Jason Groves is the political editor of the Daily Mail and chairman of the Lobby hacks’ cartel. Jason tweeted out this screenshot of the regional tiers breakdown document not long after we uploaded it to order-order.com when the gov.uk website hosting it crashed. All part of Guido’s public service remit.
We could not help noticing that the first news source bookmarked on his browser is of course Guido, second is the BBC and third is the Daily Mail’s own website. Jason, pictured above listening to the latest Guido Talks podcast, didn’t get to be political editor of one of Britain’s most read national newspapers without having top sources. Good to see he has got his news priorities right…
Guido’s campaign to get the daily No. 10 briefings filmed is clearly gathering pace – albeit with baby steps. Sky News broadcast Lobby Chairman Jason Groves allowing part of a briefing with the No. 10 spokesman to be filmed – something he’s been dead against thus far. Technically Guido thinks he is in breach of Lobby rules, so he will have to have a word with himself. It’s not the first time during this pandemic that senior journalists have opened up to the possibility of more transparent press briefings…
There was an odd mood in this morning’s No. 10 briefing awaiting Guido, with a much-depleted turnout. A conference call had been set up to allow Lobby correspondents to dial into the briefing, with around 19 choosing to do so. There’s a simple solution to Coronavirus forcing members of the Lobby into self-isolation: televise the briefings…
Entirely uniquely, however, was a pre-briefing talk given by Lee Cain, who formally called for a pause to the fractured relations between the Government and media that have arisen since January. Boris’s Director of Communications told attendees that this is an “unprecedented time” and “a difficult period for us all”, saying that the Government wants to “wipe the slate clean” and it “doesn’t matter who you work for/where you are on the political spectrum, praising the media for their responsible reporting of the virus.
Cain also said further conversations are needed, suggesting that No. 10 may ask a single representative from the Lobby to visit and chat with him and the PM’s spokesman on a semi-regular basis to “talk about how things may be done better, what is working” etc. There were lots of approvingly nodding heads…
Separate to the frank and seemingly friendly chat, Cain also indicated No. 10 are wanting to reduce footfall through the heart of Government to reduce the chance of Coronavirus spreading inside Downing Street. This may also mean the newly-instituted daily Coronavirus briefings see limited attendance from news outlets, with the Government having to look at the press being able to phone in questions. Guido notes the daily press briefings will be detailed, frank and televised – all without the sky falling in…
This is self explanatory:
Chairman of the Lobby
4 February, 2020
Congratulations on becoming chairman of the Lobby.
I am writing to ask you to restrain your colleagues from bullying a member of our reporting team.
On January 20, 2020 Christian Calgie was shouted at for a prolonged period by a number of your colleagues, the ringleaders being Pippa Crerar and Tom Newton-Dunn. You will no doubt be aware that recordings of that day are circulating. Your predecessor as chairman of the Lobby has already apologised in relation to that day.
Christian is the most junior member of our reporting team and has been in the job for a matter of months. He is live tweeting the proceedings on my instructions. Today when Christian began tweeting someone shouted “That wanker’s tweeted… we’re off embargo.” Christian is now reluctant to attend the briefings.
I recognise that your colleagues do not like the competition and want to keep proceedings as they were. That does not entitle them to bully the youngest member of my staff. He is doing his job. You will no doubt share my expectation that your colleagues should in future behave professionally towards our reporters in their place of work, at government briefings.
Editor, Guido Fawkes
Give it a rest.
Two big Lobby moves which MediaGuido can announce. Gordon Rayner has been appointed political editor at the Telegraph, leaving his previous role as chief reporter to join the Lobby. An internal hire was inevitable. Would’ve taken silly money to convince a top hack from a rival to join the Tel…
Talking of which, Jason Groves is the new Daily Mail political editor, as tipped by MediaGudio a few weeks back. John Stevens has been promoted to deputy pol ed – he had been one of the favourites for the Sunday Times deputy job. The Mail will be pleased to have kept him out of their clutches.