Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What Part of "Before" Does the Telegraph Not Understand?


This is the sort of thing which gets newspapers a bad name. The Telegraph is saying that Sir Alan Haselhurst only said he'd pay the money back after Simon Heffer threatened to stand against him. The trouble is, it's a lie, as I exposed last night. Sir Alan sent out a press release yesterday morning to his local papers saying the money would be paid back. Heffer only announced his move late last night, not even knowing of Sir Alan's announcement. And yet the Telegraph is still trying to pretend otherwise.

The Telegraph story doesn't have a byline. I'm not surprised. No journalist with a reputation to think of would agree to have their name associated with such a distortion of the sequence of events.

UPDATE 4.30pm: Strangely, the wording has now changed. Spot the difference!

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

The article says after pressure was put on. Not after publication.

I would not mind a wager that Haselhurst was contacted for his response long before the paper went to press.

CommonDog said...

It never ceases to amaze me that having put so much effort into producing some exceptional reporting even serious journalists / newspapers can't help but ruin it with some good old tabloid crap. It is disheartening as it destroys the reputation and trust in what has previously been reported. This is no time to drop standards!

Iain Dale said...

The first Alan Haselhurst knew of the Heffer stunt was at around 9pm last night. That is not my opinion, it is a statement of fact.

Nigel Allery said...

Is it possible Iain that DT spoke to AH, before going to print? Then he got his cheque book out.

Anonymous said...

Par for the course with The Telegraph, these days.

Hubert said...

Telegraph runs story after it was exposed as false! Normal activity by today's infotainment industry surely?

Michaela said...

I can corroborate Iain's version of events. I also hope that his own intervention here (reported on Sky News's Peter Spencer last night and appearing in my Comment yesterday at 10.14pm)confirms the correct sequence of events. This is a non (s)tory and wouldn't happen were BB in town this week

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

That's a shame. The good name of MPs appears to be permanently tarnished now...

Iain Dale said...

Nigel, I refer you to my comment above. It didn't happen.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Have to wholeheartedly agree on this.

Tacky journalism - gravy granules from the sick simulator. Heffalump now looks like a deflated bladder on the end of a Court Jester's nob.

David Haselhurst said...

I can confirm Iain's comments.

The Telegraph is flat out lying.

Simon The Bluesman said...

We seem to be taking our eye of the ball. I recommend you read Richard Littlejohn's column from yesterday. He pulls no punches regarding who he thinks are the criminals - and he's right on cue. Here's the link:

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/debate/article-1187508/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-If-caught-stealing-work-wed-arrested-So-Alistair-Darling.html

Catosays said...

How do you know it's a statement of fact? Are you a first hand witness or are you repeating what you've been told?

St Crispin said...

so had the 12k actually cleared both banks before the editor made his power play? Will be paid, and paid, are completly different things.

Plato said...

Simon Heffer is a stuffed shirt - this stunt is simply that = puff piece for his scrapbook.

And why is he picking on this Tory MP?

It makes no sense to me all.

And if the DT are pleased to be outing bed-blockers - imagine what sort of vile, opinionated, vain grandee Heffer would make.

Michaela said...

I can corroborate but my previous post hasn't been added

??

Paul J said...

Is it possible that Sir Alan simply got wind of the story and acted to pre-empt it? These things may be written a day or two in advance.

If what you're saying is correct though, then it's pretty shabby journalism.

Anonymous said...

For sometime i have wondered why i bother with the DT and this is just ridiculous. I have just deleted the DT from my favourites and will go elsewhere for free news!

Jazzmonkey said...

Agree with you Iain & CommonDog. This whole fiasco is a big enough mess, without the Telegraph needing to score cheap points. There's more than enough in the facts to keep the papers full !!!

Half The Story said...

WHERE IS THE ED BALLS AND YVETTE COOPER EXPOSE.

Ed "Two wreaths are better than one" Balls needs to be exposed.

Lewis get that mic out of your face and stop sheltering your pal.

Swiss Bob said...

Honesty from journalists and politicians?

The Cabinet: Who’s who of Thieves.

A few prosecutions might improve things.

Anonymous said...

Watch out Iain, they might take your blog down next! ;)

robonly said...

Simon Heffer is a pompous stuffed shirt, who is perfect for the publication. I could say something else about his employers (see Private Eye) but Iain wouldn't like it...

