Tony Gallagher - knows all about threatening people
So what’s the story? “JEREMY Corbyn’s top aide was suspended last night over footage of him admitting he was tempted to beat up a former Labour bigwig. The Sun played the party a video of Andrew Fisher saying he was tempted to ‘thump’ ex-cabinet minister James Purnell for not being left-wing enough. He was filmed saying ‘It took every sinew of my self-discipline not to thump him’ over his views on welfare reform”.
Yes, he does. A lot
Note, however, that no evidence of any actual threat was provided by the Sun, although this has been creatively asserted by the paper’s editor Tony Gallagher. And leaving aside what Fisher may or may not have done, the idea of Gallagher and Master Cole sitting in judgment on a complaint of physical intimidation is the most rank of hypocrisy.
Gallagher, who has taken to Twitter to boast “Purely a coincidence but #AndrewFisher was suspended today right after we put damaging allegations to the Labour Party … I guess threatening to punch a former Cabinet member - on camera - is not a good look” [Fisher had not, in fact, threatened anyone] is bang to rights.
As Private Eye observed in the aftermath of the Saatchi and Nigella bust-up, “When Tony Gallagher raised his fist to a female journalist in 2007 and threatened to ‘smear you all over that wall’ unless she wrote a story he was demanding, she was quietly paid off to the tune of £100,000 to avoid any scandal. And when, in 2011, the Review section editor Tom Horan was arrested after knocking his mistress (a subordinate at the paper) to the ground during a violent row at Victoria station, Gallagher not only declined to take any disciplinary action against him but also intervened to ensure that no details of the incident appeared in rival newspapers”. He’s got no room to come over all righteous.
So what of Master Cole? The Sun’s newest non-journalist, who Tweeted “Suspended Corbyn aide confessed to violent fantasies about beating up a cabinet minister for not being lefty enough” [the last part of that he made up], is also standing in an awfully draughty glasshouse right now.
Who's your pal at top right, Master Cole?
Master Cole took part in the Fawkes rabble’s barging into a Ken Livingstone photo-op outside London Bridge station, during which a camerawoman was knocked to the ground. He has called up Zelo Street to make threats (the second of these was followed by an email which has been retained). His pals include Mark Clarke of Tory bullying infamy.