Through-the-Keyhole: Daily Mail Editor Geordie Greig’s Six Oven Special

Ovens have been the hot topic in Westminster today with James Brokenshire getting a roasting after the Daily Mail’s double-page spread revealed his kitchen is kitted out with a generous four ovens. One person who should know a fair bit about multiple ovens is Daily Mail editor Geordie Greig. Greig recently became the proud owner of a stonking Grade II*-listed mansion. The kitchen is equipped with no fewer than SIX ovens…

Guido can count at least four Aga ovens along with one of Brokenshire’s “normal double ovens”. There may well be a microwave oven lurking out of shot too. And that’s before you even count his London home…

The Gothic revival “family home” and four estate cottages were on the market for £3.75 million just a couple of years ago before the Mail man snaffled it up. Greig has over 21 acres to enjoy …

The mansion’s 8,000 plus square feet are full of authentic period features, including working period fireplaces spread around the four reception rooms. There are a whole six bathrooms, one for each oven…

That’s just the house – if Geordie gets a bit hot after too much cooking, there’s always the heated swimming pool to cool off in with its own bar and shower area, while the outbuildings include four cottages in the grounds and two “double garages”. Or does that count as four?

Carole’s Bitter BAFTA Barb at Channel 4

Channel 4 execs were busy celebrating their BAFTA victory last night for their Cambridge Analytica exposé, despite mysteriously failing to put any real scrutiny on the key person at the heart of it all. Sadly one person who wasn’t sharing the love was Pulitzer-nominated journalist Carole Cadwalladr, who bitterly complained:

“Its fine, lads. You take the BAFTA. I’ll take the abuse.”

Who knew that making legal threats and trying to use data protection laws against your own collaborators isn’t good for your working relationships?

At least Carole doesn’t have to commiserate on her own, famously successful Twitter lawyer Jolyon Maugham cruelly suffered yet another defeat at the hands of the law last Friday as a judge threw out his final attempt to stop the UK having enough medicines in the event of no deal Brexit. Poor old Carole and Jolyon just can’t get a break…

Saturday 7-Up

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You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Taxi for Tom

Thomas Newton Dunn (45), The Sun’s political editor, will be catching the 87 bus into Westminster after being handed down a driving ban this morning. He was fined £667, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £67 and court costs of £85 after being convicted of doing 70 miles per hour in a 30 zone in Cambridge last October. Tom was caught by a speed camera zooming in his Audi. He got off lightly with a one month ban…

‘Climate Catastrophe’ Chris Packham Cashing in on Carbon-Belching Luxury Wildlife Tours

Environmental activist and BBC presenter Chris Packham has been busy of late, whether it’s causing chaos for farmers, joining disruptive Extinction Rebellion protests, writing articles warning about the “catastrophic impact” of climate change, ranting about “extreme capitalism” or generally lecturing everyone else on how to live their lives. The petition to have him sacked from the BBC has already racked up a whopping 135,000 signatures in just two weeks…

Funnily enough, Chris’s concerns with climate change and capitalism mysteriously vanish when it comes to his own “Travel with Chris Packham” business. It turns out Chris is quite happy to take punters thousands of miles round the world on luxury wildlife tours, pumping out hundreds of tonnes of carbon dioxide to fly there. Provided they’re paying several thousand pounds each:

  • This August you’ve got a “a rare opportunity to spend time in the company of Chris whilst surrounded by the spectacular wilderness of Alaska” on a Wildlife Photography Cruise – for a cool £7,195 per person excluding flights.
    • Over 11,000 miles return from London via Seattle. With 22 passengers on board that’ll be 75 tonnes of CO2 pumped into the fresh Arctic air…

