IoD’s Silvester Joins The Sun

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…

Canary’s “Batsh*t” Conspiracy Theory About Sun’s Front Page

Here’s the pro-Corbyn Canary claiming 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:

In reality News UK gave £100,000 to a fund for Manchester victims and Sun readers have so far donated £60,000 to the fund. Barry Sheerman is an idiot.

Kelvin On Way Out

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…

Milo ‘Writes’ to Dear Deirdre

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…

Game of Thrones Power Battle at The Sun

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 Loses Complaint Against The Sun

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. Unfortunately for Mason, that young reporter caught him on tape…

“Corbyn doesn’t appeal to the mainstream working class vote. It’s to do with a cultural thing about London. Corbyn goes to England on a bike and cycles round. Working class people go to a leader. He has no cultural references to the way they live.”

On publication Mason exploded on Twitter, ranting about the “scab newspaper” that had ruined his Corbynista street cred. The leather-jacketed lefty lodged a complaint with IPSO, forcing a five month probe. Today, Guido can finally report their findings. IPSO has ruled entirely in favour of the young reporter and entirely against Mason.

IPSO found there was no breach of Clause 10 (preventing journalists from using clandestine devices).

“The images of the complainant were obtained by the use of a mobile phone camera… the photographer had not used a hidden camera, or engaged in subterfuge, to obtain the material.”

IPSO found there was no breach of Clause 2 (right to privacy).

“The complainant, a political commentator, had been discussing politics with a professional contact, and had not spoken about personal or private matters…The publication of the conversation did not represent an intrusion into the complainant’s private life… The complaint was not upheld.”

Guido can now reveal that during IPSO’s investigation:

  • Mason claimed the young reporter involved “specialised” in undercover and covert work. Untrue.
  • Mason claimed the restaurant where the recording was made was planted with clandestine devices. Untrue.
  • Mason claimed the pictures which accompanied the story were taken by a pinhole camera. Untrue.
  • Mason claimed the young reporter had broken the editor’s code. Untrue.

These claims from Mason were the angry fantasies of an embarrassed, hypocritical old hack who should have known better than to complain. The truth, Guido can reveal, is that Mason’s unguarded bombast was easily picked up on an iPhone held by a young reporter who simply fancied fried chicken for his lunch. That young reporter did not specialise in undercover work, he was a budding political journalist. He did not plant recording devices around the restaurant, Mason was yakking so loudly that his criticisms of Corbyn could easily be heard by the young reporter and recorded on his iPhone. How does Guido know all this? He hired that reporter

Sign Guido’s #Piegate Pietition Now

Guido today captains the team backing pie-munching hero roly-poly goalie Wayne Shaw. Sign Guido’s #piegate pietition – as featured in The Sun – now at: order-order.com/piegate

Clegg “Queen Backs Brexit” Row Not Dunn Yet

Nick Clegg has finally admitted a “grumpy” Queen Elizabeth did attack the EU over a lunch with him, a vindicated Sun reports today. The paper quotes Kevin Maguire’s New Statesman column which disclosed:

“Nick Clegg, who was also at the infamous 2011 Windsor Castle lunch, maintains that Her Majesty was merely grumpy about Europe and regretted the eclipse of the Commonwealth”.

Clegg took to Twitter last night to deny this new line: “I didn’t speak to Maguire and I didn’t tell friends Queen was grumpy.” The Sun‘s political editor Tom Newton Dunn asked why Clegg’s spokesman refused to make that denial on the record, to which Clegg did not reply. Clegg has changed his tune over the paper’s bombshell “Queen Backs Brexit” splash. When the story first broke he said he had “no recollection” of the royal conversation.

Newton Dunn says Clegg later hardened his line at the behest of Cameron spinners to claim the story was “nonsense” and “not true“. Now the New Statesman reports he has admitted to friends the Queen did criticise Europe after all, but he denies it. Coincidentally Maguire’s column also names one Bill Newton Dunn, a former LibDem MEP, as being present at the infamous royal lunch…

Murdoch Requests Correction Over Guardian Fake News

Anyone with a Twitter account will at some point have seen one of the many memes quoting Rupert Murdoch on why he backs Brexit: “When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice“. The quote was first attributed to him by Anthony Hilton in the Standard and repeated in the Guardian and Indy, as well has being shared thousands and thousands of times on social media by the usual Murdophobes. Today Rupert has written to the Guardian to demand a correction:

“There is much fake news published about me, but let me make clear that I have never uttered those words.”

