Commons Clerks Sceptical About MP-Led Bullying Inquiry

If MPs are goood at anything it is buck passing and blame swerving. An investigation by MPs chaired by the Speaker is not promising…

Bercow chairs the House of Commons commission – which will set the terms of reference for an “independent” inquiry. Even Caroline Lucas, who is sympathetic to Bercow, says: “I think at the very least he should withdraw from that decision and that the three deputy speakers might judge on that…There might also be a case for stepping back temporarily if an investigation is carried out.” Can you imagine any other situation where the accused is allowed to be in judgement or set the terms of the investigation? This is manifestly against natural justice.

Party Political Musical Broadcast Follows Newsnight

Guido is as chippy as the next man about Etonians running the country. However, is it really the role of our ‘impartial’ broadcaster to run a party political musical broadcast for Paul Weller, multi-millionaire class warrior? Cracking tune though…

In 1977, just 2 years before releasing “Eton Rifles”, Paul Weller had told the New Musical Express that people should vote for the Conservatives. Weller hates being reminded of that…

UPDATE: The establishment sucks you in:

Esme Wren New Newsnight Editor

Email to Sky News staff:


Esme Wren has been appointed the new Editor of BBC’s Newsnight – a big show in the corporation’s current affairs firmament. Esme has done an outstanding job here both as a leader and a journalist. She started as a producer 13 years ago to rise through the ranks at Sky going on to run our political coverage and specialist journalism that is so key to our brand with great success. Esme played a very critical role in negotiating behind the scenes the three highly successful special elections/ referendum programmes with the party leaders in 2015, 2016, and 2017 that were the defining landmarks of the campaigns. I want to thank Esme for the big contribution she has made in strengthening our journalism, growing our brand, developing our people and for her leadership, challenge, counsel and support in recent years. I wish Esme success and the very best of luck on Newsnight.


As Guido tipped last week

Esme is the right choice out of the final two – Sky’s head of politics has been there since 2005, before which she was a producer at Newsnight. The internal candidate was Louisa Compton of Victoria Derbyshire and Newsbeat – it would have been nurses pay and preferred pronouns every night had she got the gig. Congratulations… 

Newsnight Editor Decision Imminent

Guido hears the Newsnight editor decision could come as soon as this week. Two female candidates, one internal, one external, have been hotly tipped as they enter the final stage:

Louisa Compton – Editor of Victoria Derbyshire and executive editor of Newsbeat. Seen as a rising star within the corporation.

Esme WrenSky’s head of politics has been there since 2005. She was a Newsnight producer back in the day…

Good luck…

UPDATE: Am told Newsnight’s current acting editor, Jess Brammar, has applied for Robbie Gibb’s old job overseeing the BBC’s Westminster political programmes.

See previous: Newsnight Editor Runners and Riders

James O’Brien Too Much For Newsnight

MediaGuido had heard a few whispers about why James O’Brien had been canned by Newsnight – chiefly that BBC bosses were fed up with his Trumpian hyper-partisan attention-seeking both on their programme, on Twitter and elsewhere. One insider says they simply ran out of patience with him always going off on one. O’Brien has today essentially confirmed that version of events, tweeting:

“I withdrew from the roster some months ago to retain my right to criticise Brexit and Trump in my other work”

To the relief of those who had to work with him, there are no plans for him to present again…

James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral

LBC leftie and sometime Newsnight presenter James O’Brien helped fake news about the collapse of Carillion go viral yesterday. Keen to find a damaging line, O’Brien tweeted that the company’s chairman is “an adviser to the Prime Minister Theresa May on corporate responsibility”. Nope…

O’Brien was later forced to correct his assertion in another tweet:

His original tweet was retweeted more than 8,000 times. The correction has been retweeted 170 times. And James still hasn’t deleted his fake news…

Newsnight’s Royal Farce

Oops. A programme to forget last night from editor-less Newsnight, which marked the 70th wedding anniversary of HM Queen and Prince Philip by getting the date of their wedding wrong. The error was spotted by eagle-eyed Times man Patrick Kidd, the piece was premised on the Queen marrying in 1937 and its similarities to today – Tory PM in trouble, conflict in Spain.

