Mirror Apologise to “Sick Nazi Salute” Kipper

Back in 2013 the Mirror splashed on UKIP’s Alex Wood “giving a sick Nazi salute”.  Many others saw a bloke reaching to grab the camera-phone with his left-hand – which was exactly what he claimed. The story drove the lefty Twitterati wild with glee, confirming their prejudices about UKIP being a bunch of racists. Today the Mirror say in a statement:

“In print and online articles in April and May 2013 we said that Alex Wood, who was standing for UKIP in the May 2013 local elections in Somerset, had been photographed making a ‘Nazi salute’. We also said that he had made racist comments on Facebook.

We now accept that these allegations were wrong and there is no reason to believe that Mr Wood is a racist or a Nazi. The photograph, one of a series of photographs appearing on his Facebook page, was taken out of context. Mr Wood was reaching out to stop a friend taking a photo on a mobile phone. The comments on Facebook purportedly made by Mr Wood were not made by him and the police have confirmed that they were not made by Mr Wood.

We apologise to Mr Wood for the allegations made and any hurt and distress caused as a result. We hope this apology will go some way to repairing Mr Wood’s reputation.”

Despite UKIP vehemently denying the claim at the time, it only took ’em two years to say sorry…

All those who were quick to pile in at the time will be following the Mirror and Mehdi’s mea culpa, right? 

Yentob Demands “Congratulations” as Lurid Rumours Swirl

On Wednesday the BBC’s spin arm briefed Media Guardian that its creative director Alan Yentob had not tried to influence Newsnight’s investigation into scandal-hit Kids Company, of which he is chairman. Yet on Channel 4 News last night, Yentob admitted he did phone Newsnight staff before the programme aired. He still insists “I don’t think I’ve abused my position in any way”.

In a bizarre interview, a heated Yentob said of sexual abuse allegations at Kids Company: “I don’t believe them for one minute”. He then weirdly demanded Matt Frei congratulate him for his role in running a charity which has now collapsed in disgrace:

“Why don’t you say to me, congratulations Alan?”

Judging by this tweet from the Mail’s media editor…

… it must have been a very long day…

Burnham Train Derailed: Renationalisation Spin Unravels

Andy Burnham got the headlines he wanted this morning: the Mirror dutifully report he “promises to renationalise the railways if he takes power” on their front page. Rival Labour camps are quick to point out that Burnham’s plan has been lifted “word for word” from Ed Miliband’s manifesto, which pledged:

“Labour will legislate so a public sector operator can take on lines and challenge private train operating companies on a level playing field… We will end the situation where the only public sector that cannot run our railways is our own.”

“It is hardly the big, bold new policy it was promised to be,” says a spokesperson from the Yvette campaign.

What’s more, Labour sources point out that 90% of rail franchises expire in the next 5 years and won’t be up again until 2030. Burnham has confirmed that his policy is not immediate compulsory renationalisation, merely letting the public sector bid when franchises expire:

So even if he was to become PM in 2020, the policy wouldn’t come into effect for some ten years of Burnham governments. Almost as if it’s just an empty headline grabber to take Corbyn votes…

Is Air Con Sexist?

Meanwhile, over at Sky News, good to see they are fully embracing the silly season spirit with a discussion on whether office air con is sexist:

“Often in offices, it is men who control temperatures…”

Guardianisation of Buzzfeed Continues

The Guardian’s head of news is the latest to twig that former colleagues who’ve jumped to Buzzfeed are getting paid more money for less work:

Millar joins Janine Gibson and James Ball as part of the ongoing exodus from Kings Place to their more productivity-relaxed internet alter ego.

\ (•◡•) /\ (•◡•) /\ (•◡•) /

Conflicted Yentob Slammed “Horrendous” BBC “Innuendo”

£330,000-a-year BBC bore Alan Yentob has been caught allegedly trying to block Beeb journalists from invesitgating Kids Company, the scandal-hit charity of which he is chairman. Yentob apparently “telephoned Newsnight staff hours before it aired” and tried to “influence the direction” of the story. A pretty massive conflict of interest, exposed in this denial Yentob issued about the original Kids Company allegations:

“Let me be clear. There was no financial mismanagement. Our books have been audited and we passed every audit with no concerns raised. What we have is a shortage of funds, which arises because children self-refer and our policy has been that no child should be turned away. You could say it’s an unsustainable policy, but it’s been sustainable for 18 years. There is no doubt in my mind that Camila has been unfairly vilified. The gossip and innuendo that she has had to deal with have been horrendous.”

On top of the alleged financial impropriety, police are investigating darker claims of sexual abuse by Kids Company staff members being covered up. Tory backbenchers are already calling for Yentob’s head…

Owen Jones: Then and Now

Owen Jones, 4 May 2015: “Russell Brand has endorsed Labour – and the Tories should be worried.”

Owen Jones, 4 August 2015: “The Right are mocking Jeremy Corbyn because they fear him.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

Read Guido’s Sun on Sunday Column Online

Read Guido’s Sun on Sunday column for free online, not behind a paywall, over on SunNation. Were Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott more than just good comrades? Who was the naked man Diane romped with in a Cotswold field? Don’t miss out on:

  • New LibDem Equalities spokesman thinks some are more equal than others

beer

  • Parliament is spending how much on a custom-brewed beer for MPs’ subsidised bars?

email

  • Labour HQ staff inundated with x-rated abuse from Corbynistas
  • More Bercow perks: 1,098 items of “Speaker’s Silver”… worth £2.5 million!
  • Labour MP’s cash-for-honours amnesia
  • Dave’s “dirty cash” difficulty
  • You might have thought the woman who defeated Ed Balls would be a favourite among Tory MPs, but apparently not

You can read it all today, for free, without a paywall, only on SunNation

Wintour is Coming… To Serve the Beverages

plane

It sounds like Guardian Pol Ed Patrick Wintour enjoyed flying with the PM back from Asia. The Speccie have the inside story from 35,000 feet:

“Wintour – who appeared to be enjoying the champagne on offer – decided the time

[…]

+ READ MORE +

End of an Era…

End of an error, more like…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Owen Jones: Lie-RA

Fresh from telling the Sinn Fein summer school to “take inspiration” from the Easter Rising, in which 466 died and 2,217 civilians were wounded, Owen Jones, under criticism on Twitter, claimed to his critics: “I vehemently oppose all IRA violence […]

+ READ MORE +

Headline of the Day

In the Times:

See what they did there…

Via @holbornlolz

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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