Not a great day for Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, The Sun have absolutely gone to town on him and some of his more wacky ideas for defence on a budget. Chief among them his idea for pimped-up tractors armed with “really expensive guns” and disguising mobile missile defence systems as Coca-Cola lorries, converting commercial ferries into beach assault craft, and planning to launch his own medal.
When the paper of “our boys” turns on the “crackpot” Defence Secretary he is in trouble. Gavin can stop planning his premiership now and just concentrate on keeping his job…
Number 10 has repeatedly insisted to Guido over the last week that their Chequers deal will allow them to do a trade deal with the US. It seems President Trump disagrees. Full quotes from the The Sun.
On Brexit negotiations:
“I would have done it much differently. I told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me… Deals that take too long are never good ones. If you look, she probably went the opposite way.”
On the Cabinet’s Chequers compromise:
“I think the deal she is striking is not what the people voted on, exactly. It was not the deal that was in the Referendum… it will definitely affect trade with the United States unfortunately in a negative way… Trump tells me: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”
“He is a very talented guy. I was very saddened to see that he was leaving Government and I hope he goes back in at some point because… I think he is a great representative for your country. I think he’s got what it takes and I think he has got the right attitude to be a great Prime Minister.”
The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph look to be losing patience with Theresa May’s weakness on Brexit. In the last few weeks their leader columns and opinion pages have issued increasingly ominous warnings to the Prime Minister to change course. The Sun has repeatedly called on her to prepare for no deal and suggested she should be removed if she doesn’t get a grip. The usually ultra-loyal Mail has blasted her for allowing Brexit to drift. The Telegraph is talking about her leading Britain into a worst of all worlds Brexit. These are all from the last ten days…
The Sun, June 2:
“When will the Prime Minister and her Cabinet stand up for them — and for Brexit in full? Instead, the whiff of panic emanates from Downing Street. The Government has no idea what deal it wants. The latest plan for the Irish border has been trashed overnight. No10 regurgitates clichés to mask its confusion… Mrs May cannot kick the can any further down the road. She must be realistic, assertive and brave. There are talented Tories around her. If this PM can’t bring her party with her and lead us fully out of the EU, with no deal if necessary, she must make way for someone who can.”
The Sun, June 3:
“Even Leave voters fear the Government is botching Brexit… the chaos on the Continent from Spain to Italy is proof that we were absolutely correct to leave the EU… but if the Prime Minister looks like steering us to a bad Brexit, somebody else will need to take the wheel.”
The Sun, June 11:
“We must be in a strong enough position at the negotiating table that we’re willing to walk away. The Prime Minister has shown admirable backbone in the past, taking on the policing unions as Home Secretary and in her robust response to terrorism.”
Daily Mail, June 4:
“On Brexit, though it grieves the Mail to say it, Theresa May has allowed a profoundly worrying sense of drift to develop. Indeed, she has given the impression of a captain of a mutinous crew, sailing a rudderless ship across a turbulent sea, unsure herself where she wants to go… Mrs May has seemed willing to sit back while the bibulous Jean-Claude Juncker and his cronies sneer at our country and accuse her of ‘living in fantasy land’ if she believes we can leave the EU unpunished. The time has surely come for her to go on the attack, slapping down Remoaners, boosting the wilting morale of the pro-Brexit majority and telling Mr Juncker and Co that they are the fantasists if they think they can humiliate the UK with impunity. This is a great country, with great opportunities opening up to us. Mrs May needs to find the language to proclaim this from the rooftops.”
Daily Mail, June 7
“She needs to channel the same strength and resolve she showed in facing down Russia after the Salisbury poison attack and go on the offensive. She must set out her detailed blueprint for our post-Brexit future and start preparing seriously for the prospect of no deal… Mr Barnier is in a far weaker position than he pretends. Mrs May should get tough and call his bluff.”
