Justin Webb’s Jeremy Hunt C-Bomb

Justin Webb does it again on the Today programme this morning:

Never forget when it happened three times in one day:

Never gets old…

Question Time’s £450,000 Gender Pay Problem

The conventional wisdom is that the BBC will appoint a woman to present Question Time. David Dimbleby is paid £450,000 a year, or £15,000 an episode. If he is replaced by a woman, gender pay sensitivities mean it is unthinkable that she could be given a pay cut. The Beeb would have to stump up the full £450,000. If a man is hired, however, insiders note, the salary could be slashed, potentially saving the BBC and licence fee payers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. Tough one for Beeb bean counters…

Owen Smith On Top of Things As Ever

Top Remainer Owen Smith having a pop at the “Brexit-supporting” Times. Uhhh…

Will always be a mystery how Smith managed to lose to Corbyn…

74% of Guido Readers Say Scrap Question Time

A Guido poll of more than 6,500 Twitter followers has concluded that BBC Question Time should be scrapped. The overwhelming majority (74%) was in favour of canning the programme so that politicos can regain their Thursday nights. No need to find a new presenter either – problem solved. Guido suspects this is a sentiment shared in the wider country…

“Set to” Doing a Lot of Heavy Lifting in Times Airbus Splash

Remainers and The Times are loving the “Airbus prepares to move business from Britain” story this morning. Couple of things here. The Times claims in its top line:

“The European aerospace company Airbus is set to become the first big manufacturer to pull investment from Britain after losing patience with Theresa May’s stalled Brexit negotiations.”

“Set to” is doing a lot of heavy lifting. Read down and you see Airbus is only threatening to “pull investment” if there is no deal. Incidentally, The Times calls no deal “hard Brexit” – Guido remembers when they used to say “hard Brexit” was leaving the single market and customs union. When you think that privately Number 10 does not countenance the possibility of no deal, that the government has done next to no preparations for such an outcome, and that the PM’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” rhetoric is empty, it is clearly far more likely there will be a deal. So Airbus is not “set to” pull out by any objective measure.

Also worth remembering Airbus was a chief player in Project Fear during the referendum. They made intervention after intervention threatening to pull investment if the country voted to Leave. Since then, Airbus boss Tom Enders admitted that the company plans to retain its operations “long into the future’’. It’s pretty obvious that Airbus and the overwritten story in the Times are just trying to make sure no deal is well and truly off the table. Which it effectively already is thanks to Number 10. This is Project Fear 2.0 from big business and a Remoan comic…

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Another majority remain panel on Question Time tonight. But at least Wetherspoons legend Tim Martin is on…

Meanwhile, voting continues in Guido’s poll, which closes after the show: should Question Time be scrapped?

Have your say…

Morning Star Removes Article Blaming Jews For Anti-Semitism

The communist Morning Star newspaper has removed from its website an article which blamed mainstream Jewish groups for rising anti-Semitism. The article by John Elder, headlined “Rising anti-Semitism cannot be tackled without addressing Israel’s crimes”, argued:

“‘Mainstream’ Jewish organisations protesting about growing anti-Semitism must see that, by failing to condemn Israeli brutality against Palestinians, they will be regarded by some as being indirectly complicit in that country’s actions.”

It has now disappeared from the Morning Star website:

The Morning Star has now published another piece condemning the article:

Its rationale, that Jews everywhere are responsible for the actions of the Israeli government, is by reverse exactly the argument put forward by the Israeli government and right-wing zionists. But that cannot be acceptable in a daily paper of the left, which has anti-imperialism at its heart and should be challenging all forms of racism, including anti-semitism.

We write as long time supporters of the Morning Star. There is an expectation that features can be as challenging as is necessary. But the blinkered and reactionary nature of the Elder article has to become a line in the sand. Jews and all citizens should be encouraged to challenge actual and existing anti-semitism. Our paper should be at the forefront of that movement.

Grim stuff.

Alan Sugar Tries to Get Sacked From BBC

Remember when Alan Sugar sent that xenophobic tweet about Gisela Stuart during the referendum? He’s gone one worse this morning:

The next series of the Apprentice was due to air on the BBC this autumn. Was…

UPDATE: And like that, it was gone…

UPDATE II: BBC to Sugar: you’re not fired!

Is it Time up for Question Time?


What do you think?

