Neil Wallis and the “Poor Phil” Article

Bishop Hill reports that UEA have released a portion of their correspondence and documents with Neil Wallis and Outside Organisation (see here); correspondence here. They have claimed exemptions for much of the request.

Under s.36(2)(b)(i) & (ii), they claimed that “release of some of the requested information would, or would be likely, to inhibit the free & frank provision of advice or the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberations”. Under s 40(2), They claimed that some of the information WAS “Personal information”. Under s. 41(1), they claimed that “disclosure of information would … constitute an actionable breach of confidence”. Under s 43(2), they said that “disclosure of information would, or would be likely, to prejudice the commercial interests of a person as defined by the Act”.

The limited information made available did clarify some points. Wallis seems to arrive on the scene in February 2010, not in early December 2009 (as speculated in my recent post here.) Thus the front page article for which Wallis claimed credit was not the Ben Webster article of December 4, 2009 but two Richard Girling articles in Murdoch’s Sunday Times on February 7, 2010 – here and here. These started or promoted many memes of the Empire Strikes Back phase of Climategate: blaming CRU misconduct since 2003 on FOI requests in late July 2009, focusing on the “poor Phil” meme, associating Jones with the honorable David Kelly, building up the alleged “death threats”.

As noted in stories about Wallis’ recent arrest in connection with the phone hacking scandal, Wallis, a former News of the World editor, maintained close connections with the Murdoch newspapers, which may have assisted him with obtaining a prominent placement for the poor Phil article.

Acton and Davies were delighted with the Times article.

Wallis seems to have been behind the tactic of offering up Jones for this one interview with a soft interviewer and then closing down access. (Briffa has avoided being interviewed altogether.)

Other emails show that Wallis and Outside Organisation prepped Acton and Phil Jones for their appearance before the Parliamentary Committee. If the resulting appearances represented improvement on their pre-coaching standards, one can only wonder at what they were like before coaching by Outside Organisation. Both Acton and Jones were savaged by the London press – see contemporary CA report here.

Acton was described by Quentin Letts as follows:

Professor Edward Acton… provided much-needed comic relief. Professor Acton, a younger version of Professor Calculus from the Tintin books, beamed and nodded at everything Professor Jones said. ‘I think that answer was spot-on,’ he cried, after listening to one response from the terror-stricken Jones.

Professor Acton’s left eyebrow started doing a little jiggle of its own. His eyeballs bulged with admiration for the climate-change supremo. His lips were pulled so wide in wonderment they must nearly have split down the
seams like banana skins.

Letts described Jones as follows:

Others, watching the tremulous Professor Jones, will have been less impressed. He may be right about man-made climate change. But you do rather hope that politicians sought second, third, even 20th opinions before swallowing his theories and trying to change the world’s industrial output.

I guess he didn’t get Neil Wallis’ memo.

Wallis and Outside Organisation appear to have been on retainer from February through at least April. The closing emails report Wallis being invited to attend a “do” by Acton and invited to stay at Wood Hall.

The new information also shows even more conclusively the ridiculousness of the Joe Romm/Keith Olbermann theory that the Murdochs had sabotaged East Anglia’s public relations. Quite the contrary. It seems that the Murdoch papers had helped East Anglia and that the university was delighted with their coverage in the Murdoch press.


  1. Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    So we can’t see the Climategate data because this would interfere with the flow of information …

  2. Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Wallis seems to arrive on the scene in February 2010, not in early December 2009

    That may well be the case; however, one has to ask why Sam Bowen’s LinkedIn profile indicates or it least it did when I posted it here a few weeks ago:

    Sam Bowen’s Experience
    The Outside Organisation
    Public Relations and Communications industry
    May 2009 – Present (2 years 3 months)
    Senior consultant working with major media, entertainment and corporate brands:
    – Channel 5 corporate PR [pre- and post Richard Desmond’s purchase of the channel]
    – Northern & Shell corporate PR [Express newspapers & magazine portfolio]
    University of East Anglia [crisis management during ‘ClimateGate’ [2009/2010]
    – Halebury Law [media, IP and employment ‘virtual’ law firm]
    – Rock of Ages [Tony award winning Broadway show coming to London in 2011]

    Surely UEA could have responded to the request for their remit to OO and redacted any “confidential” references to rates, don’t you think?!

