Tag Archives: grant shapps

Ed Davey: Johnson and Shapps pretend they can’t end the rail strikes. That’s nonsense

The train strike has already had a devastating impact on businesses and on the general public.

Ed Davey has written an article in The Guardian under the headline: Johnson and Shapps pretend they can’t end the rail strikes. That’s nonsense.

He writes:

The Liberal Democrats are against the rail strikes and if a summer of discontent is not to turn into a winter of discontent and full-on stagflation, ministers must step back from the brink.

The position of lower-paid workers across our country should be at the forefront of ministers’ thinking – not that of the highest earners in the City, whose pay and bonuses the government announced this week would not be limited in any way.

The solution?

The solution to such distressing stories is clear: instead of strikes, there should be dialogue between government ministers and union bosses.

Ministers must now clean up their own mess. Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency Cobra meeting to kickstart a practical compromise and to keep Britain moving.

And here is Christine Jardine (our Treasury spokseperson) telling the BBC what Grant Shapps and the Government should do. It is a national emergency so it would be appropriate for Cobra to meet.

Posted in LibLink and News | Also tagged , , and | 58 Comments

Stuck at the airport?

The scenes at the airports this week have been rather worrying.

OK, so in the grand scheme of things arriving a day late at a holiday destination may not appear to be a serious matter, but for the families involved it can be very challenging. Some are trying to have their first family holiday since the pandemic, and in many cases this has involved some belt-tightening as the cost of living spirals upwards.

Anyone who has travelled with young children will know how frustrating it can be when plans are upset. Amongst those caught up in the chaos are people with disabilities, children on the autistic spectrum and elderly people, all of whom will not find the delay and long queues easy.

Sarah Olney is our Transport spokesperson and she issued this statement yesterday:

The scenes at our airports are nothing short of a disgrace. Families are being left marooned for hours on end with no guidance from airlines or Ministers.

We need action now to break the deadlock and to save families from yet more travel carnage.

Yet travellers haven’t even heard a peep from Grant Shapps this week. The Transport Secretary has gone missing in action when the public will be looking to him for help. This is nothing short of a failure of leadership on his part.

It’s about time he fronts up for that failure with an apology to those who have had their travel plans derailed, and finally begins giving daily press conferences on the situation. Hiding away isn’t good enough – Shapps must face the music and scrutiny about his lack of preparedness for the Jubilee Bank Holiday logjam.

Since then Shapps has popped up and made some comments, mainly blaming the travel companies for overselling holidays. He has asked for a meeting with the leaders in the travel industry.  He said:

Despite government warnings, operators seriously oversold flights and holidays relative to their capacity to deliver. This must not happen again and all efforts should be directed at there being no repeat of this over the summer – the first post-Covid summer season.

Sarah has made this suggestion:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Does anyone give a hoot about the Grant Shapps furore? Even if the Lib Dem press office and Nick Clegg make us laugh

Grant Shapps, a Conservative who’s been getting himself into all sorts of scrapes for some years now. That is, of course, if he can remember his name. 

We’ve clearly got to that stage of an election where the journalists just want to have some fun. Rather than discuss the major issues of the day – remember that hundreds of people have drowned in the last week – the media is all in a spin about a Guardian story which suggests that Shapps is behind a Wikipedia profile which has edited the pages of various Conservatives, including Shapps, to either add or remove critical or embarrassing facts.

The Lib Dem Press Office responded with great humour and have had some great plaudits for it:

And even Nick Clegg got in on the act, saying rather mischievously at his press conference that:

Well, Grant Shapps has fervently denied that he had anything to do with it. He himself does not have the time apparently to edit his own Wikipedia entry. I’m prepared to believe him. It could have been someone else. Michael Green for instance.

It is all very funny, but how many votes is this going to win for anyone? Will people actually change their vote based on this? Does anyone outside the Westminster media bubble actually care?

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 32 Comments

“I thought it was a spoof” Danny Alexander on Shapps’ “patronising” Bingo tweet

Proof, as if we needed it, that Liberal Democrat and Tory mindsets are very different can be seen from Danny Alexander’s reaction to Grant Shapps’ “Bingo”poster.


Posted in News | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Nick Clegg backs BBC in a feisty press conference

Nick Clegg on the BBCNick Clegg’s press conference, postponed from Monday because a crane had blown on to the Cabinet Office roof, took place this afternoon and the leader was in fairly sparky form.

