Juliet Samuel Joining Times

Columnist Juliet Samuel is transferring from the Telegraph to The Times to take over the column space on the comment pages vacated by the departing David Aaronovitch. One of the sharpest brains in the punditry, she is a regular on heavyweight think tank panels on everything from geopolitics to the dangers of corporate wokery.

It is a return to The Times for the Harvard-educated Juliet. She was previously on their business pages before she switched to the Wall Street Journal, having cut her teeth in financial journalism at City AM. Older readers may recognise her as starting out her journalistic career at Guido back in 2010. She’ll probably be editing The Times around about 2040…

mdi-timer 24 January 2023 @ 14:15 24 Jan 2023 @ 14:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi Gets Poll Bounce as Liz’s Legacy Leaves Tories Languishing

In some of the first polling conducted since Rishi took over as Prime Minister, the Conservatives have been able to close their polling deficit. New polling from YouGov and The Times saw Labour’s lead shrunk by 9 points. Before any Tories get carried away, that still leaves their lead at 28%…

Add to that the impending storm of budget cuts, Rishi certainly faces an uphill battle.

The poll also strengthens Reform UK’s claims of a resurgence, with their support at 6% and growing representing a relatively strong showing. The Conservatives face challenges from all sides…

mdi-timer 27 October 2022 @ 10:14 27 Oct 2022 @ 10:14 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sheet Heads: Real-Time Data Transparency Has Changed the Dynamics of “Most Sophisticated Electorate in the World”

It is a cliché that Tory MPs “are the most sophisticated electorate in the world”. In reality they are duplicitous, disingenuous and risk averse, with careerists swayed by herd psychology driven by rumour and misdirection. Or rather, they were.

As Nic Watt confirmed on Newsnight, real-time online publicly available lists of declarations sourced from social media, contacts and the leadership campaigns themselves have made things more transparent. They have reduced the potential for MPs to double or triple pledge their support in private and ended the bluffing that characterised Tory machine politics in the past. Andrew Mitchell’s claims “of we have it in the bag”, Heath’s surprise defeat, Liam Fox’s confident claims of victory – none of this will happen nowadays. Because of the existence of online real-time data, available to all via a browser – a public service pioneered by this website. There is now less opportunity to bluff.

Here is some insight into what has happened in the last few days: the Rishi campaign has decided in their wisdom to freeze Guido out – no briefing, no contact, effectively pretending we don’t exist as a fact of political life. Petulantly putting us in the penalty box for giving Rishi a hard time in the last leadership campaign. We started reporting and publicly recording the support of MPs for Boris on Thursday, and by yesterday evening the Rishi campaign was instructing their supporting MPs to contact us to confirm their support for him. As our records showed support for Rishi catching up with and then pulling ahead of Boris, his campaign reminded supporters to confirm their pledges to us. All can now see the relative strength of candidates’ support.

In this morning’s Times, Matthew Parris today claims that

“Momentum is being manufactured through creating an impression that Johnson is already on his way to victory. Mysterious reports on social media suggest he’s surging ahead among those MPs who are declaring — but the identities of some of these are undisclosed. They will (we’re assured) reveal themselves “later”. The sense of movement this creates is giving those many Conservative MPs who still keep their own counsel the idea that this man is a winner, and (say quieter MPs to themselves), “we’d better declare for him early, as we know he rewards supporters and freezes out the rest”.

Copy which Parris obviously filed yesterday afternoon before we showed Rishi surging ahead that evening. Unhinged analysis, shown to be so, as events unfolded before the ink was dry on his claims.

MPs who have not pledged can be seen by all sides. They are either genuinely undecided – waiting to see which way the wind blows – or biding their time for Machiavellian reasons, or simply ransoming their vote for the highest bid or best favour. What MPs can’t do is double pledge any more. If they tell a campaign they are backing their candidate the campaign expects them to go public. If they don’t go public, they are suspect.