    Maybe they re-hired OO to help them respond to this particular FOI request 😉

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

      I’m aware of that information on Sam Bowen’s webpage – that’s what made me look at early December.

      There’s definitely an inconsistency. Nonetheless, given that Wallis links to the Girling article in the documents, it’s clear that that is the one that Wallis was talking about.

  3. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    We assume there will be many requests for follow-up interviews following tomorrow’s Sunday Times publication – which we have agreed will almost certainly be denied at this stage… If there is anything which, despite that guiding principle of no further interviews, is deemed to require urgent further reconsideration, then the UEA press office should feel free to contact the Outside team at any time. 20110826114851221_0001.pdf

    Edward coming out of Portcullis House. 20110826115139156_0001.pdf

  4. golf charley
    Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    A PR person not quite telling the truth? Shocking!

    • Green Sand
      Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

      Is it not seen by the client as the PR professionals duty to spin/slant the story in a direction that is favourable to the client? Is it not therefore logic to assume that the same PR professional will have applied a similar spin/slant to their claims of previous success?

  5. Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Briffa’s silence is deafening.

  6. justbeau
    Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

    Wallis and Randy Algora Pauchauri. I cannot get enough of these splendid real-life characters!!

  7. Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    The closing emails report Wallis being invited to attend a “do” by Acton and invited to stay at Wood Hall.

    Just for the record, those “closing” emails are dated Aug. 30, 2010 … pretty close to the (Aug 31) date of the “pre-publication” release of the IAC report (which, according to the copy I had d/l from the IAC site, was actually created on Aug. 25). Is it possible that someone at UEA had received a privileged advanced copy of this pre-publication release – and that this planned September 29 “do” was to be a celebration of yet another “PR” victory for UEA (in that they were not directly implicated in the IAC’s report). Nah … must be just another of those coincidences, I’m sure.

    It’s also worth noting that there are some emails between April and August which indicate that Wallis was, at the very least, still in the loop.

    20110826115509639_0001 – May 10 (Wallis in list of recipients)
    20110826115519382_0001 – Jun. 17 (From Wallis)
    20110826115539431 – June 23 (Chain initiated by Wallis)

    Perhaps at that point Wallis had been “reassigned” to “assist” the Norfolk Constabulary with “PR” related to their “investigations” and his missives to UEA were out of the goodness of his heart.

    The Aug. 30 E-mail [20110826115551202_0001] is amusing, for a few reasons:

    1. It appears to be one of two (the other being the Jun. 17 E-mail noted above) for which the Inbox identification [that of Dr. Lucy Mouland (VCO), and not a recipient, so presumably as “Senior Assistant Registrar” had access to (recipient) Edward Acton’s Inbox] was not redacted.

    2. It appears to be a response (via blackberry) from Neil Wallis [although the From: line has been redacted!] to Acton’s invite to the Sept. 29 “do” that Wallis had already accepted, after receiving a “lovely invitation” from Katie (whoever she might be!)

    If I had a more suspicious mind, I’d almost be inclined to wonder if they didn’t play “who has the least incriminating Inbox” before they did their E-mail cherry-picking in response to these FOI requests (from BH and John Walker)

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

      A reader at Bishop Hill’s asks:

      On the first pdf. numbered 20110826114651945, what does the R.OMMEND? below the title and Richard Girling mean? Surely not asking for approval of a draft? Jones also got copied.

      Interesting question: anyone know what the R/OMMEND means? The email is 20110826114651945

      • Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

        Good question (for which I have no answer … mere speculation!) Perhaps he sent 2 “storylines” and this was the one Wallis (or whoever actually sent it to Girling) “recommended” … But Girling, being a good green chap decided to go with both?!

      • Duke C.
        Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

        Looks like a distortion artifact from the OCR rendering. Possibly a “RECOMMEND?” link was embedded in the original article?

      • HaroldW
        Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

        That .pdf file seems to be of the Sunday Times article here. Based on the strange mix of fonts, I think the article was scanned with an optical character recognition program, and it distorted a “RECOMMEND?” link next to the article. [Not present in the archived version linked above.] Note that in the line below there is “PHOT.GRAPHS”, indicating some textual distortion.

