Owen Bennett Fired Over #MeToo Scandal

Owen Bennett – the recently hired Whitehall editor at The Telegraph – has been fired, after executives at the newspaper discovered he had lied about the circumstances in which he had left his previous position at the Huffington Post. Owen, who publicly presents himself as a feminist and sexual equality advocate, has a less public reputation as a Westminster sex pest.

Sources at the Huffington Post were tight-lipped though they did not deny that he left the “woke” publication before a disciplinary procedure could be commenced. Guido understands that he has been the subject of more than one complaint, including one made to the newly established parliamentary complaints hotline.

When Guido put the allegations to Bennett last night, he confirmed the employment situation and that he had left the Huffington Post because of allegations related to another female employee. Owen’s former boss at the Huffington Post, Paul Waugh, said that all questions should be directed to their human resources department. Owen told Guido that he has been having counseling and therapy sessions to deal with his issues. Later on in the evening, Owen called to say he was aware of a very serious allegation circulating against him and that he would sue if it was published.

Owen made headlines recently with revelations about Michael Gove’s cocaine taking in his biography published during the Tory leadership campaign. Owen is popular in the Lobby with some, though one hack – who already knew of the allegations – said “he deserves everything he gets”.

mdi-timer 17th October 2019 @ 12:01 am 17th Oct 2019 @ 12:01 am mdi-comment Comments
Public Supports Proroguing Parliament

A majority (54%) of the public agree that Boris Johnson needs to deliver Brexit by any means, even if that meant suspending Parliament, according to the latest ComRes poll for The Telegraph. Including ‘don’t knows’ there is still a clear 44% in favour to 37% against, this is backed up by another question that finds 40% of people who think Boris is more in tune with the public than Parliament. Only 25% agree that Parliament is more in tune with the public than Boris…

Naturally Remoaners are hitting the roof over the fact ‘don’t knows’ have been excluded from the headline, and that the poll used the word “Boris”. Funnily enough Guido can’t remember them making such a fuss at the endless series of highly loaded “Final Say” polling questions pumped out by the People’s Vote campaign…

mdi-timer 12th August 2019 @ 9:59 pm 12th Aug 2019 @ 9:59 pm mdi-comment Comments
Telegraph Bucks Up Justice Secretary Hit Piece

The Telegraph is running a story claiming the Justice Secretary “risks Brexiteer anger” after he stated he thinks a No Deal Brexit would be “chaos”. HuffPost ran the same story and Spectator Coffee House leads their lunchtime email with it. The only problem is it isn’t true…

When asked on the Today Programme “do you still believe that the impact of “crashing out” of the EU would be chaos?”, Buckland said:

“I’ve consistently argued that point and I still do that. That’s why I think that the work that is being done by Government to ensure an orderly Brexit is vital.”

“That’s why I’m really pleased that the structure of Cabinet committees, the way in which Government is bearing down upon the issues, shows a sense of urgency and purpose which is absolutely essential if we avoid the sort of disorder I have talked about.”

“Like I’ve said I think there’s a difference between ‘crashing out’ and not achieving a deal.”

At no point did Buckland, as the Telegraph mistakenly reports, claim that a “no-deal will cause ‘chaos'”. He made a clear distinction between his vision of ‘crashing out’ with no planning, and leaving without a deal.

Clearly, Buckland believes that “crashing out” of the EU this instant with no preparation would be chaotic, but that the work the Government is undertaking now will ensure that leaving the EU on 31st October on WTO terms is orderly and managed. The Telegraph trying to spin this as anything other than bang on message is bizarrely inaccurate…

mdi-timer 12th August 2019 @ 2:23 pm 12th Aug 2019 @ 2:23 pm mdi-comment Comments
Media Storm Over Iceland Hunting is a Load of Puff

A host of papers have latched on to a fake meme that hordes of Brits are travelling to Iceland in order to trophy hunt puffins, in a call to ban the practice. The only problem is there’s no evidence that such trophy hunting is actually taking place…

  • The Telegraph alleged that “Puffins are being hunted 100 at a time by trophy collectors who are allowed to bring the carcasses back to the UK”
  • The Mirror said that “British trophy hunters are flocking to Iceland to shoot up to 100 puffins at a time – before bringing the carcasses back home.”
  • The Independent went with “British trophy hunters are killing up to 100 puffins at a time during hunting trips to Iceland”

But Iceland only hands out 100 hunting licences to foreigners each year, mostly for reindeer or goose hunting. The Icelandic Hunting Association was bemused by the stories, explaining “foreigners can only hunt less than 250 meters from the shore and the puffin is beyond that.”

The articles cite the figure of Brits paying £3,000 to hunt, but that turns out to be just a crude conversion from a $3450 price listed on an American website based in Montana and aimed at American tourists. Not to do with ‘British trophy hunters’ at all…

More bizarrely still, each article is accompanied by photos that have nothing to do with Britain. Áki Ármann Jónsson, President of the Icelandic Hunting Association and the former head of Iceland’s Environment Agency said “The picture with the news story is from 2010 from the Icelandic company The Icelandic Hunting Club, they hunt about 200 puffins yearly” out of a population of 5-6 million. That didn’t stop the stories racking up thousands of outrage-shares…

UPDATE: Following Guido’s fact-based research into this story, the Independent, the Mirror and the Metro have removed all references to British trophy hunters from their articles. The Telegraph are yet to back down…

mdi-timer 1st August 2019 @ 5:04 pm 1st Aug 2019 @ 5:04 pm mdi-comment Comments
Whitehall Mega-Merger Boris Story Rubbished

Guido has long been a fan of slimming down the vast amount of government waste that emanates from Whitehall, even he was a little taken aback by the Telegraph’s front page story that Boris was supposedly planning to slash over half of the Cabinet roles and merge several huge Government departments together. The number of Cabinet posts would apparently be cut from 26 to just 12, with major departments including Work and Pensions, Justice and Transport reportedly set for the chop. Unfortunately it seems that someone was freelancing and speaking only for themselves…

Damian Green was confronted with the plan on Newsnight last night and reacted incredulously. Team Boris have, alas, firmly rubbished any suggestion that it came from them. The Telegraph’s own article merely cites various MPs who now support Boris who have expressed a preference for merging various Government departments, it’s a pretty major leap from there to presenting it as official Boris policy.  Liz Truss as BEIS minister might be up for closing that department…

mdi-timer 2nd July 2019 @ 10:08 am 2nd Jul 2019 @ 10:08 am mdi-comment Comments
Ten Years Ago Today: MPs Were Revealed Fiddling Expenses

To mark the tenth anniversary The Telegraph have done a comprehensive documentary which puts the expenses scandal in context. This section on how they obtained the data is of particular interest to Guido. It is the story that got away and John Wick’s decision to give it to The Telegraph instead of Guido will forever rankle. For the record, Guido was outbid…

mdi-timer 8th May 2019 @ 8:39 am 8th May 2019 @ 8:39 am mdi-comment Comments
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