The Truth about Boris and his Telegraph Column

While we are on the subject of “part time Mayors”, Alex Singleton, a former hack at the Telegraph, gets in touch to put Boris’ “second job” in perspective:

“When I edited Boris, he would ring me at 10:45am on a Sunday and we would discuss what had been in the news and he’d be given a green light to write on something. By 2pm, or 2:30pm, he’d file his copy on email. This would worry the hell out of me because his articles came from some random person’s email address – the address of whoever he was having Sunday lunch with. As you can see, the claim that his Telegraph column ate into his working week it utterly untrue. He is paid well because he is a genius writer: the public loves his columns, which sell a lot of copies of the paper.”

Guido wonders how long Ken would spend on his Indy column…

Sun, Skis and Private Security

With the rumours being confirmed yesterday that two Sun journos have been hospitailised after attempting to take their own lives, anger is boiling over at Wapping and directed at Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg of the Management Standards Committee.

Though Guido has chased them this morning, the MSC’s spinners refuse to deny that some members of “the committee” were on a skiing trip together on January 28, while four senior Sun journos were being nicked. Having handed over the evidence to the Met, they sloped off, so to speak. No wonder Will Lewis has called in a private security firm for his own protection, as revealed this morning by a man refusing to be silenced

Mr Scoop Scooped

Given that Robert Peston’s “exclusive” Cable letter was actually in the FT last month, the timing of yesterday’s “leak” looks strange. Most coverage has focused on Cable’s unease about the economy and the government’s lack of a “compelling vision”, but the Beeb and Peston have put the call to break up RBS as the top line.

While one theory is that Cable gave the letter to Peston himself, Guido hears Tom Baldwin was pushing the RBS angle heavily to hacks yesterday evening, so much so that some suspect this was his dog in the fight. Pesto should be more careful when an “exclusive” is dangled in front of his face…

Labour MP Calls for Police Investigation into Mirror Corruption

One of the Labour MPs at the heart of the phone hacking scandal has called for the police to investigate Mirror editor Richard Wallace’s admission at Leveson that his paper had paid public officials. In a Twitter ding-dong with former Screws Chief Reporter Neville Thurlbeck, who has written extensively today about Wallace’s admissions, Chris Bryant was backed into a corner before eventually declaring that “yes, of course” the paper should be investigated.

Though Bryant immediately backtracked and suggested that there was not enough evidence, there is much more than he had when he demanded the police investigate Coulson and Brooks in 2003. Guido is looking forward to the furious press releases and Bryant popping up on the telly any moment now…

Desperate Tonge Loyalists Fight Back

The Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine are actually trying to suggest that Jenny Tonge’s views were taken out of context. If anything, the context they were in made them worse…

In a press release, they fully endorse her views and criticise Clegg’s action:

“This partial quotation would seem very possibly to be deliberate, and has had the effect of fostering a misinterpretation of her views.”

As they note, in the video we put up showed, Tonge did say:

“Israel is not going to be there forever on its present performance”.

This is the only quote that the LibDem group choose to use though. Somehow they miss out the fact that thirty seconds later Tonge said:

It will not go on forever, it will not go on forever. Israel will lose it’s support will lose its support and then they will reap what they have sown.”

This is the section we were quoting, but there’s not a peep out of them about it, despite them having the cheek to accuse others of misquotingAs Nick Cohen says in Standpoint today, there is a dark core within the LibDems, and they seem to have broken cover again today…

Flashback: Ken Can’t Hide His Lying Eyes

The old ones are always the best. In a week where Ken Livingstone’s integrity and honesty has fallen somewhat short, Guido was reminded of one of the most blatant examples of dishonesty displayed by the former Mayor. When asked about his age and health by Total PoliticsKen claimed “I still don’t need glasses”. Really?

Yellow Peril

There have been plenty of disturbances in the coalition force this weekend. Clegg and Laws’ calls for faster tax cuts for the less well off were slapped down by the Chancellor yesterday, but that is far from the only hotspot. Not only are the LibDem Peers agitating on the Health Bill again this morning, but a blast from the past – ousted LibDem CEO Lord Renard, has popped up in Guardian to stir things up:

“…a major preoccupation for Tory strategists remains keeping the Lib Dems in the coalition until 2015… This would be part of a grand plan to ensure that the Conservative domination of the 20th century is followed by Conservative hegemony in the 21st.”

He seems highly sceptical of the Boundary Reviews, which reminded Guido of Matthew Oakeshott’s important point on the Sunday Politics yesterday. He told Philip Davis that if the Tory right voted against Lords reform, then they would be fighting the next election on the old boundaries:

This one is going to get messy…

Clip via @LiarPoliticians

Ken’s Column Conundrum

After his tax hypocrisy was called out over the weekend, Ken has played another blinder this morning. He’s just strolled over to Downing Street to deliver a letter to the Prime Minister demanding that London Mayors are only allowed “one job”. While you would expect any opponent to try to make a hay out of Boris’ Telegraph column, you have to wonder why Ken didn’t do more to stop London Mayors having more than one job during his own time in office. Was it something to do with him spending over a year as a working MP for Brent East as well as Mayor? Or was it that column he, like with Boris in the Telegraph, himself had in the Indy…

Debate Tonight:
“Lobbyists Are Paid to Thwart the Democratic Will.”

Tonight Guido and Tamasin Cave from Spinwatch are proposing the motion for debate that “Lobbyists Are Paid to Thwart the Democratic Will”. Mark Adams from Stand Up 4 Lobbying and Justin Fisher from the The Magna Carta Institute are […]

+ READ MORE +

Burnham Had to Phone Department of Health
Checked His Own Risk Register Policy

“Why isn’t this government carrying on the precedents started by the previous government” squawked Burnham in the House a moment ago. Apparently this Risk Register is not the same as Labour’s Risk Register in 2009. If that is the case,  […]

+ READ MORE +

DSK’s Naked Hooker Test

If you ever get done for your taxes then Harry Redknapp provided the get out of jail free card with his successful “I can’t read or write and I’m too rich to bother dodging tax” defence. French socialist letch Dominic […]

+ READ MORE +

The Baldwins Are Not All In It Together

One of the most annoying things about returning to the fray after a cheeky half-term is all the anecdotes and recommendations. According to Mrs Tom Baldwin, the Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps was the place to be for a […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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