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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