“Accepting ECJ rule and free movement will be electorally toxic, but agreeing to Irish Sea border checks will cost her much-needed DUP support in Parliament. Because this latter concern is a more immediate threat to her power, she will almost certainly choose to keep Britain inside the single market and customs union. This will be a dreadful result. We’ll give up our MEPs and officials in Brussels, but still be subject to its rules. Any other option, whether it’s staying in the EU, leaving with no deal, or surrendering Northern Ireland, would be a better outcome. Instead, inexorably, our Prime Minister is leading us towards the worst of all possible worlds.”
The message is clear to Number 10. Change course or lose the confidence of the right-leaning press…
According to Tom Newton Dunn in The Sun, we’re on the brink of a kamikaze resignation by a “senior minister” who is set to denounce May in a parliamentary speech. The idea was encouraged by Matthew Parris in The Times at great length, who argues that One Well-Aimed Speech Could Topple Mrs May. Who is he?
Well Tom has given us some clues:
It is a he.
He is “a respected Tory MP”.
“He’s one of a number not in the Cabinet left very frustrated by the PM’s failure to promote the younger generation into senior jobs.”
Guido suspects the kamikaze candidate is likely to be a Remainer (both Parris and Newton Dunn are Remainiacs). Potential names in the frame who fit the bill are Tobias Ellwood, Rory Stewart, Jo Johnson, Alistair Burt, Nick Hurd, Phillip Lee, Ben Wallace and Sam Gyimah…
Tonight The Sun and The Daily Mail have begun judicial review proceedings to force the Parole Board to reveal its reasons for allowing black cab rapist John Worboys to be freed. They have seven days to publish the Worboys reasoning or else the two newspapers will launch a legal challenge. Elsewhere, tomorrow’s papers report that a fresh sex assault allegation may keep Worboys behind bars. Wheels in motion to keep Worboys inside, at last…
Classic clickbait from the Sun online team this morning, claiming Tory MPs Andrea Jenkyns and Jack Lopresti have named their baby ‘Brexit Clifford’. Click on the link and you see he is actually just called Clifford. Not that that’s stopping Remainers take the mickey.
“The Government should be prepared to redistribute more through the tax system: from the wealthy to working families with modest incomes. They should be prepared to increase taxes on accumulated wealth so they can cut taxes on income. They could raise more money through inheritance tax.”
In a country where the top-marginal rate of tax is 60%* is the pressing policy challenge a lack of redistribution and too low rates of taxation? After managing to keep a mere 40% of your justly earned income this wonk wants to increase the tax burden on your savings. If you then want to pass on your savings to your children he wants to tax the cash all over again…
Which left-wing Corbynista policy wonk is responsible for this nonsense? Nick Timothy, author of that Conservative Party manifesto and Theresa May’s former right-hand man for policy, proposed this in The Sun this morning. How he thinks social mobility will be increased by taxing people more heavily is not clear. Margaret Thatcher correctly identified that many of her opponents would “rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich.”Levelling down is the worst form of social mobility…
*According to the Taxpayers’ Alliance a salary of £110,000 will, including employers’ NI, see you on a marginal rate of 66.6%.
On Monday Guido reported on anti-press freedom cranks Stop Funding Hate targeting much-loved children’s charity the NSPCC in their hellbent crusade to stamp out free discussion and debate in Britain’s media. The mask slipped and the true nature of the group was revealed…
In this morning’s Sun Boris takes apart Stop Funding Hate’s anti-freedom campaign, lambasting “cowardly” Paperchase and Pizza Hut for capitulating to a few hundred Twitter trolls:
“A small but dedicated group of left-wing activists has launched a campaign to undermine the financial base of some newspapers whose views they dislike. They have attacked the advertisers who help to fund those newspapers, and who make it possible for reporters to bring new facts into the public domain. The tactic of this campaign – misleadingly called “Stop Funding Hate” – is to urge a boycott of all companies who place advertisements in the Sun, the Daily Mail or the Daily Express. This week they even attacked the NSPCC – a much loved national charity – for the sin of running a promotion in the Sunday Express. It is deeply disturbing to learn that this campaign is beginning to have an effect. Last year Lego dropped all advertising in the Daily Mail, and actually apologised to its customers. In recent weeks Paperchase and Pizza Hut have followed suit. I believe that these decisions are sad and mistaken and indeed cowardly.