Sure all those ‘press ethics’ campaigners will be posting prominent corrections on their Twitter accounts…

Impress Regulators Seek to Financially Ruin Three Papers

The second instalment of MediaGuido’s Impress File reveals attempts by the state-endorsed press regulator to financially ruin three newspapers. Several senior figures at Impress support the so-called Stop Funding Hate (SFH) campaign to boycott advertising in the popular press. SFH’s stated aim is to “take on the divisive hate campaigns of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express by persuading advertisers to pull their support”. It wants to prevent newspapers from “making money by publishing these headlines”. SFH is bullying advertisers to censor or bankrupt the three centre-right newspapers read by millions of Britons.

Impress CEO Jonathan Heawood is a vocal supporter and campaigner on behalf of SFH. He has promoted social media posts from SFH aggressively targeting Boots and HSBC into removing ads from MailOnline. He has a pinned tweet in support of an advertising boycott of the Mail. He has shared an SFH article summing up their approach to free speech: “Voltaire… never said I will defend to the death your right to get advertising revenue”.

Impress board member and chair of its code committee Marie Messenger Davies also regularly expresses support for the SFH campaign. Davies has repeatedly promoted posts calling for an advertising boycott of the Mail in particular. Emma Jones, a member of the Impress board and code committee, also regularly promotes SFH Impress actively campaigns to bankrupt three newspapers – how can it possibly be a fair and balanced regulator of the press?

The Daily Mail and MailOnline have a readership of 23 million a month, The Sun is the most-read newspaper in Britain. Latest figures show the Express is growing online by 16% year-on-year. Millions of free-thinking readers choose to read these publications every day, SFH is an cabal of so-called ‘liberals’ trying to shut down the right-of-centre popular press. This raises serious questions for the government: how can Impress possibly be a fair and even-handed regulator when key figures within Impress are campaigning to ruin several newspapers? Regulators would not be allowed to behave in this way in any other industry…

Labour: Please Stop Leaking to The Sun

After the Sun got hold of Labour’s pre-Christmas grid, general secretary Iain McNicol has emailed staff threatening them with discplinary action for leaking to the press. Naturally his email has leaked:

Dear Colleague

Before we all escape the office for a well-deserved Xmas break, I wanted to email you all regarding recent leaks in the media which contain either sensitive or confidential Party information.

I am very clear; no member of staff should pass on information which they think will be used by our opponents to oppose and damage the Party and its reputation. This damages the organisation and relationships which we are all trying to build and maintain.

As laid down in our staff handbook; if a member of staff is found to have leaked confidential information either to a third party with the intent that this is passed on, or directly to a journalist, then disciplinary proceedings will be initiated.

l have discussed this matter with the Labour Party Staff JTUC and they are fully supportive. If you have any concerns about the contents of this email, or would like to talk it through, please contact either Emilie Oldknow or Holly Snyman in HR who can assist.

Kind regards,
lain

lain McNicol
General Secretary

A festive LOLabour…

Sun Journalist’s Conviction Quashed

Sun reporter Anthony France, the only journalist found guilty following the Met Police’s disastrous Operation Elveden, has had his conviction quashed. France’s ordeal lasted 1,379 days – he was convicted last May – yet today he was cleared by the Court of Appeal in a 30 second hearing. Operation Elveden, which targeted journalists and arrested over 20 Sun reporters, wasted the time of 60 police officers and cost the taxpayer £30 million, has now failed to convict a single journalist. It’s a scandal…

H/T Tom Wells

Mazher Mahmood Jailed and Sacked By The Sun

maz

“Following the sentencing of Mazher Mahmood today, News UK can confirm that his employment has been terminated.

Mazher was suspended after the Tulisa Contostavlos trial collapsed, pending an internal inquiry. That inquiry was superseded by the criminal process.

Mazher has led scores of successful investigations during his 25-year career with the company. His work has led to the exposure of criminality and wrongdoing. It is a source of great regret that his time with the company should end in this manner.

The previous criminal cases that have resulted from his investigations were tested by the courts or guilty pleas were entered. We are aware that the Crown Prosecution Service has reviewed some cases and understand that the Criminal Cases Review Commission is looking at whether a small number of matters should be referred back to the Court of Appeal. We await their decisions.

We have noted the threats made after Mazher’s conviction of civil claims against this company in relation to his previous work. Should such claims be brought, they will be vigorously defended.”