Osama the Nazarene said...

As with your previous item re Julie Kirkbride where you exposed the mover of the petition to remove her as a member of Respect. So a light should also be shone upon the Barclay Brothers. The Telegraph's owners, of course, have their own agenda and this is evidenced by their choice of timing in exposing the moral turpitude of our MPs. We can expect a real block buster expose on the 3rd or 4th and UKIP are and will be the main beneficiaries of these exposures.

Perhaps Mr Heffer holds a candle for UKIP as well?

Ronzer said...

Well they did change it to 'amid' but seem to have changed it back to 'after'! I swear I'm not making this up. Astounding!

Alex said...

Iain, in all fairness I don't think you have a point.

Mr. Heffer could equally ask what part of "Mr Heffer had already been canvassing opinion in the constituency for some days when the MP announced yesterday that he was repaying the money." do you not understand?

I thought you were former colleagues if not best mates, then at least not on bitching terms?

Anonymous said...

Never mind Iain, your good friend Dolly just said this:

come an election, it will be "almost impossible for Labour to win".http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/27/hay-festival-derek-draper?commentpage=1

JERRY HAYES said...

Alan emailed me before lunch yesterday, 26th May, to tell me that he was making a statement to the press about repaying the £12k.The Telegraph's story is just not true. Worthy of Damian McBride. Will they or Heffer apologise? Will they hell.

Harri said...

Giving the press a bad name!

My god in my humble opinion the MSM have been just a tad complicit over many years, the not so relevations given out by the Telegraph is just the tip of the iceberg, all the MSM have known about not only the pure unadulterated corruption which has been an infestation in the corrupt houses of Parliament, but no doubt know a considerable amount more than they have been telling the oiks and plebs over many years.

The MSM just like the Houses of Westmonster have been an old boys club for decades.

Even after all these revelations, bugger all will change in the MSM or the houses of Westmonster. the BBC will continue to be the Labour Pravda and the rest will pretend to be all high and mighty whilst still having there palms crossed with silver snippets of complete waffle and bullcrap from Drowning Street, and so it goes on.

So who cares... Before , After now is not the time to go all pedantic on us. hopefully the crooked corrupt political elite are drowning after all, good now lets all finish the job and put them and us out of all the misery of their making.
They have all lain down with dogs so let them all catch the fleas.

Anand said...

Wonder if any MSM interviewer has the balls to ask the PM if he charges his Sky Sports subscription to the taxpayer!

I bet he did, does and will continue to do so...

bob melton said...

Words changed on the Telegraph story almost as I was reading it. Weaselly behaviour.

Ben said...

I stopped reading the Telegraph last year. The quality of journalism and comment has simply descended into the depths!

Na na na na na said...

That'll make the Telegraph regret cancelling his column.

Paul Halsall said...

You have to admit, the more this has gone on over the past few days, the more Nadine looks right.

Even the Minister's using accountants story, which may be correct as regards them expensing as office expenses it, gets mixed up with a claim that they were claiming it as a deduction on a tax return.

I think someone should publish the records of the loonies from Sark.

Anonymous said...

I am hearing more & more about the Telegraph getting things wrong. It makes me think that the harsh spotlight that we are shining on MPs should be shone on journos too. After all, they wield vast power in our democracy - why shouldn't we have the right to examine what they do, what their financial interests are? I think we'd find some interesting things.

The Purpleline said...

Not sure if this is a symptom of overkill by the Telegraph, I believe they are now becoming very disruptive in the continuous drip- drip of MP’s expenses.

We get the message and we know the score, now the people will decide as a democratic right through the ballot box.

I have stopped buying the Telegraph as a matter of principle.

I would rather they exercise their displeasure with the MP’s by engaging their investigative journalists on exposing Brown’s corrupt fiscal policies and his behaviour while in the Treasury. The awarding of financial contracts to Goldman Sachs, without competition or even a tender process.

The Purpleline

Will S said...

I think people should be encouraged not to read the Telegraph. They've been dreadful even before the expenses stuff came out.

Move to The Times.

Anonymous said...

If the Liebourgraph is lying maybe someone should call in Carter Ruck

Or will that just look like tit-for-tat for Nadine?

English First said...

Bad journalism perhaps.

BUT Haselhurst remains guilty. He must be severely punished!

Along with the other 600 odd of course!

