Mirror Pol-Ed: Runners & Riders

The Mirror’s Political Editor job is a much-prized title for any high-flying, ambitious and – most importantly – pro-Labour political hacks. Now Pippa’s moved aside in favour of The Guardian – a paper in need of a regular SW1 scoop-getter – Guido’s turned his attention to who might be next in line for the star prize. Runners and riders currently within the Mirror family are highlighted in red…

  • Ben Glaze – An obvious choice, has played the role of Pippa’s Deputy Political Editor for five and a half years. Is overly familiar with The Mirror’s political campaign line after racking up seven and a half years of reporting for them, though doesn’t spring to mind as someone who could easily step into Crerar’s large scoop-getting shoes. 
  • Mikey Smith – The Mirror’s current Whitehall Correspondent, almost nine years at the paper. Resentfully liked by some in Tory circles for his wry, ankle-bitey writing. A particular fan of sleaze and government transparency scoops. Would he struggle to juggle the new job’s extra hours with his imminent fatherhood?
  • Rachel Wearmouth – Senior political correspondent at The Mirror, set to join the New Statesman as deputy political editor later this year. Guido reckons she could easily be persuaded to drop those plans if offered Pippa’s job. Andrew Marr wouldn’t be happy…
  • Dan Bloom – Mirror’s online political editor. Racks up a decent number of exclusives. Spoken highly of by colleagues.
  • Keir Mudie Deputy News Editor, Sunday Mirror and People. Prolific opinion writer for the website. Could the Mirror go down the BBC route of choosing an internal transfer?
  • Lizzy Buchan – The online Mirror’s Deputy Political Editor, albeit for the relatively short stint of less than two years. Previously of the Independent, PA and The Scotsman. Seemingly strong on Labour scoops. A potential front runner if the paper wants to promote a woman from within. 
  • Dan Sabbagh – The Guardian’s defence and security editor, previously the Guardian’s national news editor with major experience covering Brexit from 2018, currently focusing on Ukraine. A former Labour Councillor and communications guy for Oona King…
  • Jess Elgot – The banter option if The Mirror wants to get their own back at The Guardian for poaching Pippa. Currently The Guardian’s chief political correspondent. Guido’s not sure what would allure her away from her current job… more money?
  • Gabriel Pogrund – Certainly a promotion within Progrund’s ability, one of the best hacks of his age group with consistently big exclusives for the Sunday Times as their Whitehall correspondent. A seemingly endless contact book for Labour stories, with a book already under his belt last year with Patrick Maguire, detailing Corbyn’s slow-motion car crash in 2019. Would presumably have to come with a significant pay rise to tempt him over…
  • Patrick Maguire – The Times’ Red Box editor of two years, with two years at the leftie New Statesman before that. Similar to Pogrund has extensive Labour networks and a good writer at that. Or is his eye on the soon-to-be vacant Politico Playbook editor vacancy? 
  • Emily Ashton – Politics reporter at Bloomberg. Another major contender if The Mirror is concerned about the gender make-up of their team. There is that old problem of hacks struggling to part from Bloomberg’s exceptionally deep pockets…
  • Lewis Goodall – Left-wing enough, might have an eye on a non-screen role these days as his hair disappears. Would make for excellent preparation ahead of a possible head of communications job in Wes Streeting’s government…
  • Matt Chorley – It’s a thought.
  • Tom Newton Dunn – should the TV career come to an imminent end he would have useful transferable tabloid skills from his time as political editor of The Sun.
  • Ben Riley-Smith – The Daily Telegraph’s political editor is known to be looking for a transfer after missing out on The Guardian pol-ed job.
mdi-timer 11 May 2022 @ 16:00 11 May 2022 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Pippa Crerar is New Guardian Pol-Ed

Commiserations to Ben Riley-Smith

mdi-timer 10 May 2022 @ 12:07 10 May 2022 @ 12:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Home Office Denies ‘Excluding’ Left Wing Hacks from Rwanda Trip

Guardian, Mirror and Financial Times hacks are complaining in Press Gazette that they were “blocked” from attending Priti’s Rwanda trip this month, with the Guardian going as far as to accuse the Home Office of trying to “avoid public scrutiny“:

“We are concerned that Home Office officials are deliberately excluding specific journalists from key briefings and engagements. [This] sends a worrying signal about the state of press freedom in the UK.”

Strangely, however, Guardian hacks were actually invited on the trip… their reporter just happened to fall ill right before leaving.

