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Tuesday 9 April 2013

Gilligan Goes Goofing Again

After Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan penned his attack on the Hacked Off campaign a week and a half ago, they wrote to the Telegraph correcting a number of falsehoods and misrepresentations in the piece. Demonstrating that the paper is no more than a broadsheet version of the Mail, the reaction was to refuse to publish Hacked Off’s letter or make a correction, but to kick their target a bit harder.

Appearing in person, eh Andy?

So Gilligan has today gleefully written “Hacked Off: I am going to have such fun with these people”, in which he glories in the Telegraph refusing to do the right thing and sneers mockingly at his chosen victim. This tells us two things: one, that the Telegraph is bereft of the most basic of journalistic principles, and two, that Gilligan is more shameless than anyone thought.

Gilligan responds to just three of Hacked Off’s 12 points of contention, misleadingly asserting that someone who supports Hacked Off is “linked” to them (not formally they aren’t), that someone who Hacked Off say is not a director really is a director because he may once have been, and then says that James Curran must be Hacked Off’schief intellectual inspiration” because they read one of his books.

After that, Gilligan says “all their claims [bar one] are untrue or misleading”, or in other words “trust me, I’m right and they’re wrong”. Then he repeats his porkie from the other day about someone allegedly perjuring themselves before the Leveson Inquiry (to which Gilligan wasn’t invited, not that he’s sore as hell about that) before threatening to give them a bit more at a time of his choosing.

Now, one hates to rain on Andy’s parade, but the idea that anyone in possession of their faculties should put their trust in a peddler of selective dishonesty like Gilligan is just coming it. Take, for starters, the complete hash he made of his attack on the Police and Crime Commissioner campaign of Mervyn Barrett, where he was conned rotten by a career fraudster called Matthew Brown.

Gilligan also has form for inventing stories about Muslims, such as his allegation that a case of child abuse was linked to an East London Mosque. It wasn’t, and the Telegraph ended up pulling the story, but not before it had been widely disseminated. His greatest claim to fame, though, was when he dropped the BBC in the mire over assertions about the presentation of pre-war Iraq intelligence.

When the Hutton Inquiry considered his role, it emerged that Gilligan had been contacting Select Committee members to put pressure on weapons expert David Kelly (that was in addition to his notes being incomplete following that transcription error). The blame for Kelly’s subsequent apparent suicide usually gets dumped on Tone’s former spinner Alastair Campbell, but Gilligan was there first.

That’s why Andrew Gilligan cannot be trusted any further than he can be chucked.

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