BBC Presenter to Boris: Let’s See Who’s In the Job the Longest

BBC presenter Steph McGovern – who compered Boris’s Rotherham speech – slipped in a snide remark as Boris left the stage, saying:

“For the record, I am a girly swot and I’m proud of it… let’s see who’s in the job the longest”

This will be picked up…

UPDATE: McGovern apologises

Carole Issues Yet Another Correction

Carole Cadwalladr has been forced to retract her “Brexit Disaster Capitalism” conspiracy tweet, following her obvious errors being pointed out by Guido and the FT.

Carole seems so embarrassed that she even took the step of embarrassingly urging her pals at fake news merchants ‘Byline Times’, to issue a correction too. Classic Cadwalladr with yet another correction

MPs Believe Social Media has a Negative Impact on Politics

Four in five MPs believe that public attitudes towards politicians have been changed for the worse by social media. 

Research commissioned by Vuelio, the political and media software provider, has found that MPs believe social media has a negative impact on politics, with four in five (81%) of the 137 MPs surveyed believing public attitudes towards politicians have been changed for the worse as a result of social media. The research is released at a time of heightened speculation regarding an early general election.

According to MPs, there are specific ways in which social media has damaged public engagement. Over three quarters (79%) believe social media has made it difficult for the public to source information from trustworthy sources and 78% believe it leads to people being overloaded with information. This impacts policy making, with two in five (42%) MPs believing social media has changed the policy making process for the worse, and a third (36%) believe it has changed public understanding of policy for the worse.  

While MPs believe, on balance, that social media has had negative impact on politics, they do recognise some positives. Almost half (47%) of MPs say it has improved the transparency of politics and around two in five (44%) say it has improved engagement between politicians and the public.

Joanna Arnold, CEO of Vuelio said: ‘Social media has ushered in a new era of political immediacy that is reshaping how politicians engage with the public. While recognising that social media has improved transparency, four in five MPs believe it has changed public attitudes towards politicians for the worse. The depth of concern that MPs have is a timely reminder of the risks of social media as well as the potential it has to transform political engagement.’

Read the full research results and discover how MPs are using social media – download the white paper here. 

Content presented by Vuelio.

Downing Street Hires Digital Communications Chief from LadBible

Peter Heneghan has joined the Cabinet Office in Downing Street as head of digital communications, he was formerly in a similar role at LADbible and before that Buzzfeed. If anyone should know how to reach that difficult to reach Leave-backing-lads demographic, it is this Irishman. Strictly speaking Heneghan is not a SpAd he is a civil servant, so we have not added him to the SpAd List.

SpAds have been listed by Guido in order of seniority. If any SpAds reading the list disagree with this hierarchy, feel free to send in your contracts for us to double check…

See the full list here: order-order.com/spads

Jon Craig’s Sweary Sarcasm

In response to Len McCluskey’s statement of the blindingly obvious that the next general election will be about who the country trusts, Sky News‘ Jon Craig was caught demonstrating some top-tier sarcasm in response. Even on a Sunday evening, you can’t get anything past MediaGuido…

Did Kay Burley Vote in the Referendum?

In a confrontation with Brexit Hero Lucy Harris MEP yesterday, Sky News’ Kay Burley claimed “I didn’t vote” in the EU referendum.

However, a quick scroll back to Kay’s tweets on the day of the referendum suggests otherwise, having Tweeted ‘#ivoted’ seven times that day.

She even implied she battled through the torrential downpour to get there. Kay signed off the interview by pointing to a report that said Sky News is the most trusted in the country. Guido finds that hard to believe

Times and Sunday Times Take First Steps Toward Merger

Senior staff at The Times and The Sunday Times were called in for separate meetings at 12:30 today to be told the papers are taking their first steps towards a widely expected merger. Guido hears the meetings were full of high emotion. There will be inevitable job losses…

Read the email from The Times and The Sunday Times editors John Witherow and Martin Ivens in full here:

“As you are aware the DCMS recently approved some amendments to the undertakings that govern The Times and The Sunday Times. This means that the two newsrooms can share resources where the editors agree.

We would like to propose sharing resources in travel, money, property, sport and sports production. The Sunday Times Travel magazine is not affected.

We want to see how we can organise certain editorial teams differently, in a better way. That makes sense for reducing duplication when we commission stories and features and it will extend our range. The readers will get a stronger edition in print and digital.

We understand that these changes may be unsettling for the people affected but we anticipate that new opportunities and more staff roles may be created through changing how we work.

We will start a consultation process today with News Union and the people that work in those departments. If you work in travel, personal finance, property, sport or sports production you will receive an email with a meeting time for today. We expect the consultation process to take at least 30 days.

