Sums Don’t Add Up for Times Front Page UKIP Story Outraged Source: I Was Misquoted, Demands Retraction

Guido said this morning that this would get messy, and as predicted, one of the Times’ sources is now kicking back. In a letter to the journalists who wrote the story, David Samuel-Camps says he was misquoted:

“Mr Kenber and Mr Mostrous,

Re: Nigel Farage and office costs

I am extremely concerned that in your report you have distorted my responses to your questions regarding the Lyminster office costs.

On the front page you quote me as stating that the costs were £3000 per year.  This is grossly incorrect.  I told you that the previous manager had tied the office into some supply contracts and as a result the monthly costs were some £2000.  I told you several times that I eventually reduced the costs to £700 per month.  When I went to school we were taught the times tables and that £700 times 12 equals £8400 (which is not too far removed from Mr Farage’s £1000 per month) so where on earth did you come up with a figure of £3000?

At no time did I say that “electricity, heating, and business rates at the office totalled less than £250 a month”.  I told you that I could not remember the individual amounts as it was over four years ago but they would have been in the region of £200 each.

Later, you then contradict yourselves by quoting me as saying that the costs were £700 per month – which is correct.  You asked me a number of times about the £700/month figure which I confirmed several times; again I have to ask how does £700 per month equate to £3000 per year?  I should also point out that our conversations were witnessed.

To the best of knowledge and belief I was completely honest in my answers and resent the fact that those answers have been completely distorted.  I did warn you that there is a small minority who are “mischief makers” – one in particular who would go to any lengths to destroy Mr Farage’s reputation.

I expect you to publish corrections as outlined above.

Finally, I should point out that the Lyminster is nowhere near Bognor Regis; it is on the outskirts of Littlehampton, a fact that could have been verified by looking at an AA road atlas!

David Samuel-Camps BA (Hons) Dip. PA”

To a completely impartial observer like Guido, this doesn’t look good. If what Samuel-Camps is saying is true they should go to the PCC…

Farage Fingers Wrong Blonde

The Times have done over Nigel Farage this morning, reporting that £60,000 of taxpayer cash paid into his personal bank account is unaccounted for. The £15,500-a-year was for the upkeep of his constituency office in Bognor Regis, but since Farage gets it rent-free the accusation is that he only spends £3,000-a-year on running costs. Leaving around £12,000-a-year missing. No doubt it will turn out to be within the European parliament’s lax rules. It doesn’t smell right, even if the payments are automatic.

UKIP pre-empted the Times splash yesterday by naming the anonymous ex-party official who has grassed Farage up to the EU anti-fraud office as Jasna Badzak:

“Jasna Badzak is a convicted fraudster serving a suspended sentence, whose allegations are unfounded and vexatious. She has never been a press secretary or confidant of Mr Farage’s. Your use of her indicates that you are writing an article with a defined end by inventing a road to achieve that end.”

Just one problem: the Times tells Guido that Badzak was not the source of the story. This could get messy…

Just 1 in 5 Say Miliband is Prime Minister in Waiting

Last week this blog pointed out that Ed Miliband is hardly coming across as the Prime Minister in waiting, well today the people agree. A Times/Yougov poll has just 19% saying they can see Ed in Number 10, when the same question was asked of Dave in 2008 the number was 49%. Just 26% think Labour is ready for government. As Morten Morland says in the video above, Britain can do better than this…

Sunday Times Pol Ed Runners and Riders

Plenty of names in the hat for the soon-to-be-vacated Political Editor position at the Sunday Times. A top three Lobby job is up for grabs, as usual Guido gives you the runners and riders. A betting man would have a flutter on Tim Shipman from the Mail, the Spectator’s Pol Ed James Forsyth has Sunday experience from his Mail on Sunday column, Rob Winnett is said to be upset about being recalled back to Telegraph Towers, so could well put his hat in the ring. Sam Coates of The Times gets stories. Guido would not rule out Nick Watt either, for an outside bet, why not Brendan Carlin? Maybe Gaby Hinsliff – who seems busier than ever – might want a break from the kids…

Guido asked one Lobby hack what he thought, only to be told it was the “Worst job in Westminster. Everyone who does it leaves journalism afterwards. I seriously have no idea who would want it. I certainly don’t. I still want to be a journalist in 10 years.” It’s an exhausting job…

Mystery Undercover Reporter ‘Had Sex With Sting Target’

Worth keeping an eye on this one. An unnamed undercover Sunday Times reporter has been accused of having sex with the target of her sting, a dentist believed to be involved in female genital mutilation. Particularly awkward that Omar Addow will not face charges after the CPS suggested the journalist’s version of events was not credible. She denies the claim that she recorded her target offering to carry out FGM on a camera during a visit to his flat in which the pair, as he puts it, “did sex”. Tom Kark QC made the claim yesterday:

“It appears he and the journalist have sexual intercourse. We may form the view that the journalist had gone to extra lengths to get her story.”

