Mak Gets Flack After Hack Pack Smacking

The Tory MPs’ team was thrashed 5-2 by the Lobby in the traditional conference football match yesterday. Changing room chatter reveals MP Alan Mak, a mercurial central midfielder, was subbed off after just nine minutes, by which point the Tories were 3-0 down. According to a teammate, “we started playing well when he was taken off”. Mak requested to be allowed back on the field in the second half – he lasted another five minutes before suffering the ignominy of being subbed off a second time. Housing minister Gavin Barwell scored the first own goal of conference by heading into his own net on an afternoon to forget for the Tories. “Mak-ed in the morning, you’re getting Mak-ed in the morning…”

Ruth Davidson’s Lobby Lunch

ruth davidson

Ruth Davidson didn’t spare Leadsom or Brexiteers at today’s lobby lunch:

The top Tory Scot left no Brexiteer safe, taking a pop at the member for Uxbridge’s recent departure from front line politics:

After the room broke up into laughter she said “Sorry that’s not even my speech, that’s just a text from Stephen Crabb….”. She did eventually take a pop at the opposition, calling Corbyn “comical Ali”:

As well as her own opposition in Holyrood:

Davidson also revealed why she was so pro-Remain – love:

And let’s not forget her words for the press:

Letting off some steam, Ruth?

H/T the lobby

Burnham Praises Corbyn in Shift to Left

Andy Burnham has refused to rule out giving Jeremy Corbyn a job in the Shadow Cabinet – describing the man who counts Hamas terrorists among his friends as “a man of integrity”. Speaking to a Lobby journalists’ lunch at the heart of the “Westminster bubble” he claims to despise, Burnham praised Corbyn as someone who has “important things to say” and as having “made important contributions” to the leadership contest. An unsubtle shift to the left to sweep up second preferences from Corbyn supporters… Jezza for Shadow Defence Secretary? 

Burnham then went off on one about Hillsborough, mystically hinting “all I’m saying is there was a decision to leave it alone” when asked directly about a link between Blair and News International. He didn’t squash the idea that the relationship between New Labour & “certain newspapers” led to a cover up. No sign of tin foil…

Pic via @RosaPrinceUK

Daily Mail Political Editor Runners and Riders

With Mail Political Editor James Chapman off to spin for Osborne and not expected to write another word in the paper, the race to succeed him in one of the best jobs in political journalism is well under way…

The Daily Mail, more than other papers, likes its people to be Mail born and bred. This makes an internal promotion most likely, or failing that, someone with strong links to the paper. In light of that here are your current runners and riders:

James Slack
Daily Mail Home Affairs Editor

Slack was sent by Mail HQ to spend time in Westminster during the election and has also impressed as a leader writer, making people think he was being groomed for the job. Understood to be very well thought of by Dacre, but it is unclear if he wants this gig and to take himself off commentary. Experience in the regional lobby. Current favourite.

Jason Groves
Daily Mail Deputy Political Editor

Described by colleagues as “solid” and an “unflappable pro” with good contacts, but deputies don’t often step up. He will stand in for Chappers over the next few weeks and months, so has a chance to shine. Not to be ruled out.

Katherine Faulkner
Former Mail deputy news editor, now Investigations Editor

Faulkner is definitely in the running having a had some big hits during the election on NHS data. She was given the investigations job after attempts to poach her from elsewhere. While she has no previous experience in politics, that might be deemed a bonus if they want to shape coverage from Kensington. A woman in the job is certainly overdue…

Matt Chorley
Political Editor of MailOnline

Though web based, Chorley’s well researched ‘exclusives’ are regularly taken into the paper. He has been in the Lobby forever and friends say he is well liked internally. A good eye for fun stories but also has good contacts. Would trigger a messy power struggle between the paper and the website. 

Tim Shipman
Sunday Times Political Editor

After two spells in the Mail political team – including five years as Deputy Pol Ed – Shippers has spent the last year at the helm of the Sunday Times team. He already knows the Mail team and desk and has been re-hired once before by Dacre. Eminently qualified, but not cheap and may be having too much fun where he is…

Glen Owen
Mail on Sunday Political Correspondent

Would escalate the war with Mail on Sunday Editor Geordie Greig, but Owen is a hard hitter with a track record of scoops. An expensive outside bet…

Peter Dominiczak + Steven Swinford
Telegraph Political Editor + Deputy

Would Tony Gallagher be able to restrain himself from stealing from his old patch? Dominiczak would be more expensive than Swinford but both are solid hacks. After Christopher Hope turned down an approach from the Mail a while back, Media Guido understands it’s unlikely he will be approached again. Besides, why would anyone ever want to leave the Telegraph?

Other names doing the rounds are the Sun’s Steve Hawkes and the Express’ Macer Hall. Sam Coates and James Lyons of the Times and Sunday Times respectively are certainly qualified.

And now you know.

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