The Queen was 11 years-old in 1937…

D’Ancona Linked to Newsnight

No shortage of internal BBC candidates throwing their hats into the ring to be the next Newsnight editor, though there is a new name doing the rounds among Beeb insiders this week – Guardian columnist Matthew d’Ancona. Guido hears d’Ancona has been advising Sarah Sands on the Today programme in addition to his weekly segment, he is a staunch defender of Auntie and has editorship experience at the Speccie. He is the acceptable face of liberal, centre-right journalism for Guardianistas so it could make sense. They’ve hired from the Guardian before…

Newsnight Editor Runners and Riders

Media Guido hears the decision as to who will replace Ian Katz as Newsnight editor could be delayed until 2018, as James Harding’s successor as Head of News is likely to be overseeing the recruitment process. That could make it more likely to be an internal candidate given Harding’s unpopular penchant for hiring externally. Insiders don’t expect to see a definitive list of contenders until the new Head of News is appointed. But as ever, Media Guido gives you your early runners and riders…

Rachel Jupp – Former deputy editor of Newsnight from 2013-2016, currently editing Panorama. Has only been there a year, is it too soon for her to return to Newsnight?

Victoria Wakely – Was acting editor of the Today programme before Sarah Sands joined. Seen at the time as steering the Today programme through a good election period.

Louisa Compton – Editor of Victoria Derbyshire and executive editor of Newsbeat. Seen as a rising star within the corporation. Without the departing Harding’s backing will she go for it?

Esme WrenSky’s head of politics has been there since 2005, and could feel the time has come to jump. A former Newsnight producer back in the day…

Jess Brammar – Current deputy editor of Newsnight and one of the two acting editors now Katz is off. Very popular among Newsnight staff. Only made deputy last year.

Dan Clarke – Brammar’s fellow deputy editor of Newsnight. Also now acting editor. 

Katy Searle – Editor of the Beeb’s political news in Westminster. She was through to the final round to be Today programme editor at the beginning of the year. Plenty of experience on the Six and Ten. Unlikely to go for it now given her new plum job in charge at Millbank.

Rob Burley – Current Marr show editor, might he want to jump ship? Living in Brighton means it would be a long daily commute.

Gavin Allen – Was on Media Guido’s runners and riders for the Head of News job, if he doesn’t get it could he fancy Newsnight? Popular old school hack. Currently oversees Today and the Six and Ten.

Shaminder Nahal – If the Beeb does go for an external candidate what about former the Newsnight deputy editor, who is now at Channel 4? Reportedly partly the inspiration for Emily Mortimer’s portrayal of a TV news producer in Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. Been at Channel 4 since 2012, now head of specialist commissioning.

Neil Breakwell – Moved from Newsnight to Vice last year, though it has struggled to break through as a major player in news. Fancy a return?

Dan Sabbagh – If the BBC does want another print hire, pinching the Guardian’s associate editor is the sort of person they would go for. Though surely time for a non-Guardianista at Newsnight… 

Hugh Milbourn – well connected producer with experience across all the political programmes at the BBC. Former program editor at Newsnight.

George OsborneNot doing much in the evenings these days…

So far it’s a heavily female dominated list, but expect more names to come out in the next few weeks. Good luck…

Katz to Channel 4

Newsnight editor Ian Katz is leaving the BBC to become Director of Programmes at Channel 4, The Times is reporting. The move had been rumored for the past few days; he’ll get more viewers in the new job. Another big Beeb role going. Send us your runners and riders…

“Fess Up Before Guido Fawkes Finds It”

Sensible advice from Evan Davis to MPs on Newsnight…

Starmer Admits Public Clueless as to Labour’s Brexit Policy

Labour’s Brexit confusion has rubbed off on the public who are clueless as to the party’s position on the issue. Newsnight aired vox pops last night in front of an embarrassed Keir Starmer. Emily Mailtis told the Shadow Brexit Secretary: “there was no one who understood what Labour believes on Brexit”. Starmer admitted:

“I appreciate that, we’ve obviously got to do much more work communicating our message.”

