June Review: Hello GB News and Goodbye Hancock mdi-fullscreen

There’s no point beating around the bush: June 2021 will forever be remembered as the month Matt Hancock got caught playing tonsil tennis with an advisor. An affair which – as well as excruciating to see and watch – also meant he’d broken his own social distancing rules. As a result of the scandal, Matt ended up as the most visited English language Wikipedia page in the world on June 26thOn 25th June, Boris said he accepted Hancock’s apology and “considers the matter closed”; two days later Hancock quit his job to spend less time with his family*.

For some reason, Hancock’s opposite Labour number, Jon Ashworth, seemed altogether reticent to make anything of the scandal. Meanwhile the means by which the footage came into The Sun’s possession sparked security fears in Whitehall, as MPs spent the majority of an urgent question debating the supposed “hidden” camera. It fell to Guido to dig up photos of the office and prove it was far from covert. Thanfully the subsequent ICO computer raid as part of an investigation has not thus far resulted in any anti-press freedom action…

Almost drowned out by the above was the June launch of GB News with Guido’s own Tom Harwood as political correspondent, a move announced earlier in February. The critics and broadcast establishment were desperate for the channel to fail from the get-go, yet opening night attracted triple the audience of Sky News – an achievement they now regularly pull off as well as pipping the BBC’s offering on occasion.

Their launch was mired with nappy-wetting attempts to organise ad boycotts by left-wing groups, the most-read story of the month being Guido’s revelation that a former BBC executive was behind the campaign. While some companies did give in, lefties’ celebrations at Vodafone’s participation were short-lived, as they confirmed no-such boycott would go ahead.

Most pick-up came from Guido’s exclusive story that an Oxford college student body had voted to take down a “colonial” portrait of the Queen, a piece that saw a myriad front page splashes the next morning. Six days later Guido revealed Tory councillors had been ordered to take down Union Jack bunting by an official because it was “political”And the left argue it’s the right inventing a culture war…

Honourable mentions:

Headline of the month: Tory MP Justifies Calling Princess Diana a “Two-Bit Slag”

*By dint of coincidental timing, Guido published a rare op-ed calling on Hancock to resign just seven minutes before Downing Street confirmed the move. Post hoc ergo propter hoc…

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