Kirkup Leaves Telegraph Again

James Kirkup, who quit the Telegraph in 2014 only to change his mind and stay, has left again, this time probably for good. He’s leaving his post as Executive Editor (Politics) to become Director of the Social Market Foundation think tank. Did he leave for the influence or the money? The Telegraph politics desk is like the Marie Celeste of Lobby journalism, now without a pol ed and an executive pol ed, whatever that is…

See also: Telegraph Politics Team Launches Attack on Editor.

Telegraph Pol Ed Runners and Riders


Peter Dominiczak’s departure to the dark side leaves a vacancy as Telegraph political editor. As ever, MediaGuido brings you your runners and riders…

Steve Swinford, Telegraph – Currently deputy pol ed, Swinford is the immediate favourite to get the succession. Some say his should be the only name on Guido’s list. The job has been compared to the Western Front, join as a private and you’ll be a general in no time. Swinford came as a general reporter only a few years ago and is now the most senior member of the lobby team.

Chris Hope, Telegraph – Would ‘Chopper’ want to make the step up? Well-liked, a masterful story-getter with a sense of mischief, his talent at spotting original angles is almost unrivalled. Even when it’s about the Royal Yacht Britannia or something Arron Banks said on the phone.

James Kirkup, Telegraph – Was due to leave the paper in 2015, but a reverse ferret has seen him stay to write comment and analysis. Tipped by colleagues as a name in the frame.

James Forsyth, Spectator / Sun – Pol ed at the Telegraph’sSpeccie stablemate, Forysth is an outside bet. Though his Spec job and Sun column mean he is well-paid and the Telegraph has no money. Writing a couple of columns a week is a great gig, would he want to do the 30 story-a-day meat grinder for less money? The Telegraph job is a Henry Ford production line of story-making.

Jason Groves/Daniel Martin, Mail – If it’s an external hire it could be from the Mail. Groves is unflappable with good contacts, Martin is a pro. At the Mail they’ll have developed sound political judgement, a grasp of conservatism, how readers see the world and a feel for what is going on. None of which are necessities at the Telegraph.

Tim Ross, Bloomberg – Recently escaped the Telegraph to write about Brexit for Bloomberg, would he want to return? Will be on big cash now and they say no one returns to the Telegraph once they’ve left.

Rowena Mason, Guardian – Also formerly of the Telegraph, Rowena is deputy pol ed at the Guardian though it may be some time before she can break up the dream team job share at the top there. Comfy at Kings Place though.

Matt Chorley, Times Red Box – His famous wit and fun stories surely deserve a wider airing than they currently receive on the Little-Read Box.

Good luck…

James Kirkup Telegraph Reverse Ferret

A ray of sunshine for the Telegraph at last. James Kirkup, who decided in November to leave the paper this year, has changed his mind. MediaGuido understands his planned departure in the spring has been reversed and he has now agreed to stay to write comment and analysis online.

Did they make him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

Exclusive: James Kirkup Leaving Telegraph

MediaGuido can reveal the Telegraph’s Executive Editor (Politics) James Kirkup is the next big name out.

Despite only recently being promoted following Ben Brogan’s departure, Kirkup will be leaving in the spring.

Another senior figure out…

Media Bitch Fight Farage / Clegg Special: Kirkup v Oborne

The Telegraph’s James Kirkup hasn’t been very impressed with the profundity of the punditry following last night’s debate. He’s gone off on one this afternoon:

“A lot of stuff being written about the Clegg-Farage debate today could come from the Idiot’s Guide to Being a Political Commentator. It follows the same paint-by-numbers form.

Step One: Pronounce that everyone less clever than you is saying the same thing.

Step Two: Say that they are wrong because actually the opposite thing is true. You know this because you are clever and incisive and other people do not because they are stupid and out-of-touch.

Step Three: There is no Step Three. That’s all there is to it. Really, you can make a very nice living out of this.”

Which of Kirkup’s fellow Telegraph writers followed a very, very similar step by step approach in his own write up? Here’s Peter Oborne:

“British political journalists love to pretend that they are independent and objective, but the majority are nothing of the sort. In Britain we have a system of client journalism, with reporting a manifestation of political class dominance.

Last night’s debate between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg was a very good example of this phenomenon. The lobby wanted a Clegg win and… collectively called victory for Clegg the moment that the debate was over.

It was only when the YouGov poll came through showing that Farage had won the debate hands-down with the public that lobby journalists were forced into an abrupt U-turn.”

Who could Kirkup possibly have been talking about?


Kirkup to Replace Winnett at Telegraph


Usually reliable sources tell Guido that James Kirkup is being promoted from Deputy to Political Editor for the Telegraph. Rob Winnett will go back to Telegraph Towers to shake up things as the new Head of News. Guido has noticed that of late a lot of Telegraph news stories seem to be lifted from CityAM and elsewhere…

Quote of the Day

James Kirkup wonders what has got into John Bercow:

“Some MPs are even wondering if something is troubling Mr Bercow. Is he getting enough sleep? Is there something on his mind? Or is misbehaviour in the Palace of Westminster simply getting worse, forcing Mr Speaker to shout louder to keep his house in order?”

Telegraph’s Kirkup Cocks-Up Online Again

Guido has been most amused with the Parliament Spy twitter account that was gaining quite the cult following in the village for its erudite and irreverent exposing of MPs eating habits and choice of hot caffeinated beverages. It was catty and witty, and exactly what was needed to keep Westminster’s finest looking over their shoulder. Obviously MPs were getting hot under the collar about their baked potato habits and afternoon drinking sessions being revealed. Most intriguing was the reporting of who was dining with which journalist and where. The whole operation was clearly run by bored Parliamentary researchers.

An unnamed MP complained to James Kirkup of The Telegraph who promptly wrote a piece about it for this morning’s paper. Well inevitably Parliament Spy has been forced underground and silenced.  Kirkup has a track record in online based cockups, he was the one that revealed the entire Lobby’s group email address to the world, opening up the door to midnight abuse.  Back then he dismissed his blunder to Guido with a simple “the wonders of modern technology”.  Kirkup has just blogged about what an idiot he is…

Seen Elsewhere

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Quote of the Day

The Daily Mirror has heard that at the shadow cabinet meeting, Nick Brown lost his train of thought so John McDonnell handed over a piece of paper to help out.

Brown: “You’re really helpful“.

McDonnell: “Yes I am. But it would be great if somebody could tell Skwawkbox that“.



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