In rare SW1 scenes, it was the Lobby – not MPs – leaking via Whatsapp this lunchtime.
At 11.19 the Press Gallery chat was lit up by FT pol-ed George Parker forwarding a link to the gov.uk page on tax dividends. Harry Cole promptly thanked Parker for the tip and commiserated with him for buggering up the FT’s splash.
Sure enough, at half past four, George hit publish on an FT exclusive – that the government is looking at hammering hard-working, self-employed people by halving the current tax-free dividend allowance, and increasing taxes on dividends beyond the annual limit.
Parker’s tweet of the story joked that the scoop was “hinted at exclusively by mistake on the Press Gallery WhatsApp group earlier.”
Guido’s not a member of the Lobby and therefore not privy to the chat. A co-conspirator was only too happy to oblige…