  • In December 2018 you could have spent two weeks exploring Antarctica with Chris on the luxury RCGS Resolute, complete with gym, spa and steam room, all for the modest sum of £8,799 per person excluding flights.
    • It’s a 16,740-mile round trip to Ushuaia via Buenos Aires. If the full 110 people went that’s a staggering 588 tonnes of CO2 Chris has helped pump out…
  • This February you could have enjoyedThe Ultimate Birdwatching Trip to The Gambia with Chris Packham’ – with three separate tours of up to 17 people each and prices varying from a few hundred pounds to over £1,000.
    • Banjul’s a mere 5,560-miles return. Only 88 tonnes of CO2 on Chris’s conscience, although he’s been running this tour for over a decade

  • There’s still time to book onto a “Stunning Photographic Safari in Kenya with Chris” this September, a lucky group of 12 will stay in luxury tents for 8 days for just £7,699 per person.
    • Just the 8,500 miles return to Nairobi. Chris’s safari group will only be adding 58 tonnes of CO2 this time…

All in all that’s over 800 tonnes of extra carbon dioxide Chris Packham is helping to pump into the atmosphere in just 9 months, while trousering big bucks for himself. Good to see he’s taking the climate “catastrophe” as seriously as he’s busy ordering everyone else to…

Heseltine is Irrelevant. Why Does He Keep Getting Invited on TV?

Last night, yet again Newsnight invited washed-up failed former politician Michael Heseltine onto its programme for a plum spot to discuss the latest on Brexit. Guido was at a loss to think why a man who hasn’t been elected to office since last century is such a regular voice to analyse the modern machinations of political manoeuvering. He spent the best part of a decade (three decades ago) conspiring to usurp the most successful Prime Minister in recent history, and failing…

He is so past his sell-by date that he has only voted in the Lords on two days in past last year (with Labour and against the Tories on both occasions) and only spoken five times (on four days) over the last three years. Good to see we’re getting our money’s worth…

Heseltine last night admitted he did not vote Conservative in the 2016 London Mayoral election, he won’t have voted Conservative in the 2017 election because he is a peer and if you believe he will vote Conservative in the European Elections, Guido has a bridge to sell you. The idea that he might criticise the Tory Party is about as novel as Chuka Umunna criticising them. There’s no real reason for the BBC to keep getting him on any more – they’re just after the cheap blue-on-blue soundbites…

Ten Years Ago Today: MPs Were Revealed Fiddling Expenses

To mark the tenth anniversary The Telegraph have done a comprehensive documentary which puts the expenses scandal in context. This section on how they obtained the data is of particular interest to Guido. It is the story that got away and John Wick’s decision to give it to The Telegraph instead of Guido will forever rankle. For the record, Guido was outbid…

Guardian Says “Globalist” is a Euphemism for Jews

A slightly crackpot article in The Guardian claims that the word “globalists” regularly features in antisemitic ideas. Guido put the word into The Guardian website’s own search box. It came up 4,060 times and the top result is a Guardian story about the sacking of Steve Bannon from the Whitehouse being a “win for the globalists”, in particular Jared Kushner, who is Jewish. Ahhh, Guido sees what they mean now…

Saturday 7-Up

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You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Question Time’s Top Spots: 10-0 To Remainers

BBC Question Time has published statistics on which panellists have appeared on the programme most frequently. All of them were Remainers. 4/5 campaigned to join the Euro. We have posthumously determined that Charlie Kennedy would be a remainer given he was President of the euro-federalist European Movement. The Remainer trope that Question Time is Faragist because he is always on the programme is simply not true…

The top 10 most frequent guests have been:

  1. Ken Clarke – 59
  2. Shirley Williams – 58
  3. Menzies Campbell – 46
  4. Harriet Harman – 45
  5. Charles Kennedy – 44
  6. Clare Short – 39
  7. Michael Heseltine – 38
  8. Paddy Ashdown – 37
  9. Roy Hattersley – 36
  10. Simon Hughes – 34

