Saturday, April 18, 2009

News of the World: Labour general secretary helped hatch Red Rag scheme

Tomorrow's News of the World claims:

A new email shows that Labour's General Secretary Ray Collins chaired a secret meeting to create the Red Rag website now ensnared in the Smeargate scandal.

The email's existence links the dirty tricks site to the very TOP of the Labour Party.

And it exposes the LIE, put out by Downing Street, and repeated by government ministers this week, that the smears were just a minor aberration cooked up by a couple of renegades acting alone-and which would never have seen light of day.

Two things are worth adding.

The first is that, according to a PR Week report I blogged last September, it was Collins who asked Draper to advise Labour on using the new media. And according to the News of the World:
Collins granted Draper a pass to Labour Party HQ in Westminster, and even allowed him a Labour Party email account.
The second is Draper's claim in a Guardian interview last Wednesday that he "honestly cannot remember whose idea it was to set up Red Rag".

If - and you may think this a big if - we believe Draper on this, that statement implies that the idea was discussed among a number of people in the Labour Party.

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