Published on 22 Apr 2010

How did Murdoch get into The Indy’s inner sanctum?

One puzzle about James Murdoch and Rebekah Wade bursting into the Independent editor Simon Kellner’s office yesterday to berate him for his campaign saying Rupert Murdoch wasn’t going to dictate this election and The Indy is free from proprietorial influence…

How did they get into the Indy inner sanctum without passing their security?

I may have the answer. You can very easily get into the Indy’s offices if you are already paying a visit to the Daily Mail offices that share the block. I haven’t managed to stand up that there was a meeting between Paul Dacre and the Murdoch delegation yesterday but it would be intriguing and very unusual if there was.

There is a certain theme, it has to be said, to the onslaught on Nick Clegg in the Mail, Sun (and Telegraph). You might even say a certain degree of overkill.

Nick Clegg just said he must be the only politician to have gone from Churchill to a Nazi in one week flat. Tonight, of course, Nick Clegg walks into a Murdoch organised event – the Sky debate. The dynasty will be represented at a posh “do” to celebrate this coup.

Meanwhile in the Tory camp there are claims that it was ex-Murdoch editor Andy Coulson who was too keen to please his ex employers and didn’t grip the debate negotiations and Clegg’s equal prominence by the throat.

Tory strategists seem relaxed about Gordon Brown’s plans to sail a flotilla of ships from Spain into Bristol harbour as a curtain-raiser to tonight’s debate. Only joking.

By the way, interesting interview in The Independent with Nick Clegg in which he says AV isn’t enough to win him over to supporting Labour in government – it would have to be AV+. He also says he wouldn’t shove Gordon Brown out as part of a deal to share with power.

And an interesting interview in The Times with David Cameron. Asked if he would enter into some sort of arrangement with the Liberal Democrats in a hung parliament he says “we have to behave responsibly, make sure that we have a working government of this country and things get done”.

The Times editor and political editor report David Cameron as having “brittle moments… decidedly short and suddenly uncharming.”

Update: Associated Newspapers have asked me to point out that James Murdoch and Rebekah Wade did get through to Kellner’s office from the Mail offices but insist that there was no meeting with Paul Dacre, they were meeting Lord Rothermere and Kevin Beatty to discuss digital projects.

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9 reader comments

  1. ChrisB says:

    After the election, the backlash against the right-wing press will start, and it’ll be a lot heavier than what they’re throwing at Clegg now.

    People are sick to death of being told what to do by Murdoch/Dacre and as the story you’ve told emerges about how the Clegg backlash started, it will inevitably lead to much harder lines being drawn between the papers.

    I think it might be time to rid ourselves of Murdoch, it doesn’t suit the UK to have a lying foreign dictator at the heart of our media. The key is to persuade those around you to give up Sky.

    1. adrian clarke says:

      So Clegg is not now open to scrutiny??? Wasn’t that how Hitler started ?? I have not seen ,yet, any comment that the press made up any story .Infact the opposite , that they are all true but their is an explanation .Didn’t every MP embroiled in the expenses saga have an explanation???I do not subscribe to sky but it brings a lot of people enjoyment .I see that you want to be like big brother Labour and tell people what to do.

  2. Jennie says:

    My previously apolitical 20 year old son called me today, and mentioned that he is now determined to vote LibDem, just because of Murdoch’s antics. A straw in the wind?

  3. Konnolsky says:

    This story is not affect fantastic boost for Clogg poll ratings in Smolensk since we are learn he descend from Russian aristocrats. Mad Dmitri, who dress like 19th Century Hussar and wash hair in canal, is launch Clogg for Tsar Party. Putin has brutally (and rightly) suppressed this, though he keen on Clogg Trident policy.
    But since our first poll in my Smolensk butcher’s shop last week, there is extraordinary rise in Clogg approval.
    8% pro Clogg (+4) and would like him as Tsar
    3% still prefer Brown (nc) despite him smile like Bond villain
    2% think SamCam yummy mummy (nc)
    86% (nc) don’t understand question
    1% walk out of shop

    1. the-Richard-of-Nottingham says:

      Another wonderful post Konnolsky. For some reason C4 seem to keep blocking my replies to your observations. So I’m going to have to write to you in English.

      It’s always interesting to get intelligent input, especially from overseas. And your observations are brilliant. Keep them coming.

      Me want vote Boris. Good name !!

      A fan.

  4. Y.S. says:

    This could be the last election where certain papers are used by their owner for political ends.
    Cant see many newspapers will be around the next election.

    1. adrian clarke says:

      YS i bet you also predict a Liberal government

  5. Simon Pardoe says:

    You said on C4N this evening that the debate would get fewer viewers by being on Sky. Why not mention it was on BBC News 24 and therefore available to all? Please start post-debate questions about Sky giving endless long shots of Cameron with slow zoom in to make him look presidential, while Clegg was shown for only seconds every time before being cut to audience or side shots. Someone needs to add up the timing – I watched it with an experienced film producer who identified it every time. Can they get away with it? Thought Brown did well.

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