Watch: Lord Ashcroft tries to pwn Owen Jones, fails

Owen Jones announces he's donating Ashcroft-funded prize money to Labour candidate and anti-cuts activists; Tory peer fails to deliver a decent comeback.

Owen Jones caused a bit of a stir last night, when after it was revealed that he had won the Political Book Awards Young Writer of the Year award, he announced he would be giving his £3,000 prize money (donated by Lord Ashcroft) away – half to Lisa Forbes, Labour candidate in Peterborough, and half to the Disabled People Against the Cuts group.

He tweeted:

Thanks to Jones, Tory mega-donor Lord Ashcroft’s money is going to be funding a Labour parliamentary candidate and a group of activists who vehemently oppose the actions of the Conservative politicians in the coalition. When he came up on stage to present another award, Lord Ashcroft attempted to have a pop at Jones in return, and delivered an unconvincing comeback. Watch here (from 1:30):

Transcript of Ashcroft's remarks about Jones:

To Owen Jones, who very kindly said his prize that I was donating he would give to causes – I would like to have a chat with you Owen, because I’m very happy to pay these to charities of your choice for a number of reasons. One, I’ll get tax relief; two, they can get Gift Aid, which will give them a little bit more; and thirdly, you won’t have to pay any tax on the prize. Therefore, if I could invite you to lunch at my local greasy spoon, the House of Lords, to discuss that, I would be delighted.

PS If Owen turns down Lord Ashcroft's offer of a date, it'll only be the second time in 24 hours:

Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman.

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#AskTonyGallagher: What happened when The Sun’s editor took questions on Twitter?

“Do you do dental checks on Page 3 girls to ensure they are definitely adults?”

There’s not a huge amount your mole would praise about the editor of The Sun at this current time, but it has to admit he has some guts.

Some News UK PR strategist somewhere decided it would be a good idea to open up the tabloid’s top dog, Tony Gallagher, editor-in-chief, to questions from Twitter users, in a session hashtagged #askTonyGallagher.

Yes, the week following his paper’s disgusting coverage of Calais’s migrant children – “My, Haven’t You Grown!” it smirked – Gallagher logged merrily onto Twitter to hear some feedback.

The results were predictable. Here are some of the highlights:

And your mole’s personal favourite:

At least he replied to that one.

Read more here: #asktonygallagher.

I'm a mole, innit.