Fleet Street elders are looking on with horror and glee as a slow motion Game of Thrones power battle is played out at The Sun. Anyone who thinks this saga is really about a provocative Kelvin Mackenzie column criticising an Everton footballer is naive. “The New King”, “Joffrey” Gallagher, is caught in the midst of all out war between “The Old King of the North” Kelvin and the fiery “Mother of Dragons”, Queen Rebekah.
The decision by News UK to suspend Old King Kelvin is being widely viewed through the prism of Queen Rebekah loathing him. It has been noted in other realms of the Baby Shard that the statement knifing Kelvin came from a News UK spokesman, not a Sun spokesman.
The emerging narrative is that Gallagher kicked back at the decision and, rightly, defended Kelvin, hence why the statement throwing him under the torrent of outrage did not come from The Sun. It came from News UK, where Queen Rebekah reigns. Last Thursday’s Popbitch reported that “Rebekah is aching to bin his £300,000 a year column, cutting costs and helping to detoxify the Sun’s brand in one easy move”. Kelvin’s column was published on Friday.
The New King Gallagher and The Old King Kelvin also go way back. Gallagher has always owed Kelvin after he helped him secure the Sun throne. Before that, at the Telegraph, Gallagher hired Kelvin as a columnist only to be forced to cancel his column when the Scouse hordes protested.
So far, the views of the One True Sun King of Antipodea remain unclear. Though anyone who has watched the hit HBO series (available through all BSkyB-approved outlets) knows this one is going to end in a bloody mess, with a twist or two along the way…
Sun editor Tony Gallagher has come out swinging in defence of that splash about the Queen, accusing Clegg of changing his position and of smearing Michael Gove as the alleged source:
Peston: Much of the world believes your source to be the Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, was it?
Gallagher: They can believe what they like. We would never reveal who our sources are. I think it’s interesting to note that there is clearly a smear operation underway at the moment and an attempt to identify Michael Gove. It wouldn’t take too much of a cynic to assume that part of the reason for that is the desire to remove him as a leading light in the Leave campaign. And I think it’s worth putting into the public domain that among those circulating the idea that it is Michael Gove are people close to Nick Clegg… I think Nick Clegg has questions to answer because he’s gone from being ‘I don’t recollect this event’ to ‘it’s nonsense’ to now being certain it’s Michael Gove. So which is it? I think he has to answer that.
Remember, it’s personal between Clegg, Gove and his former adviser Dom Cummings, who once called him a “self-obsessed, revolting character”…
Rebekah Brooks will replace Mike Darcey as the chief executive of News UK on Monday according to Guido sources. An official announcement will be made later today…
UPDATE: As was widely rumoured Tony Gallagher is transferring from the Daily Mail to become The Sun’s editor-in-chief.
The battle of egos over at the Mail has reached new heights: literally.
After a newsroom land-grab by MailOnline of desk space used by the Mail on Sunday a couple of months ago, sources reveal that Geordie Greig threw his toys out of the pram. The one time prince-over-the-water is getting tetchy.
By way of consolation for this Sudetenland-like annexing, Mail on Sunday editor Greig and his deputy were given new professionally interior-decorated offices.
Special permission was sought to raise the ceiling: specifically so it was higher than Dacre’s wood panelled bat-cave. And a Smeg fridge was thrown in for good measure.
Lunching in chi-chi Moro, Islington, Guido had the crab brik with harissa (£9.00) followed by the lamb with hispi cabbage and crispy capers, piquillo sauce and lentils (£19.50), Neo-Guido had the wood roasted pork with smoked almond sauce, wilted escarole and black beans (£19.00) which we washed down with a couple of bottles of Viña Gravonia Crianza (Viura) Lopez de Heredia ’03 (£42.50). The crab was light, the lamb was pink and the only complaint from the dining companions was that the portions weren’t big enough. When the waiter was asked for a recommendation he said “it’s your lunch”. Though his guidance on the wine was faultless.
Mid-lunch Guido’s phone buzzed with a tweet referencing @GuidoFawkes by one of their junior kitchen staff saying we were dining at the restaurant. A star-struck faux pas that will surely turn off other more publicity-shy celebrity diners. Guido was popping to the loo round the back when he bumped into Tony Gallagher, former editor of The Telegraph, in his kitchen whites. Fifty this year, Tony is learning a new trade and had spent the morning peeling artichokes, “lots of them”. He told Guido that the kitchen at Moro is run on very democratic lines and there is no shouting. This will be a change in working environment for him.
For dessert we had a satisfying
Gallagher Malaga raisin ice cream (£6.50) with two spoons. “Don’t be nasty” pleaded the former tyrant of The Telegraph newsroom nervously as he sportingly posed for his picture. As if…