Sunday Times Deputy Political Editor Runners and Riders

The Sunday Times deputy political editor job is one of the toughest in political journalism, requiring scoops that hold and set the agenda every weekend. The paper will be looking at candidates who fall into more than one of the following three categories; journalists who are good on Labour – Tim Shipman has top Tory contacts and wrote the book on Brexit so he may want someone who can look after the Corbyn beat, as James Lyons did previously. Journalists who have Sunday experience – Guido can tell you that writing for the Sundays is hard and requires a different skill set, so those who have already done so in their careers are at an advantage. Journalists who break awkward stories  – surely the most important category, the Sunday Times gig requires a candidate with a track-record at breaking news the powers that be wanted out of the public domain. Half the Lobby will fancy themselves, as ever MediaGuido gives you your runners and riders…

John Stevens, Daily Mail: Since coming back from Brussels he has made an impact with Westminster scoops, the Twitterati particularly enjoyed his recent hit on aid. EU knowledge obviously valuable in the next few years. 

Jim Pickard, Financial Times: Well-connected across Labour, from the leader’s office to the unions and moderates. Comfy on the Remainiac patch at the FT, where he’s been for yonks. Time to join a Brexit-backing paper?

Kevin Schofield, PoliticsHome: Hates being described as a “Blairite hack”, however he has excellent Labour sources and enjoys kicking Corbynistas. Ex-Sun, would he relish making more high-profile splashes?

Harry Cole, The Sun: Earned his print credentials at Britain’s raciest red top, the Daily Star Sunday. Not just a tabloid muckraker, as proved by four years at the Spectator. Number 10 would be thrilled.

Ben Riley-Smith, The Telegraph: A rise up the Telegraph hierarchy akin to being on the Western Front, joining as a private and quickly becoming a general. Writes the Sunday paper now everyone else has left.

Ben Glaze, Daily MirrorObviously well in with Labour and the path has been trodden before. Might he follow in the tiny footsteps of a previous Mirror deputy pol ed? 

Rowena Mason, The GuardianNowhere to go at the Guardian now there’s the successful pol ed sisterhood jobshare. Not your usual Guardianista, though would she take the Murdoch shilling?

Steve Hawkes, The Sun: Strong trade union contacts, has broadsheet experience. Could expect plenty of business-themed Brexit scoops. An inter-News UK sideways move is possible…

Tom MacTague, Politico: Is beginning to make Politico a worthwhile read, his in-depth analysis would not be out of place in the Sunday Times. Has Sunday experience at the IoS when it existed. Though after that would he ditch digital for the dead tree press?

Lucy Fisher, Times: Good on Corbynista Kremlinology and has had some revealing Momentum scoopettes. Has worked at the Sunday Times before…

Kate McCann, Telegraph: Another fast riser up the Lobby ranks. A web of contacts helped her break the arachnid-based story of the year.

Matt Chorley, Times Red Box: Another former IoS man. Would do everyone a favour limiting those fun emails to once a week. Change would have a serious impact on sleeping patterns.

Matt Holehouse, MLex: Brexit wonk who has Brussels experience and a better grasp of the minutiae than most. Would he want to give up the reasonable and well paid hours at newswire platform MLex? 

Camilla Tominey, Sunday Express: Quietly broken some big scoops that no one saw because they were at the Sunday ExpressOutside chance, deserves a bigger platform…

Good luck to the many Lobby hacks throwing their hat in…

Seumas Changed Jezza’s Autocue

60k-12k

In the briefing to the Lobby huddle – which is still ongoing – Seumas corrected a figure in the briefed out printed copy of Jezza’s speech from 60,000 new council homes to 12,000. With a smile Seumas told the Lobby hacks that Corbyn had delivered the correct figure because “it was changed on the autocue”…

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.

Cameron’s Big Speech Bombs

For the second time, Downing Street have summoned the press for a supposedly “significant” statement that has bombed:

Is that it? The “significant statement” is that Dave backs Remain?

