That Tessa Jowell rumour: the truth
Resignation threats, the NS and lazy misreporting
Less gratifying to see it misreported by Sky News and -- more wildly -- the Guardian.
The former implies that Jowell denies our story, and that our story was that Jowell was set to resign. The latter, pretty outrageously, claims that: "Tessa Jowell, the cabinet office minister, was wrongly named on a website, and forced to ring No 10 to deny she was leaving the government."
This has been "wrongly" reported, to coin a phrase. Anyone who actually read either my very brief initial story or my subsequent analysis will have seen straight away that my line was precisely that Jowell was not quitting government; that instead she had spoken by telephone to No 10 to deny the rumour which already centred around her.
So, just to be clear: it is reporting the facts "wrongly" to say that she called No 10 after my report appeared. I was the one who reported that call. I even reported a well-placed source -- who knew about the contents of the call -- saying that "Tessa is in a good place with Gordon at the moment".
I hope that is clear. Forgive this obscurity, but the Labour leadership question is a complicated one, and with events moving fast it is important to clarify the details. Incidentally, I received a call late last night from a very senior rebel who said that "Brown will be gone by the end of the week". I still doubt that, for the same reasons I outlined yesterday and, similarly, at the turn of the year, but we shall see.
Tags: Labour leadership