Guardian Published McAlpine Name During Twitch-hunt

The Guardian website published George Monboit’s deleted Tweets revealing Lord McAlpine as the Newsnight paedophile suspect. Monbiot deleted the offending tweets and grovelled as soon as McAlpine declared he was going to sue the entire internet. However Guido can now reveal that they appeared on the Guardian website during the height of the Twitter witch-hunt at the beginning of the month and, as of 1300 Monday, are still there:

As many re-tweeters are about to find out, re-publication is just as serious as publication. Indeed, far more people will have seen this on the Guardian’s high-traffic pages than on Monbiot’s somewhat niche Twitter feed. The Guardian are not paying any of Monbiot’s legal fees as apparently he was  publishing in a ‘personal capacity’. The liability here is direct…

Privileged MacShane Evidence Now Available to the Police New Police Complaint Made

A source close to the Standards and Privileges Committee pointed out to Guido that the police could not use the evidence gathered by the Committee during their investigation because it was subject to parliamentary privilege. Now that it has been published however it is no longer privileged and can be used by the forces of the law.

Guido has spoken to m’learned counsel and they have confirmed this is the case. He has therefore just put in a new complaint to the Met:

This ain’t over…

“Philandering” Politician’s Love Child Awarded £15,000

The High Court have banned Associated News papers from naming a “philandering” politician again and more specifically, his love child. Associated have also been ordered to pay £15,000 in damages for publishing photographs of the child – named only as AAA – and any further reference or photos are prohibited.

The court heard that the politician was married at the time of the affair and has had a string of extra-marital liaisons in the past, including getting a previous mistress pregnant. The elected politician, still serving in office, was described as “reckless, philandering, adulterous and has betrayed his wife. He has achieved a level of notoriety as a result of extramarital adulterous liaisons”. Apparently photographing the child pointed to who their distinctive looking father is. Who could it possibly be?

Ken's Crony Crow Sues and Loses

PA is reporting that Bob Crow has lost his libel action against Boris:

“The general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) had complained about leaflets produced for Mr Johnson’s campaign for re-election in May. He said they meant that his policies, leadership of the RMT and association with Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Ken Livingstone, seriously damaged Mr Livingstone’s electoral prospects and caused grave harm to Londoners’ interests.

Mr Crow also claimed they meant that he was part of and supported a culture of political immorality involving broken promises, cronyism, scandals and waste. But Mr Justice Tugendhat, at the High Court, ruled today that the words complained of were not capable of being defamatory of the union leader.”

Quite…

Exclusive: Gordon Disputes Times's Story Claims Son's Cystic Fibrosis Was Not Known

The Times is reporting that News International has written to the Leveson Inquiry asking them to seek further evidence from Gordon Brown over his claim that they illegally accessed his son’s medical records. The move comes after the Dundee-based Sunday Post revealed that they had got a story about his son a few weeks earlier but decided not to run it after contacting Brown. The Sun denied Brown’s claim when he made it last July at the height of the phone-hacking scandal claiming the source was a “dad whose son also has the crippling disease and he wanted to highlight the plight of sufferers”. Claim and counter-claim are being traded.

News International asked the inquiry to seek written evidence from The Sunday Post and Mr Brown. Sources at The Sunday Post tell Guido they only knew that Brown’s son was unwell, not his exact illness. When they contacted Brown’s spokesman and he refused to comment they left the matter there and did not pursue it. Guido sources tell him that Brown’s lawyers will be contacting News International shortly to advise them accordingly in the strongest possible terms. Brown is adamant, and will it appears be backed up by The Sunday Post if required, that his son’s illness was not in the public domain. 

In the Thick of It Loop II

Much excitement today about snippets of gossip from Armando Iannucci’s visit to Parliament last night, where he was previewing his American series Veep. Spilling the beans on what to expect from the next season of the Thick of It, Iannucci coughed that the series would be overshadowed by a judge led inquiry. The Times have done a whole piece on it, despite regular Guido readers learning this back in February. Needless to say, Iannucci was rather sceptical about Leveson: “it’s interesting watching them all swear on oath and then say what they say.” 

The good Lord Justice did not escape criticism either: “When Tony Blair was giving what, at best, we can call evidence  and then that protestor invaded and Leveson launched an inquiry into himself…” An inquiry into ethics and practices of Lord Leveson eh?