Need to decide what their message is first…

See also: All Labour’s Different Brexit Positions [VIDEO]

Paul Mason: Ban Uber and Airbnb

A lesson for young voters that freedom-hating Corbynistas would take away their cheap holidays and travel. Socialism isn’t cool kids…

BBC Promoting Cranks and Conspiracy Theorists

Fun times at the BBC at the moment. Last month the News at Ten promoted the fake D-Notice fantasists Skwawkbox, giving them an audience they could only dream of. This week The Canary, which repeatedly peddles false conspiracy theories, were on Radio 4 on Monday and are on Question Time tomorrow. In the US the liberal media holds fake news sites to account, rightly calling out their BS. Over here the BBC promotes them, legitimises them and fails to tell viewers about their fake news…

Last night Newsnight aired a 13 minute video investigating whether Leave.EU “hypnotised” – Newsnight’s word – the British public into voting for Brexit. The package, complete with comically sinister music, was based on a conspiracy theory by a tin foil hatted journalist called Carole Cadwalladr that a shadowy American company working for Leave.EU stole the referendum. This is bonkers. Leave.EU weren’t even the official Leave campaign. The swivel-eyed Remain media can’t bring itself to believe people voted Leave of their own accord, they want to believe it was stolen. The Beeb is giving credence to a huge amount of nonsense at the moment…

Bungling Burgon Can’t Answer Basic Questions, Claims He’s Being “Put on Trial”

Asked by Kirsty Wark on Newsnight if he can remember basic figures such as taxation as a share of GDP, clueless Richard Burgon whinged that he was being “put on trial”. He had no answer on tuition fees either, instead blathering on about how he wanted to talk about “the bigger picture… why can’t we talk about the many and not the few?”

Embarrassingly amateur stuff from everyone’s favourite farting commie.

Tories Hoovering Up UKIP Voters

Newsnight’s Chris Cook has inferred the Tory plan from the pattern of Theresa May’s visits. Guido could have told him this for free, though Cook’s graphic makes it abundantly clear. It is working…

Ken v Wes

“You would never be welcome in my constituency,” Labour MP Wes Streeting told Ken on Newsnight last night…

Number 10 Blaming Number 11, Number 11 Blaming Number 10

Treasury sources tell Newsnight’s Nick Watt that “Number 10 just wants to spend money” and that “some of the senior political advisers around the Prime Minister have anti-Tory ideas about raising taxes”. They say Hammond had to fight against May and claim she wanted to raise Capital Gains Tax and NICs for higher-rate taxpayers. Meanwhile there is pushback from Number 10 in the Times, which quotes a source saying of Team Hammond: “They just forgot the manifesto”. Trouble…

Cameron Tried to Oust Dacre

Craig Oliver’s Remain campaign learnt “what it was like to be Ed Miliband” when you have the massed ranks of the right-wing media against you. Emily Maitlis revealed last night that David Cameron encouraged Jonathan Harmsworth to have Paul Dacre, an implacable Eurosceptic, removed as editor of the Daily Mail, after failing to charm him into pulling his punches. Maitlis speculates that when Dacre discovered this he redoubled his front page enmity towards Cameron.

Elsewhere Downing Street knew that the Express proprietor Richard Desmond was backing UKIP and Brexit every day in his papers. Cameron knew that Rupert Murdoch was also a lost cause, though he hoped that Rebekah Brooks might be able to temper The Sun’s attitude. The now Ukippy Brexit-backing Barclays-owned Telegraph was pulling its punches to an extent that confused their own journalists – many believed the CEO Murdoch MacLennan had been squared. Harmsworth (and the not to be underestimated Viscountess) were more supportive of Dave yet unwilling to guide Dacre. For the record Cameron’s attitude to Guido’s proprietor / editor in 2015 was all charm, smiles and wisecracks. In 2016 as our editorial line hardened on the referendum he turned curtly negative, sarcastic and cold. Hardly surprising

They Laughed, They’re Not Laughing Now

Poignant recollections for left-wing comedians.

Be careful what you wish for…[…] Read the rest


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