“It is not as if this internet campaign commands overwhelming public support. Despite all the noise and virulence of their campaign, there are said to be fewer than a thousand people who are actively involved. And these companies should realise that they are bowing to a ruse – the attack on advertisers – that comes straight from some of the worst authoritarian regimes in the world. As for those who are mounting the campaigns, they do not seem to appreciate the irony of what they are doing. They may not like the editorial line of these publications, or the way in which they cover certain issues. But this country has the world’s strongest laws against libel and defamation. We have highly progressive legislation against hate speech and the whipping up of prejudice of any kind. By attempting to drive some newspapers underground they risk fomenting a further sense of alienation in the public – and pushing some into the arms of extremists. They are not sticking up for liberal values. They are not sticking up for freedom. They are attacking the freedom which is the foundation of our democracy. They should remember the great French sage Voltaire, who summed up the approach that has served Britain well for generations. “I may not agree with what you say. But I defend to the death your right to say it.”
Dough! Pizza Hut clearly didn’t learn from Paperchase’s humiliating cowardice in the face of a few lefty Twitter trolls – the fast food chain has apologised for offering Sun readers a free pizza over the weekend. This is the height of spinelessness. Pizza Hut’s food has been enjoyed by millions of newspaper readers down the years yet they have capitulated to just a few hundred press freedom-hating Twitter moaners. Pusillanimous PR departments need to grow a backbone and ask themselves if it’s really worth ditching promotions used by millions of people just to stop their social media intern getting a few angry tweets from mental keyboard cranks. Virtue signalling right-on execs at Pizza Hut and Paperchase think they’re on the right side of this new advertising culture war because they’re obsessing with Twitter. Their real-life customers are the ones who are losing out…
UPDATE: A Sun insider gets in touch to say the Pizza Hut promotion will continue until Thursday as planned: “While the Twitter armies may fill our timelines, they will never take our takeaways.”
Guido was careful to redact the Tory sleaze spreadsheet yesterday of any identifiers. Today’s Sun has unredacted sections of the spreadsheet, revealing that one “Cabinet minister” was found on the Ashley Madison adultery website. It also says he is “handsy at parties”. It is already in the public domain that Damian Green’s private email address was found on Ashley Madison in 2015, though he denied any involvement. As far back as 2008 Guido noted Green’s reputation for being “Not safe in taxis”. Shocked WhatsApp messages are pinging across Westminster as people piece together that it is the Deputy PM being referenced. Theresa May’s closest ally has effectively been outed in this morning’s Sun as being top of the list…
Sarah Champion is under pressure from Corbynistas on Twitter demanding that she is sacked from her Shadow Cabinet job over her article in The Sun last week:
“Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is.”
To save face with outraged lefties, Champion is putting it about that her words were stripped of all nuance and that she didn’t write the opening sentences. Sun sources insist Champion was not only sent the subbed text, she was sent the hard copy of the page (above) and raised no objections.
