Loose-Lipped FT Let Scoop Slip

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…

mdi-timer 3 November 2022 @ 17:28 3 Nov 2022 @ 17:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Harry Cole Nails That Liz & Kwasi Rumour…

Harry Cole has finally addressed the thus-far unpublished rumour in SW1: that Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng previously enjoyed a sexual relationship.

The rumour has been around for years and following Liz’s victory in the Tory leadership race, and appointment of Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor, plenty of news outlets used knowing euphemisms such as ‘political bedfellows’, ‘close allies’ and ‘ideological soulmates’. Now Harry Cole’s finally addressed the rumour in his new biography of Liz:

“The suggestion was from, perhaps, her political enemies and wider-spread Westminster gossip that perhaps there was something more than just friends to Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss. 

“We reveal that their allies, their friends, their supporters that know them best are actually saying they were nothing more than political bedfellows.”

And that’s the end of the matter…

mdi-timer 28 October 2022 @ 10:59 28 Oct 2022 @ 10:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Harry Cole Talks About His Biography of Liz Truss
mdi-timer 22 October 2022 @ 00:27 22 Oct 2022 @ 00:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Harry Cole on What’s Going On

Harry Cole tells Kate McCann…

“We are watching a hostile takeover of the government.”

mdi-timer 19 October 2022 @ 22:21 19 Oct 2022 @ 22:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Information Commissioner Closes Investigation into Hancock Snog Leak

The Information Commissioner’s Office closed their investigation into the Department for Health CCTV leak that saw Hancock’s snog with then-aide Gina Coladangelo splashed on the front page of The Sun. The ICO announced this afternoon that their investigation had found “insufficient evidence to prosecute two people suspected of unlawfully obtaining and disclosing CCTV footage from the Department for Health and Social Care”. They shouldn’t have been investigating anyway…

“Forensic analysis revealed that the leaked images were most likely obtained by someone recording the CCTV footage screens with a mobile phone. 

Six phones retrieved during the execution of search warrants did not contain the relevant CCTV footage.  After taking legal advice, the ICO concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with criminal offences under the Data Protection Act 2018. 

The ICO has therefore closed its criminal investigation.”

The Sun’s Harry Cole had previously accused the ICO investigation of being a further move along the “systematic decay of freedom of the press”. All kiss, no tell…

mdi-timer 13 April 2022 @ 14:57 13 Apr 2022 @ 14:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
PM’s Spokesman on Quality of Boris’s Premiership

Asked by Harry Cole if “the PM thinks he is a good PM”, the PM’s spokesperson replied:

“I don’t think self-reflection is his priority.”

mdi-timer 13 January 2022 @ 12:16 13 Jan 2022 @ 12:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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