Question Time Runners and Riders

David Dimbleby is stepping down after 25 years presenting Question Time. As ever, Guido gives you your runners and riders…

  • Kirsty Wark: The early hot favourite. Question Time is produced in Glasgow, where Wark lives, and they have always wanted to be produced full time from that location. Wark recently declared her interest in the job, in an interview which suggested she knew this was coming and wanted to roll the pitch. Kirsty’s Newsnight shifts have been cut down now Evan Davis and Emily Maitlis do an equal number of programmes. Newsnight editor Esme Wren may be keen to privately push for Kirsty so she can hire her own special correspondent / third presenter. Would be a very logical move… 
  • Emily Maitlis: The perceived wisdom at the Beeb is that it has to be a woman, and Maitlis is closely in behind Wark as the early second favourite. Emily has been at Newsnight for over a decade. She will be up there.
  • Andrew Neil: If the BBC wanted the broadcast veteran who is the best at holding waffling, question-dodging politicians to account, Brillo would be a shoo in. Not sure what it would mean for his post-Question Time show This Week, alas. It would trigger Owen Jones and Andrew Adonis… 
  • Huw Edwards: Huw has been waiting for Dimbleby to retire for years. The Beeb originally promised him that 2015 would be Dimbleby’s last election, at which point he could take on his responsibilities, only for Dimbers to stick around for the referendum and 2017 general too. Edwards has long been seen as Dimbleby’s successor…
  • Emma Barnett: Rising star who would liven the show up and put the fear into the guests. Guido can see her in the chair one day. But has it come a bit too soon for her this time round?
  • Mishal Husain: Would she want to do it if it means not being the lead Today programme presenter in the post-Humphrys future? Her audition hosting the BBC’s 2017 election debate did not go to plan… 
  • Kirsty Young: Has been at Desert Island Discs since 2006. Though she doesn’t need the money and might not fancy the hassle.
  • Jeremy Vine: Last week Vine announced he is replacing Matthew Wright on Channel 5 and juggling that show with his Radio 2 gig. Bet he’s kicking himself…
  • Fiona Bruce: Seen a less exciting but safe option.
  • Nick Robinson: Another not very exciting option.
  • Victoria Derbyshire: Quite a step up from her current programme.
  • Eddie Mair: Could he take the pay cut?
  • Matthew Wright: Hotly tipped by Buzzfeed media man Mark Di Stefano.

Good luck…

Cadwalladr Forced to Delete Erroneous Attack on BBC Editor

Carole Codswallop has done it again. The top Observer sleuth has been forced to delete yet more error-strewn tweets after launching an unhinged attack on the BBC. During her meltdown last night about Isabel Oakeshott being invited onto Question Time, Codswallop launched a pile-on against the Beeb’s head of live political programmes, Rob Burley, demanding an explanation. Her tweet tagging Burley was retweeted more than a thousand times. For hours Burley was under attack from hundreds of tweets from Codswallop’s crazy legion of followers. Just one problem: Burley has nothing to do with Question Time, which is produced by the independent production company Mentorn.

12 hours later, Carole deleted the tweet and apologised.

She also tweeted claiming that, during her Marr appearance with Oakeshott, they didn’t ask her about her Observer story about Shahmir Sanni. They did. That has now been deleted. This is basic stuff…

Camilla Tominey to Telegraph

MediaGuido can reveal a major Lobby move: Sunday Express political editor Camilla Tominey is leaving the paper after 15 years to join The Telegraph as their new Associate Editor (Politics and Royals). She is believed to have been poached by Rob Winnett and will have a roving brief to land scoops, big interviews and campaigns, reporting alongside the Lobby and largely based in Westminster. Readers will remember her stealing the show on Question Time.

Camilla was the journalist who first broke the news of Harry and Meghan dating back in 2016, and she’ll be glad to only be doing two jobs rather than the four she had at the Sunday Express. She starts in September. Congratulations – this will set off a bit of a merry-go-round…

Sun, Mail, Telegraph Warn May

The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph look to be losing patience with Theresa May’s weakness on Brexit. In the last few weeks their leader columns and opinion pages have issued increasingly ominous warnings to the Prime Minister to change course. The Sun has repeatedly called on her to prepare for no deal and suggested she should be removed if she doesn’t get a grip. The usually ultra-loyal Mail has blasted her for allowing Brexit to drift. The Telegraph is talking about her leading Britain into a worst of all worlds Brexit. These are all from the last ten days…

The Sun, June 2:

“When will the Prime Minister and her Cabinet stand up for them — and for Brexit in full? Instead, the whiff of panic emanates from Downing Street. The Government has no idea what deal it wants. The latest plan for the Irish border has been trashed overnight. No10 regurgitates clichés to mask its confusion…  Mrs May cannot kick the can any further down the road. She must be realistic, assertive and brave. There are talented Tories around her. If this PM can’t bring her party with her and lead us fully out of the EU, with no deal if necessary, she must make way for someone who can.”

The Sun, June 3:

“Even Leave voters fear the Government is botching Brexit… the chaos on the Continent from Spain to Italy is proof that we were absolutely correct to leave the EU… but if the Prime Minister looks like steering us to a bad Brexit, somebody else will need to take the wheel.”