It is important for the long-term viability of both newspapers that we organise our resources as efficiently as possible and that we continue to innovate to produce outstanding journalism.”

The undertakings still prevent a full-on merger…

Fifteen Today!

Guido launched on this day in 2004, and since then we have seen five Prime Ministers come and go. It has been quite a journey from a laptop on the sofa to a newsroom in SW1 staffed by talented young journalists. Our tenth anniversary party was a big glitzy public affair, broadcast on the BBC, tonight we are gathering past and present members of the Guido conspiracy at a small private party. Still glitzy just less showy…

It is of great satisfaction to see people who have worked in the newsroom go on to prosper. Alumni can be found all over the media and in politics where they set the agenda in a different way to when they set the political news agenda. We live in exciting times and Westminster politics has changed a lot over the last fifteen years. The personnel may change, the objective remains the same, we never forget we are in the infotainment business.

Whatever happened to the keynote speaker from the last party?

Paul Staines, Editor

Brenda From Bristol Speaks for the Nation (As Always)

Following her viral news moment after the 2017 General Election was called, journalists have been desperate to get Brenda from Bristol’s comments about this week’s political machinations. We imagine her reaction won’t have changed since this clip in 2018…

Newsnight’s Fortieth Anniversary Rebrand


In time for its 40th anniversary next year, and just as one of the most dramatic weeks in British political history kicks off, the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight has undergone a neon rebranding. Take a look at all the past intros of the iconic show here:

BBC Launch New ‘Andrew Neil Show’

The BBC has announced the revival of 1990s classic The Andrew Neil Show, starting from Wednesday next week. The 30 minute prime time in depth political programme, which will air on BBC Two at 7pm every Wednesday, will run throughout the autumn in the run up to 31 October.

Guido’s Loss is Mogg’s Gain

Guido can confirm that our news editor and resident grammarian, Hugh Bennett, is joining the government as Jacob Rees Mogg’s SpAd. He will be helping the Leader of the House get Brexit through the Commons. His unflappable calmness under pressure will be tested in the coming weeks…

Hugh joined Guido from Brexit Central last year, before that he worked on the Vote Leave campaign, so he is used to working with Dominic Cummings. Many of you will have become familiar with him from his many TV appearances putting the case for Brexit calmly and with an unrivaled grasp of the details. He will be uncompromising in making sure Brexit happens on October 31.

When Hugh was head-hunted to Guido he made it clear that it was his intention to eventually become a SpAd. At the time he was worried that working at Guido might be an obstacle to his ambition. Given he is the third current government SpAd to have toiled in the Guido newsroom, his fears were clearly unfounded…

To keep up with all the latest SpAd hirings and firings check: order-order.com/spads

Support Positive Twitter Day This Friday

Since 2012 Sunder Katwala and Guido have been promoting the idea of the last Friday in August being one day of positive exchanges on Twitter. The political Twittersphere in particular can be a horrible nasty place, what with the culture wars and political extremists generally being unpleasant. Brexit has made even usually reasonable people bad tempered. None of us are immune from negativity, Guido is a repeat offender. Wouldn’t it be pleasantly calming if, for at least one day, we all tried to be nice and civil in our tweets? We sorely need to try again…

Last year a lot of mental health charities got involved and helped spread the message, this year Twitter are hosting an event at their London HQ. Spread a bit of civility in these polarised times. Twitter can be a place for the exchange of information rather than the abuse of political opponents. It is not just pay day on Friday, it is #PositiveTwitterDay. Let’s try for one day to make Twitter a positive experience for everyone…

To tweet your support just click this link: #PositiveTwitterDay

Thanks to Our Readers for A Record Month

Next month will be the fifteenth anniversary of Guido’s digital incarnation. We have seen rivals come and go. One thing we have never forgotten is that you the readers make us what we are. You provide us with tips, you encourage and admonish us. We always remember that it is our job to inform and entertain you.

The number of hits from visitors has increased from 20-a-day in 2004 to some 200,000-a-day last month. Our coverage of the Tory leadership battle generated a record 6,218,561 reader hits in July. A new all-time traffic record for the website…

Backlash to Byrne’s Speech from Downing Street

The backlash to Channel 4’s News and Current Affairs supremo Dorothy Byrne’s McTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival last night is coming in strong. Ms Byrne had a difficult job justifying some of the actions of her staff to Kay Burley, who gently and tactfully referred to the Jon Snow “f**k the Tories” incident. It is not as if this is an isolated incident, Guido has heard Snow slag off the Tories many times.*

Downing Street are not happy about it at all, following our earlier report they are making their view of Channel 4 News very clear. An unimpressed senior No. 10 source tells Guido

“It’s disappointing to see the head of a supposedly impartial news organisation decide to use deliberately inflammatory language to make a strong political statement. We will now consider our response.”

