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IPC sale number two: Guitar & Bass to Anthem Publishing

Sale of Guitar & Bass is part of a drive to dispose of the vast majority of its specialist magazines

IPC Media has today confirmed the sale of Guitar & Bass - the second title it has sold as part of a drive to dispose of the vast majority of its specialist magazines.

The magazine giant is selling the niche music title for an undisclosed sum to the Anthem Publishing - producer of ten music and food magazines, which include Music Tech and Guitar Tech.

IPC Media said there would be no interruption to the publishing schedule of Guitar & Bass as the deal takes place with immediate effect and its staff is transferring to the new publisher.

Jon Bickley said: "It is [Guitar & Bass] a wonderful title with a great heritage, and is the perfect complement to Music Tech, Guitar Tech and our other creative publications.

"We're also pleased to be able to retain the whole editorial team and display sales executive in our newly opened Croydon office."
Press Gazette understands that Anthem Publishing is not in talks with IPC Media about the likely purchase of any more of its titles.

The sale of Guitar & Bass comes on the heels of IPC's sale earlier this week of Cage & Aviary Birds to specialist magazine and book publisher Kelsey Publishing.

Britain's only bird keeping weekly became the first IPC title to be sold since a strategic review of IPC concluded that it was necessary for the publisher to sell a number of its smaller titles.

The magazine giant is now engaged in talks with several other independent magazine publishers over likely magazine sales.

IPC is also advanced talks with Vitality Publishing, owner of gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, over the sale of lads' mag Loaded and other titles - believed to be SuperBike magazine, horoscope title Prediction and HiFi News.

Press Gazette also understands that IPC has held talks over the likely sale of its Web User magazine, with Dennis Publishing believed to be taking an interest in the title.

The UK's largest magazine publisher is also poised to sell its World Soccer magazine, Racecar Engineering and Classic Boat to the Chelsea Magazine Company.

In addition, it's understood that IPC holding further talks with Kelsey over the likely sale of its Ships Monthly title, Aeroplane Monthly magazine, Park Home & Holiday Caravan and MiniWorld.

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Labour tensions boil over at fractious MPs' meeting

Corbyn supporters and critics clash over fiscal charter U-turn and new group Momentum. 

"A total fucking shambles". That was the verdict of the usually emollient Ben Bradshaw as he left tonight's Parliamentary Labour Party meeting. His words were echoed by MPs from all wings of the party. "I've never seen anything like it," one shadow minister told me. In commitee room 14 of the House of Commons, tensions within the party - over the U-turn on George Osborne's fiscal charter and new Corbynite group Momentum - erupted. 

After a short speech by Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell sought to explain his decision to oppose Osborne's fiscal charter (having supported it just two weeks ago). He cited the change in global economic conditions and the refusal to allow Labour to table an amendment. McDonnell also vowed to assist colleagues in Scotland in challenging the SNP anti-austerity claims. But MPs were left unimpressed. "I don't think I've ever heard a weaker round of applause at the PLP than the one John McDonnell just got," one told me. MPs believe that McDonnell's U-turn was due to his failure to realise that the fiscal charter mandated an absolute budget surplus (leaving no room to borrow to invest), rather than merely a current budget surplus. "A huge joke" was how a furious John Mann described it. He and others were outraged by the lack of consultation over the move. "At 1:45pm he [McDonnell] said he was considering our position and would consult with the PLP and the shadow cabinet," one MP told me. "Then he announces it before 6pm PLP and tomorow's shadow cabinet." 

When former shadow cabinet minister Mary Creagh asked Corbyn about the new group Momentum, which some fear could be used as a vehicle to deselect critical MPs (receiving what was described as a weak response), Richard Burgon, one of the body's directors, offered a lengthy defence and was, one MP said, "just humiliated". He added: "It looked at one point like they weren't even going to let him finish. As the fractious exchanges were overheard by journalists outside, Emily Thornberry appealed to colleagues to stop texting hacks and keep their voices down (within earshot of all). 

After a calmer conference than most expected, tonight's meeting was evidence of how great the tensions within Labour remain. Veteran MPs described it as the worst PLP gathering for 30 years. The fear for all MPs is that they have the potential to get even worse. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.