Cameron : Brown is the dark side. [Sith Death Star graphic]
Guido retorted that they should fufil an outstanding Freedom of Information request. This evening out-of-the-blue at 5pm the Charity Commission’s Senior Manager for Compliance personally handed Guido a revealing two inch dossier. In an enclosed written request he asked Guido to provide all relevant information “by the close of business Thursday 25 January 2007”. All the bits of the puzzle have yet to be assembled.
Guido understands that tonight Newsnight’s Michael Crick intends to run an exposé of the Smith Institute, which is already under investigation by the charities regulator (for a second time) over allegations of political activities in breach of the Charities Act. The Charity Commission was due to issue a report shortly, they may soon have to revise their findings. The Sith are unavailable for comment.
++ More to follow ++
The story goes that some time ago I was working out in the commons gym (got to look my best in pictures after all). I was sprinting on the treadmill. Jack Straw was on the rowing machine just across from me. When, after doing an impressive 5 miles, I jumped off to dab myself off with a towel, Jack is supposed to have shouted across: “Very good Bryant, but now give me 20 press ups.” Always willing to ingratiate myself (he was the foreign secretary), I am supposed to have immediately hit the deck and given him a quick 20 press ups.
It is a lie. I will sue. I did 50 press ups!
I am Chris Bryant!
Could you give me an on the record quote concerning the relative priority given to these stories on Friday.
The lead story focused on an embarrassing email sent between two non-entity local Tory councillors. In other news, after nine minutes on this story, the next story was that PM’s aide was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in the loans for lordships investigation. This story was given three minutes.
Why were the stories prioritised in that order?
Do you think the un-pc email story was more important?
The reply came back this morning:
Guido,On Newsnight we don’t necessarily stick to linear running orders which reflect the relative significance of stories in the same way that news bulletins tend to. The loans for peerages story was of course more significant, but there were other factors at play. We had committed Michael Crick to following David Cameron’s efforts to relaunch his campaign in the North. While covering that he came across the “cripple” email story, which was an exclusive and highly pertinent to the Conservatives’ attempts to portray themselves as a compassionate party of government. It followed and mirrored the biggest controversy and talking point of the week which concerned the use of un-PC language in Big Brother. The loans story had been reported in some detail on the 10 O’clock News and on Newsnight we considered that our version could not be substantially different given the information we had at that point. We therefore decided to lead off on our own original story and to run the loans story prominently in second place. You could actually argue that in terms of global significance it was our third story – about China and star wars – which was the most important of the three.
See GuyNews.TV for the extract.
GF Hi Konrad, what is Ed speaking on tomorrow?
KC Err, who is this?
KC I’m not talking to you.
GF But you are now aren’t you?
Using only the power of the good side of the force, Guido has divined that the Sith are holding a meeting with Ed Balls, the master’s apprentice, as the speaker.
This is the non-political, non-partisan, Treasury hosted and rebated, tax-deductible-donations–welcome “public educational charity” holding a meeting it wants to keep secret. Maybe one of the co-conspirators knows the details. Is it at No. 11 again? What is the topic? Most think-tanks want to publicise their events openly, the Sith acts like a secretive cabal. Which in many ways it is…
More about the Smith Institute.
“the once-formidable Blair-Levy double-act has been closed by the Metropolitan Police’s investigation, soon to be handed to the Crown Prosecution Service. It will not, I understand, end in charges for Tony Blair or any of his senior lieutenants.”
UPDATE :Fraser Nelson has been in touch and the bet is on. He warns “I have an expensive taste in wine!” Excellent, so he won’t mind Guido’s choice…
Mr Keith Simpson (Con, Mid Norfolk): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which charities have held meetings at 11 Downing Street since December 2005.
Mr Keith Simpson (Con, Mid Norfolk): On how many occasions since December 2005 the Smith Institute has held meetings at 11 Downing Street and who attended each.