The five things you need to know on Friday, February 10…
This morning's Waugh Zone is by Ned Simons. Paul is away. And I will SEE YOU IN COURT to make sure you read anyway.
1) CORBYN ALLY CANNED
Today is a day. So Jeremy Corbyn is naturally conducting a reshuffle.
Perhaps of most intrigue in the shake-up is the apparent removal of leftwinger Jon Trickett as Labour's campaign co-ordinator - just two weeks before the crunch Stoke and Copeland by-elections. Members of Labour's NEC were dismayed when Trickett failed to turn up to deliver expected briefing on by-elections and general election preparedness. Some NEC members, as Paul reports, were later told he had been suddenly "taken ill". But they weren't sent prior apology for absence. As he was being moved aside, Trickett tweeted profoundly: "I love Heinz Beans with sausages + brown sauce. But have you noticed there seems to be more juice + less beans in each can? Disappointed!" I couldn't agree more Jon. This is worse than the lettuce crisis.
The new household names in the shadow cabinet are Peter Dowd (chief secretary), Sue Hayman (Defra), Christina Rees (Wales) while Rebecca Long-Bailey is promoted to fill Clive Lewis' old job at shadow business. Previous reshuffles were mostly about moderates and Blairites being replaced with younger or more leftwing MPs - this one is mostly about maneuvering within the Cortbynite-left itself.
Corbyn, channelling his inner Donald Trump, has dismissed the idea he is preparing to quit before 2020 as "FAKE NEWS". But everyone is watching to see what Lewis does next. The Daily Telegraph reports Owen Jones has been gauging the support among MPs for the Norwich South MP - although the Guardian columnist dismisses the idea he has been making calls on Lewis' behalf. Long-Bailey, who made an appearance on Corbyn's Snapchat story late on Wednesday evening after the Article 50 vote having "bumped into" the Labour leader on a train, has emerged in recent days as another contender. Everything she does will now be seen through a leadership filter.
2) THE PEACOCK PLOT
The backlash against John Bercow for his ban on Donald Trump rumbles on. Tory MP James Duddridge has tabled a motion of no confidence in the Speaker. Parliament is in recess until February 20, which means Bercow can not shut the motion down immediately. His critics will hope the pressure will build up over the next week. Duddridge predicted the number of MPs that will speak out will "increase and increase" and that "it will be known his position is untenable, perhaps even to the point that he doesn’t return on the Monday".
Duddrige told HuffPost's Aubrey Allegretti he thinks Bercow's days as Speaker are "numbered" as he had overstepped his bounds. “I think he will probably go sooner than that and I think he will be sitting as a Labour peer rather than a crossbencher in the House of Lords,” he added.
The former minister has already written to Theresa May, with a peakcock-tipped pen, asking her to grant a free vote if and when Bercow's future is decided upon. But the Speaker has already seen off one attempt by Tory MPs to get rid of him, and he will likely retain the support of opposition parties in any no confidence vote.
3) CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
In a major setback for Donald Trump, administration, a federal appeals court on Thursday declined the president's urgent request to restore his executive order restricting refugees and travel by immigrants from a number of Muslim-majority countries.
Trump responded in a typically presidential fashion. "SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!" he screamed on Twitter. Which is convenient for the judges as presumably they'll already be there. Hillary Clinton hit back with a reference to the president's court losses. "3-0," she posted simply.
White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway is facing an ethics investigation, after she promoted Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during a Thursday appearance on Fox News. “It is just a wonderful line. I own some of it,” Conway said. “I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” Conway appeared to violate a federal regulation stating that government employees cannot use their public office to endorse products, quickly raising complaints from ethics watchdog groups.
In another tweet yesterday, Trump accused CNN of failing to ask Senator. Richard Blumenthal about his misrepresentation of his military record in Vietnam. That’s false, and it only took CNN seconds to prove it.
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR…
Fox News proves Steve Bannon is not a bad person because he is not as bad as Isis.
4) LURKING MURDOCH
Ed Miliband, Vince Cable, Lord Falconer, Baroness Warsi and Baroness O’Neill have sent a letter to Ofcom warning the attempted takeover of BSKYB by Rupert Murdoch is a defining test of “its capacity and strength as a regulator”. The pressure on the broadcast regulator follows the revelation in the Financial Times that Murdoch was lurking in the room for Michael Gove’s interview with Trump. Something the former Tory cabinet minister neglected to mention in any of his many articles and TV appearances that accompanied his -news packed - article. Miliband told The Huffington Post UK: “This shows the power of Rupert Murdoch. And why we should be cautious about his influence over our media landscape.”
5) COMMONS PEOPLE
This week's HuffPost UK Politics Commons People podcast is out. Owen, Paul, Martha and I discuss Labour's woes, Article 50 and EU nationals, the housing white paper and we hear from John Ashworth in a pharmacy in Stoke. There's a quiz about migration that Owen scribbled down on the back of his hand ten minutes before the record button was pressed. And also a joke about me having no friends which seemed arbitrarily rude.
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