The BBC is running a brilliant graphic this afternoon illustrating the worst offenders of memory lapses during the Leveson Inquiry. Bottom of the pile – below such trustworthy characters as Rupert and James Murdoch and the recently-charged Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson – comes our worryingly forgetful Prime Minister. That doesn’t look good…
After Occupy tramp Bryn Phillips lied to get on the ballot at the upcoming City of London by-election, you would think he would try to stay on the right side of the law. This rioter, who was recently found guilty of violent disorder and burglary, is hilariously trying to stand on a moral platform.
He’s not too hot on the law though and failed to declare his conviction on his ballot submission.
Guido would now like to introduce him to some new legislation – Section 66 of the 1983 Representation of the People Act. That’s the bit that that forbids “any statement relating to the way in which voters have voted at the election” being made before polls close.
So perhaps bonkers Bryn could explain his latest Twitter outpouring:
Labour MP Kerry McCarthy was cautioned for an identical crime during the last election. Either Bryn is lying, and he has not seen the postal votes, or he has broken the law. Which is it?
By admitting that she sends her daughter to a private school, Janet Murray – one of the Guardian‘s top education journalists, has triggered plenty of hand-wringing today. Murray tells of her difficulty at walking her five-year-old walk to school in a “straw blazer and boater”, comparing herself to that paragon of virtue Diane Abbott for putting her child before her career. Annoying when those pesky lefty ideals get in the way of reality eh?
The education world is certainly surprised by Murray’s Damascene conversion and she’s getting it in the neck from the left and the right. Murray ends her mea culpa to the left by passionately imploring:
“I plan to send Katy to a state secondary if I can, but if I find myself dissatisfied with what is on offer, I will go private again. Until local schools meet families’ needs and cater for each individual child, can you blame people for putting their hand in their pocket?“
Welcome to the real world Janet.
“I am extremely disappointed by the CPS decision today. I will fight these allegations when they eventually get to court, but I would like to say one thing today about the Milly Dowler allegations. Anyone who knows me or who’s worked with me would know that I wouldn’t, and more importantly that I didn’t, do anything to damage the Milly Dowler investigation. At the News of the World we worked on behalf of the victims of crime, particularly violent crime, and the idea that I would then sit in my office dreaming up schemes to undermine investigations is simply untrue.”
His trial is likely to coincide with the last few months of an election campaign.
Guido imagines there are people sitting in offices dreaming up schemes to undermine that fact right now…
Neville Thurlbeck comes out fighting:
“Following today’s announcement that I am to be charged in relation to Operation Weeting, I would like to thank my family and friends for their undying support during the past 15 months. My thanks also to my lawyer Henri Brandman for his wise and calm counsel during the police investigation.
I am most surprised and disappointed in the outcome. I have always operated under the strict guidance and advice of News International’s lawyers and under the instructions of the newspaper’s editors which will be abundantly clear when this matter comes to court. I will vigorously fight to clear my reputation. Neither I nor my lawyer will be making any further comment at this stage.”
Coulson statement expected within the hour…
One to watch…
Rebekah Brooks is first to break cover, she’s going to contest:
“I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship. I am distressed and angry that the CPS have reached this decision when they knew all the facts and were in a position to stop the case at this stage.
Continuing his quest for the title cynical political operator of the year, Hunt has used the phone-hacking scandal to bury bad news.
At 11am – literally the same moment that the CPS were announcing charges for Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson – the Culture Secretary revealed the embarrassing news that 1,200 extra troops would be called up to provide security at the Olympics following the G4S debacle:
The eight who will be charged are: Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Glenn Mulcaire, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup.
They will face a total of nineteen charges in all. The full wording of all the charges will be made available, which will include the names of others whom the prosecution say are victims, but for now I shall summarise them as follows.
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have been charged by Operation Weeting, the investigation into phone-hacking.
19 charges for:
Brooks, Coulson, Thurlbeck, Edmonson, Weatherup, Mulcaire, Kuttner, Miskew
Brooks and Coulson to face specific charges related to hacking Milly Dowler’s phone.[…]
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke has some nerve doing the rounds on tax morality this week. Yesterday Guido brought you news of Gauke’s past avoidance of stamp duty and his wife’s job at a firm advising tax lawyers, while today the Telegraph and Mail both splash on his claim that paying tradesmen cash in hand is “morally wrong“:
“Getting a discount with your plumber by paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue and means others have to pay more in tax.
Guido has been leaked details of an internal inquiry into Justine Greening’s former agent and current Wandsworth councillor, Robert Morritt. The agent for the Wandsworth Conservative Group at the 2010 election stands accused of running a secret Addison Lee taxi account that racked up over £26,000 in journeys between 2008 and 2010.[…]