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NY Times CEO Admits Prior Knowledge of Savile Exposé Mark Thompson Says He Will Attend CMS Select Committee

The new CEO of the New York Times and former Director General of the BBC can’t escape the scandal from the old country.

Mark Thompson has replied to a letter from Tory MP Rob Wilson confirming he will attend if asked. Thompson admits he knew the BBC were investigating Savile, but he’s already trying to pass the buck on to Entwistle:

“What did happen is that, at a drinks reception late last year, a journalist mentioned to me the existence of the investigation and said words to the effect of “you must be worried about the Newsnight investigation?” This was the first I had heard of the investigation…Although I recall hearing at the time of his death that BBC Television might do something (a tribute) about Jimmy Savile in due course, again I had not been briefed about the programmes themselves. I assume they were commissioned and broadcast by BBC Vision, the BBC’s television arm, in the usual way.”

Developing…

Adam Boulton Responds to Conrad’s Jackass Jibe

  Via Esme Wren

Mitchell Throws Toys Out Pram

Departed Tory Chief Whip gave a coded hint about stress being brought upon his family if he carried on fighting, but it seems he’s having his own problems. A senior CCHQ source coughs this afternoon that Mitchell ‘is going bonkers’.

Apparently he’s been going around ‘mumbling about suing everybody.

You would have thought he’d learnt his lesson about where mumbling gets him…

Is It Bird, Is It A Plane? No It Is Super-Blogger!

Star reporter Clark Kent, aka Superman, has sensationally quit the Daily Planet to set up his own blog. DC Comics have revealed that Superman is making the print-to-digital shift because he has “too much journalistic integrity” to carry on working for the newspaper. The saviour of the world says that he doesn’t want to become a “grizzled ink-stained wretch”, and has become disillusioned with the dead tree press because he “believes news should be about, I don’t know, news?”. Desperate colleagues attempted to convince him to stay but were forced to admit that “times are changing and print is a dying medium”.

Superman is tipped to “come into his own in the next few years as far as being a guy who takes to the internet and to the airwaves and starts speaking an unvarnished truth”.

Guido welcomes the competition…

Two Home Tory Bills Taxpayer for Hotel High Life

The rent-swappers who own one London home are bad enough, but it takes a certain kind of trougher to bill the taxpayer for hotel stays when he already has two properties in the capital to choose from. Back during the original expenses scandal David Amess hid in a hairdressers after being doorstepped over his greedy second home claims. Once again the Tory MP has been caught red handed.

Amess owns a flat in east London which he rents out, claiming over £7,000 in expenses for the rent on a south west London flat in which he lives. But being a rent-swapper who makes money from the taxpayer isn’t enough for Amess. Despite charging us for the rent on the home he is registered as living in, the Tory MP has claimed another £8,000 expenses to stay in London hotels over the last year. All the while his taxpayer-funded rented home is left empty. Amess has been in parliament for nearly thirty years. Now would be a good time for him to announce his retirement…

Now They Want an NHS Day

Instead of spending money on important things like cancer drugs and nurses, some bright spark at the Department of Health has come up with the idea of bringing in an external PR agency, at great cost, to create a “NHS Change Day” out of thin air.

PR Week report that tender has gone out from the absurdly named ‘NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement’, or ‘Ni!’ for short, to come up with a day on which changes within the NHS can be celebrated by their staff. Here’s a better idea, why don’t they spend that money on saving lives? They can have that one for free…

Video: Paxo v Conrad Black

A bruising encounter between Paxo and disgraced media mogul Conrad Black following his Murdoch “psychopath” jibe yesterday. He’s taking London by storm:

Black is on Boulton and Co at 1pm. All part of the rebranding exercise…

Video via @liarpoliticians

New SpAd Appointments

Final Special Adviser appointments have been confirmed:

  • Health – Sam Talbot Rice.
  • BIS (for Fallon) – James Wild.
  • Justice – Will Gallagher
  • Home extra SpAd –  Stephen Parkinson.
  • Culture – Joanna Hindley
The full list is available here.

Labour MP Paid Shad-Cab Minister’s Rent With Our Cash Rent Swapper Kevin Barron on the Disciplinary Committee

Now we get to the greediest, most repulsive rent-swappers of all. Guido called out troughing Kevin Barron live on Sky in 2009, and once again the expenses-hungry Labour MP has been taking the taxpayer for a ride. This time the little piggy has had a little help from a friend.

Barron charged us £1,500-a-month to rent a three-bedroom London home owned by shadow cabinet office minister John Trickett. Barron began renting his fellow Labour MP’s home after flogging his own taxpayer-funded house for a £500,000 profit. Not content with sorting himself out at our expense, now Barron is funnelling taxpayers’ money straight into the bank account of his oinking pal Trickett. As soon as Trickett got wind the story was about to break he put the property up for sale.

Barron, unbelievably, is still the chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee, while Trickett is responsible for shining light on government sleaze. These two are some of the most disgraceful rent-swappers of all. They know they can get away with it due to their safe Labour seats.

It’s down to Ed to make them pay…

Gove’s Leadership Cuckoo

If Paul Goodman’s theory is to be believed “previously unseen childhood photographs… are to leadership campaigns what the first cuckoo is to springtime.”

He was talking about the rising stock of Theresa May and her potential manoeuvres.

Presumably the same rule can be applied though to Michael Gove, whose schoolboy mugshot has popped up on the front page of this morning’s Indy.

Cuckoo…

Quote of the Day

Mick Twister is on fine form this morning:

An ex-Mirror editor, Piers
Has been a bit naughty, one hears
It’s alleged his organ
Hacked phones under Morgan
I fear it’ll all end in tears

Mirror Shares Crash Over Piers Hacking Claims

Trinity Mirror’s share price has crashed 12.5% this morning. It closed at 72p yesterday, opening at 65p when it was revealed overnight that the Mirror‘s publishers faced legal action over phone-hacking allegations, dropping again to 62p as the morning went on. £18 million was wiped from the value of the company. And there is more to come…

UPDATE: Trinity Mirror has a market capitalisation of £163 million, the group already has a pension fund deficit estimated to be £159.5 million, almost equal to the struggling media firm’s market capitalisation. Given News International has paid out some £200 million in hacking legal costs already the actual solvency of the firm could be in danger if claims mount up. Murdoch could afford to take the hit, Morgan’s old mates can’t…

Good Morning Mr Entwistle

With Peter Rippon stepping aside, George Entwistle is in the direct firing line. One question that he needs to answer at his outing at the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee this morning is who was in charge of spinning the story last Christmas. This piece from February’s Oldie magazine by Miles Goslett should be read by every single member of the CMS Select Committee:

It was the first publication to state that Newsnight’s exposé centred on underage girls of 14 or 15; the first to reveal that some of the abuse allegedly occurred on BBC premises in 1973/4 after recordings of Clunk-Click; the first to divulge that two other celebrities had been named to Newsnight as also being guilty of abusing girls with Savile on BBC premises; and the first to mention that Mark Thompson knew all about this before Christmas but did nothing.

This is the story that seven papers turned down last December based on this BBC denial:

‘Any suggestion that a story was dropped for anything other than editorial reasons is completely untrue.’

Who approved that line George?

Sven Comes After Piers and the Mirror

After more than a year of stories dripping out, the Mirror is finally facing their first phonehacking court cases. Sven, Ulrika and Piers. Remember this?



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Quote of the Day

Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

“In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

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