How will the Tories use the Watts’ claims?

How will the Tories use the Watts’ claims?


Is the rest of the media going to pick this up?

The big thing when there is a Sunday political exclusive like the Mail on Sunday’s serialisation of the Peter Watts’ book, Inside Out, is whether the story has “legs”. Will other papers and the TV news channels run with it as well and how long will it dominate the headlines?

Well, as above, SkyNews is playing it big and no doubt it will be a key element in the Sunday morning political TV programmes. But what about Monday’s papers? That could be the a key test.

Blogger Iain Dale, whose company is publishing the book, came on the PB thread overnight to give some more background and to deny that that timing had been linked to the Hewitt-Hoon move.

“Peter first approached me to publish the book back in October. It wasn’t even finished then. Indeed, we got the final manuscript in mid December. Yes, I did decide the timetable after that but only to the extent that we wanted to publish it as soon as possible in the new year.

Frankly, the timing of this is irrelevant. It would have been damaging at any time. Clearly we had no idea that it would almost coincide with a coup attempt. Believe me, keeping my mouth shut about it over the last few days has been a severe test!”

The following from Iain’s site shows how the Mail on Sunday is handling their exclusive.

So how’s this going to affect Brown’s future? Could it mean what his position is a touch less certain? And what are the Tories going to do with the material? Are they going to go negative?

All of this is rather crowding out the other big political news of the morning – allegations that during his time as chancellor Mr. Brown blocked funds for the sort of helicopters that British forces in Afghanistan have been wanting.

So not a good set of Sunday papers for Brown Central.

Mike Smithson

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