Camilla Tominey to Telegraph

MediaGuido can reveal a major Lobby move: Sunday Express political editor Camilla Tominey is leaving the paper after 15 years to join The Telegraph as their new Associate Editor (Politics and Royals). She is believed to have been poached by Rob Winnett and will have a roving brief to land scoops, big interviews and campaigns, reporting alongside the Lobby and largely based in Westminster. Readers will remember her stealing the show on Question Time.

Camilla was the journalist who first broke the news of Harry and Meghan dating back in 2016, and she’ll be glad to only be doing two jobs rather than the four she had at the Sunday Express. She starts in September. Congratulations – this will set off a bit of a merry-go-round…

Sun, Mail, Telegraph Warn May

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.”

Juliet Samuel in The Telegraph, June 11:

“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…

Telegraph Tech Teething Problems

The talk inside the Telegraph at the moment is that plans are being drawn up to improve their embarrassing gender pay gap – at 35%, the biggest of any UK newspaper or broadcaster – by firing a load more male executives. That’s one way to level things up…

In order to dispel the bloodbath narrative there has been a mad scramble to launch a big new tech team. Yesterday 12 new appointments were announced as the paper tries to show some signs of life. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The plan was to hire at least 14 tech journalists, one in London and one in California, but they couldn’t fill the other jobs. A real sign of the times that the Telegraph wants a technology correspondent in California and can’t convince anyone to do it. Several hacks were tapped up internally, and plenty more elsewhere, but no-one wants to go near it because they think the job will be canned in a year…

Brexiters Livid With Bonkers Telegraph Front Page

It is hard to exaggerate how annoyed senior Brexiters are by today’s Telegraph front page, which splashes on the faces of 15 Tory MPs and dubs them “the Brexit mutineers”. Prominent Leavers are tearing their hair out at how politically stupid this is and are at pains to make clear it doesn’t represent their views. It’s one thing taking apart Dominic Grieve’s arguments, but monstering 15 Remainers like this very obviously risks hardening their stance. Indeed the likes of Anna Soubry are already using it to rile up other Remain MPs. Brexit minister Steve Baker has tried to calm things by distancing Leavers from the Telegraph splash:

Brexiter Dominic Raab, who spoke for the government during last night’s debate, has also slapped down the front page:

Given the lack of political direction at the Telegraph it is likely they just have no idea what they are doing. Slightly maddening for this supposedly Brexit-backing paper to be helping Remain ultras like this…

Profundity of the Punditry: Florence Quadruple Whammy

Robert Peston caused a bit of a stir yesterday afternoon reporting that Theresa May was about to “do a Canada”:

“Her aspiration for after those two or perhaps three years of transition is for our future trading relationship to be what is known – in the ghastly jargon – as CETA plus… What this means is we want a trade deal modelled on Canada’s new one (CETA) with the EU, that has just become operative in interim mode, and not the more intimate integration with the EU of Norway or Switzerland. The reason we are doing a Canada is there has been no resiling from the position taken by the PM in her landmark Lancaster House speech… all of that is broadly May’s position, to be expressed tomorrow.”

May actually ruled Canada out:

“One way of approaching this question is to put forward a stark and unimaginative choice between two models: either something based on European Economic Area membership; or a traditional Free Trade Agreement, such as that the EU has recently negotiated with Canada. I don’t believe either of these options would be best for the UK or for the European Union.”

Doh!

Over at the Telegraph they has this top pre-speech scoop:

Except it didn’t come true, there was no mention of this in the speech. Boris seemed happy too, rather than on the verge of resigning. Doh!

What about all those Remain pundits who said again and again that May had dropped her view that “no deal is better than a bad deal”? Asked by Laura K, May confirmed this was still her position. Doh!

Then there was Sky’s Faisal Islam, who after the speech claimed May was “65% towards the Norway model”. Nope, you can read May’s damning verdict of Norway here. Doh!

Brexit reporting not particularly enlightening at the moment…

Who is the Eye’s Telegraph Mole?

For the past couple of years Telegraph staff have kept track of the internal bloodletting and embarrassing insider secrets recounted in remarkable detail in Private Eye. Eagle-eyed reporters have noticed a pattern. While he has a reputation in the office for being an all-powerful control freak who always gets his way, in the Eye editor Chris Evans is almost always portrayed as an ignorant, innocent party who is far from the scene of the crime.

