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
Burns Claims Boris Denies Birthday Cake

Following his excellent Channel 4 interview quote that the PM hadn’t been celebrating his birthday during the first lockdown, he’d been ambushed by cake, Conor Burns has made cake headlines anew via Chopper’s podcast. The MP and close Boris confidant now claims the PM has personally denied there ever being a cake in the first place. 

As ITV’s Paul Brand says, Downing Street never denied when pressed for comment on the original story…

This latest claim, whilst again Thick-Of-It-esque, is a sideshow compared to the real issue – the story wasn’t remotely a new revelation when published by ITV on Monday evening. It’s now been pointed out the story was first reported like-for-like in The Times way back in June 2020. At the actual height of the pandemic…

Bizarrely, after the ITV story emerged on Monday, the Times – with Oliver Wright again as the by-line – re-wrote the story claiming the broadcaster was the one to have revealed it…

At the time no one blinked an eye. The Times didn’t think of it remotely as a scandal, merely throwing it in a long read as some passing colour. Yet this week the Lobby, the opposition and certain agitated government backbenchers have been hyping it up as the final nail in the coffin of the Prime Minister. If Boris survives this circus, Guido’s sure Tory MPs – if not most of Westminster as a whole – will reflect that perhaps things all got rather absurd…

mdi-timer 28 January 2022 @ 09:25 28 Jan 2022 @ 09:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Albanian Ambassador Slams Times over Inaccurate Migrant Splash, Says Tom Newton Dunn Lacks “Professionalism”

It seems The Times has done little to foster happy relations between the UK and Albania after splashing plans this morning to process illegal migrants in the country. In a complaint letter sent in full to Guido, the country’s ambassador, Qirjako Qirko, slams the paper, rejecting “all the claims included in it” and confirming “there are no bilateral talks between the Albanian and British Government’s officials regarding processing centres for illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel.”

He also goes in for the piece’s author, Tom Newton Dunn, personally:

“I would like to bring to the reader’s attention the fact that during a brief phone conversation that I had yesterday with Mr Tom Newton Dunn, the journalist that wrote the article, I explicitly underlined that the Albanian Government will never agree to opening of such processing centres for illegal immigrants as this is an act that violates the International Law. I am really disappointed that he has failed to mention that in his article. This reflects a lack of professionalism and biasness.”

Among the article’s errors, Albania’s foreign minister Olta Xhaçka had to point out Newton Dunn had also got her sex wrong:

Unfortunately Priti and her Home Office advisors currently appear to be asleep in the US. Should be a fun one to wake up to…

Read the furious complaint letter in full below:

Read More

mdi-timer 18 November 2021 @ 12:20 18 Nov 2021 @ 12:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Times Inexplicably Confuses John Sentamu with Desmond Tutu

Today’s edition of The Times features an unexpected revelation about Desmond Tutu, particularly for the citizens of York. According to a letter sent in by Reverends Alan Wilson and Canon Rosie Harper (the Bishop of Buckingham and his chaplain), Tutu is in fact the former Archbishop of York – which should come as a bit of a surprise to John Sentamu, who actually held that post from 2005 to 2020. In a letter to the editor, Wilson and Harper write:

“Sir, the bishops in the House of Lords who have chosen to speak against the Assisted Dying Bill do not represent the only Christian view. George Carey and Desmond Tutu, the former archbishops of Canterbury and York, are for assisted dying, and hold an equally Christian position…”

The Times tells Guido that it wasn’t an error on the part of the letter’s signatories

The error re Desmond Tutu was mistakenly added in the editing process and was not written by the original authors of the letter. We can only apologise for this, and will be publishing a correction in tomorrow’s paper.

Kind regards,

Times Letters

What is the mental process that messed up the transcription?

mdi-timer 21 October 2021 @ 15:22 21 Oct 2021 @ 15:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Newsnight Breaches BBC Guidelines Again By Failing to Declare former ‘Electoral Commissioner’ Was Also Former LibDem MP

Newsnight interviewed former electoral commissioner and Cambridge law professor David Howarth to discuss the ongoing flat-gate scandal, during which he claimed “this is not a trivial matter, or just a convention“, and that “it’s about transparency and openness“. Wise words indeed from the professor…

Ironically, it seems Newnight had little interest in “transparency and openness” because at no point did the interviewer, Lewis Goodall, disclose that David Howarth is a former LibDem MP, having sat in Parliament for five years (2005-10) and previously served as both the Leader of Cambridge City Council, and as a member of the Lib Dem Federal Policy Committee. Hardly trivial background details, given the topic he was invited to discuss was party political and BBC guidelines state that viewers should be informed of party affiliations…

mdi-timer 29 April 2021 @ 10:39 29 Apr 2021 @ 10:39 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tom Whipple’s Vaccine Revelation

Just four days ago, The Times’ science editor attacked the Mail on Sunday’s story that NHS staff are set to get a Covid vaccine “in weeks”, claiming that “if anyone *actually* knew how well the trials were going then they would have broken blinding protocols. So either the story is not “dramatic evidence of covid breakthrough”, or it’s a major scandal”. Guido was surprised, therefore, to see The Times splashing with a scoop this morning from Tom claiming “Scientists hope for vaccine by Christmas”Scandalous, Tom, no one *actually* knows how well the vaccine trials are going…

mdi-timer 29 October 2020 @ 09:51 29 Oct 2020 @ 09:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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