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…

Egalitarian Tories Bashed the Rich

Once again it falls to Guido* to point out that Cameron and Osborne were embarrassed egalitarians. Taking from the productive classes to give to the unproductive. Under Thatcher the rich got richer and so did the poor. The latest ONS figures show that unfortunately we are not all prospering. Under Cameron and Osborne equality increased without us all getting richer…

*Graphic courtesy of Newsnight.

Newsnight’s Duncan Weldon Eats His Shoes

Last year Newsnight’s then economics correspondent Duncan Weldon said if the Bank of England cut rates before it raised them he would eat his shoes and put the video on YouTube. He is a man of his word…

Shami’s Bad Tempered Peerage Non-Denial

Shami Chakrabarti was asked once again if Corbyn had offered her a peerage on Newsnight, her response to Kirsty Wark’s question is bad tempered to say the least:

Chakrabarti: “Well I don’t know Kirsty, are you going to take one?”

Wark: “Well I haven’t been offered one, have you?”

Chakrabarti: “Many times”

Assume that’s a yes then…

Owen Smith’s 999 Emergency

An astonishing piece of colour in Nick Watt’s Newsnight profile of Owen Smith:

“During his time as a BBC radio producer, he was once asked to get a police response to an unfolding crime story. Smith telephoned 999, prompting an official complaint from the Met.”

The man wants to be Prime Minister…

McDonnell Told Activists to “Target” Journalists

Who’s responsible for winding up Labour lefties to the point where they boo and hiss the BBC’s political editor? This video of John McDonnell from 2013 is worth a watch –  he tells activists to take “direct action” to “target” journalists they don’t like. Even going as far as occupying newsrooms…

“I don’t think we should let the traditional media off the hook… Where there is a distorted report or an inaccurate report, or where there’s a non-report by the traditional media, we take direct action against it. Let me give you an example… the IWW union were running a campaign in London… The Guardian wouldn’t cover the story… so what the IWW workers did is they went over to the Guardian offices and occupied them and insisted that they meet the editor and insisted that some story was covered. The editor came down, very angry… but in the end they said ‘alright, we’ll start looking into the story again’… Those newspapers, those media sources that aren’t covering the stories, we’ve got to start targeting them and taking direct action against them…

[Another pressure group] weren’t getting any coverage of their demonstrations by the BBC, so a couple of weeks ago they went to the BBC headquarters and did a demonstration outside and threatened occupation, eventually getting involved in a dialogue with some of the journalists… Where the existing, traditional media are letting us down, we target them.”

Labour MPs Laura K

Labour MPs Wes Streeting, Chuka Umunna and Pat McFadden have all criticised the Laura K haters. Remember, Corbyn told Vice News the BBC “are obsessed with trying to damage Labour”. That’s why he smirked when his fans hissed at their pol ed…

Ethnic Minority Brits Back Brexit

Fair play to Newsnight for this segment on why ethnic minority voters and businessmen and women back Brexit. The British Indian and Pakistani shop owners they spoke to wanted trade agreements with China, India and the Commonwealth and had concerns about European immigration. Can we have another musical video please?

Minister Media Monitor: Sky Winning Battle of Producers

MMM April the shows

Sky News won the battle of the producers to book ministers for their programmes in April. The usually minister-heavy Today Programme drops out of the top three for the first time, while Newsnight rises up the rankings. Marr features a minister a week. The whole of ITV (The AgendaGood Morning Britain, and ITV News) managed to get just three ministers in the entire month. Overall there were 44 ministerial broadcast appearances in April, expect that to ramp up when the referendum campaign gets going…

Neuberger and Levy on Labour’s Anti-Semitism

Some harsh words from cross-party peer Baroness Neuberger in particular:

“It [anti-semitism] is attached to Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader, and therefore old, if you like – some of this existed probably within militant, if you’re old enough to remember all that – and it’s an issue with the hard left, and a particular criticism of Israel. And I suspect that people whose views would not have been acceptable within the Labour party have rejoined or joined”

In other words, it is mainstreaming in the guise of anti-Zionism under Corbyn’s leadership…

Top Europhile Admits EU Hurting Steelworkers

Former LibDem minister and arch-Europhile Steve Webb has told the truth about the EU hampering any bailouts of steelworkers’ pensions:

“The issue there is you’re not allowed to subsidise your own industry where they’re competing with other peoples, and the EU come down particularly hard on steel, because the EU takes the view that there’s too much steel capacity. So it’s hard to see that working for the government.”

Webb actually has form for EU honesty, he warned of the “devastating impact” of Brussels legislation on pensions a few years ago. How refreshing!

Ministers Hiding From Marr and Brillo

MMM March the shows

There was an average of one ministerial broadcast appearance a day in March, as the government swerves accountability over the airwaves. By some distance ministers were more willing to appear on the Today programme than any other show or channel. Downing Street evidently does not fancy sending ministers out to bat when Andrew Neil or Andrew Marr are bowling. Softball interviews on Newsnight are for some reason much more popular…

Nicholas Watt New Newsnight Political Editor

nicholas-watt-newsnight

Congratulations to Nick Watt, the telegenic Guardian chief political correspondent who has been appointed the new Newsnight political editor. A deserved escape route from Kings Place for pretty-boy Watt after he was snubbed for the pol-ed job there. Ian Katz hires yet another Guardian journalist. More as we get it…

Newsnight Done With Tom

newsnight runners riders

BBC sources tell Guido that senior management has overruled editor Ian Katz in his first choice for the Newsnight pol-ed job. The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn has been vetoed as too expensive in a time of BBC austerity and job cuts, as well as being too tainted by proximity to Murdoch for the Beeb’s tastes. Stephen Bush is still pencilled in to deputise in a wonkish, political analyst / reporter role…

The telegenic Nic Watt must surely be the front-runner with Newsnight now in danger – due to notice periods – of not having a political editor to cover the referendum. Guido understands that Watt is none too pleased to have been messed around by Newsnight hitherto. Other names in Katz’s hat can be culled from all over the Lobby. Bookies are no longer taking bets….

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…

Betting Suspended on Newsnight Political Editor

newsnight-runners-riders

Paddy Power have suspended betting on the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn being the new Newsnight political editor. His opening price of 5/1 quickly shortened after a flurry of bets from “in the know” punters apparently, though one told Paddy Power “my only inside knowledge is someone said he looked more cheerful than usual last week”. Betting was suspended when the odds narrowed to 1/5 this morning…

A late runner doing the rounds is the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush. Young, up and coming – and Ian Katz loves a nerd – though he hasn’t always been on their radar:

Get all your runners and riders here

Grossman Hasn’t Applied for Political-Editor Role

newsnight runners riders

Paddy Power make David Grossman the 5/4 favourite, however Guido understands that Grossman has not even applied for the Newsnight political-editor’s job. So don’t put your money on that rider…

Next Newsnight Political Editor – Paddy Power odds2/1  Nicholas Watt, 5/1 Tom Newton Dunn, 6/1  Janan Ganesh, 14/1 Isabel Hardman, 14/1 Tom McTague, 16/1 Isabel Oakeshott, 16/1 Chris Ship, 16/1 Helen Lewis.

UPDATE: Janan has now ruled himself out:

Twist in Tory Suicide Case

A twist in the Elliott Johnson suicide story on Friday night as Newsnight asked his father Ray why he never mentioned his son’s previous mental health issues. On Sunday Elliott’s lover Andre Walker said he had not revealed their relationship because he didn’t want to upset the family.[…] Read the rest

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