Rain on Dave’s Parade

The PM brought back up to his summer bash for Peroni-guzzling Lobby hacks last night, but it was the weather that rained on his parade – literally. As damp Tory leadership contenders worked the thinning lawn of the Downing Street rose garden, a relaxed Dave stood side by side with Theresa May doling out titbits to a ‘doughnut’ of senior correspondents, while Saj put in a good innings. By pure coincidence, Osborne was hosting a rival party upstairs and his guests soon milled out to join the PM’s. The high turnout of ministers included Matt Hancock and Nicky Morgan, Fallon was presumably busy blowing up Syrians. Boris was conspicuous by his absence…

By contrast to the Chancellor’s austere offering of pretzels and Skips last week, the PM generously put on a decent spread of sausages, vol-au-vents and lovely little fried feta cheese pastry nibbles. Asked by mischievous visitors how much holiday he would be taking this summer, Dave zinged back: “I’ll take the same amount of time off as the Lobby”. After an hour or so’s mingling, the PM was hurriedly called back into No.10 just as the heavens threatened to open…

Dave’s Balls Up in Bavaria

Tory unity has lasted exactly one month, as has Dave The Winner’s honeymoon with the press. Needless to say his EU-turn today and then an arrogant schooling G7 news conference has gone down like a cup of cold sick with the travelling press pack.

The PM’s suggestion that “if you’re not certain about something I said yesterday, then ask”, has gone down particularly badly:

If Cameron 2.0 is so keen on journalists asking questions, perhaps he might like to reinstate those monthly press conferences that he dodged for the last five years?

What is Wrong With the Lobby?

WATCH: Cameron’s ‘Bill Somebody’ PMQs Gag

Cameron delivered his best gag for ages at PMQs today:

“The day after his Shadow Chancellor was asked on the television could he think of one single business leader, do you know what he said, he said ‘Bill somebody’. Mr Speaker, ‘Bill somebody’ is not a person, ‘Bill somebody’ is Labour’s policy!”

Only six more to go…

House Turns on Speaker: Live Reaction

[…] Read the rest

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Tired, Exhausted, Nothing to Say, Time for Them to Go…

lobby-guide

The Parliamentary Lobby yesterday had the usual afternoon briefing scheduled with the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS). This is where the gentlemen of the Lobby are spoonfed some copy to take down or, as they see it, perform a vital service to democracy by holding the executive to account.[…] Read the rest

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Robinson's Lobby Colleagues Fed Up With Him Lifting Stories

Nick Robinson was the focus of ridicule among his Lobby colleagues last night after he yet again lifted a newspaper journalist’s story and claimed it as his own. “BREAKING”, he tweeted, the three major parties would reject a currency union with an independent Scotland, “the BBC has learned”.[…] Read the rest

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Loongate: Where We Are

SWIVEL-EYED-GREG-BARKER

Last night the story broke that a senior Tory close to Cameron said of the EU Referendum and gay marriage backbench rebellions “It’s fine. There’s really no problem. The MPs just have to do it because the associations tell them to, and the associations are all mad, swivel-eyed loons.” It was reported by The Times and The Telegraph on their front pages in similar terms and also by the Mirror and Mail.[…] Read the rest

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Farage Confirms Hancock By-Election Plan

A month ago in his Sun column Guido revealed that UKIP are already up and running on the ground in Portsmouth South in anticipation that self-confessed teen fondler Mike Hancock will be forced out, triggering a by-election. Today Farage has confirmed he is predicting a by-election this summer, telling a press gallery lunch that he thinks UKIP will win.[…] Read the rest

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Official: Lobby System is Dangerous and Grubby

As many of you will know, we received unexpected visit from the Commons Chief Fire Safety Officer yesterday morning.

I think it’s fair to say that he was not at all happy with what he saw in some of our offices, i.e.

[…] Read the rest

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Joe Watts to the Standard

Joe Watts, regional lobby hack for the Eastern Daily Press, has got the call up the Evening Standard’s politics team. Swapping Norfolk for the crack of dawn.

Regular readers may remember Joe’s online incarnation LobbyDogCongratulations.[…] Read the rest

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Hack Pack Can't Get Back Lobby "Banging On About Europe" as Stuck in Belgium

Well this is hilarious. It seems half of Her Majesty’s loyal press corp are stuck in Brussels as they attempt to get back from Dave’s cancelled Amsterdam speech through the Europe-wide snow storm:

[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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