Rudd: Leadership Election Would Be An Indulgence

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has rallied to May’s defence on Newsnight, saying that a leadership election in the middle of the Brexit negotiations would be a “total indulgence” and a “huge mistake”. In truth the looming Brexit deadline is the only thing that has held MPs back from launching a leadership challenge thus far, with MPs nervous about unleashing chaos with such little time left in the negotiations. The danger for May is that increasing numbers of MPs are concluding that the risk of chaos is preferable to whatever deal she is going to bring back from Brussels…

Nonetheless, Rudd’s point on the numbers cannot be ignored. A new Tory leader would still have to grapple with a minority government propped up with the DUP, and with at least a dozen Tory MPs ready to rebel in favour of a softer Brexit or no Brexit at all. May’s toughened language on the Irish backstop yesterday may have calmed some Brexiteer nerves but with Boris Johnson becoming the 44th MP to join anti-Chequers group #StandUp4Brexit last night and the DUP opposed to any regulatory barriers being erected in the Irish Sea, not simply customs barriers, it is not clear that May’s arithmetical challenge is any less severe.

However, MPs may be less inclined to listen to Rudd’s advice after she insisted that any so-called “People’s Vote” would have to have Remain on the ballot paper, contradicting her previous pledges to “fully respect the result” and that the UK would leave without a deal if Parliament rejects it. If Rudd wants to gain Tory MPs’ trust as a peacemaker within the party, backing a second referendum is absolutely not the way to do it…

Evan Davis Quits Newsnight for PM

Evan Davis has announced that he is quitting his role as Newsnight presenter and returning to Radio 4 to present PM. Staff were informed in an internal email today:

Dear team,

Apologies to those who couldn’t make the earlier team meeting in which I announced that after 4 incredible years of presenting Newsnight, Evan is off to present PM on Radio 4.

As both economics editor and then presenter, Evan has made a huge impact on our output with his ability to unpick the most complex of stories with intellect, verve and vitality.

We are fortunate enough to have three outstanding presenters on the show. In the interim Emily and Kirsty will step into the space left by Evan while we decide on the next steps for the programme.

For the moment we wish Evan the very best of luck with his new endeavour and offer him huge gratitude for all he has done for Newsnight.

You’ll be pleased to hear he’ll be popping into the office later when we can take any questions over the customary ITUP cake and fizz.

Who will be stepping into his shoes at the helm of the BBC’s flagship politics programme?

BBC: 13 Nobel Laureate Writers Have ‘Limited Expertise’ Gaffe

Newsnight’s Chris Cook comparing the IFS, Kings Fund and the Institute for Government accused the Institute of Economic Affairs of being in a category of think tank that was “more likely to employ and publish people with more limited expertise.”

Let’s check out that ‘limited experience’…

  • Published 13 Nobel Laureates.
  • Research team includes 7 PhDs and 2 Professors.
  • Books and briefings that in the past year alone have been translated 23 times.
  • Credited with changing the approach to monetary management to defeat inflation.

Can BBC Newsnight boast anything close to that quality?

Cook praised the young Institute for Government, which is an establishment packed, civil service friendly talking shop which may have some interesting output but has no plans to shake up the world. It is the latest political play thing for billionaire centrist Lord Sainsbury of Turville, who previously has funded such outfits as the Social Market Foundation and Progress. Guido has searched in vain for one single nobel prize winning writer on their books…

John Cleese On Why He’s Leaving Britain

He’s moving to the Caribbean because “I don’t like it” in Britain. Bye!

Iain Dale Asks Newsnight: ‘Why Do I Get Introduced as a Brexit Supporter?’

Iain Dale quite rightly calls out a classic piece of BBC bias, as he is introduced on Newsnight as a Brexit supporter whilst the strongly Remain views of Matthew Parris and Rachel Shabi go unmentioned. The BBC always do this – Guido is often introduced on the Beeb as being from a “right-wing website”, though you never hear BBC presenters talk about the left-wing Guardian or the left-wing Mirror, HuffPo, or New Statesman. Iain also pointed out that once again the Newsnight panel was two-to-one in favour of Remainers. Evan did wince a bit awkwardly before conceding the point. As ever…

Bad Al: I Never Told a Lie

Check out that body language. He actually looks away each time he says “no”…

Maitlis on Pointless Syria Vote

Emily Maitlis sums up the pointlessness of the vote forced by the SNP on Syria last night with help from a confused Mark Lancaster:

Maitlis: “Mark Lancaster, would you like to appear on Newsnight tonight?”

Lancaster: “Well, I’m on Newsnight tonight…”

Maitlis: “Right, so it was a pointless question. In other words, you’re here. You’ve decided. That’s what’s happened all afternoon.”

Not sure Burgon got it…

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:

Hi,

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.

John

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…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Penny Mordaunt on leadership…

‘The leadership required at this moment doesn’t reside in a single person, but in all of us.’

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.