'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Thursday 28 July 2011

Louise Mensch and Piers Morgan could learn a thing or two from Alastair Campbell, David Cameron and Gus O'Donnell about proper grown up politics.

Two incidents on the DCMS Select Committee hearings with the Murdochs have provided a constant distraction away from the main issues.

One distraction was the idiot with the pie.

The other was Louise Mensch getting her accusation of inappropriate behaviour by Piers Morgan, principally while he was editor of The Mirror, a little screwed up.

Piers and Louise (goaded by Guido Fawkes) have been continuing their spat in both the mainstream media and on twitter ever since. There's no doubt that Louise got the facts about Piers wrong on the day, and while Piers may or may not have other questions to answer, their 'you-did-I-didn't' spat is reducing the work of the committee to a playground argument. Having got the Piers facts wrong once she would be better off apologising for her mistake and letting another member of the panel take on Morgan.

Paradoxically, David Cameron has also been spraying around the accusations in Parliament - this time against Alastair Campbell, and again getting some facts wrong. Contrast how Cameron and Campbell have sorted this out quietly, professionally and without distracting from the main issue.

Piers Morgan is of course a creature of the media. But as a member of the DCMS Select Committee, I hope Louise Mensch remembers that there are more important issues here than getting one over on the incorrigible Piers - and just moves on. This isn't the Louise Mensch show.

PS. How I wish we were more on the front foot in the committee on this one.

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