March 30th, 2012

Former Tory Spinner Spoils Sunday Times Sting

Former Tory spinner Ed Staite looks set on trying to ruin the Sunday Times’ Saturday. Having smelt a rat when he met with the “Global Zenith” he has put an unedited version of events on his own website. His fisk of their email allegations is pretty pithy:

Dear Mr Staite,

We are preparing an article for publication in this weekend’s edition of The Sunday Times which will describe advice you gave to undercover reporters posing as wealth fund executives at a meeting in February.

They lied to meet me, took up at least a day of my time and, I assume filmed the whole thing while lying further as a way to attempt entrapment. I outlined a way to make a positive contribution to the political process instead of paying for influence as the journalists continually advocated.

The party will soon begin setting up new groups to form policy ahead of the next General Election, you said.

They will as is the natural process of politics.

This process will go on “behind Chinese Walls” in order to exclude Liberal Democrats.

The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are not the same party so naturally they have different policies. This is attempting to make me, and what I advocated, look underhand.

The groups can be bankrolled either with cash sponsorship or by paying for a secretariat. Funders are allowed to “join in the conversation” and “communicate their priorities” in order to influence the outcome.

As bankrolled is not in inverted commas and it is not something I’d say I assume I didn’t say it. Bankrolled is a word used by journalists to make a payment of any kind seem seedy. A policy making process should be a conversation and communicating priorities does not mean they are accepted.

You told the reporters they could even come up with their own idea for a policy group for the party in exchange for funding and suggested Government efficiencies as a good area.

A policy group would have to meet the aims of the Conservative Party only then would it be set up and a secretariat appointed. Government efficiencies are indeed a good idea as we face a massive structural deficit.

You said they could use their influence over such a group to benefit their business strategy by pushing for the sale of the Royal Mail and other assets.

Again I haven’t been quoted here and using the word “pushing” is suggesting something underhand.

Please respond by email with any comments that you wish to make on the above points by 6pm on Friday.

No, thank you. I have responded here on my blog.

Yours sincerely,


Heidi Blake

I thought your name was Hayley.

Access denied!

UPDATE 1800: The Sunday Times have got in touch to dispute Staite’s version of events.


  1. 1
    rofl says:

    Getting smart

  2. 2
    Fuct says:

    /pulls up deckchair .. opens popcorn …

  3. 3
    purpleline says:

    Good for Mr Staite, these journalists are no different than the private investigator who hacked on behalf of the Murdoch owned NOTW.

    I have been a supporter of Murdoch, however, I now find myself getting completely pissed at his publications. I have today cancelled my subscription to Sky, the Times.

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    The last line is the best

  5. 5
    Obi Wan Kenobi Nil says:

    So a newspaper lies to get a story, well I never. In other news a bear was seen taking some Andrex into Five Acre Wood.

  6. 6
    Displaced Brummie says:

    Oh, dear. A Shit Street Hack gets a good stuffing in public. Oh, poor little lamb. The pain it must be feeling.

  7. 7
    Underhand says:

    Best bit is his response to Yours sincerely: Really?

  8. 8
    MB. says:

    It would be rather nice if a range of people could each waste several days time for Sunday Times reporters by feeding them completely fictitious stories, all done in the interests of investigating how Sunday Times reporters operate so quite justified of course.

  9. 9
    Show Biz for ugly people says:


    uncovering this kind of clumsy selling of access is exactly the same as hacking a murdered childs phone

    I’m sure it’ll be tough for him but somehow I think Mr Murdoch will struggle on without your SKY subscription.

    I’ll reserve judgement till I see the full Times article, but if you think this overly shrill blog entry is going to make much difference to the damage the Time’s article is going to cause then you’re deluded.

  10. 10
    Gordon Brown says:

    Andrex? I use my hand.

  11. 11
    Dobby says:

    As clear as mud to me ..err thanks Guido.

  12. 12
    Sky high says:

    For all the wretched things his papers have done, there are two things we should be grateful to Murdoch for. One is bringing The Simpsons to the UK on Sky TV, and forcing the terrestrial channels to up their game in terms of first run movies and choice. Without that, we’d still have 4 terrestrial channels.

  13. 13
    I've got a full tank of diesel so fuck you lot says:

    Galloway spits his dummy out

  14. 14
    Maude the fraud says:

    Anyone started a facebook condolence page for the numpty firestarter yet?

  15. 15
    Technomist says:

    I think it would be really nice if Sunday Times reporters would investivgate the corruption at Waltham Forest Council its various ‘arms length’ service providers and fake charities. Millions of pounds have gone missing and none of it recovered.

  16. 16
    The Piss Soaked Tramp Formally Known As TAT! says:

    I can understand cancelling The Times as it is shit now anyway but Sky?

    Are you mad?

