Foreign Affairs Committee Whistleblower is Newsnight Leaker

At 09:59 the Foreign Affairs Committee released new evidence from an FCDO whistleblower – Josie Stewart – who states it was “widespread ‘‘knowledge’ in the FCDO Crisis Centre that the decision on Nowzad’s Afghan staff came from the Prime Minister”. 

“I saw messages to this effect on Microsoft Teams, I heard it discussed in the Crisis Centre including by senior civil servants, and I was copied on numerous emails which clearly suggested this.”

“I was copied on an email from Nigel Casey stating that the National Security Adviser would seek input on the Nowzad case from Number 10.”

“Nigel Casey explicitly testified that he had searched his emails and found nothing of relevance, yet when I searched my emails for “PM” and “Nowzad” I found more than one email referencing “the PM’s decision on Nowzad” and with Nigel Casey in copy.”

All very interesting, if a bit historic at this point. While FAC MP members will no doubt want to pore over this testimony, they may also want to know something about Stewart. She was the Foreign Office leaker to BBC Newsnight…

In January, Newsnight editor Sima Kotecha reported having had sight of two emails with the subject heading “Pen Farthing & dogs”, showing the department and special representative Nigel Casey seeking guidance from No. 10 over the issues. Kotecha tweeted these uncropped screenshots on January 27th. Accidentally revealing the photos to have come from the inbox of one J Stewart – the same woman now seeking her time in the spotlight as a whistleblower… 

When the FCDO launched an investigation, Josie Stewart was reported to have denied responsibility for the leak, which we can now surmise was almost certainly the case. Guido didn’t run the story at the time over concerns about naming anonymous sources – even though she was the BBC’s source. Given Josie’s now gone on the record it’s worth reassessing this previous incident…

mdi-tag-outline Afghanistan BBC Leak Newsnight
mdi-account-multiple-outline Josie Stewart Sima Kotecha
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