Labour’s chief spin doctor Matthew Doyle has u-turned on insulting Rosie Duffield over her campaign to protect women’s rights. After being caught bang-to-rights insulting her and saying she should spend more time in her constituency and less time talking to JK Rowling, Doyle told Lobby hacks this lunchtime:
“Rosie Duffield doesn’t spend too much time hanging out with JK Rowling rather than with her constituents.”
While the name of the spokesman in question wasn’t tweeted out by journalists, Guido understands it was Matthew Doyle himself. Awkward…
Yesterday the Mail on Sunday ran a story about an unnamed Starmer aide briefing against a Labour MP:
“a senior aide to Sir Keir Starmer said ‘it would be nice’ if Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield ‘spent a bit more time’ in her constituency, rather than ‘hanging out with JK Rowling”
JK Rowling spotted the Mail on Sunday story and mocked the advisor:
“Fight that FOMO, bro.”
In response, Rosie Duffield tweeted:
“Never had the pleasure of meeting this unelected Head Of Comms person. But for the record, while he was overheard loudly opining on my whereabouts and choice of friends, I was in my constituency meeting with members of Canterbury’s Hazara community. Really hope he’s OK with that”
Labour’s “Head of Comms person” is Matthew Doyle, a veteran Labour spin doctor from the New Labour Blair era. It is his job to hone the attack on the Tories, which is why it is all the more surprising that he would be briefing against a Labour MP. Obviously if it were true that Starmer’s top spin doctor is briefing against a Labour MP it would not be a good look. We put Rosie Duffield’s allegation to Labour’s press office this morning:
A rare categoric, on-the-record denial.
Unfortunately it is also untrue – listen to Matthew Doyle briefing against Rosie Duffield below:
Now you might think that the Leader of the Labour Party’s top attack dog briefing against one of their own MPs – in the same breath as saying that the MP had been in to see the leader about how she was being treated by the party – might be newsworthy. When Britain’s top-selling writer and campaigner for women’s rights JK Rowling, who incidentally has given over a million pounds to the Labour Party, is also being criticised you would think political editors would be scrambling to cover the story. You would think this morning’s papers would be following it up with feral glee. You would be wrong, there was no follow up of the story this morning, like JK Rowling’s infamous villain Voldemort it seems Doyle is he-who-must-not-be-named. Surely the Lobby’s political editors wouldn’t be craven cowards afraid of being cursed by Labour’s wielder of the dark arts?
US comedian Jon Stewart has denied accusing Harry Potter author JK Rowling of antisemitism, and told media outlets to “eat [his] ass” for distorting lighthearted comments he made about the series in a fortnight-old podcast discussion. The claims that he’d accused Rowling of antisemitism – for the series’ depiction of hook-nosed goblins running banks – first appeared in Newsweek on Tuesday, and were then picked up by multiple other outlets, including Variety, Rolling Stone, the Express and GB News. Loath to get wrapped up in yet another JK Rowling culture war (who can blame him?) Stewart hit back:
“[Let] me just say this super-clearly, as clearly as I can, ‘Hello, my name is Jon Stewart. I do not think JK Rowling is anti-Semitic. I do not think the Harry Potter movies are anti-Semitic. I really love the Harry Potter movies, probably too much for a gentleman of my considerable age.
Get a f*****g grip.”
Nonetheless, Twitter had already erupted with claims that the ‘Gringotts Goblins’ were evidence of Rowling’s antisemitism, not least from left-wingers still resentful of Rowling’s past criticisms of both Jeremy Corbyn, Scottish independence and the ever-lasting trans-rights debate. As Dave Rich, director of policy at Jewish charity the Community Security Trust said, “Sometimes a goblin is just a goblin.” Guido can’t help thinking those who immediately identify goblins as Jewish caricatures might want to double-check their own unconscious biases…
A lot of people who should know better are claiming the media reported today’s Finsbury Park attack differently to attacks committed by Islamist terrorists. Their theory is that the media aren’t calling what happened today “terrorism“, and are instead using the word “incident“. This really is misleading and hugely irresponsible, deliberately stirring up the idea of some huge media conspiracy. As James Bloodworth points out, the media reported today’s attack no differently to the way it initially reports all attacks. During both the London Bridge attack and Westminster attack, coverage initially used the word “incident”…
As annoying as it is for the lefty virtue signallers of Twitter, journalists have to get the facts from the authorities before they can call an incident a terror attack. As soon as the government and police called it a terror attack, the media immediately followed suit:
Also worth noting that because the alleged attacker was captured alive and arrested, reporting restrictions apply so as to not prejudice any future trial. Shoddy stuff from those journalists and celebs claiming conspiracy…
Tom Watson has fired off a punchy blogpost attacking the number of super-rich Tory donors in the wake of this weekend’s Rich List. “What do many of the 100 richest people in the UK have in common,” Watson asks, “A good number of them have donated significant amounts of money to the Tory Party”. You have to admire Tom’s chutzpah, given he has accepted donations from several entrants on the Rich List himself.
JK Rowling – worth £650 million and one of the highest profile Rich List entrants – gave thousands to Watson’s deputy leadership campaign. Former Rich Lister Sir David Garrard has been a major Watson donor. Mega-rich former blackshirt Max Mosley has given £500,000 to support Watson in the last year. Other Watson backers include multi-millionaire Labour moderate bankroller Trevor Chinn and millionaire casino tycoon Derek Webb. Classic Watson, listing the millionaires on the Rich List who donated to the Tories but not mentioning the ones who donated to him. For the money not the few?