As the pioneers of real-time transparency in this form, we decided to record the preferences of MPs who are whips or 1922 Committee officials or hold offices in the party which require them to be publicly neutral. Which is why we record higher numbers than our rivals. We verify those pledges directly even when campaigns assure us. Which is why when last night we hit 100 for Rishi, the Rishi campaign immediately confirmed to the media they had passed the threshold, despite other media organisations being well behind with their figures. We note with satisfaction that now some of those same media organisations are switching to quoting using our public plus private figures methodology.

Yesterday the site was visited three quarters of a million times, such was the demand for data.* This kind of transparency is now a fact of political life, the game has changed. Changed for the better…

*Team Rishi’s strategy of ignoring the website read by so much of the membership doesn’t bode well for their success if the contest goes to the membership.
mdi-timer 22 October 2022 @ 18:04 22 Oct 2022 @ 18:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi’s Ex-Spinner Joins Times with Gove

Given it was the only paper to endorse Rishi Sunak during the leadership election, this morning’s Times splash that MPs are now planning to try and install Rishi as PM in a Commons coup fails to disguise its yearning hope. It now appears the paper is providing career refuge to increasing numbers of Rishi’s supporters. Last night The Guardian confirmed the well-worn Westminster rumour that Michael Gove is entering the mini-Shard, albeit as a Times Radio presenter and columnist as opposed to the more glamorous vacancy of deputy editor. Rishi hasn’t given an interview for quite some time…

Guido can also reveal there may be another reason behind the paper’s wishful coverage of a Rishi leadership coup. The Times has recently hired a new leader writer. None other than Rishi’s former Chief of Staff, Liam Booth-Smith…

UPDATE:  Guido is told Liam is not on the staff, he’s freelancing. Presumably awaiting the call for the coup.

mdi-timer 14 October 2022 @ 10:52 14 Oct 2022 @ 10:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tony Gallagher Appointed Editor of The Times

“Dear all,

I am delighted to announce that Tony Gallagher is today appointed as editor of The Times.

Tony has a peerless record of leadership across Fleet St and, as deputy editor of The Times, he has shown tremendous skill, commitment and passion. I know he will approach the editorship with great energy and his dedication to journalism and exceptional storytelling will make him a great leader for the paper as it continues to evolve.

Tony joined The Times in 2020 as deputy editor and previously served as editor-in-chief of The Sun from 2015. He joined The Sun from the Daily Mail where he was deputy editor, and from 2009-2014 he was editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Tony and John Witherow, our newly appointed Chairman of Times Newspapers, will continue to report to me.”

Conservative gain…

mdi-timer 28 September 2022 @ 10:09 28 Sep 2022 @ 10:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
The Times Should Protect Their Partygate Sources

This morning The Times is claiming Sue Gray is in a huff with Guido. In both Steven Swinford and Oliver Wright’s big splash and in Little Read Box, it’s alleged that Gray is “very p*ssed off” with the attention she’s getting – and apparently Guido is public enemy number one:

That’s true, Sue Gray’s “friend” demonstrating once again how unfair it is to criticise civil servants who can’t answer back. Guido did publish that photo. Here it is again. Oddly enough, The Times seems to be glossing over the most crucial part of our coverage: the Queen’s Counsel advising Gray, Daniel Stilitz, is a card-carrying Labour member who tweeted dozens of partisan, anti-Boris posts over several years. The Times, which is closely covering the minutiae of the Gray report, is completely silent on the Stilitz issue. The Times hasn’t mentioned him once, yet The Times is very well sourced on the report. Always protect your sources is the first rule of journalism… 

In the very same building, Matt Chorley has dusted off his tinfoil hat once again to start tweeting about things he doesn’t understand and knows nothing about. Yesterday he claimed Guido’s Gray stories were coming from No.10, who’re “briefing against” Sue because they’re “panicking“. Presumably he missed the fact that Michael Crick actually tweeted about Sue Gray’s son, and her QC adviser, before it even appeared on Guido:

We apologise to Crick for not crediting him for the lead. Guido is always willing to help Matt when he’s confused, so he’s happy to explain Michael Crick doesn’t work for Downing Street…

mdi-timer 24 May 2022 @ 12:08 24 May 2022 @ 12:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Previous Page Next Page