Happy Fathers Day: Gay Marriage and Divorce

The progressive chattering classes and David Cameron have got themselves worked up about gay marriage – though as many gays point out, they have already got the same rights via civil partnerships. The Equal Love Campaign says the combination of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 creates a system that segregates couples into two separate legal institutions, with different names but identical rights and responsibilities. It is not a matter of substance.

Where it seems to Guido the gay marriage campaigners have got it wrong is if they intend, as many suspect, to go on to legally force religious institutions to marry them contrary to the teachings of their churches, mosques, synagogues and temples. Legislation forcing people to do something against their faith seems to Guido to be a breach of human rights, not an extension.

Yet there is an almighty Lilliputian row going on over mere nomenclature. If people want to describe themselves as married, partnered, hitched, contracted or whatever, so be it. Live and let live. Hopefully it won’t go as far as Spain where the socialists have, in the name of equality, legislated so that birth certificates read “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” instead of “father” and “mother”.   As a libertarian Guido isn’t convinced that the state should be in the marriage/partnering or birth certifying business in any event.

As it is Fathers Day it seems to Guido a good time to bring up a matter of sexual equality before the law that is a matter of substance – fathers and mothers should be entitled to a legally binding “presumption of shared parenting” after separation, whether it is a divorce or un-partnering. You don’t need to be a Fathers4Justice campaigner to see that the current presumption in favour of the mother is unjust. Where is the Campaign for Equality in Divorce?


Ed's Evidence Points to Brown's Perjury

Ed Miliband wasted no time in dumping his old boss in it at Leveson. When asked yesterday whether any of his advisers had briefed against colleagues, Gordon Brown insisted:

“I would hope not, I have no evidence for that.”

Yet Ed says that’s not the case. Asked whether Ed Balls, Charlie Whelan or Damian McBride had ever engaged in negative briefings to the press, he said:

“Ed Balls, no. Charlie Whelan left, I believe in 1999…one of the reasons he left was he briefed. On Damian McBride, when I was a Cabinet minister, I did raise a specific concern that I had with Mr Brown, I believe in 2008, about some of Mr McBride’s activities.”

Gordon says he knew nothing about the dark arts of Whelan and McBride, but Ed says he personally told him about it in 2008. Brown was on oath…

UPDATE: 

Mr Jay's Miliband Conflict

As Guido reported in the Daily Star Sunday at the weekend, there’s a bit of a conflict of interest coming up at Leveson this afternoon:

“The inquiry’s chief inquisitor Mr Robert Jay QC might have to miss out on two of the biggest names though. He’s the boss of the 39 Essex Street chambers where Justine Thornton, also known as Mrs Ed Miliband, works. This apparent conflict of interest should see someone else interrogate the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.”

It would be a shame to miss out on a Mr Jay showdown with Dave on Thursday, but Guido can’t really see how he can question Ed.

UPDATE: It’s Jay. Imagine the fuss if Jay was Sam Cam’s boss…

UPDATE II:

UPDATE III: As reported by the Guardian:

“Jay reopens the inquiry by confirming he is head of chambers at the law firm where Miliband’s wife works. However, he says he has not met Miliband outside the circumstances of this inquiry.”

He Lied and Lied and Lied

Guilty, m’Lord.

Huhne in the Dock

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce are up at Southwark Crown Court at 9.30. A full trial is expected to take place in the autumn. Huhne has consistently denied the allegations, but were his ex-wife to plead guilty, he could be in extremely sticky situation. What a lovely sunny morning…

Leveson Headliners Take to Stage

Next’s week witness list for Leveson is a fiery one. Blair is is all day Monday and Hunt all day Thursday. Cable, Gove, May and Ken Clarke will also face a grilling. If this is the calibre of witnesses this week, expect the PM and Brown to be called in the first week of June. The Inquiry is not sitting in Jubilee week which gives the PM plenty of time with his lawyers and coaches…

Huhne’s Bi-Sexual Lover Loses Court Case

Carina Trimingham has lost her case against the Mail and Mail on Sunday. A judge has ruled that acccurately describing Huhne’s then mistress as bi-sexual is not a misuse of private information. As you were…

UPDATE: Sky are reporting that Trimingham has to pay a quarter of a million in costs within fourteen days. Ouch…

Watch Brooks on Dave’s LOLs “Fair” Hunt Chat Details Emerge

The Guidoisation of the Leveson Inquiry is complete…

On a more serious note Brooks has spilled the beans that a discussion about the fairness of Jeremy Hunt took place on the infamous 23 December dinner. This is more than a passing chat now and links the Hunt mess directly to Dave. Brooks also revealed she saw Cameron again on the Boxing Day 2010. That’s new, is it not?