Remainergeddon…

Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

Should be a good one…

Sedwill’s Sticky Leak Dilemma

After the resounding success of his leak inquiry into Gavin Williamson, Guido is looking forward to Mark Sedwill getting to the bottom of several other high-profile leaks which have plagued the highest tiers of Government in recent months. Here’s a few that Sedwill will no doubt have at the top of his investigation in-tray:

  • Top mandarin’s bombshell No Deal warning: Food up 10%, police unable to protect public, direct rule in Ulster, worse recession than 2008 says leaked letter – private letter from Sir Mark Sedwill to ministers leaked to the Daily Mail. Shocking that this made its way to the press at such a politically sensitive time.
  • No-deal Brexit planning winds down with ‘immediate effect’ – internal civil service email leaked to Sky News reveals that Mark Sedwill has taken the decision to cancel all no-deal planning. How could civil servants be so indiscreet about the hard work their boss is doing?
  • Secret Number 10 memo damns plotters: Leak reveals May fury at ministers manoeuvring for leadership as she fights to save Brexit deal – angry email attacking leaking ministers leaks itself to the Daily Mail. What sort of twisted sense of humour must someone have to leak something about leaks?
  • Sedwill and Manzoni dismiss attacks on civil service as “nonsense” in message of support – email from Mark Sedwill to civil servants defending them from “nonsense” attacks in the press over Brexit leaked to The TimesHow can Sedwill continue his noble mission to stick up for civil servants if private emails like this are systematically leaked to the press?

No doubt Sedwill will be pursuing his inquiries into these terrible leaks with the same vigour and zeal as his inquiry into Gavin Williamson. How will he ever find the time to get to the bottom of them all and reveal the culprits?

Corbyn: Israel Has “Unbelievably High Levels of Influence” Over the BBC

Fresh from making clear that he doesn’t subscribe to the anti-Semitic “elements” of Hobson’s “brilliant” theories about how “men of a single and peculiar race” control the policy and press of European nations and the “house of Rosthchild” has enabled every European war, Jeremy Corbyn has been uncovered giving his own views about who controls the BBC. You’ll never guess who he thinks is behind it all:

“What this embarrassing saga demonstrates is the contempt that the BBC directors appear to have for the views of the licence fee-payers and the unbelievably high levels of influence that Israel’s government appears to have in the upper echelons of parts of the media.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism respond:

“Due to the weight of evidence, we have had no option other than to conclude that the reason Mr Corbyn promotes these views is that he himself is an antisemite.”

Not that it will make a jot of difference to his diehard supporters and media outriders who will happily continue twisting themselves in knots to defend the indefensible. He’s just the unluckiest anti-racism campaigner in history…

H/t @magnitsky

How Lobby Journalism Works Part 94

The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn explained candidly to the listeners at the very end of The Today Programme this morning the means by which ministers leak information to lobby journalists.

“You don’t ring up a minister and ask ‘Will you leak this to me?’ You say to him, ‘look, if I was to write … and I think that this happened, would I look particularly silly?’ And then the minister says to you ‘I don’t think you look particularly silly Tom at the best of times.'”

That’s how the Lobby thinks they stop themselves looking silly…

See also: How lobby journalists get their stories

Matthew’s Myth Making


Most left-of-centre broadsheets like to have a tame, ‘nice’ Tory, who understands the party and can translate the Tory tribes for readers who have never kissed a Tory and think they all go to their country estates for fox hunting on the weekends. Mark Wallace does an excellent job of explaining, not campaigning, in his columns. Guido usually checks out Matthew d’Ancona’s Guardian column to see how he explains the exotic Conservative carnivores to the quinoa-eating classes. The former editor of the Spectator is a better read than most Guardianista keyboard culture warriors…

His column this morning concludes:

“Brexit was designed by its most passionate supporters to fail: its purpose was to be betrayed, to enable a new movement to rise up, animated by fury and fear. Such a movement has now been born. It is already tearing the Conservative party to pieces. That, sad to say, is only the beginning of its plan.”