      • Jeff C
        Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

        Googling it it gives a few hits where it seems to be shorthand for the word recommend, the context sort of fits with the question mark, but why not just type the whole word?

        I had a chuckle when first searching and google asked if I meant “R command” and produced a page of links to programming commands in R.

        • Jeff C
          Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

          Just noticed the OCR comments, that makes sense.

        • Hu McCulloch
          Posted Aug 27, 2011 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

          Jeff C —
          Are you the blog artist formerly known as Jeff I, or someone else?

          Steve – someone else

      • Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

        Speaking of interesting questions … 20110826114805839_0001[Wallis to Action, Feb. 7] is a response to the following from Acton:

        I am delighted by the amount achieved. Now we must see how the coverage unfolds. But it seems to me you and Sam have helped us maximize the chances of that elusive line in the sand. […] [emphasis added -hro]

        I’m not sure if the part I bolded was written in Acton-ese or tabloid-ese. But could someone translate it into English?!

        • PJB
          Posted Aug 27, 2011 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

          Seems to me that the UEA drew a line in the sand concerning the release of further information. Rather than come clean, they wanted to obfuscate or refuse to communicate. The use of OO was to determine how much (dis)info to release and how as well as when. That having been done, his reflection concerns whether the planned result was going to pan out.

    • Viv Evans
      Posted Aug 27, 2011 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

      “Is it possible that someone at UEA had received a privileged advanced copy of this pre-publication release ..”

      I think this is quite possible, seen on the background of various critical ‘Team’ responses on the precise day a paper they consider inimical has been published.

  8. EdeF
    Posted Aug 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    “The new information also shows even more conclusively the ridiculous of the Joe Romm/Keith Olbermann theory that the Murdochs had sabotaged East Anglia’s public relations. Quite the contrary. It seems that the Murdoch papers had helped East Anglia and that the university was delighted with their coverage in the Murdoch press. ”

    I have read that Murdoch’s wife, the attractive lady who defended him in the pie throwing
    incident, is pro-AGW. We can’t assume that the Murdoch media empire is going to be
    monolithicly anti-AGW, as one may get the impression from watching the American version of Fox News.

    • Posted Aug 27, 2011 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

      I don’t know about his wife. But his mother is rather radical.

      • Posted Aug 27, 2011 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

        Thanks for that Nick – a key part of the picture that I didn’t know about.

        • ianl8888
          Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 5:16 AM | Permalink

          Sorry, Richard, but we Aussies know this well … just assumed everyone knew

      • Luther Bl.
        Posted Aug 31, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

        Nick, do you have a link or two to Dame Elizabeth Murdoch’s radicality? The one you supply suggests only that she knows an investment opportunity when she sees one.

        • Posted Aug 31, 2011 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

          At age 102, I doubt if investment opportunities are her motivation. She’s probably not worried about leaving her son in poverty.

  9. Posted Aug 27, 2011 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Thus the front page article for which Wallis claimed credit […]

    Steve, not that I like to pick nits, but … I believe the “front page article” quote was attributed to Bowen, not to Wallis:

    “They came to us and said, ‘We have a huge problem – we are being completely knocked apart in the press,’” says (OO’s) Sam Bowen. “They needed someone with heavyweight contacts who could come in and sort things out, and next week there was a front-page story telling it from their side.”

    Wallis’ reported role was that of “lead”:

    The role of Neil Wallis, formerly editor of The People, deputy editor of The Sun and, most recently, executive editor of the News Of The World, is to lend heavy-hitting tabloid expertise, leading some jobs, following Edwards on others.
    Wallis led on the University of East Anglia “climategate” job, when Outside was drafted in[…]

    Additionally, in Acton’s now disclosed effusive thanks for the “poor Phil” Feb. 7 piece(s) he says:

    you and Sam have helped […]”

    Since Bowen was the “strategy” guy, I agree it probably was Wallis who did the deed, but he didn’t make the claim 🙂

    So, in the interest of accuracy in posting (and in the absence of clarity in the source material) – since the Music World piece doesn’t actually specifiy week, article or “draftsman” – perhaps you might consider amending your post to read “… front page article for which OO claimed credit…”

    FWIW, my take on the correspondence disclosed to date is here

  10. