The Distiller

Wednesday 1st November, 2017

Today’s UK headlines, summarised and analysed.

Good morning,

Brief overview: A victim has come forward to accuse senior Labour officials of suggesting she not report her rape if she wants to have a successful career. The dossier of Tory MPs that have been caught up in the sex scandal has now swelled to include over 40 names. A copy of the unverified dossier circulated around Twitter yesterday.

Outside of the headlines: A terrorist killed eight people in Manhattan last night after driving a truck down a cycle path. The world’s largest exchange operator, CME Group, said it would introduce bitcoin futures later this year.

Poll of the day:

via YouGov

Cartoon of the day:

via Matt

The Daily Mail

Owned by: Daily Mail and General Trust, owned by Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere

Editor: Paul Dacre

Political leaning: Right / far right

Daily circulation: circa 1,490,000 (10 million views per month from personal computer and 20 million from mobiles)

Brexit stance: Pro-Brexit

Today’s leading headline: Labour tried to cover up my rape

Having declined to grant the MP sex scandal a front-page headline yesterday, the Mail today splashes on the shocking revelation that a Labour activist was raped and then told not to talk about it by senior party officials. Bex Bailey claims she was attacked and raped when she was 19 at a Labour event in 2011, and was told by senior party members that if she reported she would damage her political career.

The paper writes that this accusation “switches the focus on to Labour” despite admitting two paragraphs later that a “list of more than 40 Tory MPs, including six Cabinet ministers” was circulating on the internet.

Afterthought: Jeremy Corbyn has launched an investigation into the accusation, which will have huge ramifications for all those found to have silenced Miss Bailey. He went on to condemn Westminster’s ‘warped and degrading culture’. Miss Bailey says her perpetrator was a senior party official who was not an MP.

The Daily Telegraph

Owned by: Telegraph Media Group, owned by Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay

Editor: Chris Evans

Political leaning: Right

Daily circulation: circa. 460,000

Brexit stance: Pro-Brexit

Today’s leading headline: Labour officials ‘told party activist not to report rape’

The Telegraph likewise covers the claim that Labour officials silenced a rape victim, stating that the sex scandal has now swept across parliament to include both major parties. The paper goes on to talk about the dossier of MP’s names that were leaked on the internet yesterday.

Afterthought: Day four of the MP sex scandal, and we are far from finished. A YouGov poll found Brits are split 32% / 36% on whether the MPs sexual harassment scandal will be as big as the expenses scandal

via YouGov

The Times

Owned by: News UK, Rupert Murdoch’s company.

Editor: John Witherow

Political leaning: Centre right

Daily circulation: circa. 446,000

Brexit stance: Neutral / slightly pro-Brexit

Today’s leading headline: Labour ‘tried to cover up rape’

Labour’s alleged attempt to silence a rape claim makes the front cover of the Times. The paper reports that Ms Bailey attempted to report the rape two years after the event, and was told that doing so would be harmful for her career. The paper also goes on to talk about further allegations facing various MPs, including the deputy PM Damian Green.

Afterthought: Damian Green has hired the law Kingsley Napley, who specialise in libel law. The Spectator published a great piece on why this scandal has been allowed to bubble beneath the surface for so long.

The Guardian

Owned by: Scott Trust Limited, run by a board with a policy of non-interference.

Editor: Katharine Viner

Political leaning: Left

Daily circulation: circa. 161,000

Brexit stance: Anti-Brexit

Today’s leading headline: Westminster shaken by two new claims of sexual assault

The Guardian today also leads with the allegations against MPs. It quotes Miss Bailey’s speech at length, saying that when she told her seniors about the rape, “it was suggested to me that I not report it”.

Afterthought: The Guardian adds little to this story that the other papers haven’t already brought to the table, aside from helping to flesh out the allegations.


The i

Owned by: Johnston Press, whose CEO is Ashley Highfield

Editor: Oliver Duff

Political leaning: Centre

Daily circulation: circa. 264,000

Brexit stance: Neutral

Today’s leading headline: Ministers panic as ‘sex dossier’ is published

The i reports today on the leak of the unverified dossier onto Twitter which contained the allegations against MPs and their victims. The dossier, which was circulated widely under the hashtag #TorySleaze36, caused panic throughout Westminster.

Afterthought: As the dossier continued to gain traction across social media, many asked the time old question “why aren’t (insert paper or channel of choice) covering this?” The answer is fairly simple; the list was unverified and publishing it would be both a moral problem and would open the organisation to libel lawsuits. Stephen Bush covers this well in his article for the New Statesman:


Twitter said they would not take down the image.

The Daily Mirror

Owner: Trinity Mirror. Its chairman is David Grigson, formerly the chief financial officer at Reuters

Editor: Lloyd Embley

Political leaning: Left

Daily circulation: circa. 716,900

Brexit stance: Anti-Brexit

Today’s leading headline: New York terror attack

The Mirror takes the lead on the attack in New York yesterday. A terrorist drove a truck down a cycle path, moving down and killing eight people as the paper went to press. 12 more are reported to be injured.

Afterthought: The terrorist has been identified in the media, and allegedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar” after running down the victims and emerging from the truck.

Financial Times

Owner: The Nikkei, which is based in Tokyo.

Editor: Lionel Barber

Political leaning: Centre

Daily circulation: circa. 193,211

Brexit stance: Neutral/slight anti-Brexit

Today’s leading headline: Fear ‘no-deal’ Brexit will trigger need for 5,000 extra border staff

A further 5,000 extra border staff may be needed should a ‘no-deal’ Brexit outcome arrive, Cabinet ministers were told yesterday. They would join the 3,000 officials already recruited to help secure Britain’s borders. David Davis remained positive that Britain will still negotiate a deal, and keep their ‘deep and special partnership’ with the EU.

Afterthought: On the bright side, that’s potentially 5,000 new jobs.


Top trending stories from across the web

Al Jeezera

Owned by: Government of Qatar.

Political leaning: Often accused of having the state interests overshadow their independent integrity.

Top article: How Russia spawned more ISIL fighters than most nations (link)


Owned by: The British public.

Political leaning: Strict regulation to make it impartial. Centre.

Views: 70 million unique views per week.

Top article: New York truck attack: Five Argentine friends killed (link)

Guido Fawkes

Owned by: Paul Staines, a libertarian political blogger, also writes for the Sun on Sunday.

Political leaning: Right/far right. Read by anyone and everyone in Westminster.

Views: 100–250 thousand views per day.

Top article: Labour Activist: Party Told Me Not to Pursue Rape Claim

The Canary

Owned by: Six editors and around 25 writers. Editor-in-chief is Kerry-anne Mendoza, prior ties to the Guardian.

Political leaning: Left/far left. Very pro Corbyn. Clickbait — pays its writers on a click per pay basis, encouraging them to produce work that will go viral.

Views: 2.8 million a month

Top article: People are willing to go to jail to draw attention to an escalating public health crisis [IMAGES] (link)

Final Thought

News shouldn’t tell you how to feel. The news should present facts, and allow you to formulate your own opinion.