Yes, "Oiky", they've shopped YOU
“Asked if he thought the Queen would be pleased to see him when he next had an audience with her, he replied: ‘I don’t know. I wouldn’t speculate on a matter like that’ … Sources close to Gove said: ‘Michael did not brief this story’ … His spokesman had previously insisted: ‘We don’t comment on private conversations with the Queen’”. “Did not brief?” That’s just more evasion, another get-out clause.
Gove had the opportunity to say it wasn’t him, full stop, no conditional statement, end of story. He did not, because, as I said on Thursday, he was the Sun’s source, and, all too predictably for that paper, its only source. He trusted the Murdoch press - he spent so many years working for it, of course - and they dropped him in it. How that happened is easy to demonstrate from the original Sun splash.
That story told readers that the Queen had made her comments to then deputy MP Nick Clegg at a Windsor Castle lunch. That was where the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn made his fatal mistake: there was only one such event during the last Parliament. And the leaker must have been one of the others at that lunch, two of whom were Lib Dems and unlikely to spill the beans to the Sun.
This left Cheryl Gillan - also unlikely - and Gove. Yes, “Oiky” had trusted the Sun and its supposedly capable political editor with his secret and Newton Dunn bungled, making it very easy to figure out who his source was. And it got worse still: in the aftermath, his editor Tony Gallagher gave an interview to ITV’s Robert Peston where he suggested the leak may have been from a Privy Councillor.
Gallagher then claimed firmly that his paper would not reveal its source, but the reality was that the combined ineptitude of Newton Dunn and himself had done just that. The Sun’s editor claimed that there were some who wanted to take Gove out of the Out campaign. This is possible. But if anyone has taken him out of that campaign, we need look no further than Gallagher and his political editor for the culprit.
They shopped Gove, but were too stupid to realise it. And now their source is well and truly stuffed. Behold the crème de la crème of Murdoch journalism.