FCO Says Hague/Myers Relationship Professional

A spokesman for William Hague said: “Any suggestion that the Foreign Secretary’s relationship with Chris Myers is anything other than a purely professional one is wholly inaccurate and unfounded.”

Interestingly worded. Note there is no denial that they shared a hotel room.

Exclusive : Hague Shared Night in Hotel Bedroom with SpAd

Guido has ascertained confirmation that for at least one night during the general election campaign the Foreign Secretary shared a hotel room with his then driver Christopher Myers, whom he has now appointed as his Special Adviser on the Civil Service payroll. Other campaign staffers stayed in separate more modest hotels and sources suggest that this was not a one off instance. Guido believes it to be the case that it would be usual for the bill for the room – which was settled by Hague personally – to be reimbursed via the Conservative Party’s election campaign expenses. One witness told Guido that the room sharing couple’s body language at breakfast was eye opening.

It is surely inappropriate for someone of William Hague’s status to be sharing a night in a hotel room with his driver – you only have to consider how absurd it would be if his driver were female to see it is completely bizarre even if there were two beds.  The appointment of Hague’s former driver to his private office is controversial because 25-year old Myers has no expertise for the job, no relevant experience and his only qualification for the position is his closeness to the Foreign Secretary.

Eyebrows were raised at CCHQ when William Littlejohn, Hague’s well connected and respected press officer for the last two years, was passed over in favour of Myers – who is currently in hiding from the press. Littlejohn was left effectively jobless after the election until Andy Coulson found him a job with Caroline Spelman. You couldn’t make it up…

Two national Sunday papers have the evidence but, despite journalists putting considerable resources into the story, their editors are reluctant to pursue it. Perhaps because in the words of the song,”no one knows what goes on behind closed doors”…

See also : Flashback: Hague’s Gay Special Adviser, Just Asking

Guardian Falls Foul of Scott Trust

Further to the post earlier about the Guardian taking tens of thousands of pounds from local councils in return for editorial guidance over their review of the “Future of Public Services” Guido got thinking. Is this shabby journalism really what was envisaged by the tax-evading CP Scott? The Scott Trust is in place to “secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity: as a quality national newspaper without party affiliation; remaining faithful to its liberal tradition; as a profit-seeking enterprise managed in an efficient and cost-effective manner.” All very noble.

Amongst the “essential qualities that Scott believed should form the character of a newspaper” are honesty, fairness and “a sense of duty to the reader and the community”. The Scott Trust’ role is to ensure that these values are upheld throughout Guardian Media Group.

So how does touting out control over a feature to the highest bidder really stack up with this?

Perhaps a complaint to the Scott Trust is in order…

The "Special" One

So Labour “oldies”, or election winners as they are also known, are not allowed to comment on the future direction of the party apparently. Unless of course they are Alan Johnson. But was his description of David Miliband as “special” really the best choice of phrase?

Well Guido chuckled anyway…

Guardian Surrenders Editorial Control for £15k

The withdrawal of public sector job advertising was always going hurt The Guardian, but it looks as if they are finding new craftier ways of propping up their bloated business model on the public purse. Wendy Miller, the rather grandly named Public Sector Manager, has been emailing local councils and asking them to cough up £15,000 to “sponsor” a Guardian supplement entitled “The Future of Public Services”:

Given the clamp down on public sector lobbying, Guido should think the Guardian got their cash as councils look for new ways to promote their interests,  but why are they still encouraging public money to be wasted on promotion and council aggrandisement? The fact that they are willing to surrender editorial direction for money some what weakens their “look at the culture of public services in the context of a general election and the current financial situation.” While their columnists bleat at the evil cuts, the management side are still scrambling for the taxpayer teat.

Quote of the Day

Iain Martin writes of Labour:

“A party ready to take difficult choices wouldn’t tell the only people with recent experience of winning to “shut up”, would it?”

Labour Lords a'Leaping

As much as the candidates may try to spin it, it is clear the old guard still have the ability to upset the leadership apple-cart. Guido, like most people, wasn’t really paying much attention to the squabbles of the weekend after Mandy dipped an oar in. To summarise, it seems the Dark Lord made a supportive comment about Miliband D, who promptly said “woah there, back off with the endorsements”. Miliband E took offence, and a man who knows all about winning, Lord Kinnock came to his defence. As ever Lord Prescott got angry.

All fascinating stuff that kept the news channels occupied over the long weekend. The Labour Party is really covering itself in glory with this fascinating, in depth, internal discussion about it’s future. News is starting to emerge of Blair’s criticisms of Brown in his book published tomorrow. How convenient for the rest of the country that the Labour Party go into meltdown about the past, the war, the lies and the spin the day the ballot papers go out…

Perfect timing our Tone.

Rich & Mark's Monday Morning View

Flashback: Hague's Gay Special Adviser

This is not the first time that William Hague’s choice of Special Adviser has raised questions. Back in December 1995, when Hague was a Minister in the Welsh Office, eyebrows were raised about the appointment of another young Special Adviser with no experience of policy in relation to Wales.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Quote of the Day

Mike Deaver said…

“News is entertainment.”[…]

+ READ MORE +

Saturday Seven Up

7upGuido thought the MPs were coming back this coming week, but turns out it’s not until the 6th. Traffic was up though this week with a certain rumour being queried. 65,455 readers who viewed 301,356 pages over the last seven days.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Labour MP: Members Too Thick To Vote

Who was it that said Labour MPs were patronising and nannying? Lisa Nandy, the uninspiring member for Wigan, is complaining that the system for electing the new leader is too confusing for the members to understand:

“I am picking up a disconcerting level of confusion amongst party members about when they vote or how the system works.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Breaking: Tory Minister Comes Out

An announcement at 4pm on Friday afternoon often means only one thing – a Sunday newspaper is on to you. Tory Justice Minister Crispin Blunt has just released a statement confirming he is leaving his wife because he is gay:

“Crispin Blunt wishes to make it known that he has separated from his wife Victoria.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Quote of the Day

Comedian Frankie Boyle said:

“Charles Kennedy has denied rumours he was going to defect and join Labour. I say cut the man some slack, we all talk shit when we’re pissed. Labour have said he’s welcome to cross the floor at any time.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Friday Caption Contest (Hush Hush Hague Edition)

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Have You Seen This Man?

Back in June when David Cameron’s helicopter was diverted in Afghanistan, officials described it as a routine precaution. News this morning has emerged though that the PM was in a lot more danger than originally thought. Military chiefs are urging a comprehensive review of the Prime Minister’s security.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

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