The PR middleman, the Barclay brothers and the expenses scandal

Henry Gewanter, interviewed on Newsnight last night, is the middleman who was asked to field the MPs’ expenses data to news outlets, with strict conditions attached.

The newspapers were to publish the expenses of members of all parties but not to expose the identity of the source, even under threat of legal action.

Most of the newspapers approached were eager to obtain the data but sought to impose conditions that were unacceptable to Gewenter and the leak’s source. One paper wanted to use the data to destroy the Labour Party (if only) – a detail that has not been reported in British newspapers.

Gewanter said: “This was clearly the biggest exclusive that any journalist on any newspaper I’ve ever talked to would ever get,” Mr. Gewanter said. “And yet I still had to go to more than one newspaper. I was amazed at the lack of vision.”

Nadine Dorries postulated that neither Labour nor the Conservatives were sufficiently eurosceptic for the Barclay brothers who had a hidden agenda in publishing the expenses data. She wrote on her blog that the Telegraph “set upon a deliberate course to destabilize Parliament” by making members of both parties look bad, with the aim of benefiting far-right groups that want Britain to pull out of the EU”.

The Barclays’ lawyers are alleged to have demanded a retraction, causing Nadine to take her blog offline temporarily while she removed from it the offending bits. The lawyers described Nadine’s allegations as “absolutely untrue and highly libelous.”

Whether or not the allegations are true, the Telegraph has done the country a great service, allowing the scandal to flush out the troughers and herald a new dawn in politics. Potentially.

It remains to be seen whether or not Speaker Bercow will push for the needed changes and whether or not MPs, the ultimate deciders, will sanction such changes.

Their judgment of late has been little short of dire, so I don’t expect anything but the most superficial changes – and then, business as usual … until the next election, when we pass our judgment on them.



The island of Sark,
home of the Barclay Brothers.

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One Response to “The PR middleman, the Barclay brothers and the expenses scandal”

  1. mightybarc Says:

    The Barclay brothers are never slow to adopt anti-democratic tactics in all their dealings. Censorship, rule bending etc. – all part of their arsenal.

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