Thursday, January 05, 2006
Knifing Charles: Was this Daisy McAndrew's First Scoop?
Daisy McAndrew (nee Sampson) joined ITN a few months ago from the BBC, where she had been hosting the Daily Politics Show with Andrew Neil. Before that she spent a couple of years as Charles Kennedy's Press Secretary. Today, Daisy McAndrew wielded the knife. She handed his private office a dossier early this afternoon and within an hour it was announced Kennedy would be making a personal statement. Shortly afterwards 5 Live's John Pienaar reported that 11 LibDem Shadow Cabinet members had signed a letter of no confidence, which in typical LibDem fashion, they wimped out of sending. It seems that Hughes, Oaten and Campbell had all declined to sign it. Three Portillo's in the making? At 6pm Kennedy admitted in a very dignified manner that he had a drinking problem and put in train the process for a leadership election.
Lembit Opik has appeared denying that Kennedy had lied about his drinking problem and said he was courageous for admitting to it now. The fact is, of course, that Kennedy wouldn't have said anything had he not been forced into it by Daisy McAndrew.
And of McAndrew herself? At no point during her report did she mention the fact that she used to work for Kennedy. She should have. I hope there aren't too many mirrors for her to look into when she gets home tonight.
I understand that Daisy's bosses at ITN News (as we must now call it) were none too pleased that within a few months of her joining them she announced she was pregnant. No doubt this scoop - which it undoubtedly is - will put her back in their good books. So all's well that ends well. I don't write this lightly as I like Daisy and have always got on well with her.
I'll post some more about the likely runners and riders later when I have had a chance to tap some of my LibDem sources.