We’ve already had Newsnight versus Policy Exchange this week and now we have Andrew Gilligan versus Ken Livingstone. It matches the man who nearly wrecked the BBC (or the Government according to which side you took over the dodgy dossier) against ‘Red Ken’ the London Mayor who took on Margeret Thatcher and Tony Blair.
Gilligan has been investigating allegations of corruption against Lee Jasper, an advisor to Ken, which now seem to implicate the Mayor of complicity in a tale of dodgy doings at City Hall. Ken denies it and has called for the Standard to sack Gilligan. It’s a classic piece of Livingstone bluster. As Roy Greenslade points out they can’t both be right. Either Gillligan is going to get whacked for a big defamation settlement or Ken’s going to end up covered in mud during the run-up to Mayoral elections.
And just like the Newsnight/Policy Exchange dispute we can read all about it on the blogs. Gilligan has actually posted on Greenslade’s site , now I look forward to Ken doing the same.
And you can see ALL the emails that Gilligan is basing his story upon on the Standard’s website which is another new media bonus.
Interesting to see the Black Information Link publishing Ken’s version of the story with a demand that the Standard sack Gilligan. Sadly, they omit to state that they are funded by the GLA and that Lee Jasper used to be their director. It’s great to see public money funding a group that campaigns on behalf of Ken’s staff.
At this point it is clear that people will take sides according to their politics. Livingstone and his extremely well-paid advisors have always held the media in contempt. Ken has great affection for capitalists when they want to build skyscapers or bring dodgy Russian money to the capital. But his first excuse when subjected to media scrutiny is to accuse journalists of being lackies to Big Business and the Tories. But his denials (and Jasper’s) in this case appear to avoid dealing with the central allegations. I am no particular fan of Andrew Gilligan’s but I feel that chickens are coming home to roost at Ken’s den.