Tweets from the BBC’s Chris Mason and ITV’s Carl Dinnen revealed his comments on HS2 where he absolutely savaged Labour’s position, decrying it as miserable, pathetic and a betrayal of the north.

On energy costs, he repeated his assertion that Ed Miliband’s energy bill freeze was a con:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 13 Comments

How not to do an interview: Grant Shapps demonstrates

1. Running away from Michael Crick rarely works.

2. Running away from Michael Crick whilst he has a camera crew in tow even more rarely works.

3. Running away from Michael Crick into the wrong room and then having to turn around and walk back past the camera even more rarely works.

4. Running away from Michael Crick into a wrong room for the second time takes the odds of success into the realms of the never never.

5. But if you are going to do that, remember not to turn round at the end and give a short answer sounding out of breath and without looking at camera or questioner. Because that always looks so convincing.

All of which means of course no-one would ever do 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Oh, hang on:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Riddle, mystery, enigma – Grant Shapps and the internet

The Guardian has been busy digging into three internet episodes revolving around the new Conservative party chairman, Grant Shapps:

1. Google blacklists websites run by family of Grant Shapps

Google has blacklisted a network of websites run by the family of the newly promoted Tory party co-chairman, Grant Shapps, for breaching its rules on copyright infringement. A string of at least 19 sites run by the wife, sister or 75-year-old mother of Shapp

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Opinion: Why Grant Shapps must be evicted as Housing Minister

Ask teachers what they think of Michael Gove and I suspect that most will reply with derision. Ask doctors and nurses what they think of Andrew Lansley and I would imagine that, similarly, most will spit with rage. Ask housing professionals what they think of Grant Shapps and you certainly get an equally dismissive response from the vast majority.

Does the lack of professional support for the Tory policies being pursued by Tory Ministers in these crucial public services mean that these sectors are hopelessly leftist, resistant to change, and are just keen to protect their status, or is the Government’s unpopularity with them proof that the Tories still are the ‘nasty’ party and are as contemptuous of public services as ever? Or is this tension simply what always exists between public sector industries and the politicians that seek to govern/meddle with them, be they Labour or Conservative (or Liberal Democrat)?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 25 Comments

Annette Brooke MP writes: Progresss at last for park home owners?

Many of you will know that I have been campaigning on park home issues for many years. Working with Sonia McColl, a constituent and founder of the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign, I have been trying to raise awareness and press the Government to take action over the issue of unscrupulous park owners.

The campaign to end injustices for park home owners and close loopholes in the 1983 Mobile Homes Act has been long running. These loopholes allow some park owners to interfere with the selling of homes and abuse their position by using interviews to put off and intimidate prospective …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Boosting housing supply

The Conservatives’ proposal to resuscitate the Right to Buy through increasing discounts appears to be an attempt to bask in some of Mrs Thatcher’s reflected glory. Unlike the 1980s version, though, Mr Cameron and Mr Shapps are emphasizing that each property sold will be matched with a newly built property at “affordable” rent. This is an attempt to head off criticisms that the Right to Buy reduces the supply of “social” housing. So, it would appear, this initiative could lead to a net increase in the housing stock.

Of course, things are never as they first appear. It is not yet …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Pulling the plug on swimming pools?

Over the last week, we’ve all focussed on welfare issues, tuition fees and housing. The impact of the 7% pa cut in local government funding has yet to register with most of us.

Each council will make its own decisions on how to deal with a total grant reduction of 28% over four years. Coverage will be local, so the public will inevitably blame councillors rather than ministers when popular services disappear.

The media have been, inaccurately, talking about a 28% cut in council budgets (rather than in funding) – it’s not quite as bad as that, although it will still be …

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Councils to be banned from lobbying at party conferences

PR Week has the story:

‘We are setting out clear rules banning councils using taxpayers’ cash to lobby government and this includes publicity stalls at conferences,’ Shapps said. He also called for councils to disclose how much taxpayers’ money is being spent on overall comms.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Jason Kitcat: update on the councillor facing censure for using YouTube

A quick update on my post about Brighton Green councillor Jason Kitcat, who is facing disciplinary action over putting footage of a council meeting up on YouTube. He’s posted the latest news over on his blog, and it is good to see that he is getting support from across the political spectrum:

ConservativeHome’s local government blog had yesterday posted a supportive piece which Local Government Minister Grant Shapps MP then tweeted a link to, adding his own view:

Surely no justification for reporting a Cllr who seeks to promote openness to the Standards Board

Indeed! The comments on the ConservativeHome piece are

Posted in Local government, News and Online politics | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

‘Tory new boy apologises for Lib Dem baby rapist comparison’

Headline from the Welwyn & Hatfield Times pretty much says it all, though long-term LDV readers may also be interested in Grant Shapps’s involvement:

A FORMER councillor who branded Liberal Democrat policy as a bigger danger to children than a baby rapist has said sorry.

