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Saturday 6 June 2020

Dan Wootton Attempts Censorship

It has been one of the enduring mysteries of tabloid journalism: where and how did the deeply unpleasant Dan Wootton, executive editor at the Murdoch Sun, get all those Royal exclusives? It’s not as if he has an obvious talent for investigative work: Wootton appears to be all about shooting his mouth off and occasionally making up stuff.
Dan Wootton

But exclusives he got, and recently they were usually about one couple: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Hal and Megs aren’t talking to him, and most likely haven’t done for some time, yet the stories keep on coming. Now the Byline Investigates people have revealed what may be the explanation. And Wootton is deeply unhappy about it.

The article Dan’s sore about is titledPrince Harry’s Legal Move Over ‘Cash-for-Briefings’ Claims at The Sun - The Story Murdoch Tried to Bury”. Someone at the Murdoch press paying someone else for a little of that information? Nothing new under the Sun, eh?

But do go on. “BYLINE Investigates is defying threats of legal action from Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun today to report explosive whistle-blower claims that the tabloid paid the partner of a Royal official £4,000 for stories about Prince Harry last year … The billionaire-owned newspaper company and its Executive Editor Dan Wootton have both said they will sue us if we report the allegations, which are detailed in a formal ‘Letter Before Action’ issued by lawyers acting for the Duke of Sussex”.
So the claims are outlined in a Letter Before Action, but Dan and his bosses don’t want it reported. Why might that be? “It follows months of public speculation about the close connection between Mr Wootton and the Sussexes’ former Communications Secretary Christian Jones, who continues to be employed in the role by Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and whose partner is freelance publicist Callum Stephens, who is also a friend to Wootton”. So where does the money claim come in?

Sources close to the matter say it is alleged The Sun made two payments amounting to £4,000 to Stephens, in relation to stories published in June and July 2019 about nannying and god-parenting arrangements for the Sussexes’ son Archie, and that the payments appear to have been identified by way of an internal News UK accounting code”.

And there is yet more. “Confidential details of the Sussexes’ move to Canada were also revealed in an unauthorised fashion and then published in the Sun on Sunday in January under Wootton’s name, according to three sources with knowledge of the case … The damage caused to the Royal family by the story was extensive”.
So what happened when Byline Investigates put the claims to the Murdoch mafiosi? They, and Wootton specifically, threatened to sue if the article were published, which it now has been. Dan’s lawyers “are denying in strong terms that any payments were made unlawfully to a public official or a proxy and claim their client is the victim of a smear campaign by unknown bad actors”. Note use of the word “unlawfully”.

There is also an unintentionally hilarious tailpiece: “Wootton says he is prepared to defend his position in court and that he will prove his professional integrity if need be”. Ho ho ho.

But it’s only a claim in an LBA, so what’s the problem? Curiouser and curiouser.
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Anonymous said...

Oh irony.

The Murdoch Scum and one of its sock puppets, Wooton, suing because of "a smear campaign".

How we larfed.

Jonathan said...

Let's see the clown in court, but he won't be, Murdoch will either drop the action confirming Byline's story or take the fight to court only to settle on the steps of the court with the obvious NDA.

Arnold said...

" Dan’s lawyers “are denying in strong terms that any payments were made unlawfully to a public official or a proxy. "
Is a royal official a public official? And the claim mentions the partner of a royal official.

Unknown said...

Danny boy 👦 is full of Lies 🤥 and shit. They worse person on Earth 🌍

Anonymous said...

The S*n a rag then,now and always. I hope this bloody virus pandemic causes it's closure. I am no fan of the royals but they are entitled to privacy same as us all. Cheque book journalist alive and well in 21st century UK.