VIDEO: Craig Oliver Rages at BBC’s Norman Smith

The Downing Street Director of Communications took issue with the BBC News Channel Political Correspondent’s coverage of Hunt. He didn’t realise the camera was still on though…

Rival Spinmeisters Moan

Lobbyist Jon McLeod of Weber Shandwick is sobbing in PR Week about Fred Michel’s correspondence with Adam Smith. Weber were representing the opposition to the bid:

”The sheer volume of texts and emails is extraordinary, especially when you bear in mind that the level of equivalent communication with the media alliance was nil”

Do you think he meant to imply that Weber Shandwick were just not very good at their job? Lobbyists are paid to try to influence the democratic process and the problem comes when the politicians do not put up enough of a defence. Michel was apparently “bombarding” DCMS with messages. Rightly or wrongly, Weber cannot moan if they were not even trying…

Sinister Olympic Spin II

Another day and more ridiculous lines for government spinners to push:

TOP MESSAGES FOR THE DAY

1.       The South West has provided the perfect start for the Torch
Relay. Hundreds of thousands of people have lined the streets to
welcome the flame, creating remarkable scenes and providing a great
advert for the region, the country and the Games.

2.       The Torch will briefly enter the West Midlands for the first
time today, before arriving in Wales on Friday. Both parts of the UK
are making a huge contribution to the Games, and will add their own
distinctive magic to the Torch Relay.

Pyongyang 2012…

Sinister Olympic Spin

Government comms types are getting increasingly irritated by the nonsense they are forced to spin about Olympics. This is at the top of today’s “Top Messages For The Day”:

“1. The people of the South West are embracing the Torch with hundreds of thousands lining the streets to welcome the Flame.”

Has the smack of the North Korean Ministry of Information, no?

Job Nobody Wants

Lots of chatter and austerity prosecco at the Taxpayers’ Alliance launch party for their 2020 Tax report at the reopened Atrium last night. Downing Street jobs were high up the list of conversation. Guido put it to ITV’s Tom Bradby that his name comes up as a possible communicator. He sort of denied that he was interested:

“Can you think of anything f***ing worse?”

Guido will put him down as a maybe.

Confirmed: Susie Will Spin for CCHQ

As revealed here this morning…

Balls Blamed for Byrne Putsch
“The Punishment Beatings Are Back”

This snippet from Rachel Sylvester’s column, stuck behind the Times pay-wall, deserves a wider audience:

“At Westminster, Mr Balls can be overbearing. An attempt to oust Liam Byrne, the Blairite Work and Pensions Secretary, from the Shadow Cabinet, which was resisted by Mr Miliband, is blamed by some on the Shadow Chancellor’s bovver boys. “There’s a gang within the gang,” says an insider. “The punishment beatings are back.” One MP compares Mr Balls and his wife, Yvette Cooper, to the Borgias who just can’t help plotting.”

Belardinelli the bovver boy has a certain ring to it…

Leaky Watson

If his rapidly fading smug smile was anything to go by, Tom Watson got a much tougher ride at Leveson than he was expecting. He was probed about McBride and Smeargate, denying any knowledge of a plan to counter Guido, despite the Red Rag website actually being set up. He was also cornered on leaking and again denied, on oath, that he leaked information from the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee to the Guardian. That will clear  up the  mystery around them getting hold of all sorts of evidence before anyone else then. He was forced to answer yes to the next question though – of course he was feeding Nick Davies.

Watson was also asked about his relationship with Political Scrapbook. He denied, unprompted, to being “part of the management”, or indeed ever feeding them information. Which is odd given a simple Google search pulled up this glaring example:

“Tom Watson will in a few moments use parliamentary privilege to publicly expose details of a notorious murder inquiry allegedly blocked by News International.”

Information reaching the media before Parliament? How did that come about? The website also carries a very prominent advert for Watson’s book and is funded by the his allies at the GMB Union….

Guto: “I Never Claimed Downing Street Offered Job”

At an ungodly hour this morning Guto Harri calls from New York to correct the claim that he was ever offered a job – or ever claimed he that he was offered a job – by Downing Street. Guido has […]

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Hire and Squire?

Reliable Tory sources tell Guido that IDS SpAd Susie Squire is being lined up to replace Henry Macrory as the Head of Press at CCHQ. Guido spoke to Susie this morning who refused to comment on our well sourced speculation.  […]

+ READ MORE +

Guto Spins Himself

Senior Tory sources seem very keen to disabuse any and all as to the demand for Guto Harri’s services. A “person in a position to know” called Guido to emphasise, vehemently, that Guto was never in the running for Downing […]

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News International Sources: ‘Guto Harri Starts Next Week’

City Hall have confirmed that Sam Lyons has taken over from Guto Harri as interim chief-of-spin for Boris. Speculation that Guto Harri was off to spin for News International looks set to be proven correct at any moment.  Unofficial News […]

+ READ MORE +



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Labour MP Jamie Reed:

“I apologise to every man, woman and child in this country who needs a Labour government.”

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