Sturgeon wins press complaint over leaked Frenchgate memo

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With hindsight, it would have been better for the Torygraph to have contacted Sturgeon and the French Ambassador. A note that they had denied the contents of the memo would not have detracted from the story.

In fact, in the eyes of many, it might have strengthened the case.

Ms Sturgeon is quoted as saying that later events proved the contents of the memo to be untrue, and this is not the case.

She certainly said they were, as did the French Ambassador, but a Parliamentary investigation found that the civil service who had written the memo had an impeccable record of honesty – whereas they are politicians.

We’ll probably find out the facts after they’re dead, or have retired from politics.

It is certainly to be hoped that Ms Sturgeon did not want David Cameron to win the 2015 general election. Considering his performance since, that would indicate an apocalyptic lapse of judgement and the possibility of getting Scottish independence out of it would not balance the damage that he has caused.

The press watchdog has upheld a complaint from Nicola Sturgeon over a report based on a leaked memo that claimed she secretly wanted David Cameron to win May’s general election.

The story, published on the front page of The Daily Telegraph on April 4 under the headline “Sturgeon’s secret backing for Cameron”, also claimed that the First Minister had told the French Ambassador that she did not think Ed Miliband was Prime Minister material.

Ms Sturgeon today said the ruling was a “victory for truth” and accused the newspaper of “failing to carry out the most elementary of journalistic checks and balances”.

IPSO, which published its judgement today, found that the newspaper had been within its rights to report the contents of the memo, which it was subsequently found was leaked with the authorisation of the then-Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael.

However, it did not contact the First Minister or the French Ambassador, Sylvie Bermann, to verify its accuracy ahead of publication. As a result, the article was “significantly misleading”.

Source: Sturgeon wins press complaint over leaked Frenchgate memo and hails (From Herald Scotland)


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5 thoughts on “Sturgeon wins press complaint over leaked Frenchgate memo

  1. Joan Edington

    You’re like a dog with a bone on this one Mike. Whatever she said or did not say can’t be proved. It is also irrelevant since her personal opinion of the PM, never expected to be published, would in no way have made anyone vote for Cameron. Those who could be influenced by her would be voting SNP anyway, never Tory. As for an opinion of Milliband, the irrelevance still applies, unless you believe that Labour voters would vote Tory because they believed her opinion. Unlikely since most of them dislike Nicola as much as you do?

    The most ironic/hypocritical statement coming out of the whole affair lately is that “Alistair Carmichael says we need an Office of Electoral Integrity to punish lying politicians”. You couldn’t make it up.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Oh, I think her personal opinion might have influenced many people to vote for Cameron – she has influence south of the border too, you know.
      You’re right that what she said can’t be proved one way or the other – that’s why it annoys me when she says the original story’s claim has been proved completely untrue. It hasn’t.
      That is funny about Carmichael, although of course he never thought he was lying and we’ve just discussed the reasons for that.

      1. Joan Edington

        We haven’t discussed the reasons at all Mike. The lies I was referring to, the ones that CAN be proved since he has admitted them, were that he knew nothing about the leak. He obviously did think he was lying in that case since he authosised it.

  2. mohandeer

    What Sturgeon said in a private communique to the French was not necessarily going to influence anyone to vote Tory. Milliband himself did that, nice enough chap, but utterly clueless and usually comical if not outrightly cringeworthy in PMQ’s. It would have been far more to her advantage, to have what was then a right wing Labour Party in power in order to demolish all Labour representation north of the border – and they would have. The greatest threat she faces is Corbyn if he succeeds in getting rid of the right wing MP’s because it will encourage many Scots to the Labour fold and he is very much against Scotland leaving the UK. No, a Tory government under Cameron would have ired the Scots, but a Right Wing Labour would have proven even more devastating, with the majority of Scots demanding a referendum and voting in favour. Corbyn buys us and the Scots time, enough perhaps for socialist Labour (the original Labour Party) to offer a real alternative to the Tories. She may be hoping that Corbyn will be more concessional if he ever comes to power in 2020. Enough for her to “rule” from Holyrood?

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