Arron Banks used his Andrew Marr Show interview to deny any “Russian money” was funneled to the Brexit campaign. The Leave.EU founder also said he regretted the “demons” unleashed by the referendum. Which is a bit eyebrow raising given the tactics deployed by his campaign group.
The other big news this Sunday is the sad death of Sir Jeremy Heywood aged just 56. Tributes poured in from across the political spectrum for the former Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service who died of cancer at home this morning. Yvette Cooper, the Labour chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, learned of his passing during her live interview on Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday. The tearful former Cabinet minister said Sir Jeremy did “a lot to hold government together at very difficult times”. The country, she said owed him “a debt of gratitude”.
Tory MP Kemi Badenoch, one of the party’s vice chairs, told Sky News this morning she believes allegations that there isIslamophobia in the party have a “political motive”.
“I don’t think the Muslim Council of Britain is an organisation that would look very favourably on the Conservative Party,” she told Ridge.
Baroness Warsi, the former Conservative chair, who has warned about risingIslamophobia, criticised Badenoch for her comments.
“The was a time we denied racism existed within our party, there was a time we denied homophobia was deep rooted- we now deny Islamophobia,” she tweeted. “A lot Conservatives get right but sadly we always find ourselves on the wrong side of history when it comes to the right of minorities.”
Tracey Crouch, who quit as a culture minister last week after the government delayed a crackdown on fixed-odds betting machines, gave her first post-resignation interview to Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics.
She said MPs who had an interest in the gambling industry were behind the delay. “Clearly they were more persuasive in their arguments,” she said.
Over on Marr, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire stuck to the government line contradicting Crouch’s insistence there had been a six-month delay. “We want to see this delivered effectively, for all the reasons Tracey identifies. But it is wrong to say there has been a delay,” he said.
John McDonnell, who is impossible to keep away from TV and radio studios these days, used his Pienaar’s Politics to dismiss suggestions there are splits between him and Jeremy Corbyn.
“Every autumn, the clocks go back, we celebrate Diwali or November the fifth, and then there’s this story about a split between me and Jeremy. One year there was a story about how I was held in ransom, kidnapped him to prevent him resigning, in the same week I was launching a coup against him. This is farcical,” he said.
Asked if he was “launching a coup” against his friend, McDonnell said: “Don’t be daft.”
“This is what you don’t understand. We’ve worked together for nearly 40 years. We talk every day; we’ve never had a political disagreement. You just don’t understand socialist solidarity. I’ll take you on a training course.”