We have launched a new website and this page has been archived.Find out more

[Skip to Content]

10 May 2012

The Weekly WHIP: 10 May 2012

The Weekly WHIP: 10 May 2012

Mayor of london

While parliament was on a mini-break before the Queen called them all to attention for the coming year in parliament, Boris was busy making himself back at home in London's City Hall. After delays due to lost ballot boxes added to the tension, Ken looked to be closing the gap but Boris Johnson was declared victor, triumphing over his rival by three per cent in the final round.

While a Boris victory had been anticipated by all the pollsters there was more of a surprise lower down the field. Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate, slipped to fourth place with just four per cent of the vote sandwiched between Jenny Jones who grabbed third and the independent candidate Siobhan Benita in fifth. UKIP candidate Lawrence Webb came in sixth after their name was left off the ballot paper due to incorrect form filling, beating only the BNP's Carlos Cortiglia.

The Only Way is Essex

All three party leaders made their way to Essex on Tuesday to kick of the new political season. David Cameron and Nick Clegg put in a joint appearance at a tractor factory to relaunch the government's programme after taking a bashing in the local elections.

At the same time Ed Miliband visited Harlow in Essex, where his party seized control of the council last week. The opposition leader pointed out to the crowd that 71 per cent of voters in Essex hadn't voted at all in the local elections and suggested this was down to a lack of trust in what politicians said.

What with the girls from TOWIE backing Live Below The Line it would appear this week that Essex really is the only way. Members of the House of Lords have joined in with those living on a £1 a day this week, probably a little more austere than they're used to. The six peers are currently topping the workplace fundraising leaderboard.

Queen's Speech

If you want to know all the political shenanigans and manoeuvres surrounding the new parliamentary session, I suggest you read this where you might find something closely resembling political news. If you want to know about the really vital parts of Wednesday's royal visit then the Weekly WHIP is proud to bring them to you.

It all began with a dead goat. Without it we wouldn't have a Queen's Speech. And without it William Cowley Ltd might be out of business. The speech is hand written on vellum created by the traditional parchment makers, out of goat skin, and it uses special ink which takes three days to dry.

Throughout her 60 year reign the Queen, has given 57 speeches to open parliament and David Cameron is the thirteenth Prime Minister to serve as head of her government. Before her majesty entered parliament with a crown of 3000 diamonds – which made the journey to the Palace of Westminster in its very own stage coach – the cellars of parliament were checked to make sure no modern day Guy Fawkes had any explosive plans.

In exchange for the Queen's presence before them, by tradition one MP, this year Mark Francois, is sent to Buckingham Palace as a hostage to ensure the safety of the monarch. The WHIP assumes said MP has now been safely returned. Follow on from this display of pageantry from his mum Prince Charles gave his own stellar performance as a weatherman while touring the BBC Scotland studios. Weather he gives up the day job remains to be seen.