Yesterday morning, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog proclaimed “Former Gove SpAd Negotiates Best Dragons’ Den Deal”, going on to tell readers “Former Gove SpAd Henry de Zoete and his business partner Will Hodson secured £120,000 from the dragons of Dragon’s Den for their new ‘energy auto-switching service’ Look After My Bills, in the best equity deal in the programme’s history”.
Henry de Zoete - did he tell the BBC about the lawbreaking?
The Great Guido had decided “It is a clever innovation, which will automate competitive pressure” and then, clearly warming to the task, added “De Zoete and Hodson received £120,000 for just 3% of their business – giving it a £4 million valuation – after receiving offers from all the dragons. Maybe they could do with de Zoete in DExEU”.
But, as with so much of what emerges from the Fawkes massive, and indeed so much of what is churned out by their real bosses in the right-leaning press, this was a masterpiece in selective presentation. What had not been told is that Henry de Zoete - formerly one of Gove’s polecats at the DfE, along with Dominic Cummings - had been somewhere else with Cummings recently, somewhere that put the BBC in an embarrassing position.
It did not take long for someone to supply the parts of the jigsaw that the Fawkes rabble had decided not to present to their audience. Whistleblower Shahmir Sanni was that someone, telling “Hold on a minute. That’s Henry De Zoete. Digital Director of Vote Leave. Who worked directly with AIQ, the Cambridge Analytica affiliated company Vote Leave used to BREAK THE LAW. Do the Dragons of @BBCDragonsDen know this”.
Yes, de Zoete had followed his fellow polecat Cummings to Vote Leave, which has now been found to have broken the law. Yet there he is, taking the plaudits while someone at the BBC has a research fail, something Sanni then confirmed: “BBC Business’ journalism is so appallingly bad. See how they totally missed out the fact that Henry is one of the key people being investigated by the police in the biggest electoral scandal in this country”.
And he was not backward in coming forward to remind those involved with the programme exactly what they had just endorsed. “@DeborahMeaden I hope you’re not a fan of investing in projects run by people that break the law? What about you @TejLalvani? … @jennybcampbell might want to take a look at this”. She might just.
Moreover, the fact that de Zoete’s new enterprise, like Vote Leave, is dealing with lots of peoples’ data was also not lost on Shahmir Sanni: “If you Dragons have any respect for British democracy, you would withdraw your offer until police investigations are concluded. You can not think it is OK to have anyone involved in the biggest data misuse scandal of the century to be handling MORE data”. Got it in one.
It looks like someone at the Beeb either failed to do their research, or the programme was put together before Vote Leave’s lawbreaking was confirmed, in which case it should have been pulled before broadcast. Either way, the Corporation has messed up big time.
But good of The Great Guido to alert everyone to the problem. Another fine mess.
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