Guido Fashion: Brooks at Leveson Edition

Guido’s can’t help but notice Rebekah Brooks has gone for the classic Salem Show Trial chic for her turn on the stand…

UPDATE:

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce to Enter Pleas Next Month Carina Admits to High Court Invading Privacy

Reports suggest that Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce will enter their pleas to charges of perverting the course of justice on June 1.

Meanwhile Chris Huhne’s bisexual lover – who is suing over invasion of privacy – admitted giving newspapers tips about the sex lives of Hollywood stars and senior politicians. Carina Trimingham confessed in the High Court last week to being the source of an article describing the ‘sexual antics’ of Oscar winner Russell Crowe with a BBC researcher at a bar. She also sold a diary story about the current Deputy Prime Minister, which she described as ‘Nick Clegg’s 18 shags story’. Carina also admitted that she had sent the infamous ‘Calamity Clegg’ email mocking Nick Clegg’s political skills while Chris Huhne’s press officer during the 2007 Lib Dem leadership contest. A bit rich of her to complain about invasions of privacy…

Ben Bradshaw’s Campaign Coordinator Defects From Labour Yet More Young Conservative UKIP Jumpers

Tristan Pithers, who was the organiser of Ben Bradshaw’s re-election campaign “We’re Backing Ben 2010”, has defected to the Lib Dems stating:

“The class-warfare that the Labour Party is launching on the Government is shameful. It is not the kind of politics a serious Opposition should be engaging in. Mr Miliband should understand better than many that it is not your background that defines you but your ideas. If he believes that governments should not be run by privileged, sheltered millionaires then he and his Shadow Cabinet should hand in their resignations tomorrow morning.”

Yet another Blarite jumps the two Ed’s ship. 

It’s not just Labour who are playing musical chairs. No less than 40% of Leeds Conservative Future committee walked out of the Conservative Party this weekend and joined Farage’s growing bandwagon. This latest exodus from the Young Conservatives led to their thirsty chairman Ben Howlett having a near Twitter meltdown last night. He tried to claim that none of the defectors had even been members, despite some of them standing for local council seats. His big mistake was claiming he looked them up on a central membership database…

Personal data relating to an individual’s political opinions constitutes “sensitive personal data”, making it all the more sacrosanct. Where data is not being processed in a manner that complies with the Data Protection Act, the victim is entitled to compensation for damage and distress suffered. Guido is guessing that Howlett was not aware that Section 55 of the Data Protection Act states that a person must not obtain or disclose information contained in the personal data without consent. Guido’s learned friends reckon to tweet said information looks a lot like a criminal offence…

Margaret Moran’s £80,000 Sick Note

PA reports:

Dr Philip Joseph said Moran, 56, was suffering from a depressive illness and extreme anxiety and agitation, and the stress of the proceedings and allegations she was facing made it impossible for her to participate in court proceedings. He said she felt feelings of abandonment by the Labour party and shame that her career was over.

Guido has “feelings” of something a lot stronger…

Bryant Caught With Pants Down

When Guido leaked information before it appeared at Leveson, it had not been obtained via special access to the Inquiry, instead it had been acquired through good old-fashioned journalism. When Lord Justice Leveson tried to make him sign a confidentially agreement he refused. Chris Bryant on the other hand did sign one when he accepted Core Participant status…

When he ran hot and heavy to Parliament yesterday, Bryant had seen documents about Cameron’s meetings with Murdoch, which he had only received in advance of today due to his special status with the Inquiry. The Telegraph splashed it today…

After the good judge criticised Bryant this morning, albeit without naming him, the Tories are calling for him to apologise and surrender the status. Warsi has gone to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. When the DCMS Select Committee report comes out on Tuesday, the extent to which Tom Watson used his special access to that committee for commercial gain will become clear…

Crony Crow Sues Over “Not Ken Again” Poster

Bob Crow, the RMT union boss hated by London’s commuters, has put the union’s money behind an attempt to stop theNot Ken Again advertising posters attacking Ken’s cronyism. He is wasting the RMT’s money because all the evidence is that he is Ken’s crony.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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