Take this well-informed Eye nugget about the Telegraph’s infamous election day email urging readers to vote Tory, for which the paper was fined £30,000. Even though Evans’ name was on the email, the Eye write-up generously portrays him as an innocent bystander “without a political thought in his head“, and instead names and shames two other Telegraph journalists, as well as Murdoch MacLennan and Aidan Barclay, as being responsible.

Then there was this curiously briefed story about the Telegraph’s positive coverage of UKIP. The Eye’s piece makes clear that talking up UKIP definitely isn’t Evans’ idea, in fact it is Evans who has been “keeping at bay” UKIP supporter and Telegraph owner Frederick Barclay. Evans is referred to as an “idiot“, but it’s Sir Frederick who is the true villain of the piece.

This Eye story, again very well-informed, derides the decision of Telegraph execs to cut back the Saturday paper. MacLennan and the Barclay brothers are named as the guilty parties, but who was it who bravely tried to fight back against the cull? Chris Evans, of course, alas his efforts were, according to the Eye’s top source, sadly “swept aside”.

What about this Eye hit piece on former Sunday Telegraph editor Ian MacGregor, who is dubbed a “laughing stock” whose job was really being done by – you guessed it – Chris Evans. MacGregor is portrayed as a shameless lackey of Aidan Barclay’s business interests. Who was the man standing up to him? Evans, once again.

Whoever the Eye’s mole is, it seems they are keen to make sure Evans escapes blame for calamitous decision making, as his rivals in Victoria are publicly machine gunned one by one…

Telegraph’s Boris Story Back From the Brink

The Telegraph went all in with the claim that Boris Johnson was set to resign at 1pm yesterday, something both Boris and his team denied within minutes of the story being published. The original copy was swiftly and quietly deleted and replaced with the news that Boris was in fact staying and had “dismissed suggestions” he was about to quit. (Suggestions from, er, the Telegraph.) The unchanged URL address suggests it was the Telegraph rather than Boris that came back from the brink…

Boris “I’m Not Resigning”

Telegraph’s pol-ed Gordon Rayner is claiming that Boris will resign if Theresa May goes soft on Brexit.

Boris denies it…

Telegraph’s Dumbed Down Diana Coverage

Once the paper of Bill Deedes, the Telegraph’s desired readership these days is people googling “who was Princess Diana”…

Telegraph Bad For Business

A few years ago the Telegraph business desk was the best in Fleet Street, regularly better than the FT and streets ahead of the Times. It took a hit in 2014 when Richard Fletcher left to become Times business editor, taking several people with him to form the core of their business operation. Today the Telegraph business team is facing an exodus. The current business editor James Quinn is leaving after 11 years at the paper for a job in comms. Banking correspondent Ben Martin has left for Reuters. Business reporter Szu Ping Chan started a new job at the BBC this week. These were all good story-getting reporters who the Telegraph now has to do without. MediaGuido hears there are several further senior departures in the works. The business team is officially a shell…

Telegraph Buries Alive Duke of Edinburgh

Someone at Telegraph towers has pressed the wrong button: a full-length report went live on the paper’s website this morning wrongly reporting the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. In fact, the alive and well Duke is today carrying out his final official engagement before retiring from public duties. The pre-prepared piece reads:

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving consort to a monarch in British history, has died at the age of XX, Buckingham Palace has announced. 

“Prince Philip, whom the Queen described as her “strength and stay” during her record-breaking reign, passed away XXXXXXX

“FILL IN DETAILS

“He will be given a royal ceremonial funeral in line with his wishes, which is expected to take place in seven days’ time.”

A note at the head of the copy says: “This file needs to be a living file – and will serve Apple News as well as be the main news story. Please stick to the format below.” The story carries the joint byline of the paper’s royal correspondent and political editor. Amusingly, the piece rather prematurely quotes “palace insiders“:

“Palace insiders have said the Duke specified he wanted a “low key” funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he will also be interred.”

