Peter Oborne Fired Contract Not Renewed With Daily Mail


Guido understands from a Daily Mail source that Peter Oborne‘s services as a columnist are no longer required. Oborne has been rampaging around broadcast studios for the last few days railing at the corruption of the Lobby and their “Downing Street sources”. His targets of attack included the political journalists of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, his now former employers. As yet this is officially unconfirmed. Peter is not answering his phone either. It is of course a Friday…

UPDATE: Alex Bannister, managing editor at the Daily Mail, gets in touch to insist that it is Peter himself who has decided to quit his column and not renew his year-long contract, which has entirely coincidentally come to an end in the same week he launched a tirade against his colleagues on the newspaper. He may still contribute pieces to the paper apparently…

UPDATE: Peter surfaces:

mdi-timer 25 October 2019 @ 13:55 25 Oct 2019 @ 13:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Peter Oborne Attacks Amol Rajan on His Show

Yesterday Peter Oborne continued his onslaught on the Lobby’s tendency to relay anonymous “Downing Street sources” and how it shapes their commentary. His campaign is working as hacks are noticeably straining to avoid using the “Downing Street source” phrase in their reports. Oborne went on Radio 2 with Amol Rajan yesterday. It got quite tasty, in the excerpt above he starts laying into Amol for his “client journalism” during his tenure as editor of the Independent. Enjoy…

You can listen to the whole interview here (starts 1 hour 10 minutes in). At one point he calls one leading member of Her Majesty’s Lobby “sewage”…

mdi-timer 24 October 2019 @ 16:00 24 Oct 2019 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Downing Street Sources Temporarily Silenced

Yesterday, Peter Oborne published a characteristic scream of pain at the over-use of “Downing Street sources” by Lobby hacks. Oborne argued that the quoting of unnamed sources facilitates lying and makes hacks the hands free delivery mechanism for fake news. It is noticeable that, of late, tweeting Lobby hacks repeat anonymous threats from Downing Street sources which habitually do not eventually materialise. He pointed the finger at almost everyone from Laura Kuenssberg to Robert Peston. For hours after his piece was published, the customary tweeted insider nuggets of information were no longer dipped in the Downing Street source…

Nobody seemingly dared report anything “according to a Downing Street source”. ITV’s Paul Brand was the first to break the self-imposed embargo at teatime. His attribution was greeted by a barrage of abuse on Twitter. Twittering Lobby hacks went silent again on what Downing Street was saying…

At 10:00 pm Peston cracked, tweeting

“So here is No.10 confirming that if EU gives the requested three-month Brexit delay, Boris Johnson will ask for an immediate general election. Loads of you have poured buckets of manure on me for telling you what Downing St is thinking and saying. So you are totally at liberty to ignore this statement or disbelieve it. But it would be wholly wrong of me to withhold this from you, on the patronising assumption you cannot analyse and contextualise it.”

His tweet thread included a Whatsapp text from his undisclosed Downing Street source. He was combative (given he has made his career from repeating things he has been told by sources that is hardly surprising).

Perhaps emboldened by Pesto, at 10:05 pm Laura Kuenssberg risked tweeting “No 10 confirms tonight after the vote they’ll try to push for election if EU offers delay.*” She was greeted with tweets saying she was a Downing Street mouthpiece…

Oborne is right to say that hacks whose main journalistic asset appears to be phone numbers for spokesman really need to be less reliant on, and more careful about, re-broadcasting a line that the source would be too embarrassed to say in public. The reality is that it isn’t in the interests of hacks to open up the Lobby system or insist more often that quotes are on the record. Transparency will devalue their role because information scarcity makes their possession of a spokesman’s phone number more valuable. A start to improving and opening up the system would be to put Lobby briefings in the open and televised…

*Boris had in any case already said this publicly earlier in the day in the Commons.

mdi-timer 23 October 2019 @ 09:01 23 Oct 2019 @ 09:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Peter Oborne Rejoins the Mail

Peter Oborne, who dramatically quit the Telegraph in February, will be rejoining the Mail according to sources at both papers.

The Daily Telegraph’s former chief political commentator cited the troubled broadsheet’s coverage of the HSBC banking scandal – or lack thereof – in a well timed career move.

Oborne starts in September…but will it be the only high profile political move from the Telegraph to the Mail this autumn?

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What is Wrong With the Lobby?
mdi-timer 26 March 2015 @ 11:05 26 Mar 2015 @ 11:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Oborne on Ill Mannered MPs

Grandstanding on Fleet Street’s moral high ground has not always paid off for Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph hack who resigned claiming his paper corruptly buried the HSBC bank scandal. In his days with The Spectator, Oborne once named and shamed ‘ill mannered’ MPs who had not penned him a thank you note for taking them out to one of his liquid lunches in Pall Mall. The following week the Speccie was inundated with letters from MPs who had taken ‘ill mannered’ Oborne out to lunch and were still waiting for a thank you note…

mdi-timer 26 February 2015 @ 10:25 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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