Prominent Corbynistas have been peddling false claims this afternoon that the government has issued a D-Notice preventing the reporting of the death toll from Grenfell. The lie was reported by the prominent Corbynista site Skwawkbox, which claimed “multiple sources told the Skwawkbox that the government has placed a ‘D-notice’ on the real number of deaths in the blaze”. The ‘story’ was also promoted on Twitter by journalists from two other viral Corbynista sites, Evolve Politics and Novara Media.
A spokesman for the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, the body which issues D-Notices, told Guido this afternoon:
“The Secretary of the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee has not issued any D-Notice in relation to Grenfell.”
These Corbynistas, who work closely with Jeremy Corbyn’s office, are lying to their readers. They are deliberately peddling knowingly false conspiracies to suggest some government plot about Grenfell, and getting thousands of hits off the back of it. Astonishingly low stuff.
UPDATE: Evolve Politics strenuously deny they promoted the story “anywhere on its pages”. We do not contest that. Staff did however tweet about it and then delete the tweets…
UPDATE 6 August, 2017: This is revealing from a former Assistant Editor:
Tom was also outraged by supposed ‘slander’ when Evolve were accused by Media Guido of sharing an incorrect ‘D-notice’ story regarding Grenfell Tower. He put grand gestures all over social media, asking lawyers to get in touch, saying Evolve were going to sue for defamation etc. Trouble is, the claims were NOT wrong. Team members at Evolve HAD in fact shared the false ‘D-notice’ story. They’d just deleted it before anyone noticed. Yet again, Tom just wanted to look far nobler than he actually was, even if it meant taking hypocrisy to a whole new level.
Evolve Politics lied about the affair and threatened to sue us for telling the truth. Can’t get more fake than that…
The Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee has just issued a D-Notice:
Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice guidance on the public disclosure of the names of members of the UK Intelligence Agencies (The Security Service MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and GCHQ) asks editors and journalists not to disclose (without first seeking DSMA advice) ‘the identities, whereabouts and tasks of people who are or have been employed by these services or engaged on such work, including details of their families and home addresses, and any other information, including photographs, which could assist terrorist or other hostile organisations to identify a target’.
In view of media stories alleging that a former SIS officer was the source of the information which allegedly compromises President-Elect Donald Trump, would you and your journalists please seek my advice before making public that name.
Irrespective of the whether or not the stories are true, the public disclosure of that name would put the personal security of that individual directly at risk.
Defence and Security Media Advisory Secretariat
Effectively this is a reminder of the gentlemen’s agreement between the media and the security services to not name spies. Will foreign media comply?
UPDATE: That horse has bolted…