Trinity Mirror CEO Blasts Brooks Newmark Story Critics
Buzzfeed, Telegraph Criticised for Revealing Innocents’ Names

brooks-newmark-mirror-frontpage

Trinity Mirror CEO Simon Fox has put out an extremely robust defence of the Sunday Mirror/Brooks Newmark story:

“Whilst this has attracted a barrage of negative comment and the threat of an IPSO investigation, we believe that we were right to publish this story on public interest grounds.

If you have only read or heard the coverage rather than read The Sunday Mirror itself, you will have been left with a very wrong impression of what we did. Most importantly we did not publish any photographs of the women in the story. Nor did we list any names of any MPs other than Brooks Newmark.

The images of the women that you have seen widely reproduced were put there by other publications. The same goes for other MPs including those who have said that they will complain to IPSO.

Mr Brooks Newmark was not just an MP but a Minister (for civil society), with security clearance who took a role in foreign affairs and was co-founder for the campaign group ‘Women2Win’, an initiative designed to get more women into politics.

We acquired this story from a reputable freelance reporter who had set up a fake Twitter account as a Tory PR woman under the name of ‘Sophie’. She/he ‘followed’ on Twitter a number of MPs, celebrities and news organisations.

It is significant that it was Brooks Newmark who initiated the move away from the public forum and into private communication with ‘Sophie’. Since publication of our story and his resignation Mr Newmark has said that he ‘has nobody to blame but himself’.”

Ironically Guido understands that it is Buzzfeed and the Daily Telegraph who have attracted the ire of lawyers acting for parties unnamed by this blog or the Sunday Mirror. In fact one of those innocent parties will be writing for the Sunday Mirror about how she feels about her treatment at the hands of Buzzfeed and the Daily Telegraph..

Not So Pronto IPSO

IPSO’s Sir Alan Moses is in a rush for the three weeks-old new press regulator to get to the bottom of our Brooks Newmark investigation published in the Sunday Mirror. For the record and the avoidance of doubt, Alex Wickham – better known to our readers as WikiGuido – is a fine young journalist with more front page splashes to his name than some of his critics have had in their entire careers. His so-called sting – which was actually evidence gathering – was not an unauthorised operation. There will be no “rogue reporter defence”, it was an agreed plan.

Brooks Newmark was one of the founders of “Women2Win”, a campaign to get more Conservative women into politics. Newmark had a certain reputation among younger Tory women for being, for want of a better word, a bit of a creep. Think what his position gave him access to – ambitious, younger women. As with Lord Rennard that combination has obvious temptations.

MPs have been shown to be corrupt in the past by sting operations; Cash for Questions and Byers for Hire revealed MPs exploiting their positions for financial gain. How do our critics expect us to prove an MP is exploiting his position for carnal gain?

This was no fishing operation, it was a narrowly targeted effort. The Sophie Wittams Twitter account followed almost 100 MPs as part of the cover story – not to target them – which is obvious given that many of them were women MPs and the list included the Prime Minister. There was no intention to trap the PM.

If IPSO finds against the Daily Mirror it won’t prove it has teeth, it will prove as we told the Leveson Inquiry, that “media standards” are really a form of censorship that will protect the powerful from having their wrongdoings uncovered. This blog will never bow to the censors – we will continue to use subterfuge and clandestine methods to go after wrong ‘uns – there is no other way.

Media Movements: James Lyons to Sunday Times

Congratulations to the Mirror’s James Lyons, who has landed the Deputy Political Editor gig at the Sunday Times. Lyons is hardly short of a few bob having married into the multi-millionairess Margaret Hodge’s family dynasty. Still, nice little earner…

Nigel Evans Makes £21,000 From Post-Sex Trial Media Interviews

Cleared Nigel Evans was paid £21,000 for selling the story of his trial to the press. Evans is being paid £1762.50 a month until June 2015 by management company Exclusive Press & Publicity, in respect of three media engagements with the Mail on Sunday, Mirror and ITV. Following his not guilty verdict, Evans gave emotional interviews to the MoS, Sunday Mirror and ITV’s Daybreak. He says he spent three hours with each outlet, so it wasn’t a bad way of helping towards paying his £130,000 legal bills. If he’d been found guilty he would have got a column in the Guardian…

Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week: Morgan v Maguire

Two Mirror men past and present have come to blows in this week’s Twitter bitch fight.

Piers Morgan did not take kindly to Kevin Maguire’s diary story about him going to visit Andy Coulson in the clink. The Mirror associate editor cattily enquired as to why Piers didn’t tweet about the trip.

One problem, he did:

Cue Piers deciding to give Maguire a slap:

He should have quit while he was ahead:

Knockout…

Mirror Terror

Mirror, Monday: “EBOLA TERROR AS PASSENGER DIES AT GATWICK”.

No Ebola.

Mirror, Wednesday, “BOMB TERROR AT 38,000 FT”.

No bomb.

Mirror Readies Pennies for Hacking Payouts

piersknew480

Buried in the small print of the Mirror’s Half-Yearly Financial Report (out today) is this little note:

Historical Legal Issues
dailymirrorThe Group continues to co-operate with the police in respect of Operation Elvedon (the investigation relating to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials) and Operation Golding (the investigation into alleged phone hacking).

The Group is aware of a number of civil claims from individuals in relation to phone hacking. In the first half we have provided £4.0 million to cover the cost of dealing with and resolving claims. It remains uncertain as to how these matters will progress, whether further allegations or claims will be made, and their financial impact. Due to this uncertainty a contingent liability has been highlighted in note 18…

18. Contingent liabilities
There is potential for further liabilities to arise from the outcome or resolution of the ongoing historical legal issues. Due to the present uncertainty in respect of the nature, timing or measurement of any such liabilities it is too soon to be able to reliably estimate how these matters will proceed and their financial impact..

£4 million seems an awfully small provision when you consider the hundreds of millions already paid out to phone hacking victims…

Sunday Mirror and People to Merge

The People’s Nigel Nelson is the longest serving political editor on Fleet Street. Where does this leave him?

Piers Tears: Another Fake Mirror Front Page

Under the headline “Britain, 2014.” the Mirror’s front page is really going for emotional shock factor today:

The only problem is that the picture is not “Britain, 2014”, it is “America, 2009” and Anne is crying over an earthworm. […]

+ READ MORE +

Lobby Won’t Miss Another Downing Street Arrest

Downing Street’s failure to disclose to the public that Patrick Rock had resigned and been arrested for three weeks is causing some bother for the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson. At yesterday’s Lobby briefing Jean-Christophe Gray, or JC as he is […]

+ READ MORE +

A Whine From God

Foodbanks? Check. Benefit sanctions? Check. Boring snoring? Check. On first glance you would have thought Rachel Reeves had written the letter from 27 bishops to the Mirror this morning. It is worth pointing out that the letter itself does not […]

+ READ MORE +

MailOnline Pinch Mirror’s McTague

Mirror political correspondent Tom McTague is making the move from print to online, quitting the paper to become Matt Chorley’s deputy at the Mail Online. A lefty at heart, McTague won’t enjoy his new job writing up three hour […]

+ READ MORE +



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