Matt Hancock: “Cock Gobbler”

cock-matt

Away from Liverpool, a screen malfunction meant Matt Hancock was forced to read an entire speech at the Radio Festival staring into the words “cock gobbler”. Apparently Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills had been playing “innuendo-bingo” on the podium before his speech which is why the message was left on the screen.

Posted without comment.

Popular SW1 Figures Caught Up in Nice Attack

The Speccie’s Isabel Hardman was in Nice at the time of the attacks last night, her report can be read here:

The Mirror meanwhile reports that Labour MP John Woodcock, also in Nice, gave shelter to a Parisian family in his flat:

Stay safe.

Leave Poll Surge as Migrant Crisis Cuts Through

migrants

These are all front page headlines from the last seven days. They’re from Remain-backing papers as well as Leave. With three weeks to go immigration is the main story in town – whether it’s net migration rising to 330,000 or the 18 Albanians rescued off the Kent coast. A new Telegraph/ORB poll this morning shows that in the past week Remain’s lead has been cut from 13 points to just five. Immigration was always going to be Vote Leave’s trump card – 23 days to go…

TV Referendum Debate Dates For Your Diary

tv-debates

On 2 June Cameron and Gove will take part in an hour-long programme on Sky News, a face-to-face live interview with Faisal Islam followed by a question-and-answer session with Kay Burley and a live studio audience.

On 7 June, Farage and then Cameron will answer questions from a studio audience on ITV, moderated by Julie Etchingham. On 9 June, ITV will host a full debate, guests TBC.

The BBC will then host a special edition of Question Time on 15 June and the box office Wembley Arena debate on 21 June.

Jeremy Paxman is doing a channel 4 EU referendum debate with an invited audience on June 22.

Vote Leave are particularly put out by ITV putting up Farage instead of Boris or Gove. Remember, Peston is best friends with Roland Rudd, impresario of the Remain campaign…

Bottoms Up! Hugh Bonneville Celebrates Stage Success

Bravo to Hugh Bonneville, whose new play about press freedom, cover-ups and lying scoundrels has proved a triumph. “Bonneville, champion of free speech”, raves the front page of the Telegraph, while the Sun’s theatre review section – never missed by luvvies – gives it four stars:

“Hugh Bonneville ditches his safe family man image for a performance packed with passion and desire as he fights to reveal a corrosive secret in his first return to the stage in more than a decade… Bonneville, who recently spoke on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs of his deep love for wife of 18 years Lulu, plays brilliant Dr Stockmann… Why should he hide the truth, he demands. “Too many people already know about it,” he rants. “You think you can silence me and the truth but things are not going to go as smoothly as you think”

The Mail meanwhile reports on a triumphant evening for the A-list TV actor:

“The actor’s performance before a packed house was met with a long applause as he bowed multiple times to his adoring public. The stage door was clear for Mr Bonneville as he made his way from the theatre and into the press party, free of autograph hunters and fans. He was seen flashing a big smile as he walked out of the theatre with a group of friends and his wife Lulu Williams. Speaking after the performance people said what a lovely guy Bonneville was because he remembers everyone’s name and ‘speaks to everyone like an old friend.”

Sounds like a quite a party. Bottoms up!

Race Row Channel 4 News Reporter’s Non-Apology

The Channel 4 News reporter who sent racially-charged tweets and slurred injured British soldiers has tweeted a grudging non-apology following Guido’s stories:

An apology for “offence caused” is not an apology…

Note that Baig fails to apologise for his tweets on “House Muslims”, “uncle Toms” and “coconuts“. He also refuses to clarify if he recognises the Ahmadiyya community as Muslim. Channel 4 have refused repeated requests to disclose how many complaints they have received about Baig’s conduct, and what their investigations into his behaviour found. They also won’t tell us if they are happy with his non-apology, which only made things worse for Baig. Guido’s inbox has been inundated with complaint after complaint sent to Channel 4 about their extreme reporter…

Greenslade Shreds Hacked Off’s Whittingdale “Conspiracy Theory”

The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade, a man unlikely to be part of a right-wing media plot to protect a Tory Cabinet minister, dismisses as “conspiracy theory” Hacked Off’s wild claims that the press covered up the Whittingdale story. The pro-Leveson brigade scream intrusion when tabloids reveal married MPs’ affairs, then cry conspiracy when they decide not to write about a single man and his lover. Whitto will be embarrassed by the revelations but he was a single man in a consensual relationship who has done nothing wrong. Brian Cathcart and Hacked Off have hilariously jumped the shark live on TV…

Channel 4 News Were Repeatedly Warned About Extreme Reporter

It has emerged that Channel 4 News were repeatedly warned about the conduct of their reporter Assed Baig well before Guido revealed his racially charged tweets and slur on injured British soldiers. Guido has seen a complaint sent to Channel 4 News about Baig back in November 2014. The complainant, himself a Muslim, claimed that Baig displayed “worrying tendencies” and warned “there is a clear line of racism in many of his comments”. They suggested Channel 4 take “a quick look on Twitter at Mr Baig‘s feed”. Channel 4 responded that “Your concerns have been passed on to the editorial team” but seemingly no action was taken.

