This morning’s Mail splash features a firm rebuke of Lindsay Hoyle’s demand for a meeting between himself and the Sunday editor following last weekend’s Angela Rayner Basic Instinct piece. “No, Mr Speaker”, reads the lead by Dan Hodges, who wrote:
“The Mail respectfully declines the Commons Speaker’s summons for The Mail on Sunday to appear over its Angela Rayner report”
… “The Mail on Sunday deplores sexism and misogyny in all its forms. However journalists must be free to report what they are told by MPs about conversations which take place in the House of Commons, however unpalatable some may find them.”
Guido’s editor has first-hand experience of Hoyle summoning a hack in “for a meeting”. Back in 2020, he was summoned to meet with Mr Speaker and the Serjeant-at-Arms for publishing the photo below of Nadine Dorries’s office door after she’d been confirmed as the first MP with Coronavirus.
The editor was summoned to the Speaker’s study, where the Serjeant-at-Arms was in full costume and some other staff from the communications team were sat at the table. Asked to reveal who was the source, it was gingerly explained to have come from a co-conspirator and the invitation to name the source was declined. This resulted in a bit of harrumphing from the communications team and Mr Speaker who, to be fair, was reasonable and charming, accepting that he obviously couldn’t take a pass off the editor because he knew there was none. There was a disagreement over whether a picture of a door constituted a security risk, at which point the Speaker brought up other pictures we had run of Speaker Bercow’s personalised number plate. In the end the Speaker pleaded for reasonableness. He explained he was under pressure from members of the Lobby, who said it was unfair that we did not play by the rules. Paul Waugh had deleted a picture he had tweeted after being reminded of the rules.
It was all very civil and a little bit silly. The Serjeant-at-Arms was a sweetie and escorted us out…