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:

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”…

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.

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?

What is Wrong With the Lobby?

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…

Oborne Allegations Shot Down By Three-Breasted Woman

In his withering resignation statement Peter Oborne revealed the final straw that left him with no choice but to quit:

“On 22 September Telegraph online ran a story about a woman with three breasts. One despairing executive told me that it was known this was false even before the story was published. I have no doubt it was published in order to generate online traffic, at which it may have succeeded. I am not saying that online traffic is unimportant, but over the long term, however, such episodes inflict incalculable damage on the reputation of the paper.”

Today Jasmine Tridevil hits back, insisting Oborne is wrong and that there is nothing false about her third titty:

“I know my breasts are real and I do not care what anybody thinks.”

Has Peter boobed?

PETER OBORNE QUITS TELEGRAPH

telegraph

Five years ago I was invited to become the chief political commentator of the Telegraph. It was a job I was very proud to accept. The Telegraph has long been the most important conservative-leaning newspaper in Britain, admired as much for its integrity as for its superb news coverage. When I joined the Telegraph had just broken the MPs’ expenses scandal, the most important political scoop of the 21st century.

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Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week: Oborne v Maguire

Today’s Mirror splashes on “heartless” George Osborne giving his SpAd Rupert Harrison, apparently “one of the chief architects” of the “cruel austerity drive”, a 19% pay rise.

The story very much upset Man of the People Mirror Associate Editor Kevin Maguire, who Peter Oborne has the temerity to speculate is on rather more than Rupert:

Kerching!

POLL: Who’s Right, Peter Oborne or Craig Oliver?

Peter Oborne went on Newsnight on Wednesday to express a rarely vocalised view in Westminster, namely that Craig Oliver is a “particularly grubby individual”:

No.10’s Super Spinner has responded in a letter published by Ephraim Hardcastle this morning, accusing Oborne of being drunk:

Dear Peter

I just wanted to check you are OK. Some BBC people have been on to me worried you were a bit tired and emotional last night.

Let me know if I can help.

Best wishes,

Craig Oliver.

To which Peter replies:

“I am absolutely astonished that an official working for the Prime Minister would use such terminology. It is offensive and inaccurate. I hope that when he has taken time to consider it he’ll withdraw these remarks which are unworthy of a Downing Street Director of Communications.”

Who was right?

Let the people decide…

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?

UPDATE:

She Was So Good That Oborne Saluted Her Twice

You could hardly imagine a busier first day in the office for Tim Montgomerie as the Times‘ new comment editor. It must also have been some baptism of fire for his replacement over at ConHome, Paul Goodman. Meanwhile not only did the prolific Peter Oborne tell us to marvel at Maggie in the Telegraph, he also managed to pen an obituary for the Mail as well. At least they were both consistent…

Miliband Had Peter Oborne In His Pocket

Ed weirdly confessed this lunchtime that he had kept an article by Peter Oborne in his pocket for three months, but Rainman refused to say which one. The Labour leader was hardly spoilt for choice for favourable Oborne articles, however. Was it Oborne’s “Ed Miliband can’t score even when he has an open goal”? Or his view that “Ed Miliband is the Labour Party’s invisible man” or the claim that “in every area of our public life the left is losing the argument”? It probably wasn’t Oborne’s review of Miliband’s biography, which apparently “cast Ed in the murderous role of Cain and David as his innocent victim”.

Far more likely is Oborne’s post-riots suggestion that Miliband was right about moral decay at the top of society, in which he laid into the likes of Sir Philip Green and attacked the culture of greed amongst the rich. Oborne should send an invoice for the conference speech…

Telegraph Cover Up Warsi Guest Blunder

Guido has been most amused by the frantic changes made to the Sunday Telegraph’s Baroness Warsi story on their website today. The original photo of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan lunch has been replaced by a four-year-old picture of Dave and Sayeeda with a completely unrelated caption.[…] Read the rest

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Peter Oborne writing on the pinkos at the Pink ‘Un

“About 25 years ago something went very wrong with the FT. It ceased to be the dry, rigorous journal of economic record that was so respected under its great postwar editor Sir Gordon Newton. 
[…] Read the rest

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Oborne Has Guilty €urophiles Squirming

Younger readers will not know that “Guilty Men” was a book written by Michael Foot,  Frank Owen and Peter Howard, published in 1940, attacking the leading establishment figures of the day for their appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. As denunciations go it is the classic and an equal to Émile Zola’s J’accuse.[…] Read the rest

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Oborne Flip Flops Again


Yesterday Peter Oborne in The Telegraph blasted Cameron for being in the sewer with Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and James Murdoch. It was a terrific piece that Guido and everyone in the Westminster politico-media Village enjoyed immensely. Tim Montgomerie reminded us that it was just over a month ago that Oborne thought Cameron was on the verge of attaining “heroic status”. […] Read the rest

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