Sam Smith had caused uproar after posting comments on an internet forum run by Tory MP Grant Shapps.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Grant Shapps plays a by-election blinder

Sit back, kick off your shoes and enjoy a quality piece of political timing.

Day One: Conservative by-election candidate and county councillor John Howell misses two key votes on a proposed so-called eco-town in Oxfordshire.

Day Two: Conservative MP Grant Shapps speaks out against eco-towns in Parliament saying what an important issue it is.

But presumably not important enough for John Howell to turn up and vote on the topic?

Classy timing from Grant Shapps don’t you think?

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Eleven Conservative Shadow Ministers benefited from secret donations, including Grant Shapps

Hey ho, here’s the story from The Times:

The scale of secret cash links between senior Conservatives and wealthy backers was revealed yesterday after George Osborne was told that he should have declared how his office was being funded. The Shadow Chancellor was the subject of a parliamentary investigation after it emerged that he failed to register almost £500,000 in donations. Donors had given the money to the Conservative Party but asked that it be used to bankroll Mr Osborne.

Ten other Shadow Cabinet ministers have also been benefiting from money channelled from Tory headquarters, the final report of the investigation

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged | 18 Comments

I’m not blogging about Grant Shapps…

… because I’ve nothing really to add to Alex’s excellent piece, other than to say, “Oh dear BBC, you really did get your story horribly wrong, didn’t you?”

Posted in Online politics | 6 Comments

I wonder if they’ll be asked about their approach to setting computer passwords?

See here.

Posted in Online politics | 2 Comments

Lib Dems surge in Shapps’ constituency

Watford PPC Sal Brinton brings an account of the excellent Lib Dem performance in Welham Green.

The first by-election of 2008, and the first under Nick Clegg’s Leadership has given us a swing to the Liberal Democrats of 22%, and a very strong second place, in Welham Green, part of Welwyn Hatfield District Council (Grant Shapps MP’s local seat).

The full results were —

Conservative: 539 votes; 41% (67% in 2006); -26% change
Labour: 88 votes; 7% (19% in ’06); -12% change
John Elvy (Liberal Democrat): 484 votes; 37% (15% in ’06); +22 % change
BNP: 214 votes; 16% (n/a ’06); +16% change

John was a strong candidate …

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Has Grant Shapps been coaching Caroline Spelman?

I only ask, because Caroline Spelman has just been on News 24 claiming the Conservatives won eight of the last nine by-elections held on Thursday.

One small problem.

They didn’t.

Make that two, rather than eight.

Another one to add to the list of untrue comments made to the media by the Conservatives (who have, of course, also admitted that you can’t believe what their own candidates say).

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Did Grant Shapps lie to Iain Dale?

If I were Iain Dale, I’d be feeling either rather foolish or rather cross with Grant Shapps. Why? Well it’s because of the allegations about Liberal Democrats and election poster displays which Grant Shapps persuaded Iain Dale to run on his blog.

Iain wrote at the time:

There must be some rather compelling evidence for Grant Shapps to make this direct accusation.

However, no evidence has ever been provided – although numerous people personally involved in Lib Dem poster campaigns have denied the story (and, to be fair to Iain, several of these denails were published in comments on his blog).

But scratching under the …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Grant Shapps: another history lesson

Right, let’s keep this brief. The Welwyn & Hatfield Times (his local newspaper) reports of Grant Shapps MP:

The Welwyn Hatfield MP said it was not a total whitewash as the Tories had slightly improved their share of the votes, something which the party had not been able to do for years in a by-election.

Cheadle, 2005; Blaenau Gwent 2006: can you guess what happened to the Conservative vote in both of those? I mean 2006 – that, oh, years and years ago isn’t it?