Guido also understands that another complaint was made several weeks ago about a report Baig fronted on the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Baig is said to have described Ahmadis as “people who describe themselves as Muslim”, a controversial statement given the persecution they face at the hands of other Muslims. Channel 4 News have refused to give Guido an answer on whether they are investigating complaints about Baig. They will only tell Guido that Baig’s other views were expressed before his employment. Yet this is something he said on air on Channel 4, and bosses have done nothing…

BBC’s £84 Million in Bermuda

SDFFSDD

Cameron’s taxes and the Panama Papers have led the BBC News bulletins for the past week, yet licence fee payers remain unenlightened about Auntie’s own offshore financial arrangements. What better place to start than the 2013 BBC Pensions report, which lists investments held by the Beeb’s £9 billion employee benefit scheme. Scroll down to page 16 and it is disclosed that the BBC used investment managers Nephila Capital Ltd to invest £84 million:

dsfds

Nephila Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nephila Holdings Limited and is a Bermuda domiciled company. As the BBC lines up pundits to jump on the outrage bus about Dave’s £30,000 in a Panamanian unit trust, they stashed £84 million with investors based in Bermuda. There is lots more of this…

Channel 4 News Reporter’s Racially-Charged Tweets

In October Guido reported that Channel 4 News was employing a former CAGE extremist who had supported an Islamic theologian infamous for defending Hitler. Today we can reveal they are employing another reporter who sent a string of vulgar racially-charged epithets. Investigative journalist Assed Baig attacked moderate Muslims with racial terms including “uncle Tom” and “house Muslim”, even claiming that British Muslims who attend Islamic events hosted by the government are “Uncle Toms”, a derogatory phrase meaning a black person who is obedient to whites:

baig2

Baig suggested moderate Muslims “dance” for their “master” because they are “house Muslims“, another racial slur:

In response to a story about a Muslim Tory candidate calling for Muslims to join the British Army, Baig shockingly wrote:

Baig also claimed that the terms “choc-ice” and “coconut”, racial slurs which speak for themselves, are “not racist terms”:

At the time of going to pixel Baig had not responded to a request for comment. For Channel 4 News to employ one reporter with extreme views could be considered misfortune, to employ two…

UPDATE: Channel 4 News statement:

‘We are aware of the tweets in question by Assad Baig which pre-date his employment by Channel 4 News. They are clearly a personal view relating to that particular period in time. However, he has been reminded of his responsibilities as a journalist to be fair and impartial when representing Channel 4 News at all times.’

UPDATE II: Anti-Islamphobia campaign Tell Mama condemns use of House Muslim phrase.

Media Diversity

Sweetener

The Times, Telegraph and Independent all went for the same cliché headline, used to cover countless budgets and spending reviews beforeThe rest of the unpopular press following in the Indy’s footsteps is not a good omen for the Times and Telegraph…

H/T thhamilton

Media Minister Monitor: Battle of the Producers

MMM-February-the-shows

Yesterday Guido brought you Minister Media Monitor, our new resource monitoring ministerial broadcast appearances. As Craig Oliver implements a “one minister a day” policy, the battle is on between producers to land a government spokesman for their programme. In February Sky News and the World at One were the most successful at getting ministers on, followed by the Today programme and Question Time. Piers Morgan only granted one minister a spot on Good Morning Britain. The full numbers show just how few ministers Downing Street authorises to go on the airwaves, another key decline in accountability…

Peston’s Downing Street “Movie Set”

ITV’s scoop-getting political editor Robert Peston is annoying Tory spinners in more ways than one. When the other broadcasters film short interviews in Downing Street, they usually bring one camera with them to film the interviewee. Peston however insists on bringing two cameras, one to film the minister, the other to film himself. Apparently Pesto wants a camera on himself at all times so plenty of shots of him looking inquisitive can be edited into the package. This means double the number of camera crew, causing a headache for press officers. A senior government source reveals “he turns up with a f**king movie set”. Don’t disturb the creative process…

Newsnight Political Editor Runners and Riders

newsnight runners riders

Allegra Stratton has started her new gig at ITV meaning Newsnight needs a new political editor. As ever, Guido gives you your runners and riders…

David Grossman – Seen as the internal BBC option, Grossman currently does the tech-y stuff but has been temping as the stand-in political editor recently. Could he get the gig full time?

Tom Newton Dunn – The Sun’s political editor is well overdue a broadcast job and would solve Ian Katz’s problem of Newsnight being seen as dreary Guardian TV. Though would Auntie be able to afford him?