That is a failure of analysis amounting to myth making of his own. After the referendum, Vote Leave wound up, Dominic Cummings went to ground, Nigel Farage was happily cashing in on a media career, Matthew Elliott was off to the corporate world. No one was planning a new movement. They were demob happy and disengaging from frontline politics.

Kidding Guardian readers that Brexiteers would fight for decades as a means to build a movement when the promised Brexitland failed to be delivered just does not make any sense. If he had argued that the failure to deliver would spark a backlash movement, that would be unarguable, to claim that Brexit was designed as a means to build a movement is tosh. It is because this Parliament of Remainers has screwed up that only now a movement is rising. If Parliament even at this late hour somehow voted for a meaningful Brexit, the backlash movement would be stillborn…

Saturday 7-Up

Sir Roger Responds to the Scruton Tapes

The BBC has got its hands on the Scruton Tapes, a recording of the interview that ended his brief Government career. It has become clear that Scruton’s words were massively misrepresented by The New Statesman‘s George Eaton in his search for a scalp. Sections of Scruton’s unedited comments morning were played this morning on the Today Programme with the caveat that “we don’t know whether that recording was stolen or not.” Cut straight to the juicy bits with Guido…

Sir Roger’s China comments and his response to them:

Sir Roger’s Orban comments and his response to them:

Scruton went on in the interview to say that

“I am a conservative thinker, well known as such. Outspoken, but reasonable in my view. There has been throughout this country. and throughout Europe really, an attempt to silence the conservative voice. We get identified, caricatured, demonised, and made to look as though we are some kind of sinister fascist racist kind of people.

And as soon as the Conservative Party sees one of us being demonised in this way they rush to disassociate themselves from us.”

Listen to the full interview as broadcast here

UPDATE: The Evening Standard is reporting that Eaton is taking a “temporary break” from the New Statesman. “To let stuff die down”…

BBC Fail to Say Tory-Bashing Guest is Leading Labour NEC Member

Claudia Webbe is a leading member of Labour’s NEC, an Islington councillor and Council Cabinet member, sits on the executive of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, is a Regional Board Member for London Labour, served as a policy director and adviser to Ken Livingstone, and is currently the Labour Party’s Head of Disputes.

Mysteriously, the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire mentioned none of this when Claudia was introduced to talk about gang crime this morning. Instead she was introduced only as a founder of Operation Trident, a group set up to tackle gun violence. Naturally, Webbe used her TV spot to blame “government-led austerity since 2010” for everything…

Milne: “Zionist Movement Has a Grip on the Media”

Fresh video footage has been unearthed by investigative reporter Iggy Ostanin of Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor and right-hand man Seumas Milne giving his take on “Zionism” and the “media”It’s all too predictable:

“There is a view among pro-Palestinian people often that the Zionist movement has a grip on the media in a way that I think sometimes exaggerates the mechanisms through which that influence is exerted.

“And one of the things that is impressive about the Zionist movement, I would say, and this is true going back decades and decades, is the fact that many of its activists are incredibly hard working and dedicated and they bombard the media day in day out with their obsessive campaigns.”

Milne appears to have been speaking at a conference at SOAS in 2009 billed as “The Nakba, Sixty Years of Dispossession, Sixty Years of Resistance”. Milne himself was speaking in a session on “Forces of Counter-Resistance: The (Still) Unvanquished Enemies of Palestine”, Milne’s own presentation was titled “The Role of Imperialism in the Palestinian Tragedy”. It’s no surprise that only 13% of people think Labour is doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism when these are the views of Corbyn’s most senior adviser…

Lobbyist’s Gamekeeper Singleton Switches to Poaching

David Singleton who edited Public Affairs News quit as editor some six weeks ago. He is off to WPI Strategy so will no doubt be ethically lobbying on their behalf. He wrote a valedictory piece on his 7 years covering lobbying here.[…] Read the rest

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