Even so, the Guardian is now donning tinfoil hats and claiming the Home Office rejected replacement hack, home affairs editor Rajeev Sal, because he might ask tough questions. They also claim the Home Office have deliberately rejected Sal from briefings before, something the Home Office tells Guido is “rubbish“. If Sal is such a tough interviewer, it does beg the question of why they didn’t submit him for the trip in the first place…

Guido’s departmental co-conspirator says the whole row is “silly“, as they can’t offer tickets to everyone, everywhere, at all times. They also point out how both the BBC and PA were on-hand throughout the entire trip – so those that couldn’t attend could get straight wire copy. In fact, even the picture used in the Press Gazette report came from PA…

mdi-timer 25 April 2022 @ 16:00 25 Apr 2022 @ 16:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mirror Conflating Separate Questions to Malign Mogg

Compare what Mogg actually said:

AM: Let me turn then to the facts, because you describe what happened, the reaction, what happened as ‘fluff’. I buried my father on the week that one of those parties took place and it was a party, And he was an elder of the Church of Scotland. That church was locked and barred and we had a small gathering. Most of the family weren’t there. The other parishioners that he would love to have been there weren’t allowed to be there because we followed the rules. And I felt intensely angry about that. And I do not regard this as ‘fluff’. 

JRM: Well. so two things. One is that I think closing the churches was in retrospect a great mistake. I do not think churches should be closed. 

AM: We can agree about that. But do you regret the use of that word ‘fluff’? 

JRM: The great saint whose body is in Westminster Cathedral, St. John Southworth, ministered to plague victims in the 1650s. And the mission of the church, I think, was made harder by closing the churches. But as regards what is happening now two years on, against what is going on in Ukraine, what is going on with cost of living crisis, one has to get a sense of perspective. What is going on in Ukraine is fundamental to the security of the Western world.  

AM: It is, but I’m sorry- 

JRM: And you are comparing this- 

AM: If I may- 

JRM: You are comparing this- no, I’m telling you why I said what I said. You are comparing this to a fine issued for something that happened two years ago, where the police have come to a view and they’ve come to a view that the Prime Minister has accepted, but which he thought at the time was within the rules. So I think we need to look at what is fundamental to the security of our nation and the security of the Western world. 

AM: I’m really sorry, but thinking about what happened to my family – and I only use that because it happened to so many others up and down the country, similar kinds of things – and we find, I would say, that word ‘fluff’ quite offensive. 

JRM: The Prime Minister set out, in his statement, how sorry he was for what happened and for making a mistake. But I still think that in comparison with the war in Ukraine, with a fundamental threat to the safety of the west from Putin, a fine for something that happened two years ago is not the most pressing political matter.  

AM: Do you regret the use of the word ‘fluff’?  

No, I don’t. I think it is getting a sense of proportion. The Daily Mail headline said ‘don’t forget there is a war on’ and this I think, is something we need to remember. We need a sense of perspective. That’s not to say that the Prime Minister and everybody, doesn’t have enormous sympathy for people whose family members died from COVID that- All deaths are sadnesses for they afflict, in all circumstances. 

AM: So let’s talk about the word ‘contrition’. You’re a man of faith, you understand what contrition means, and you know the Prime Minister very well. Is he saying sorry for the fact that happened and people got cross about them, or is he actually sorry for his own behaviour? Is he contrite about his own behaviour, in your view? 

JRM: I think he’s deeply contrite and I think he would not have had the event had he thought it broke the rules. He’s contrite because he made a mistake. And he has admitted that in the House of Commons today, I think his contrition is very genuine.  

To how the Mirror is reporting his response:

Absolutely atrocious context stripping…

mdi-timer 19 April 2022 @ 20:13 19 Apr 2022 @ 20:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mirror’s 1% Pay Rise U-Turn

This month The Mirror condemned the government’s 1% pay rise for nurses, saying it is a “scandal” and a “kick in the teeth“. Imagine Guido’s shock, therefore, when Mirror employees were told yesterday afternoon they’ll be receiving a pay rise of… 1%.

“This year all eligible colleagues will receive a 1% pay increase from April and this will form part of a wider package of benefits. As highlighted at the start of the year, staff who would have had their increase in January will not lose out (you will receive 15/12ths of the award which equates to 1.25% between April 2021 and 2022).”

The group editor-in-chief cited “this extremely difficult and challenging 12 months” in his announcement. Do as the Mirror says, not as they do…

mdi-timer 31 March 2021 @ 15:00 31 Mar 2021 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Big Shareholder & Editor Were Sat on Table With Jenrick

The Daily Mirror’s coverage of the Jenrick affair is very muted. In fact it is hard to find it mentioned in the printed version of the paper at all this morning. You would have thought a Tory sleaze with billionaires story would be splashed day in, day out all over the front pages of the Daily Mirror. Pippa Crerar, the political editor, loves nothing more than bashing the Tories and sticking it to the powerful. So how come she’s so silent on this story?

Could it be because at the infamous fundraising dinner the Mirror’s editor-in-chief, Lloyd Embley, was there too? Guido spoke to the usually ebullient editor and asked him if it was true, that he was sat at the table with Richard Desmond – off whom he negotiated the purchase of the Daily Star and Daily Express. He was a tad evasive, though he didn’t deny it. 

Perhaps Pippa could ask her editor-in-chief what was said at the table. She might get a scoop. Though given her editor has been sitting on the story for months and Richard Desmond owns 8% of her employer, Guido is not sure how fearless she is going to be in speaking truth to power…

mdi-timer 25 June 2020 @ 17:01 25 Jun 2020 @ 17:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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