Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thumbscrews

UPDATE:

Guardian Kick Back at Telegraph Crisis Story

The Telegraph has this afternoon published a story claiming that GNM is ‘close to axing the print editions of the Guardian and Observer’.  It is a rehash of a blog written on a small advertising website.

I can confirm this is completely untrue.

The newspaper makes up two thirds of our revenue and remains core to our strategy.  The figures for going digital only and abandoning print simply don’t add up.

As David pointed out in his email this morning, Guardian content is accessed by 5.8m across print, web and mobile in GB every week – more than any other national quality title, including the Telegraph.

This is something that we should all be incredibly proud of.

Andrew

Rusbridger’s sword of truth has spoken…

Exclusive: Deputy Chief Whip John Randall ‘Threatens To Quit’

Guido understands that the Tory Deputy Chief Whip John Randall has threatened to resign if Andrew Mitchell does not jump. He is currently not returning Guido’s calls, but a senior Tory confirms that there is serious consternation in the Whips office and has indicated that Randall is not the only one considering radical action. Guido speculated about this earlier and the threat is said to have “not fizzled out”.

A possible safe pair of hands if Mitchell does go, Randall was very close to former Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin. Randall has form in walking on matters of principle: he resigned as an opposition whip in 2003. He is well regarded on the backbenches and Mitchell’s position would be untenable were he to go. Developing…

UPDATE: Looks like Tim Shipman has been doing a phone around:

UPDATE II: And within 15 minutes Sky are running with the story:

Video: Dave Wants An In/In Referendum

Referendum-pledging Dave admitted in PMQs today that he actually doesn’t want an in/out referendum at all, but merely a “new settlement with Europe”, whatever that means. Effectively he is saying that the only choice he will give the British public is whether they want to stay in the EU… or stay in the EU. Ukip gain.

UPDATE: James Forsyth has the detail in tomorrow’s Spectator about Cameron’s plan:

“As a precursor to this renegotiation, the coalition is undertaking a ‘balance of competences’ review. This might sound a thoroughly dull, bureaucratic exercise. But it is terribly important because for the first time it will reveal just how much the European Union influences our national life. It will call for evidence from government departments, business, civil society, think tanks and parliamentary committees. And the government plans to publish the evidence submitted.

The review won’t make any recommendations, but when it concludes in 2014 it will form the evidential basis for renegotiation. Cameron’s plan is, before Christmas, to commit to a referendum after the next election. The Cameroons hope that this will be enough to satisfy the party’s Eurosceptics. Conservative strategists believe such a move would check Ukip’s advance. The prospect of Nigel Farage’s merry band pushing the Conservatives into third place in the European elections in 2014 sends many of them into cold sweat, and worse.”

Guido is not sure that will be enough to buy off the growing legion of ‘merry men’…

Guardian Bosses Threaten to Kill Newspaper
Rusbridger Frozen Out as All-Digital Operation Considered

Rusbridger’s broadband poll tax was laughed all the way out of Guardian HQ when it was floated through David Leigh last month, the family silver is being sold off and up to seventy hacks face the sack. Now media analysts are reporting that, for the first time, the paper’s bosses are seriously considering ditching the print edition altogether in favour of an all-digital operation. Rusbridger has been left isolated by the Scott Trust, GNM’s owners, and is reportedly close to becoming the only person left on the company’s board opposed to signing the newspaper’s death warrant. This could be the beginning of the end…

UPDATE: Rusbridger himself says it’s untrue.

Never believe anything until it’s officially denied…

Rumour: Whip Threatening to Quit Over Mitchell

Whispers are making their way to Guido that well respected member of the Whips office is threatening to resign himself if Mitchell does not go.

The Speccie have speculated that there is trouble in Mitchell’s team but this is now beginning to snowball.

It could be hot-headed post lunch tearoom chatter, but if it were to come good Mitchell’s position would be totally untenable given said Whips reputation amongst his colleagues.

Said Whip is not currently taking calls…

Sacked Whip Fabricant Confirms Mitchell Engaged

Sacked Whip Michael Fabricant who has taken to Twitter in a spectacular fashion since the reshuffle has stuck an helpful oar in to this afternoon’s debate over whether Mitchell engaged and said “I didn’t” swear, or whether Miliband was, well, imagining it:

No camera seems to have picked up the fateful words…

UPDATE: A comment from Fabricant:

“I was not sacked. I told the previous Chief Whip that I could not remain silent in the Chamber indefinitely. I have a number of major constituency issues including HS2. The original plan was to leave June 2013, but when I heard that Patrick McLoughlin was to be moved, I wrote to the PM and resigned! Just wanted to get THAT straight.”

Massive apologies!

Mitchell: Party ‘Threw Me Under a Bus’ and ‘Peed on’ Me

Outraged Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell is not very happy about how his party has treated him. Last night he took to Twitter to suggest that he had been thrown under a bus and then the party ‘peed on’ the body:

You didn’t think the headline was about someone else?

Mitchell F-Bomb Mystery

When pleb-gate exploded nearly a month ago now Andrew Mitchell admitted to the Sunday Telegraph that he had sworn at the police. This is how they reported it:

“The Sunday Telegraph understands that the Chief Whip’s version of events is that after asking officers to open the main gates to Downing Street for his bicycle, and being refused, he said:

“You guys are supposed to f***ing help us.””

At PMQs Thrasher responded to Ed’s claim he had sworn by shouting, from a sedentary position, “I didn’t”. This was meant to be the day that the story was killed, now by engaging with Miliband at PMQs the whole thing has been reopened. So, Mr Mitchell, did you swear or didn’t you?


Seen Elsewhere

Comply or Die at Grauniad | MediaGuido
Labour Beats UKIP in South Yorkshire | LabourList
Mock the Week’s Weak Comedy | Nigel Farage
Can Jim Murphy Save Scottish Labour? | Guardian
There is Still Appetite for the Westminster Lunch | Jon Craig
Labour Turn Their Backs on Jewish Community | Dan Hodges
Chivalry is Not Dead | Laura Perrins
Jonathan Jones is a Tw*t | Iain Dale
Second Scotland Poll Suggests Labour Wipeout | Times
Paedo Probe Boss Urged to Quit | Sun
Keynesian Tories Won’t Eliminate Deficit | Tim Montgomerie


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