Nicholas Watt – Snubbed by Kath Viner in favour of the sisterhood, telegenic Watt is sure to be snapped up soon and could continue the Guardian to Newsnight career path trod by Allegra. Surely has to leave King’s Place when a decent opportunity arises.

Janan Ganesh – Like Watt, sits on the Sunday Politics panel which is apparently watched closely by BBC bosses looking for new senior hires. Flair of his columns would be missed. And he’d turn Newsnight full-on hipster.

Tom McTague – Out of a job at the Sindy, which is particularly unlucky since he only moved there a few months ago. Would be a dream escape route.

Isabel Oakeshott – Was believed to be in the running for the ITV job before it was taken by Peston. Young children mean it’s unlikely she’ll do it.

Isabel Hardman – A regular on the airwaves, has been linked to TV roles for years. Though Newsnight barely get more viewers than the Speccie’s View from 22.

Chris Ship – In Peston’s unwelcome shadow over at ITV News, which is enough to drive anyone to look for another job. Would be a step up he ain’t getting at ITV any time soon.

Helen Lewis – The third Sunday Politics panelist, Lewis has been at the Staggers for ages. Believed to be interested in the job.

Who’s your money on?

UPDATE: Paddy Power appear to have priced up the runners and riders based on our story above: David Grossman is the 5/4 favourite. Nicholas Watt is the 2/1 shot and Tom Newton Dunn is is the value bet at 5/1.

Buzzfeed Offers Free Beer To “Muslim Issues” Reporter

buzzfeed

Buzzfeed UK are taking on a new reporter with a “special interest in Muslim issues”, who must be fluent in either Bengali, Urdu, or Arabic and have a “strong list of contacts and sources within the Muslim community”. Perks of the job? They’re offering the successful candidate free beer once a month…

No shortage of beer-loving Arabic, Bengali and Urdu speakers who could apply…

New Sky News Politics Line-Up

Joining the Mail’s Tamara Cohen at the soon-to-be-bolstered Sky News is the Times‘ Beth Rigby, who has been appointed senior political correspondent. Beth is back on the politics beat after six months as media editor at the Times. Good few weeks for Sky…

No. 10 Loses Half its FTSE Support Since Dave’s Deal

Last Thursday, before the EU council meeting, the Telegraph had a briefing that “more than 80 FTSE 100 firms” were about to support Dave’s deal and back Remain:

Yesterday, after the deal, the FT reported that only 50 FTSE bosses were going to sign the letter supporting Remain:

As Guido revealed, the stunt had been drafted and orchestrated by Downing Street civil servants, and was lined up to appear in today’s Times. Sure enough, here it is in this morning’s paper:

Yet just 36 FTSE 100 bosses have signed…

Five days ago, journalists were being briefed that No.10 and Remain had 80 FTSE bosses backing them. Since the EU council meeting and the deal, more than half no longer fancied giving their support. Just 36 names for the letter backing Dave’s deal is positively paltry… 

H/T @suttonnick

Owen Jones’ Stalin Poster

Aging left-wing pin-up Owen Jones tells Richard Bacon “there might come a time” when he runs for parliament, but “I wouldn’t end up as a minister”. No chance of the latter happening in the next 15 years, by which time he’ll be nearing 50.

Accosted by fans, the left’s poster boy was then intriguingly asked if he had a poster of Stalin on his bedroom wall. Laughing nervously, Owen half-jokingly replied that it “got taken down for some reason”. Teenage Owen was a Stalin fanboy, after all…

Back of the Net! Another Big Murdoch Money Deal For Coogan

Murdoch-hating coke and hookers aficionado Steve Coogan has an impressive record of slagging off Rupe while taking his money. Coogan has banged on about “Rupert Murdoch’s toxic legacy” and the “News International protection racket” for years, all while selling his shows Places of My Life and Mid Morning Matters to Sky for top whack. What do you know, Coogan has just agreed to trouser even more of the ‘Murdoch shilling’:

“Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are taking their fine dining, gentle bickering, ruminations on getting old and endless impersonations of Michael Caine to Sky TV. After two highly successful series of The Trip on BBC2, the third series will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic.”

Back in 2012, Guido bumped into Coogan at a Hacked Off rally and asked him if he thought the deals made him a massive hypocrite. He comically disagreed:

“I am aware of it but I see a flipside, I think it makes me even braver. It would be even more hypocritical if I took his money and didn’t criticise him. What I’m doing puts me in even more danger.”

Congratulations Steve on your bravery and your pay cheque!

Tory Manifesto Tracker Launch

Look out on this morning’s Sunday Politics for the launch of their new manifesto tracker analysing how well the Tories are doing at keeping their election promises. It’s a pretty hefty piece of work, recording progress on each of their 161 pledges over the next four years.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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