prime Minister Theresa May – whose devotion to the interests of the Zionist state is well known – predictably attacked her Labour rival Jeremy Corbyn in her conference speech this week.

Less predictable was the PM’s crass blunder in attempting to contrast Corbyn with his most illustrious predecessor Clement Attlee, who was Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951.

Mrs May said this week: “Would Clement Attlee, Churchill’s trusted deputy during the Second World War, have told British Jews they didn’t know the meaning of anti-Semitism?”

Someone on her staff should have told Mrs May a few basic historical facts.

Clement Attlee (along with his Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin) didn’t just criticise Zionism and its fellow-travellers among Anglo-Jewry – they were at war with them!

Future Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir featured on a ‘Wanted’ poster during a British anti-terrorist campaign ordered by Prime Minister Clement Attlee

Attlee and Bevin (in response to a remorseless Jewish terrorist campaign against British military and civilian targets) ordered the destruction of Jewish refugee ships attempting to ferry illegal immigrants to Palestine. In 1946 British troops acting on Attlee’s orders raided the headquarters of the Jewish Agency and other Zionist offices. Many of Israel’s postwar political leaders were imprisoned or interned on Attlee’s orders.

Labour minister Gerald Kaufman (who was Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Foreign Secretary during the 1980s) accused Attlee of “ingrained anti-Semitism”. According to a diary entry by Attlee’s cabinet colleague Hugh Dalton, he rejected two Jewish Labour MPs for promotion because “they both belonged to the Chosen People, and he didn’t think he wanted any more of them“.

Perhaps David Aaronovitch writing in this week’s Jewish Chronicle is correct to observe that “the Jewish community’s stand against anti-semitism has actually increased it”?

It certainly doesn’t seem to have educated Prime Minister May, one of that community’s closest allies.

The real victims of Windrush

Sajid Javid, the UK's first Asian Home Secretary

Sajid Javid, the UK’s first Asian Home Secretary

The (Dis-)United Kingdom has its first Asian Home Secretary, after the appointment of Rochdale-born Pakistani Sajid Javid this morning.

This follows last night’s political drama, when Amber Rudd resigned – not because of the epidemic of knife crime. not because of the uncontrolled flood of illegal immigration, but because of the technical ‘offence’ of misleading parliament in the massively hyped Windrush ‘scandal’.

The true scandal of course is that (beginning with the arrival of the former troopship Empire Windrush in 1948) British towns and cities were transformed into multiracial environments – without British voters having any say in the matter.

Yet for the last few days British ministers have been falling over themselves to apologise, not to several generations of our own people whose interests were betrayed, but to a handful of Jamaican immigrants who couldn’t be bothered to obtain proper documentation (such as a UK passport) at any time in the last few decades, so now find themselves unable to prove their legal right of residence.

The technical issue that forced Amber Rudd’s resignation was her department’s ‘target’ for deportations.  Sensible Britons are baffled as to why there should be any question of delay in deporting illegal immigrants: but the media and Westminster insiders are constantly cringing before the pro-immigration lobby. Ms Rudd was questioned in front of a parliamentary committee last week and denied that the Home Office had any deportation target.  Then on Saturday a leaked letter from 2017 showed Ms Rudd informing the Prime Minister of her intention to increase the deportation target by 10%.

Aside from the historic betrayals over seventy years since the arrival of the Windrush, Theresa May’s government needs to get a grip over continuing immigration from outside the EU, presently totalling more than 200,000 each year, the equivalent of a city the size of York.

As immigration expert and former ambassador Lord Green wrote a few weeks ago, Home Secretary Amber Rudd “has shown no interest at all in concrete steps to reduce immigration. That may be because, as an economic liberal, she is sympathetic to the pre-emptive cries of alarm from industry. But employers’ claims that a reduction in immigration for lower-paid work would harm the economy are simply not supported by the evidence. Indeed, large inflows of cheap labour may have hindered productivity growth, while they have certainly disincentivised training of UK workers by employers. Meanwhile, in 2014/15, the working age benefit bill for EU migrants in the UK was over £4 billion or about £12 million per day – a huge sum.”

Will Sajid Javid – himself the son of a Pakistani immigrant – be likely to respond to the justified concerns of Lord Green, and the clearly expressed views of most British voters on immigration? H&D will be watching our new Home Secretary, but we shall not be holding our breath in anticipation of a new immigration policy, or even a serious implementation of existing policy!

Black “rising star” of Tory Party admits criminal hacking of opponent’s website

Kemi Badenoch (left) with former PM Margaret Thatcher

Kemi Badenoch MP, a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party responsible for Tory candidates nationwide, has admitted having hacked into the website of Labour rival Harriet Harman (at that time a cabinet minister and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party).

Mrs Badenoch’s actions are a serious criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine.

What makes it all the more serious is that Mrs Badenoch (who is of Nigerian origin, thus confirming that not all national stereotypes are wrong!) was not engaged in casual nonsense on Facebook, which has ended so many political careers.  Her deliberate criminality involved misusing her professional skills for the purpose of political chicanery.

Mrs Badenoch has a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Sussex University, and worked in several high-level computer-related jobs before entering politics – including as an associate director of the exclusive private bank Coutts. Her husband Hamish Badenoch works for Deutsche Bank and is stepping down this month as a Conservative councillor in the London Borough of Merton.

Kemi Badenoch with her husband Hamish and Prime Minister Theresa May, after she was guest speaker at Mrs May’s constituency dinner last Friday evening.

Political careers have ended for far less serious offences than this; in fact many people are in jail for far less serious offences. Mrs Badenoch is presently Tory MP for Saffron Walden: her predecessors included Tory gentlemen of unimpeachable integrity – former Deputy Speaker Sir Alan Haselhurst and R.A. Butler, a former Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary.

The voters of Saffron Walden deserve better than Mrs Badenoch.

Minister faces sack over secret Israeli meetings

Priti Patel with leading pro-Israel lobbyist Sir Stuart Polak (right) during her visit to Israel in August

Priti Patel – the minister in charge of Britain’s overseas aid budget as Secretary of State for International Development – is expected to be sacked within hours after attempting to deceive journalists about a series of secret meetings with Israeli ministers and officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Some of these meetings involved plans to pay Britain’s overseas aid via the Israeli army.

Ms Patel breached diplomatic protocol by visiting Israeli occupied territory on the Golan Heights as a guest of the government. Britain and most other countries do not officially recognised Israeli control of the Golan, and Ms Patel compounded her offence by suggesting on her return to Britain that our government should provide funds for the Israeli field hospital in the occupied territory.

Former British ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer expressed the astonishment of the diplomatic community:
“What did she think she was doing? Incomprehensibly daft.”

It seems that Ms Patel believed both that she herself was untouchable, as the daughter of Ugandan Asian immigrants and a valuable symbol for her pro-Brexit, neo-Thatcherite wing of the Tory party, and that she was effectively representing the Prime Minister’s pro-Israel instincts, against the more evenhanded approach of the Foreign Office.

Stephen Pollard of the Jewish Chronicle has an exclusive story this morning stating that Ms Patel’s ultimate offence – not revealing two of her secret meetings even in her latest press statement after the scandal broke – was actually sanctioned by the Prime Minister’s office. Number 10 (according to Mr Pollard’s sources) asked Ms Patel to keep these meetings secret so as not to embarrass the Foreign Office.

Today’s Tory establishment couldn’t have chosen a better way to mark this week’s centenary of the Balfour Declaration. They have established that 100 years on their party’s relationship with Zionism remains steeped in dishonour.

Next Page »

  • Find By Category

  • Latest News

  • Follow us on Twitter