The Sun, June 11:

“We must be in a strong enough position at the negotiating table that we’re willing to walk away. The Prime Minister has shown admirable backbone in the past, taking on the policing unions as Home Secretary and in her robust response to terrorism.”

Daily Mail, June 4:

“On Brexit, though it grieves the Mail to say it, Theresa May has allowed a profoundly worrying sense of drift to develop. Indeed, she has given the impression of a captain of a mutinous crew, sailing a rudderless ship across a turbulent sea, unsure herself where she wants to go… Mrs May has seemed willing to sit back while the bibulous Jean-Claude Juncker and his cronies sneer at our country and accuse her of ‘living in fantasy land’ if she believes we can leave the EU unpunished. The time has surely come for her to go on the attack, slapping down Remoaners, boosting the wilting morale of the pro-Brexit majority and telling Mr Juncker and Co that they are the fantasists if they think they can humiliate the UK with impunity. This is a great country, with great opportunities opening up to us. Mrs May needs to find the language to proclaim this from the rooftops.”

Daily Mail, June 7

“She needs to channel the same strength and resolve she showed in facing down Russia after the Salisbury poison attack and go on the offensive. She must set out her detailed blueprint for our post-Brexit future and start preparing seriously for the prospect of no deal… Mr Barnier is in a far weaker position than he pretends. Mrs May should get tough and call his bluff.”

Juliet Samuel in The Telegraph, June 11:

“Accepting ECJ rule and free movement will be electorally toxic, but agreeing to Irish Sea border checks will cost her much-needed DUP support in Parliament. Because this latter concern is a more immediate threat to her power, she will almost certainly choose to keep Britain inside the single market and customs union. This will be a dreadful result. We’ll give up our MEPs and officials in Brussels, but still be subject to its rules. Any other option, whether it’s staying in the EU, leaving with no deal, or surrendering Northern Ireland, would be a better outcome. Instead, inexorably, our Prime Minister is leading us towards the worst of all possible worlds.”

The message is clear to Number 10. Change course or lose the confidence of the right-leaning press…

Friday Caption Contest (Geordie? Sure Edition)

Entries in the comments…

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Another Remainer panel…

Geordie Greig New Daily Mail Editor

Geordie Greig, a big Remainer who has turned the Mail on Sunday into a pretty hardcore anti-Brexit paper, is the new editor of the Daily Mail. Major implications for the Tories and the paper’s coverage of leaving the EU. Daily Mail readers might be a little confused at the change in direction. Today has not been a good day for Brexit…

UPDATE: Ted Verity to edit Mail on Sunday.

Daily Mail Editor Runners and Riders

Fevered speculation overnight as to who will be the next Daily Mail editor following Paul Dacre’s resignation. There is talk a successor has already been found. As ever, Guido brings you your runners and riders…

  • Tony Gallagher – Was Mail deputy before he became editor of the Sun in 2015. Might he be tempted to return?
  • Geordie Greig – Or could the Mail on Sunday editor move over? Greig is a huge Remainer so it would be quite a change of direction. 
  • Gerard GreavesMail deputy editor, recently poached from the MoS. If a successor has already been found it will be someone like him.
  • Ted Verity – The other Mail deputy editor. Serious candidate but is he ready for the leap?
  • Ben Taylor – Currently the Mail’s executive news editor. Some smart money going on him in Northcliffe House.
  • Martin Clarke – Editor of MailOnline. Long-time rival of Dacre. But the only Mail employee mentioned in his letter to staff last night…
  • Chris EvansTelegraph editor. He’s done really well there.
  • George Osborne – A move to a Mail title seems like a sensible next step in the career of this up-and-coming journalist.
  • Boris Johnson – Did not rule himself out last night. (Sure he was joking.)
  • Michael Gove and Sarah Vine job share – Alas they have loftier ambitions.

Guido genuinely fears that without Dacre acting as sentinel Britain will be imperilled on so many fronts. Important for the future of the nation that the Mail makes the right choice…

Dacre’s and Rothermere’s Letters to Mail Staff

Paul Dacre is out as Mail editor – Guido has his letter to staff:

And Rothermere’s letter:

End of an era. Runners and riders in the morning…

One of May’s Worst PMQs

Peston on Sunday Cancelled

Peston on Sunday is no more, reports Amol Rajan. Viewers who want to watch his Remoaner whinge fest will now have to tune in at 22:35 on Wednesdays instead. Victory for Marr and Ridge…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Paul Dacre on the Daily Mail’s future support for Brexit…

“…what moves me most are the countless messages from readers worried about whether the Mail will continue its support for EU withdrawal. My answer to them — and others — is unequivocal. Support for Brexit is in the DNA of both the Daily Mail and, more pertinently, its readers. Any move to reverse this would be editorial and commercial suicide.”

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