Anonymous said...

One thing about journalists, that Stephen Fry seemed to miss, is that their expenses money isn't our money being wasted.

To take the pressure of MPs (and anybody working for the state [inc. BBC]) in favour of hacks wasting the money of pornographers, crazies from Sark or an Aussie billionaire, is just mad.

robonly said...

You should read what private Eye prints about the DT, you'd be amaxed. The sports desk takes agency copy and then makes up a fictional name as a byline...

Andrew said...

Have you noticed that the Telegraph won't let you comment on these stories? Are they afraid of people pointing out the inaccuracies in their reporting? Although some MPs have a lot to answer for, most don't, and it is unfair that the Telegraph is treating them all alike. Maybe in the interests of transparency the Messrs Barclay will publish the expenses claims of Telegraph journalists. Just a thought...

JERRY HAYES said...

Sorry to be a pedant, but have just checked my emails and Alan's one to me saying he was repaying the money and announcing it in the press was 26th May at 9.33am.

Thats News said...

Dave gets tough on Julie, The unions get tough on Gordon, Jack gets tough on defendants. Yes it’s the Thats News Wednesday Afternoon update

Anonymous said...

the Tories don't like it up 'em !!

Stepney said...

What do you expect from Heffer, the man gave financial support to Neil Hamitlon for God's sake?

He now sees himself as bestride the world like a Colossuss bathed in the light of the moral dawn.

My arse. The man has never been anything other than a carping, whining windbag. One of Fleet Street's worst inventions. A grumpy old git who has fooled a generation that opinion is journalism.

The Grim Reaper said...

I'd be careful if I was you, Iain. We all know that the Telegraph newspapers don't like being criticised. Just ask Nadine Dorries.

If your blog disappears, we'll know why.

Thats News said...

As I feared, The Telegraph story is starting to creak a little.

The panic will set in when the first writ hits them.

Paul said...

Now the Daily Mail is saying that Simon Heffer has scared him into repaying the £12K

..Silicon Implant!! said...

Nah... don't buy it. If I lived in Alan Haslehurst's constituency, Heffer is somebody who I'd ordinarily crawl over broken glass to avoid voting for, although in the extant circumstances I'd be prepared to hold my nose and vote for him in order to send a message, but assuming he had been in the constituency talking to Tory activists and discovering whether he had any support for standing against the incumbent, which he may or may not have been, it is reasonable to assume that Haslehurst knew exactly what was coming (and when) and acted to pre-empt it at the most politically opportune moment for himself.

Had he acted to repay the cash a couple of weeks ago, his sudden decision to announce a £12,000 payback would have seemed more like honest contrition. Although it would have been infinitely better not to have claimed it in the first place, obviously. Heffer & the Telegraph are only being disingenuous (rather than Heffer merely being a smug tool, which is a given) if you believe in amazing coincidence.

Do you have any evidence that Sir Alan Haslehurst knew nothing about Simon Heffer's intentions before 9pm last night? The question isn't 'When was he told by the Telegraph/Heffer that he was going to stand against you if you didn't repay the £12,000?' but 'When did you become aware that Simon Heffer was canvassing opinion and considering pulling this stunt?'

trevorsden said...

Its sad to see the Telegraph descending into a bunch of opportunistic liars.

You will not see me buying it again. The story is an important one, the truth is important. But the telegraph twisting and publishing it to suit its own agenda is not acceptable to me. I also note that the Telegraph is not allowing comments - its cowardly. But no doubt its making money.

I am pleased that many Tories are resigning - I have no problem with MPs who have made scurrilous claims being booted out - they have stumbled into a mess and must pay the price. But the way the DT has behaved and the news that its editor is pally with the odious Balls is too much for me.

Anonymous said...

That rewording wasn't the Telegraph's first effort. The first edit was from "after" to "amid".

Great thing, this new media lark.

Glyn H said...

Glad to be reminded that Heffer gave money to Hamilton at Tatton. Good for him. Hamilton was turned over in every possible way and nobody could prove he took any cash from the phoney Pharaoh. No cash, no banking, no expenditure not shown on bank/card statements etc. He was set up by Fayed who was annoyed at his troughing at the hotel and not getting his passport – unlike the Hinduja’s under Labour.

Hamilton was then singled out by Campbell who stage-managed the whole Bell farce.

