ANDREW PIERCE: High-level Tory talks for King of the North?

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You might have thought that the so-called King of the North, Andy Burnham, who angered several Labor MPs at his party’s convention last week, is now running a Tory convention in Manchester.

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Not a bit of it. The Mayor of Greater Manchester has held a Zoom call with Housing Secretary Michael Gove on ‘leveling up’.

Burnham is also going to speak tomorrow at the Tory conference fringe event hosted by Transport for the North.

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You might have thought that the so-called King of the North, Andy Burnham, who angered several Labor MPs at his party’s convention last week, is now running a Tory convention in Manchester.

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And I hear he has invited Gov, whose official title is Secretary of Housing and Leveling Up, to a meeting in his mayor’s office tomorrow. Gov has agreed to go.

Labor leadership will not like this. In his speech last week, Sir Keir Starmer joked about Boris and the fuel crisis. ‘level up? He can’t even fill it.’

But the Labor leader is actually so concerned about Tory’s ‘leveling up’ plans (designed to boost the Red Wall constituencies occupied by the Tories in the previous election) that Labor MPs have been criticized for the policy by their whips. Have been told not to.

And shadow ministers have also been instructed not to use the word ‘leveling up’.

Andy Burnham clearly didn’t get the memo.

Lord’s Tear Out Over Wigs

There is a rebellion in the House of Lords over a 300-year-old move to abolish full uniforms and horsehair wigs for parliamentary clerks.

The decision was disclosed last week in a parliamentary reply written by senior vice president Lord Gardiner.

Traditional dress would now be worn only for formal occasions – a decision taken without the consent of peers.

It follows a similar move by John Bercow in 2017, when he was president of the Commons, to scrap wigs for clerks in the Commons.

But everything has gone wrong in the Upper House. Lord Cormack is not happy. ‘I am a democrat. I deeply regret the way this decision was taken.

No nonsense Tory MP Lee Anderson undoubtedly has what to do about Britain’s stupid and reckless insulating workers.

‘The police should take a zero-tolerance approach, and as soon as one of these idiots steps onto the motorway, they should be locked in an electric police van and locked in a completely insulated cell.’

Now why did Home Secretary Priti Patel not think so?

Reminded on Radio 4 that many Labor lawmakers thought he should have been the Labor leader, Alan Johnson, who rose through the ranks to become Home Secretary, replied: ‘I would have done it terrible, if I did. .’

An admirable admission – and a sentiment that has never deterred others in recent years.

Reminded on Radio 4 that many Labor lawmakers thought he should have been the Labor leader, Alan Johnson, who rose through the ranks to become Home Secretary, replied: 'I would have felt terrible if I had done so'.

Reminded on Radio 4 that many Labor lawmakers thought he should have been the Labor leader, Alan Johnson, who rose through the ranks to become Home Secretary, replied: ‘I would have felt terrible if I had done so’.

Not a rock drummer but Tony Blair’s former speechwriter – praise for Sir Keir Starmer’s conference speech of Phil Collins.

‘The Labor Conference commended the tough on crime, NATO and patriotism, and gave a fervent enthusiasm for Labor’s time in office … it was quite the moment.

‘The coverage of the starrer’s speech puts him in a far better place than before. Only a small task, but one thing is done.’

No wonder Collins was a fan. He had a hand in writing it.

Dominic goes to the Dame

Dame Cressida Dick’s Met Police refused to bow to pressure to investigate Dominic Cummings over their Durham lockdown violations.

That hasn’t stopped Boris Johnson’s former policy chief in controversy over whether he should keep his job after the Sarah Everard scandal.

He tweeted: ‘Terrible decision to keep dick for PM – never challenging permanent bureaucracy is now rule number 10.

‘It’s got a display of leadership and much has been a disaster and will continue to do so unless the big management changes.’

Grateful to you!

Dame Cressida Dick's Met Police refuse to bow down to pressure to investigate Dominic Cummings over their Durham lockdown violations

Dame Cressida Dick’s Met Police refuse to bow down to pressure to investigate Dominic Cummings over their Durham lockdown violations

That hasn't stopped Boris Johnson's former policy chief in row over whether he should keep his job after the Sarah Everard scandal

That hasn’t stopped Boris Johnson’s former policy chief in row over whether he should keep his job after the Sarah Everard scandal

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