His predecessor as the senior No. 10 source also got in touch to say that it is a joke for Channel 4 to claim to be impartial. You reap what you sow. If Channel 4 are going to campaign politically with the slogan “ways to change the world” rather than to report on it, what do they expect?

*Check the videos of the annual Political Studies Association Awards, which Jon Snow presents, for examples.

Gillette Switch Strategy After Ad Backlash

Gillette have made an apparent switch in advertising strategies after their parent company suffered an $8 billion hit to its value last month, in the aftermath of its new ‘woke’ advertising strategy which provoked a strong online backlash.

Now new Aussie ads by the company (that would be at risk of being banned in the UK due to ‘gender stereotyping’ rules) focus on traditionally masculine firefighters, in an apparent rebuke to the anti-masculine ads the company promoted earlier this year. Turns out consumer power actually matters…

Politico-Media Men Feel the Byrne

Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4’s News and Current Affairs supremo, gave the McTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival last night. Her speech was a belter and had the luvvies laughing and squirming. She hit out at everybody, mainly men in television and men for not going on television.

She mocked previous McTaggart lecturers and their failings mercilessly before going on to have a go at sexists in the television industry:

I spotted one name among my predecessors who has not yet had the comeuppance he deserves for his assaults on women. That’s one of the things about being an old lady, you gather a lot of information over the years. To men who have behaved badly in the past, I say this: you know who you are. And so do I.Tonight, there’ll be no shortage of sexist bastards, possibly among you in the audience.

After the #MeToo tirade she hit out at Boris and Corbyn for talking directly to voters via social media. Comparing them to Putin “who also likes to talk directly to the nation”. Byrne might have forgotten that US Presidents FDR and Reagan did the same, along with May’s repeated dull addresses from behind the Downing Street lectern. Churchill also famously did a lot of radio addresses to the nation…

Guido is all for calling politician’s liars when they are lying. The reality is politicians are responding defensively to ‘gotcha journalism’. They know that social media is for many their main news source, more so than TV for younger demographic groups. Politicians can reach just as many voters without Jon Snow trying to f**k ’em. You can call that a crisis in democracy or you can rethink your approach to interviews.

Byrne also glossed over the elephant in the room, Channel 4 News is now perceived as a left-wing campaigning platform to which Ofcom gives a free pass. That the boss of Channel 4 News says her vision is of “empowered and daring producers and commissioning editors who want to shape society for the better” which doesn’t work “if all those empowered people are just a bunch of posh boys.” It is all very well having diverse faces making the news, do they all have to be uniformly left-of-centre?*

*Dorothy will cite her commissioning of Peter Oborne and Liam Halligan as evidence that there are right-of-centre programme makers on Channel 4. The token two have both, funnily enough, used their Channel 4 platform to attack the Tories…

O’Brien’s Book Reduced to 99p

King of smug, James O’Brien, had clearly overestimated the number of people in the country wanting to be lectured to by the personification of ‘FBPE’, as his book ‘How to be Right’ was reduced to a meagre 99 pence by Amazon. Must have been an ego blow…

The book, which was published three months ago, is described as providing an “hilarious and invigorating guide to talking to people with faulty opinions”. Despite the target audience being well heeled Remainers, Amazon looks like it felt the need to slash prices to shift it…

BBC Admit “Lapse of Editorial Standards” Over EU Parliament Results Coverage

The BBC has admitted its representation of the European Parliamentary election results in May represented a “lapse of editorial standards” when it refused to count the Conservative Party as a ‘pro-Brexit’ party. The organisation’s Executive Complaints Unit is now “consider[ing] what further action is required”…

The notorious chart used by the BBC to present the election results attempted to present the Conservative Party as holding a similarly ambiguous position on Brexit as the Labour Party did at the time, in order to deliberately imply anti-Brexit parties received the most votes. Incredibly, it is still up on the BBC website. At the time Guido proposed an alternate chart

A heroic co-conspirator has pursued the issue for months, and despite being rebuffed twice by the BBC, yesterday finally had his complaint accepted. It was only accepted after threatening to take the matter to OFCOM…

Read the BBC Executive Complaints Unit’s letter in full here.

ITV Broadcast Grieve’s Phone Number

In a post-GDPR world, you might think the big media giants would have a member of staff on hand to ensure their practices are compliant. ITV however takes a clearly more cavalier approach to EU law, as yesterday they interviewed Remoaner-in-Chief Dominic Grieve with his phone number on full view to the world. Guido has always said he’s a phone-y democrat.[…] Read the rest

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