In fact her personal assistant emailed the paper the day following the article’s publication to say that Champion was “thrilled with it”:
Date: 11 August 2017 at 10:40 Subject: RE: Sarah’s piece
She is absolutely thrilled with it – just gone to get some hard copies. However, she is mortified that you’ve used such an ancient picture of her – it is about five years old! I sent some newer ones last summer to the picture desk and am attaching them again here. Please can you send them on to the relevant person. Thanks, x
Champion has said what is the obvious truth about rape gangs – her personal assistant’s only complaint before the Corbynistas got involved was that the picture of her used was old. Only when social justice warriors started shrilly tweeting calls for her to resign did Champion seek to disown the article…
Institute of Directors campaign chief Andy Silvester is joining The Sun as their new head of PR. A former pub manager who is already well-known in Westminster and among the Lobby, Silvester will also being turning his hand to the occasional Sun leader so his quick wit will be put to good use. He replaces Dylan Sharpe, who left the Currant Bun last month to become SpAd to Damian Green. Another one for the growing IoD alumni network which now includes City AM editor Christian May, Number 10 adviser Jimmy McLoughlin and ConHome’s Mark Wallace. Congratulations Andy, have fun with those phone calls from MediaGuardian and Buzzfeed…
Here’s the pro-Corbyn Canaryclaiming that “This was what The Sun chose to put on its front page in the aftermath” of the Manchester Arena attack. As Dominic Ponsford, the editor of the Press Gazette, put it, this is “Batsh*t reporting”.
Anyone who had the slightest understanding would realise that this was put out before the tragic news from Manchester broke. The actual front page splash in The Sun’s second edition was
At best the Canary is batsh*t crazy or more likely deliberately misleading readers out of left-wing malice towards The Sun. One reader is the Labour MP Barry Sheerman:
Everyone I know reacted with decency & compassion after the wicked terrorist outrage everyone apart from Rupert Murdoch @TheSun
The FT is claiming to be ‘exclusively’ reporting the departure of Kelvin Mackenzie from The Sun. They quote former Sun editor David Yelland:
“He is part of the family, for this to happen shows cultural change that should not be underestimated. It will have saddened Rupert a great deal.”
Bit of an odd exclusive, considering everyone read the news in last week’s Popbitch. They revealed:
“Kelvin has already been fired. He has been for almost two weeks now. The Sun are keeping a lid on it until the commotion calms.”
As MediaGuido has previously reported, this is really all about a Game of Thrones power battle being played out. The legendary Old King forced out in more than slightly tenuous circumstances as The Sun seeks to modernise…
As usual Guido checked into Dear Deirdre in the currant bun yesterday for a bit of voyeurism and was surprised to see his good friend Milo in one of the stories. Milo apparently has mental health issues, funny because Guido thought he was alt-right. Apparently – according to Deirdre – he wants to become a teacher…
Fleet Street elders are looking on with horror and glee as a slow motion Game of Thrones power battle is played out at The Sun. Anyone who thinks this saga is really about a provocative Kelvin Mackenzie column criticising an Everton footballer is naive. “The New King”, “Joffrey” Gallagher, is caught in the midst of all out war between “The Old King of the North” Kelvin and the fiery “Mother of Dragons”, Queen Rebekah.
The decision by News UK to suspend Old King Kelvin is being widely viewed through the prism of Queen Rebekah loathing him. It has been noted in other realms of the Baby Shard that the statement knifing Kelvin came from a News UK spokesman, not a Sun spokesman.
The emerging narrative is that Gallagher kicked back at the decision and, rightly, defended Kelvin, hence why the statement throwing him under the torrent of outrage did not come from The Sun. It came from News UK, where Queen Rebekah reigns. Last Thursday’s Popbitch reported that “Rebekah is aching to bin his £300,000 a year column, cutting costs and helping to detoxify the Sun’s brand in one easy move”. Kelvin’s column was published on Friday.
The New King Gallagher and The Old King Kelvin also go way back. Gallagher has always owed Kelvin after he helped him secure the Sun throne. Before that, at the Telegraph, Gallagher hired Kelvin as a columnist only to be forced to cancel his column when the Scouse hordes protested.
So far, the views of the One True Sun King of Antipodea remain unclear. Though anyone who has watched the hit HBO series (available through all BSkyB-approved outlets) knows this one is going to end in a bloody mess, with a twist or two along the way…
Paul Mason has been left humiliated after press regulator IPSO dismissed his complaint against The Sun over that famous candid recording at Labour conference. Mason ran to the watchdog after a young freelance reporter overheard him in a Liverpool restaurant loudly discussing his real views on Jeremy Corbyn.[…] Read the rest