    Do you actually enjoy watching the BBC and freeview crap?

    I will give a month before the withdrawal symptoms kick in and you resub.

  17. 17
    Show Biz for ugly people says:

    “On February 8th I met with two individuals who, I believed at the time, to be executives of a wealth fund who were looking to begin investing in the UK. Specifically they outlined how they were interested in purchasing government assets. The reason for my meeting with ‘Global Zenith’ was, at their request, to discuss support I could provide on issues and crisis management. ”


    Support for ‘issues’ is a bit vague, and what crisis had they anticipated before they’d even approached the govt?

    Have a feeling that by Sunday he’s going to be looking a fair bit less smug than he does in his pic at the top of this story.

  18. 18
    Film says:

    The criminal enterprise known as NI may survive without an individual customer, but there are floods leaving, and pressure may be bought on advertisers again.

  19. 19
    Jimmy says:

    “They lied to meet me,”

    They didn’t tell him they were reporters? Bastards!

    “His fisk of their email allegations is pretty pithy:”

    He is indeed taking the pith.

    I’m curious as to whether you are charging him for this rather feeble attempt at a spoiler or is this a free service?

  20. 20
    Jimmy says:

    “They lied to meet me,”

    Sorry for the repetition but I can’t stop laughing at that line.

  21. 21
    Jimmy says:

    Remember it’s not bribery. Bribery is illegal. It’s “sponsoring policy”.

  22. 22
    Phoney B£iar says:

    Is that you Rupert?

  23. 23
    Show Biz for ugly people says:

    Floods leaving? Can you back that statement up?

    “Broadcaster BSkyB has announced it plans to create more than 1,000 jobs after achieving its highest-ever first half operating profit.

    The company, which owns Sky News, reported a 28% rise in operating profit to £597m, compared to £467m in the same period a year ago.
    Revenues grew 6% over the six months to December 31 to £3.36bn.
    The group plans to create 1,300 jobs across the UK and Ireland over the next two years.
    The number of subscribers to Sky’s television, broadband and telephone packages rose by 100,000 over the period to 10.5 million, with more than three million customers subscribing to all three services.”

    and I doubt the Times circulation will be suffering much this weekend.

  24. 24
    Jimmy says:

    Speed kills

    by Ed Staite / 23 Jul 2010

    Ed Staite explains why an effective rebuttal operation is essential to the success of your election chances”Let no attack go unanswered, let no opportunity go unexploited” was the guiding principle behind Bill Clinton’slegendary presidential campaign office, immortalised in the awardwinning film War Room.

    [total politics]

    Thanks for this Guido. After last night this has really cheered me up.

  25. 25
    Fog says:

    Are referring to the woman in her kitchen with the petrol? Someone forced her to do it against her will.

  26. 26
    Joss Askin says:

    Where is Sky’s Peter Poofter?

  27. 27
    rick says:

    On the contrary, Galloway remained very calm even though he was being provoked. The sneering interviewer was put back in her box much the same way Paxo was when he tried the same trick.

  28. 28
    nightwatch says:

    The Sunday Times will not be forgiven by it’s readers, if Mr Staite’s version is correct.

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    gawd, what a huhne galloway

  30. 30
    Hang The Bastards says:

    Even though I hate Galloways guts, and his left of left wing stance, I have to say I admire him as a conviction politician, and he is spot on about thje 3 arse cheeks that we currently have.

    It is a bit of a shame that he has to deliberately court the Muslim vote rather than being able to motivate the feckless lazy white vote !

  31. 31
    Patrick says:

    “A policy making process should be a conversation and communicating priorities does not mean they are accepted. ”
    However it appears those who donate are invited to contribute ideas (accepted or not) whereas those unable to donate are not afforded an invite.
    That is buying influence. Seedy.

  32. 32
    Jimmy says:

    No no, it’s sponsoring policy. The two concepts are like chalk and calcite.

  33. 33
    I've got a full tank of diesel so fuck you lot says:

    Because Galloway hates Jews so that’s why Muslims love him.

  34. 34
    Jimmy says:

    ST tweet: Staites pants on fire. They have tape.

    Popcorn time.

  35. 35
    Jimmy says:

    Sunday Times Insight ‏ @insightST

    · Open

    If spin doctor @edstaite thought meeting with Insight “bizarre,” why did he follow up by sending proposal to charge £40k for his services?

  36. 36
    purpleline says:

    Absolutely no evidence they hacked her phone, the finger should be pointed at her mate who gave the phone number. But as you know I was talking general terms, the Actors who are now would be politicians of the left.

  37. 37
    mikis says:

    There are loads of other possible targets but obviously (judging by recent coverage in their organs) the word has gone out from on high at NI, to try to get the Tories – and the hacks obey the command – if they know what’s good for their career prospects.

