Telegraph smear story exposed as BBC states Tories behind ‘Get Clegg’ newspaper campaign

Last night the Telegraph splashed its entire front page with a silly smear story about Nick Clegg receiving donations into his bank account. It’s been demolished within 24 hours, as the BBC reports:

Mr Clegg released copies of his bank statements and other paperwork in an attempt to clear up the row. The figures released by the party show donations from three private donors amounting to £19,690 were paid into Mr Clegg’s account between January 2006 and January 2008.

But according to the Lib Dems’ figures Mr Clegg paid £20,437.30 into party coffers between March 2006 and February 2008 for staffing costs.

So much for the Torygraph’s reputation for news credibility: knocked down with one desperate attempt to thwart the Lib Dem’ chances. Perhaps they think it was worth the loss of their integrity.

But more interesting than the Torygraph’s bit of nonsense is this revelation by the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson that the rightwing papers’ smear campaign was coordinated by Team Cameron:

I now learn that political reporters from the Tory-backing papers were called in one by one to discuss how Team Cameron would deal with “Cleggmania” and to be offered Tory HQ’s favourite titbits about the Lib Dems – much of which appears in today’s papers.

If ever we needed proof that the Tories remain the nasty party, here it is. Thankfully they can’t even mount a smear operation competently, and today’s rightwing attacks on Nick Clegg has comprehensively backfired on the Tories and their allies in the press.

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  • I (perhaps too) often criticise the party, and still remain unconvinced by the economic policies we are putting forward at this election – which I felt were legitimately skewered by Andrew Neil and Stephanie Flanders in the Daily Politics Chancellors debate.

    But these smear stories by the Telegraph and the Mail were pathetic, hysterical and desperate. Let’s hope that mud doesn’t stick…

  • So how do we fight back?

  • The independent has addressed all of the claims made about Nick Clegg by the Tory Press – this article also shows the results of the You Gov Poll suppressed by the SUN….

  • are these by chance the same newspapers that would have ripped anyones head off for criticising The City before October 08?

  • Shameful behaviour from the Tories. They are the true believers of the principle ‘end justifies the means’. Pity, that much less people will see this exposé than the smear attack of the boulevard press. I wish you will come up with a way to bring this to the public attention.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 23rd Apr '10 - 1:03pm

    I note that the Telegraph is still pushing this story – today’s headline is “Nick Clegg admits £20,000 was paid into his account”, believe it or not.

  • It’s time for some media barons to be put under pressure to answer awkward questions.

    Here’s one to start the ball rolling: Are the Mail empire & Murdoch empire coordinating their attacks on the LibDems?
    One thing that’d been bothering me about Murdoch jnr & Rebekah Wade storming into the Indy editor’s office t’other day is how they got into the newspaper offices unannounced.

    Then I remembered that the Indy moved to share offices with the Mail in their Kensington building a few months ago. It couldn’t be that Murdoch jnr was in a cabal with Dacre & then went over the corridor to the Indy’s office to voice his feelings after that could it? I’m just sayin’

  • [continued from previous post]
    So, some awkward questions for James Murdoch:
    – Were you meeting Mail newspapers executives before arriving unannounced at the Independent editor’s office?
    – If so, who were you meeting and what was the subject matter? Was it anything that the Competition Commission would consider anti-competitive or cartel-type activities?
    – How often do you meet Mail group executives for discussions?
    – Do the reportof ‘threats’ you made to Independent editor have any substance? If so, what was the nature of the threas and your reasons for saying it?

    What about a letter from Chris Fox to Mr Murdoch seeking these answers.

  • They say ‘never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel’ but I feel that the fight has already been picked by the ink-buyers , no?

  • Yes the Daily Mail stuff was really counter-productive, thankfully. Indeed when people raise policy concerns they’ve read about in the paper, it’s quite useful to say “you saw all that stuff about Nick being a nazi in the Daily Mail, so you can see the papers are out to get him”, and it also plays well to paint the “Daily Mail/big business/vested interests/Murdoch/Tory bankers etc.” in one corner and Nick standing with his slingshot in the other….

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