Lobby Wars: Throw Winnett Out of the Lobby

On Wednesday both the Mail and Telegraph splashed with the story of Energy Minister John Hayes declaring “enough is enough” over wind farms. The Mail’s report was labelled as an exclusive and their political editor James Chapman noted in his piece that Hayes’ remarks came from a private interview. Yet mysteriously the Telegraph had the same story with quotations in its first edition. How come?

It seems the Telegraph got sight of Chapman’s raw, unsubbed copy – Hayes had only spoken to him. Mail sources point out that their version said:

Even if a minority of what’s in the system is built we are going to reach our 2020 target,’ he said. ‘I’m saying enough is enough.’

The quote is mysteriously longer in the Telegraph version:

‘If you look at what has been built, what has consent and what is in the planning system, much of it will not get through and will be rejected. Even if a minority of what’s in the system is built we are going to reach our 2020 target,’ Mr Hayes said. ‘I’m saying enough is enough.’

One disgruntled Mail hack points out that “It’s common practice in the lobby to get wind of things and seek to do a spoiler or cobble something together with source quotes but to actually barefacedly steal the copy and use the quotes as your own is unprecedented in my experience.”

So what happened? Did the Telegraph’s Political Editor Robert Winnett find a copy of Chapman’s story on a Commons printer? Nope. Guido understands that Chapman did print out his story but took it home in his briefcase.

Did a Telegraph spy at the Mail leak the story to Winnett? Possibly. Mail HQ is now in a state of high security. Or was the Telegraph tipped off by veteran eco-sceptic Christopher Booker, who wrote a feature linked to the Hayes story in Wednesday’s Mail? Booker, though a long-time columnist for the Telegraph, is surely too experienced a hack to hand an exclusive to the Mail’s arch rival in that way.

Some argue that Winnett is in breach of the first rule of the Lobby – by shamelessly lifting the story he has breached his “duty to the Lobby as a whole, in that he should do nothing to prejudice the communal life of the Lobby..” and should be thrown out. Angry phone-calls were exchanged between executives at both papers yesterday with Ben Brogan – the former Mail man and now Telegraph deputy editor – being accused of “theft”. Brogan is said to be claiming it was “serendipity” and is not taking Guido’s calls this morning…




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Interesting choice of words from Putin on Golden Shower-gate:

“People who fabricate and use fake news about Trump are worse than prostitutes.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

May’s Brexit Plan – Full Text of Speech May’s Brexit Plan – Full Text of Speech
May Speech: Briefed Quotes May Speech: Briefed Quotes
Labour MP in Grieving Gaffe Labour MP in Grieving Gaffe
Sion Simon Impersonates a Brexiteer Sion Simon Impersonates a Brexiteer
Oxfam Attacks World’s Biggest Charitable Donor Oxfam Attacks World’s Biggest Charitable Donor
Trump vs Corbyn: Who Said It? Trump vs Corbyn: Who Said It?
Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe Hammond: No Deal and I’ll Make UK Tax Haven of Europe
Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight Benn’s Brexit Committee Bunfight
Prospective Labour Candidate is Dominatrix Prospective Labour Candidate is Dominatrix
Watch: Corbyn Not “Out of Control” Watch: Corbyn Not “Out of Control”
Real Brexit: Gove Sets The Standard Real Brexit: Gove Sets The Standard
Tristram: V&A Must Charge for Entry Tristram: V&A Must Charge for Entry
Stoke: Fierce Four-Way Fight Stoke: Fierce Four-Way Fight
Guido is Secure Guido is Secure
Latest: “Queen Backs Brexit” Row Still Rages on Twitter Latest: “Queen Backs Brexit” Row Still Rages on Twitter
Labour Lose Sunderland Labour Lose Sunderland
Sweariest MP Revealed Sweariest MP Revealed
WATCH: Tories Launch Nuclear Missile At Corbyn WATCH: Tories Launch Nuclear Missile At Corbyn
PICTURE: Le Pen in Trump Tower PICTURE: Le Pen in Trump Tower