Look now and say that the Tories were sleazy. Their dishonesty was and is over Europe! What we have now is an outrage – and defending Kirkbride won’t wash. She was exploiting the allowances for all they were worth and should go, so that ‘we’ don’t lose the seat. Food if you please; don’t they eat at home? Petty cash at £250 a month. Tax free! Accountancy paid for their personal tax? Its really is outrageous. There is no credibility for the incumbent members to sort this. And £65,000 is plenty enough for an MP, that’s nearly three times the average UK income. And return to rental only for London flats for country MPs. If you want a house in Lord North Street, pay for it yourself. A successful man might well afford such a house. And we should want successful men. Not failed poly lecturers.

David HASELHURST said...

I'll try again.

Sir Alan knew nothing about Heffer's intentions until he announced it last night.

He had ALREADY agreed to pay back the money, the press release having gone out that MORNING.

Consider this as coming from a well-placed source. The clue is in the name.

The Telegraph is LYING.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Heffer is a bigotted arse who, is always behind the curve. I get the DT daily but never read anything he writes,when I did it, had little relevance and even less sense. Vote for Heffer? oh please lets stop being silly...

The Purpleline said...

David, is the clue David, I claim my five pounds. only joshing.

JERRY HAYES said...

I've attempted to put the record straight on the Telegraph website; twice. You will be shocked to hear that they have not appeared! So much for them being the bastion of our freedoms and British way of life. What a shower.

Flemingcrag said...

I have long been calling the Telegraph the "Labourgraph" and I have seen nothing in the way they are orchestrating their Expensegate exposees to change my opinion, rather the reverse.

As the Irish comic Frank Carson used to put it; "it's the way I tell em".

Polticians in the most rapacious way have been using Taxpayers' monies to build substantial property portfolios and cementing maximum profit from these capital ventures by the most blatant tax avoidance scheme imaginable; Flipping the designation of main and second home addresses enough times to make one dizzy.

The Labourgraph by careful news management have made sure that many rejected expense claims dominate the headlines offering cover to the most serios offences, eg;
.The duck island
.The moat cleaning
.The trouser press

This is no accident this is the result of managing the news to an agenda....

Anonymous said...

Heffer is an arrogant, self-important, puffed-up, self-righteous prig.

FWIW, I am conservative, with a small c, not affiliated to any party and not predisposed to find this man odious and pompous beyond belief.

His recent comments on Obama's commencement speech reveal him for the small-minded bigot that he is.

Who could be surprised at Telegraph lies now? If they're so quick to disallow benefit of the doubt to others they cannot expect it themselves. This one deserves to die by the sword. A sharp prick to let the air out will suffice. He will then fly around the room, loudly.

Andrew said...

I see that the Daily Mail has swallowed the Telegraph line. Maybe the next Parliament ought to investigate the Fourth Estate.

Joe public said...

The actual point is that if he hadn't 'fiddled', there'd be no need to pay anything back.

Anonymous said...

The Telegraph are shameful here. shocked.

Iain, take a look at TrueBlueBlood tonight---you seen the Cameron article?

An Iain Fan said...

***Typo from Mr Dale, wondering? wandering? Done in a hurry.
Sorry I missed the broadcast,spent the time watching MAN U losing to BARCO, in-tween reading posters on CONSERVATIVEHOME, re the Kirkbride saga.You were attacked in one,calling you the KEN BARLOW of Bloggers, I went on the defense of you under the Nom-de-Guerre "The Headmaster" Just send the money in a plain brown envelope MARKED EXPENSES

Very Bitter Taxpayer said...

RE The DT's list of Shame,My local MP invoices for London Flat, agreed as the train service is diabolical,and his attendance at work cannot be faulted, however his claim for £400 per month for food, and £299.99 for a TV £87.98 for a DVD
excluding £599 for two sofa's which may or may not be for a rental flat, leaves me with the question ! As an OAP still having to work part time and not spending £400 per month on food, and purchasing my own TV (combined with DVD player, not plasma)Am I not led to feel bitter and support none of the above. Who the Hell can I trust.

Gasman said...

My comment at the Telegraph regarding Simon Heffer standing as an MP is awaiting moderation - still.

I merely wanted to know if he would publish his salary & expenses from the Telegraph. After all, journalists do have a reputation of creative expenses. We would not want that carried on into Parliament would we?