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Sunday 29 May 2011

Guido Fawked – The Missing Sunday Story

Sunday dawns, but something is missing: the expected splashing of a signed confession from Chris Huhne’s ex-wife Vicky Pryce across one or more of the papers. Ms Pryce, it is claimed, took the points for a speeding offence when Huhne was the one at the wheel.

The only stories put out today are at the fringe of the affair: the Mail is in nudge-nudge mode, telling that Huhne “failed to answer detailed questions” when interviewed by Police last week, and otherwise is left haggling over the supposed eleven minute difference between when the car was caught speeding, and when the paper asserts was the earliest that Ms Pryce could have been there.

Meanwhile, the Independent tells that Essex police will this week send a file on the affair to prosecutors. Perhaps the decision will come down to Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). But the absence of the anticipated splash today suggests that the prospect of Huhne being prosecuted is by no means certain.

Should Huhne not be prosecuted, there will be right leaning hacks and pundits who will be disappointed that this hate figure has survived, but these things happen, and they will doubtless find new targets in time. But for Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole at the Guido Fawkes blog, who as I noted last week have effectively bet the house on getting Huhne, it could be a serious drawback.

Only last Thursday, the Fawkes blog told its readersSources: Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday have ‘confession’”, but today, confession splashing has been conspicuously absent. The following day, readers were toldWe might see this on Sunday”, but despite the eager anticipation, very little has been seen.

This suggests that the standard of information reaching Staines and Cole is not particularly reliable – or that they are falling into the trap of believing what they are told because they want to believe it. The wildly inaccurate story put out by the Fawkes blog about a meeting in Huhne’s Eastleigh constituency last week, debunked by Mark Pack at Lib Dem Voice (plus follow-up) suggests the latter.

If Huhne survives, the credibility of the Fawkes blog will be in tatters, and its supposed ability to bring down politicians exposed as a sham. Unless the DPP decides to prosecute, Staines and Cole will be well and truly stuffed.

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