Partygate Panorama Highlights: Lapsitting, Wine Time Fridays and Drunken Sleepovers

Happy Sue Gray day. There’s not long left to go now until she submits her inquiry to No. 10, however for those wanting a sneak preview of some of the juicy details expected within, Panorama gave us a teaser last night. Speaking to three anonymous Downing Street Staffers, Laura Kuenssberg heard tales of mass partying, staffers getting intimate, people sleeping overnight in the building, empties being left on desks, bins overflowing with wine bottles, and staffers disrespecting anyone telling them to stop partying. Party politics…

 

mdi-timer 25 May 2022 @ 08:54 25 May 2022 @ 08:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Exclusive: Labour Donor Criticises Boris

As Harry Cole points out this morning, BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme’s choice of headlines is questionable at best: “Top – a minor Commons yawnfest report slagging off Brexit…; 2nd – Some Tory donor no one has ever heard of, moaning…; 3rd – The EU’s brilliant response to Ukraine crisis…”. Their ‘Tory’ donor exclusive also splashes second top of the BBC website. Guido couldn’t believe his ears, therefore, when Laura Kuenssberg informed listeners that the unknown billionaire in her exclusive interview actually donated £12,500 to the Labour Party last year…

Neither Laura’s report, nor online story, informs readers either that the supposed Tory donor, John Armitage, hasn’t just donated £12,500 to Labour – or that it was his only party donation of 2021 – meaning he hasn’t been a Tory donor since 2020. He also donated almost £65,000 to the official ‘In’ campaign during the referendum, according to the Electoral Commission website.

Anyone else get the sense the BBC’s a bit too keen to push a certain narrative about the PM at the moment?

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BBC Extends Political Editor Job Application Deadline

The search for the next Laura Kuenssberg isn’t proving easy for the BBC. With two of the internal front runners – Vicki Young and now Chris Mason – both ruling themselves out of the contest, it looks like bosses are having to cast a wider net than expected: the open application deadline has been pushed all the way to February 10th, after initially being set at 20th January. An extra three weeks for ambitious hacks to polish their CVs…

Guido still has his money on Alex Forsyth, who’s second at the bookies after Jon Sopel. Forsyth’s odds shot up after Young ruled herself out, and is now viewed as the “dark horse” candidate according to BBC insiders speaking to the Times

Still, a huge deadline extension for a role that usually has an obvious front runner suggests the top execs aren’t so sure this time…

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BBC’s Open Application for New Political Editor

The BBC has posted an open job application for the Political Editor vacancy, after Laura Kuenssberg confirmed last month she will leave the job in April. The application deadline is 20th January, with the ideal candidate expected to have “an outstanding record in political broadcasting on the most high profile programmes […] deep knowledge of the Brexit process, [and] a full understanding of the BBC’s commitment to impartiality.” Reports had previously suggested the BBC didn’t plan to appoint an external candidate, although given this is a public advert there’s seemingly no reason external hacks can’t give it a go…

The latest bookies odds still show Kuenssberg’s current deputy Vicki Young is the favourite, with Jon Sopel close behind and Amol Rajan in third.

Early rumours that the job was being lined up for Sopel have been dismissed recently, with the New Statesman’s Harry Lambert claiming BBC insiders are insisting the job “has not been set aside for anyone.” The New Statesman also put out a questionnaire to 80 political hacks and insiders asking who they’d nominate to fill the role: the two front runners were Vicki Young and Sky’s Sam Coates. Betting a tenner on Coates would currently win you £259.74 if he got the gig…

mdi-timer 14 January 2022 @ 15:34 14 Jan 2022 @ 15:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Laura Kuenssberg Confirms April Departure from Political Editor Role

Kuenssberg tweets:

After nearly 7 years, in April I’m moving on from best daily reporting job + the most wonderful team in the business. It’s been an honour and an amazing ride – more to come in 2022! With love + thanks to all at @BBCPolitics

The BBC press office confirms she’ll take up a new “senior presenting and reporting role across the BBC” from Easter with further details to be announced in the new year. Tim Davie says “She’s a superb interviewer and engaging presenter, and I’m thrilled that we are keeping her on our screens and airwaves. I’m looking forward to her next chapter.” Unfortunately the replacement runners and riders were already speculated on back in October…

mdi-timer 20 December 2021 @ 12:01 20 Dec 2021 @ 12:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nadine Dorries Defends Late Night Kuenssberg Tweets

Following Laura Kuenssberg’s tweet last night that a Tory MP claimed Boris “looked weak and sounded weak” at the 1922 Committee, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries immediately pushed back in the PM’s defence, saying:

“Laura, this is no reflection on you personally, you know I truly respect and like you – but that message is beyond ridiculous. Although not quite as ridiculous as the desperate for your attention and approval person who sent it to you.”

The tweet – subsequently deleted – inevitably resulted in moans from the usual suspects…

Now Dorries has appeared in the Chamber this morning to dismiss the criticism, pointing out she “was not rebuking Laura Kuenssberg [and] the tweet was completely misinterpreted.” “Some people do seem to have a problem understanding a conversation of 240 characters”. Quite.

mdi-timer 18 November 2021 @ 10:28 18 Nov 2021 @ 10:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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