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Monday, 14 March 2016

Newton Dunn Victim’s Sweet Revenge

The Sun’s non-bullying political editor may want the world to know that he is “perfectly happy” as an inmate of the Baby Shard bunker, but the fact remains that he was considered at length for the role of BBC Newsnight political editor and turned down for a variety of reasons, not least that Ian Katz would rather have had someone else, and that there were concerns voiced about his past treatment of younger staff.
Yes Tom, SHE got a TV job, and you didn't

Indeed, as the Guardian’s Roy Greenslade has reported, during the trail of one now former Sun journalist, who found herself shopped by the Murdoch mafia in the hope that the cops might stop sniffing around their patch, “she told of there having been a poisonous atmosphere within the Sun’s Westminster team and that she had been bullied by the paper’s political editor, Tom Newton Dunn”.

That journalist was Clodagh Hartley, and research by Tom Watson, who is now Labour’s deputy leader, suggested that her complaint about Newton Dunn’s less than totally professional workplace deportment ended up getting him a final written warning, which, given the standard of behaviour routinely exhibited by Murdoch hacks, suggests something seriously unpleasant had been going on.

Greenslade then makes the rather obvious observation that “There was never any question of her returning to work at the Sun”, and that “She agreed severance terms from the Sun only recently”. So what is she doing now? Well, the answer is, rather well right now, as Clodagh Higginson, to give her current married name, has just been appointed to the kind of job on which her former tormentor missed out.

And she might have more viewers to cater for that anyone at Newsnight: “Clodagh Higginson, the Sun’s former Whitehall editor, has been appointed as political correspondent of ITV’s breakfast show, Good Morning Britain”. GMB editor Neil Thompson explained “she won’t just be content with explaining the affairs of state to our viewers, she’ll also be bringing in genuine political scoops”.

Greenslade demonstrates in one the kind of scoops Thompson means, while showing what the Sun lost: “One major scoop, for which she never received any accolades, was obtaining the Hutton Report in advance of its publication in 2004 … Although the story … was written by the paper’s associate editor, Trevor Kavanagh - earning the Sun several awards - it was Higginson who managed to lay her hands on the document. Her key role was not revealed at the time”. So that’ll be ITV 1, Sun 0, then.

Although I doubt Ms Higginson will dwell on the thought, this is very much a case of what goes around, comes around: Newton Dunn would have loved to get himself a TV berth, but his lack of professionalism was his undoing. Clodagh Higginson was dumped on by both him, and her employers, but has come bouncing back with a vengeance.

Well done to her and the Good Morning Britain team. The best person got the TV job.


Anonymous said...

If Higginson worked for Murdoch I wouldn't get too upbeat about her appointment. She's more likely to end up like the weirdly twitching, crooked mouthed Yankified Kuenssberg. That is, just another neocon shill.

Objecting to bullying is commendable. But it guarantees nothing. I'll believe she's clean and decent when I see her "work." My bet is she'll be merely another puppet.

Meantime, Newton Done and his hacks can go back to shitting all over the truth wherever he/they find it. No change there, then.

Anonymous said...

It is no surprise to see so many journalists running to TV jobs.

I suppose it is a safer long term employment?

BBC really need to rethink what they are letting in as well as others.

Guilty by association is putting it mildly.