Employees at high-end consultancy Teneo Blue Rubicon were surprised to receive an email from CEO Gordon Tempest-Hay kicking up a stink about recent office antics. The boss puts staff on notice to clean up their behaviour after a series of recent drunken incidents. Culminating in someone – “I can’t put this any less bluntly” – doing a poo in the office shower:
Subject: Office etiquette
I’m well aware that what follows only applies to a small percentage of us but as I don’t know exactly who that small % is and, as things are getting out of hand, it’s time for a word. Over the few weeks, we have had:
- Someone get drunk and throw up over the carpet (they’ve apologised, but still)
- Someone – I can’t put this any less bluntly – poo in the shower
- Someone mess their underwear and leave it for the cleaner
- A Friday bar getting completely out of hand akin to a drinking competition for a bunch of clubbing teens
Not only are these things inappropriate for a workplace but it is totally unacceptable to expect our lovely cleaning lady to clear up the resultant mess.
Please treat this place properly or we’ll have to withdraw the showers and stop the bar.
Guido thought he would do some of the dirty work and assist them in identifying some possible culprits. Could it be:
Hopefully that will help them get to the bottom of the matter as quickly as possible…
This morning ex-White House staffer Ben Rhodes told the Today programme that David Cameron and his aides asked Obama to say the infamous “back of the queue” line. A flick back through Craig Oliver’s Unleashing Demons (via @mrharrycole) shows that at the time Sir Craig claimed the opposite was true and briefed the press accordingly. He recalled:
“There’s some weird whingeing from the Leavers that the fact he said ‘queue’ instead of ‘line’ proves it was written by No 10. I slap it down. ‘Nonsense. The President can speak for himself’.
Who’s lying? Will enjoy hearing Sir Craig spin this one…
Tonight’s Guy News Special Report, which went out exclusively first to subscribers to the Guidogram, exposes coordination between the Remain campaigns on a level far greater than anything of which Vote Leave have been accused. Will the Remainer-stuffed Electoral Commission investigate?
Following Guido’s story on a potential breach of the Special Advisers Code of Conduct in Sir Craig Oliver’s memoirs, a Tory MP has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood demanding an investigation. Andrew Bridgen asks the two killer questions: why was Sir Craig permitted to publish information that the Cabinet Office admits could prejudice relations with the US? And did Sir Craig breach the SpAds Code of Conduct by failing to discuss his memoirs with the Cabinet Office prior to signing the book deal? This line of the letter is particularly interesting:
“If the rules were broken, there is precedent to confiscate the profits of the book sales. In 2000 the Government obtained a court order for it to be paid £90,000 of royalties owed by the publisher Jonathan Cape to George Blake for his unauthorised 1990 memoir “No Other Choice”. I hope you will investigate these serious issues promptly.”
If the government did confiscate Sir Craig’s profits that could mean an extra £350 to the NHS…
The rules for a former Special Adviser wanting to write a book on their time in government are very clear: Sir Jeremy Heywood must give his personal approval. As the Code of Conduct for SpAds states: “The permission of the Cabinet Secretary must be sought before publishing, or entering into a contractual commitment to publish such memoirs”. Sir Craig Oliver’s memoirs, then, must have secured Heywood’s approval before the book deal was signed. Yet a year-long Freedom of Information campaign raises questions as to whether the rules were followed…
Sir Craig’s book is full of privileged information. It discusses the contents of a phone call between David Cameron and Barack Obama (pages 62-63). It discusses the contents of various Cabinet meetings (pages 95-96, pages 376-379). It discusses the contents of a meeting between Obama and the Cabinet (pages 196-197). Now, it has consistently been government policy, championed by Heywood, not to release details of conversations between the PM and US Presidents, or to release details of Cabinet discussions. A co-conspirator tested this by sending a very specific FoI request seeking the exact same information published in Sir Craig’s book. The Cabinet Office refused to disclose it on grounds of “prejudicing relations between the UK and any other State” and protecting Cabinet privacy.
So the Cabinet Office is on record that releasing this specific information could prejudice relations with the US. Why, then, was Sir Craig allowed to publish it?
Guido’s co-conspirator has spent the last year trying to find out. On 3 November 2016, in response to another FoI request, the Cabinet Office said Sir Craig “followed the process for publishing personal memoirs as set out in the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers”. In other words, nothing to see here.
Yet eight months later, in response to an internal review of the FoI response, on 27 July 2017 the Cabinet Office was forced to admit it “does not hold any recorded information to show there was a discussion prior to Mr Oliver signing a contract with a publisher”.
Hang on a minute. If there is no record in the Cabinet Office of any discussion prior to Sir Craig signing his book deal, how can he have possibly “followed the process” which requires “the permission of the Cabinet Secretary” before “entering into a contractual commitment”? Uh oh…
The Cabinet Office say Sir Craig did submit his manuscript before publication, meaning Heywood could have prevented the release of restricted information but chose not to do so. This all raises several questions. First, Sir Craig could be in big trouble if the rules on securing permission before signing a book deal were not followed, as the Cabinet Office appeared to admit. Indeed the government has seized the profits of books which breached the rules before – an outcome which definitely wouldn’t be hilarious. Secondly, if Heywood did sign the book off prior to publication, why did he sanction the release of privileged information that the Cabinet Office says “prejudices relations” between the UK and US? It is hard to see how Sir Craig and Sir Cover-Up can both have kept to the rules. This could unleash some demons…
Only one Brexiteer, again…