The story has now been deleted. One for the mood board

Mood Board Reveals Despair of Telegraph Hacks

Inside Telegraph towers morale is at rock bottom. New Chief Executive Nick Hugh needs to cut costs: profits have collapsed below the sacred £50 million mark. The plan to cheer everyone up? Put up a mood board…

The top of the board reads: “On our best days, the Telegraph is…” Like a primary school exercise, staff then pin their answers up on little bits of paper. The instructions say: “Everything contributed to the board will contribute to our people values.Vomit…

Hardened after a decade of cuts, the hacks have come up with some interesting answers. One kissed a piece of paper – leaving lipstick marks – along with the answer “sexual“. Others complete the sentence with: “published” and “tolerable”. Yet another: “the toilets work”. The board is a far cry from the occasional £500 bonuses former boss Jason Seiken used to dish out to keep scribblers happy. Amazing that the execs thought this would work…

Telegraph Publishes 17 Stories About Love Island in 24 Hours

Remember when MediaGuido uncovered the Telegraph’strash traffic” strategy to game Search Engine Optimisation and secure millions of extra Google juice clicks? Well, in the last 24 hours the Telegraph website has published a grand total of 17 articles about Love Island, the popular ITV2 reality show featuring scantily-clad ladies and on-screen romps. This is the sort of “premium content” lucky Telegraph subscribers get to read today:

  • 16 things Love Island taught us about sex
  • Love Island’s Caroline Flack: ‘It’s not about sex’
  • How Love Island convinced me to stud my poodle
  • The top 10 cringiest moments from this season’s Love Island
  • Viagra sponsorship: how will Love Island contestants will make their millions?

A reminder that at the Telegraph it’s the SEO Chartbeat monkeys, not editors, who call the shots…

Telegraph Kills Tradition of Charitable Donations

The Telegraph used to make a big deal of its noblesse oblige responsibilities to the less privileged. In 2015 Telegraph Media Group made £3 million of charitable donations via the Barclay Foundation – £2 million to the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre veterans charity and £1 million to Great Ormond Street children’s hospital. TMG’s new company accounts, released yesterday, reveal that the tradition of charitable donations is dead. Forget the £3 million of the previous year, in the last year TMG made just £850 of charitable donations. Times are tough, profits are £32 million…

Telegraph Head of Axings Faces Axe

Interesting rumblings at Telegraph Towers. The word, according to three sources, is that Richard Ellis, one of the most senior figures at Telegraph Media Group and their former Publisher, Chief Development Officer and Director of Talent, is likely to be on his way out. Ellis was in charge of sacking the scores of journalists who have left the paper over the last few years, so the newsroom is awaiting news of his fate with keen interest. His departure will make editor Chris Evans nervous – Evans has been notably absent in the newsroom over the last few days. Telegraph veterans have felt a great disturbance in the force…

UPDATE: Another source gets in touch to say Ellis was given the push on Friday. A Telegraph old hand says he was Murdoch MacLennan’s man and his departure is a consequence of MacLennan being sidelined. Which would be good news for Evans…

Barclays Bank €50 Million in Superyacht Sale

Telegraph hacks are on course for that sinking feeling when they find out TMG chairman Aidan Barclay has sold his €50 million superyacht. Measuring more than 244 feet, Enigma was launched in 1991, and was sold to the Telegraph mogul by US billionaire Larry Ellison in 2007. Now Barclay has cashed in on the asset, a sign of hard times sure to leave Telegraph scribblers far from buoyed. Barclay’s superyacht keeps him afloat, one to remember when the next round of job cuts comes…

Telegraph Hiring Three Snapchat Editors

The Telegraph has no security editor, no home affairs editor, no subs and no foreign correspondents to speak of. Yet this afternoon they are advertising for three Snapchat editors. The Gorkana notice is being shared among incredulous hacks…

New Rule Bleeds Telegraph Hacks For Every Penny

Telegraph hacks are spitting feathers after a new rule saw them charged to come into work. Previously if staff forgot their security pass they would be signed in at the desk and let into the office. Not any more. Hacks who leave their pass at home now have to pay a £5 toll to get past security. The decision has caused employees to go berserk – it is the petty penny-pinching policies like this that has sent them over the edge. MediaGuido’s newsroom mole says deputy editor Rob Winnett was one of the first to be stung. An imaginative way to balance the books and crush staff morale at the same time…

Allister Heath is New Sunday Telegraph Editor

Allister Heath has been appointed the new editor of The Sunday Telegraph. Heath is currently Deputy Director of Content and Deputy Editor at sister paper the Daily Telegraph. He replaces Ian MacGregor who becomes “Editor Emeritus” – which  means he will be “a bridge between editorial and commercial arms” of the paper. MacGregor will also run the graduate scheme. That “Editor Emeritus” title is causing some hilarity in the Telegraph newsroom…

Amber Rudd and Fleet Street Don’t Understand Encryption

Following Amber Rudd’s talk of “necessary hashtags” and how “we don’t want to go into the cloud”, you’d be forgiven for thinking she is something of a digital immigrant.[…] Read the rest

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