This was blatant exaggeration. But, it seems, it was effectively an officially sanctioned story. That there was to be a “BBC Charter Review Advisory Group” had been made known to the Murdoch title by email two days before publication. Moreover, that email made clear that a Government advisor had already been in contact with the paper. This was picked up on yesterday by Jane Martinson at the Guardian.
The potentially incriminating email ((c) Guardian)
What of the article’s author? “Shipman, the political editor of the Sunday Times and author of the piece, categorically denied the special adviser leaked any details of the green paper. ‘I had two sources in Whitehall on that story and neither of them was Carrie Symonds,’ he said”. That’s a magnificently disingenuous reply.
Carrie Symonds. And a well-known buffoon
No accusation is being levelled at Master Cole. But it would give Shipman a source that he could say was not Ms Symonds. It is also interesting that one of the first news sources to go with the Sunday Times lead and run a piece on the BBC Charter Advisory Group was City AM. The month before the leaks, it was announced that this paper’s new editor was to be former IoD chief spinner Christian May.