When you need an example of the sheer cluelessness of our free and fearless press, there need be no worries as to where the evidence will come from. As with so much concerning those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet, the opposition can be relied upon to come galloping to your rescue. So it has been with the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn and the Michael Fallon saga.
Yes Tom, rumbled again
Newton Dunn is so full of ideas for original copy that not long ago he was caught bullying a female colleague in order to leverage hers instead. The memory of what Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson believes to have been a final written warning has not been allowed to deter The Great Man from his chosen path, though, even getting a dishonourable mention in Private Eye magazine for his appallingly bad behaviour in the Commons recently.
On the Fallon imbroglio, though, he has excelled himself. On Wednesday evening, Newton Dunn, after telling “Fallon resigned after telling PM he ‘couldn’t guarantee there wouldn't be more stories like Julia Hartley Brewer’” (and, let’s face it, one Julia Hartley Dooda is quite enough), he reassuringly concluded “But there are no fresh allegations about to break about Fallon imminently”. No need to fret, Tory fans!
Clearly, the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker do not follow Zelo Street, where I had decided the day before Newton Dunn made that statement that “there is much worse to come”. Instead, he went full Kenny Williams and Tweeted “I understand the PM has begun a ‘precision reshuffle’. Only two or three moves in Government, to fill Fallon’s hole with minimum disruption”. Not fill it with soap, then? Ooh Matron!
But enough of the precision needed to fill Michael Fallon’s hole (kersnick, kersnick), or indeed what “minimum disruption” may be code for (fnarr, fnarr) - no more than a day and a half after Newton Dunn had assured his followers that there were no more imminent revelations, there were, er, more imminent revelations. In fact, the complaint that led to those revelations had, according to the Mail, been made last Monday.
So imagine the surprise of those who actually had the inside track on the news that Andrea Leadsom had shopped Fallon to Theresa May, when THREE DAYS after the event, Newton Dunn claimed an “exclusive” for it! “Excl: Revealed - why Michael Fallon was forced to quit: Andrea Leadsom accused him of lewd sexual comments to her” he Tweeted happily, the story making front page lead on today’s Sun.
He even had the spin from Fallon’s “ally”, a surprise to all those who were quite sure he no longer had one. “So why did Leadsom force Fallon’s resignation? His ally’s view: ‘Nobody’s going to sack a whistleblower are they?’” Sour grapes from someone feeling sore - wouldn’t be Fallon himself, would it? Perhaps Newton Dunn had time to talk to him about the precision needed to fill his hole, too.
What a trouper. What a clown. What a complete waste of space. Don’t Buy The Sun.