Mazher Mahmood has been jailed for 15 months and sacked by the Sun…

Man on Yesterday’s Sun Front Page is NOT an Interpreter

sun

Yesterday a rumour went round Twitter virtue signallers that a man the Sun reported is a supposed child refugee is in fact a Home Office interpreter. It was too good for the tabloid-bashers to resist, soon hundreds of people had tweeted it without checking, as if it was fact. Including some very famous types like Gary Lineker, David Schneider and Caroline Criado Perez. Guido has asked the Home Office, who confirm the man in question is NOT an interpreter. They say they do not comment on minors, all but confirming he is a refugee claiming to be a child. As reported by the SunA lie will go halfway round the world while truth is pulling its boots on – will the Twitterati above be issuing corrections?

UPDATE: Tact Care, the charity which claimed he was an interpreter, say they “regret any concern caused”:

“With regard to a recent tweet by TACT questioning the status of an individual male in a photograph at Calais, our information was from a credible source.  However, if the male is indeed a migrant and not an interpreter, TACT regrets any concern caused.  The tweet has now been withdrawn as we do not want to cause any further distress to the individual depicted.”

Press Gallery Chairman Craig Woodhouse New DCMS SpAd

A raft of new SpAd appointments is expected imminently and Guido understands the headline move will be Craig Woodhouse joining Karen Bradley at DCMS. It’s a smart hire for the new Culture Secretary to poach an industry insider – Woodhouse is a newspaper veteran, the respected chairman of the Press Gallery and chief political correspondent at The Sun. He is well-liked by MPs of all parties which will help in a notoriously adversarial brief. The long-suffering Sheffield Wednesday fan might even be able to pick up a freebie or two along the way. The Lobby loses yet another leading name to SpAd-dom…

See Guido’s SpAd List in full here.

Sun Names Elton John

elton

The Sun won their four-month long legal battle to report on Elton John’s sexual harassment case settlement. I guess that’s why they call it the news…

Campaign Report: 9 Days to Go

beleave in britain

Leave message: Leave ministers commit to same level of EU funding post-Brexit.

Remain message: Corbyn: Stay, or the NHS gets it.

Cut through: The Sun comes out for Leave.

Leave social media count: 488,043 likes, 59,735 followers.

Remain social media count: 474,801 likes, 38,521 followers.

Odds: Remain 4/6, Leave 6/4

Latest poll: Remain 40% (-1), Leave 47% (+4) (TNS, online). Poll of Polls is now Remain 49% (+1), Leave 51% (-1).

IPSO: Coke Probably Was Snorted at Momentum Party

Back in December the Sun sent a bearded undercover reporter to a People’s Momentum Christmas party in Brixton, armed with specialist detection wipes and a handful of swabs. The science didn’t lie – traces of gak were found in the loos and the story made its way into the paper. Well, someone from Momentum decided to complain to the press regulator IPSO. The judgement is in, and they’ve ruled a Momentum reveller probably did consult the member for Tooting…

“The committee acknowledged that the test used by the newspaper could not conclusively show that drugs were taken by an attendee at the party that night. However, the manager of the pub had said that the toilets had been cleaned before the party, the only attendees present in the venue that night were attending the Momentum event, and traces of drugs had been detected. This was a reasonable basis to infer that drugs had been used by an attendee. In these circumstances, the committee was satisfied that the newspaper had not failed to take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information. There was no breach of Clause 1. The complaint was not upheld.”

Hipster socialists exploiting Colombian peasants…

Clegg’s “Smear Operation” Against Gove

Sun editor Tony Gallagher has come out swinging in defence of that splash about the Queen, accusing Clegg of changing his position and of smearing Michael Gove as the alleged source:

Peston: Much of the world believes your source to be the Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, was it?

Gallagher: They can believe what they like. We would never reveal who our sources are. I think it’s interesting to note that there is clearly a smear operation underway at the moment and an attempt to identify Michael Gove. It wouldn’t take too much of a cynic to assume that part of the reason for that is the desire to remove him as a leading light in the Leave campaign. And I think it’s worth putting into the public domain that among those circulating the idea that it is Michael Gove are people close to Nick Clegg… I think Nick Clegg has questions to answer because he’s gone from being ‘I don’t recollect this event’ to ‘it’s nonsense’ to now being certain it’s Michael Gove. So which is it? I think he has to answer that.

Remember, it’s personal between Clegg, Gove and his former adviser Dom Cummings, who once called him a “self-obsessed, revolting character”…

Nb. Media watchers note the second camera on Peston, evidence of his so-called movie set.

Clegg Doesn’t Deny Queen Backs Brexit

Tomorrow’s Sun claims the Queen “spoke with venom and emotion” during a bust-up with Nick Clegg in which she apparently backed Brexit. This is Clegg’s very carefully worded response:

“I have absolutely no recollection of it. 

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

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