Indy Splash Scooped By the Indy

“Education for sale: Gove plans to let firms run schools for profit” bleats today’s Indy mega exclusive splash, citing a leaked memo giving the inside line on DfE policy:

“A memo prepared for Mr Gove by senior DfE staff last October revealed that expansion of the academies and free schools programme would “not reach much beyond 5,000 [schools]” unless additional central resources were found. The Education Secretary was urged to begin planning a “fundamental shift” in academies’ status before the 2015 election.”

Just the one problem: the Indy were unfortunately scooped on their “exclusive”… by the Independent on Sunday six months ago. Headlined “Secret memo shows Michael Gove’s plan for privatisation of academies”, the old Sindy story clearly came from the same leaked memo:

“The minutes, seen by The Independent on Sunday, state: “it is difficult to see how we could manage expansion of the academies and free schools programme much beyond 5,000 without increasing central resource.””

Another roaring success for the new editor…

New Indy Editor’s First World Exclusive

A great first week for the new Indy editor Amol Rajan. Last night the paper scooped the world with the first picture of Edward Snowden arriving at Moscow airport and using the shuttle train transfer between terminals. The exclusive was set to remain just that though: it clearly was not the wanted man. A new edition was quickly rushed out but the damage was done. Who was the picture editor, Piers Morgan?

WATCH: Future Indy Editor’s Awkward TV Debut

Amol Rajan the unfortunate man holding the mic on Channel 5’s Wright Stuff a few years back. In fairness he was a good sport about it:

“Camera 4, the one that gets right up in your face – my face – caught my swivelling around to Wright in bafflement, shamelessly revealing myself to be the kipper that had been proverbially “done”. What the camera could not detect, but which posterity should nevertheless record, is the sound of the gallery staff – the director, producers, editors, autocue bunnies – screaming in my ear: “Get the bloody mic away from him, Amol! Move the mic away!” And, for reasons I still cannot fathom, I declined this request, so that the microphone sat just below Eric’s lips as he ventilated his final enquiries: “You know, like a bit of man-on-man action? Do you fancy a bum?””

How far he has come…

Amol Rajan New Indy Editor

A big promotion for the man previously in charge of Indy Voices, the paper’s online blog. Another young appointment to a high position. Chris Blackhurst becomes “group content director”. According to the Guardian he has been in “Lebedev’s inner circle for a number of years”Evgeny’s new editor has a beard he would be proud of…

UPDATE: Amusingly Amol was in line for redundancy in 2009, he was told he was going to have to go and refused to leave. Amol carried on turning up to the office and made noises about unfair dismissal, so they kept him on. Proof that the key to success is persistence…

UPDATE II: MediaGuido is told the Indy and Evening Standard will undergo “a considerable period of change and reorganisation”. Editorial is relocated to the second floor of Northcliffe House, Commercial is relocated to the first floor. A newly designed News operation will be located alongside a TV news studio on the second floor.

Lisa Markwell New Sindy Editor

Indy executive editor Lisa Markwell replaces John Mullin as editor of the Sindy.

Another female editor at a Lebedev paper, as Evgeny has been quick to stress…

The Indy Pol Ed, UKIP and the Six Year Old Guardian Quote

Fascinating insight from the Indy’s political editor Andy Grice on Thursday last week:

“The wildcard on May 2 could be the UK Independence Party. The anti-EU party is consistently in double figures in the opinion polls and is fielding 1,001 candidates, up from 319 last year. Its best hopes are in Hull, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and West Wiltshire. Although Ukip says it would do well to gain more than 15 seats, it could prove a “spoiler” which prevents Tory victories, helping the Lib Dems in the South and Labour in the North.”

Though as Bloggers for UKIP point out:

“In actual fact, we have 1,734 candidates – up from 593 last time. Hull, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees don’t even have any Council elections this year, whilst West Wiltshire council was abolished in 2009.”

Which is odd. It appears the Indy have tipped UKIP to do well in councils without elections and even in a council that has been abolished. So where did Grice get this dodgy information? It can’t have been from the UKIP website, that clearly lists which candidates are standing where.

Well scroll back six years and those figures and locations were more accurate. It was once reported that “Ukip is fielding 1,001 candidates, with its best hopes in Hull, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and West Wiltshire”, though not by Grice in the Indy, rather by Will Woodward in the Guardian in April 2007. Can anyone remember Grice getting into this sort of trouble before?

Balls Spins Indy Spending Splash

Labour are getting into a spin over this morning’s Indy splash claiming they will pledge to outspend the Tories in 2015. Balls has told LBC the story “is an exclusive but it’s wrong”, blaming a report from the Fabians: “it is not our policy, it is not our position”. As Damian McBride speculates, the Indy front page is manifestly true, Labour just won’t confirm it until they release their manifesto in two years’ time.

Labour pledging to spend more is a case of when rather than if. They say they don’t have a position now, but you can bet the scoop will be confirmed by election day…

Indy Anoint New Deputy Prime Minister

Given that a skeleton Indy staff are expected to work on three newspapers and a website, it’s hardly surprising things like this happen. And that’s before the TV station launches…

Hacked Off Funded By Billionaire Russian Oligarch

Before the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee this morning, representatives from Hacked Off  refused to comment on Guido’s exposing of their donors. They got a comprehensive kicking from most of the MPs present though:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Exclusive: Angry Indy Staff Move to Strike Ballot

Though notice is yet to be served on the paper’s management, Guido understands that tensions over that the Indy are boiling over and the NUJ chapel has moved to ballot for industrial action. The latest round of cuts see 25 […]

+ READ MORE +

Fabricant Files: A New Pact for 2015

Back in August Guido pointed out that

“the Cameroons like to remind the disgruntled Tory right of a simple bit of coalition electoral arithmetic: Tories on 34% + LibDems on 8% = 42%, just about enough to form a government

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Laurie Penny Leaves Indy

An intriguing media move today as Laurie Penny leaves her post at the Indy:

Could […]

+ READ MORE +



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Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

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