Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Conservative Party to Sue the Times"

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Charlie Whelan Says ... Don't Believe It: "Conservative Party to Sue the Times"

Article excerpt

When the Times splashed the story alleging that Lynton Crosby, the Tories' new Aussie chief spin-doctor, had privately admitted to Michael Howard that he couldn't win the next election, most of us thought it wasn't much of a story. It is now.

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Sometimes it is impossible to understand what goes on in the minds of so-called professional election strategists. The decision of the Tory high command to issue a libel writ over the story is completely bonkers. All it does is get a largely forgotten story, which was strenuously denied, up and running again. Yet I expect that even my old pal Andrew Pierce, the Times diary editor whom the Tories are suing, will have been surprised his story was on the front page and not in his diary. It is this perceived anti-Tory bias and the utter hatred for the Times at Conservative Central Office that have made them take this rash decision. …

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