Interesting further reading in this Greenslade piece last year as well…

Limo for M'Lord

It would seem the soon to be Lord Finkelstein is already getting used to the high life. A co-conspirator just spotted this in SW1:

What’s the betting it will be a ministerial limo soon enough…

Times Hijack Telegraph Royal Baby Webcam

With no diary bitch fights to entertain MediaGuido today, the Times have taken to winding up the Telegraph in person. Their Royal reporter Valentine Low has been busy subverting the Telegraph’s royal baby webcam this afternoon:

In fairness, it’s the first time anything interesting has happened on the feed so far…

Via @RobDotHutton

Change in Paywall Linking Policy

With the coming of Sun+ next month, where readers will be charged to read the paper online, four national newspaper websites will now be behind a paywall. As of August the Times, FT, Telegraph and Sun will be asking readers to pay for content. Even if the “Digital First” Telegraph’s attempt at keeping out cheapskates is amusingly easy to dodge by going incognito, this means that four of the papers Guido is most likely to link to are now paywall protected. So it is time for a change of linking policy. Guido has previously tended not to link to paywall sites on Seen Elsewhere, using a ‘£’ sign on the rare occasions that links are given. Since so many papers have now succumbed to a paywall this no longer makes sense. So links will now be given to paywall sites as they would non-paywall sites, without a ‘£’ sign. If you are unable to remember if a website is behind a paywall, that is your problem.

Incidentally, it is still Guido’s view that websites without unique content won’t make a success of charging for that content online. The audience is still out on that one…

Twitter Media Bitch Fight: Mandrake v Times Diary

One of the most catty twitter media bitch fights of recent memory. The claws are out between Mandrake’s Tim Walker and the Times Diary:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Times Confirms Editorial Shake Up

The Times has now confirmed MediaGuido’s story last week on John Witherow wielding the axe. Roland Watson is appointed Foreign Editor, replaced as Political Editor by Dave biographer Francis Elliot. You read it here first…[…]

+ READ MORE +

Witherow Gets Axe Out at Times

Media Guido is hearing of big movements over at the Times. Witherow is, as expected, swinging the axe…

Roland Watson is out as Political Editor – he’s been told to apply for Foreign Editor apparently – a desk getting squeezed.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Watch: Tim Yeo Stung By Sunday Times Offered To Be £7,000-a-Day Advocate and Lobby Government

It’s all over for Tim Yeo. The Energy and Climate Change select committee chairman has been stung by the Sunday Times, offering to become a paid advocate for a fake firm for £7,000-a-day.

“The reporters approached Yeo posing as representatives of a solar energy company offering to hire him as a paid advocate to push for new laws to boost its business for a fee of £7,000 a day. 
[…]

+ READ MORE +

Full Page Times Advert Whacks Dave and George

Things have got so bad for one disgruntled Tory voter, going only by the name ‘Martin’, that he has taken out a full page advert in today’s Times laying into Cameron and Osborne as a “desperate and expensive cry for help”:

Click to enlarge.
[…]

+ READ MORE +

She Was So Good That Oborne Saluted Her Twice

You could hardly imagine a busier first day in the office for Tim Montgomerie as the Times‘ new comment editor. It must also have been some baptism of fire for his replacement over at ConHome, Paul Goodman. Meanwhile not only did the prolific Peter Oborne tell us to marvel at Maggie in the Telegraph, he also managed to pen an obituary for the Mail as well.[…]

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Pryce, Briscoe, Oakeshott Emails In Full

A must read…[…]

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Tim Montgomerie Quits ConHome For The Times

Interesting news: Tim Montgomerie is standing down as editor of ConHome to become the Times’ comment editor:

“It is with mixed emotions that I report that Sunday 7th April will be my last day as full-time Editor of ConservativeHome. The following day I start an exciting new chapter in my working life.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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