PS I offer very competitive rates for personal history tuition lessons. Do get in touch.

PPS I’ll leave it …

Posted in News | 10 Comments

It’s official: Tory spokesman admits you can’t trust what their candidates say

This has to be one of the most bizarre rebuttals from a Conservative spin doctor in a long, long time (well, at least since the Grant Shapps password incident).

When questioned about David Cameron’s less than flattering comments about gay rights back in 2000 (when he wasn’t yet an MP), a Tory spokesman responded to the New Statesman thus:

But a spokesman tried to brush off the comments. “It was only as a candidate. If you know how politics works you’ll see why being a candidate is different to being an MP,” he said.

In other words – doesn’t matter what you say …

Posted in News | 2 Comments

The Sunday papers on the Conservatives

Things aren’t getting better:

Anxious Tories turn heat on Cameron

PRESSURE is growing on David Cameron to embark on a shake-up at his party headquarters amid plunging opinion poll ratings … “Nothing is going right at the moment and it is difficult to see a way out of it,” said one insider.
Sunday Times

As Brown soars in the polls, a split opens up between Cameron and his Shadow Chancellor

The first signs of a split between David Cameron and George Osborne emerged as the Conservatives blamed each other for Gordon Brown’s surge in the polls … But there was undisguised fury …

Posted in News | 11 Comments

Andy Coulson, Grant Shapps and George Bridges

There’s an interesting write-up in this week’s New Statesman of the goings-on in the last few days in the Cameron bunker, including Andy Coulson’s initial impact.

People with an interest in by-elections though might be taken by this part of the piece:

It has not been a good month for the ferret-like campaign manager, Grant Shapps, who is still facing a barrage of abuse from fellow MPs and party workers. Says a shadow minister: “Shapps is immensely pleased with himself for very little reason, overpromoted and inexperienced.” Another fan adds: “He overegged our chances by claiming huge successes at the beginning. It was political suicide.”

Shapps also appears to have upset the team around him. One member of the Ealing by-election ground team says: “Something as simple as placing a news story was beyond him. He took a very London-centric story that was perfect for the Evening Standard and insisted it was given to the Times. The resulting coverage was a pitiful few lines.”

“Ferret-like” seems a mite unfair to me. He seemed pretty human when we had a brief chat about YouTube passwords at the Ealing count 🙂

But one thing about the New Statesman piece puzzles me.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Golden Dozen #22

Welcome to the 22nd of our weekly round-ups from the Lib Dem blogosphere, featuring the seven most popular stories according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (15th-21st July), together with a hand-picked quintet you might otherwise have missed.

As you might expect, this last week’s offerings have been rather dominated by the Ealing Southall and Sedgefield by-elections:

Posted in Best of the blogs | 2 Comments

Ealing fallout: Grant Shapps axed

So says The Telegraph:

Much of the blame has been apportioned to campaign director Grant Shapps, the shadow housing minister, who was promptly stripped of his role running by-elections. It was Mr Shapps, and the then Tory chairman Francis Maude, who persuaded Mr Cameron to put his name on the Ealing ballot paper, something the Tory leader at first resisted.

Posted in News | 4 Comments

A quick political history lesson for Grant Shapps

As Nich Starling has pointed out, last night Conservative MP Grant Shapps said on TV:

The third placed party in by-elections always gets their vote squeezed … …

I cannot remember a by-election in the last ten years where the third party has not had its vote squeezed.

So here are fourteen by-elections since 1997 that must have slipped his mind:

Dunfermline (where the SNP were third)
Leicester South
Birmingham Hodge Hill
Tottenham *
Ceredigion *
Leeds Central
Paisley South (ok, I admit – I had forgotten this one until I looked it up)

I do have some sympathy for MPs who have to appear in the media after a …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Grant Shapps in irony-is-dead shocker

Grant Shapps MP, the Tory by-election campaign manager in Ealing Southall, gained some level of infamy last week when he was caught red-handed pretending to be a Lib Dem member posting comments to YouTube.

Mr Shapps’ weak excuse – that his account password was set to ‘1234’, and hacked by opposition parties – was widely derided.

So it comes as some surprise to see this story in today’s Times:

The Conservatives claimed to have identified a woman who confronted Mr Cameron during a walkabout in the constituency as a Labour supporter involved in the party’s campaign. …

Referring to Mr Cameron’s

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 6 Comments

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