    Perhaps you recall when NI tried to take over Man U a few years ago. None of the journalists at NI saw any problem with the deal – at least they didn’t put their name to any articles criticising it.

  38. 38
    Mike Hunt says:

    She showed as much brain as the idiots queuing for hours for a fiver’s worth of petrol.

    Natural selection in practice.

  39. 39
    Tony says:

    She was playing around with a jug of petrol whilst the stove was on cooking her dinner. Who knew that there could be risks involved in that?

  40. 40
    Patrick Troy says:

    I dislike the policies of the current Israeli government plus the action of the IDF. Does that make me a) anti-Semitic or b) a jue hater?

  41. 41
    Showbiz_for ugly people says:

    Yes they offered the Dowler family £2 million because they didn’t hack her phone.

    Oh and they admitted hacking her phone because they didn’t.

    Do you follow current events much?

  42. 42
    Jeffrey Bernard says:

    Murdoch’s revenge. The Tories are plainly being targeted in a concerted campaign by the Sunday Times which is matched by the hysterical (in the “not very well” sense of the word ) wailings of the Sun about how people who eat 787,689,365 pasties each year are going to be out of pocket even after the uplift in the personal allowance. Good to see that editorial indepednence is alive and well in the deadtreepress.

    But why, oh why, are functionaries in the Tory party as stupid as Hoon/Byers/Hewitt et al????

  43. 43
    Jeffrey Bernard says:

    Agree on the 3 arse cheecks and tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee politics. But that’s what you get when you have an opposition imploding in a policy vacuum which therefore has no alternative but to descend to the politics of the school yard.

  44. 44
    Jeffrey Bernard says:

    I hope she sues:
    (a) her schoolteachers for not telling her
    (b) Francis Maude
    (c) the gas company for allowing her to have something as dangerous as lit gas in the house
    (d) whoever was in the room demanding to be fed some “tea”
    (e) [lots more, but it would get too non-PC]

  45. 45
    Jimmy says:

    Be fair, the undercover reporter didn’t even give him her real name. Who could have anticipated such a sophisticated deception?

  46. 46
    Jeffrey Bernard says:

    PS: I’ll bet there wasn’t a warning label on the jug she was using. Sue, sue, sue …

  47. 47
    Sue E Sidall says:

    Put her down for an honourable mention in the Darwin Awards.

  48. 48
    Carlos says:

    You forgot
    f) Her parents for providing such a shallow gene pool.

  49. 49
    Cath says:

    I blame Sue………..

  50. 50
    Scottie says:

    This open war between Murdoch and the Tories is like watching Man U vs Chelsea. You’re left hoping there’s some way they could both lose.

  51. 51
    Dick the Prick says:

    The boy did well. They obviously don’t understand caucus and perhaps never will.

  52. 52
    Miss OK says:

    Apparently Sunday times now threatening to sue over breach of privacy by Ed using hacks photo!! Couldn’t make it up!

  53. 53
    Jeffrey Bernard says:

    No I didn’t

  54. 54
    Jimmy says:

    Ms. Blake was the one who stitched up Cable when she was at the Torygraph. Very unsporting to out her like this.

  55. 55
    Hate Staite says:

    Whilst this isn’t really considered cricket, Ed Staite is such a total twat that I can forgive myself the indiscretion.

    Ed must have fired off the same grovelling email to every contact he could think of (myself included). He must have done so in such a panic that he forgot that a good percentage of those he emailed (myself included) would pay good money to watch a Rottweiler maul him to death. How phrases like “career threatening misjudgement”, “fucking idiot” and “need help to defuse this situation” brought a smile to my face.

    So, fuck you Ed, I will enjoy watching you burn you back stabbing piece of shit.

  56. 56
    Jimmy says:

    You bitch.

    Even I’m starting to feel sorry for him now.

  57. 57
    Jimmy says:

    btw judging by twitter his contact list includes Propellor Boy Livingstone at the Angrytown Newsletterbomb. What’s that about?

  58. 58
    Jack Ketch says:

    But she was warming some cold pasties at the same time!

  59. 59
    Cornishboy says:

    Wouldn’t really say Galloway was being prevoked the man has clearly never heard of modesty. He calls it a popular uprising but he simply out Muslimed the Muslim candidate. it is more a sad reflection of how far british politics has gone.

  60. 60
    Anonymous says:

    There was no need for the interviewer’s condescending attitude. It plays in his hands anyway.

  61. 61
    PinStripedChancer says:

    Ha ha ha. I bet Carlton Comm’s ex-spinner Dave (Knows- most- of -the- moves) Cameron finds this hilarious.

  62. 62
    Georgie Galloway says:

    Freeview -vs- Sky in a recession? Bets on the cheapest one winning that one, surely????

  63. 63
    Just a Man says:

    “back stabbing piece of shit”

    Sauce please!

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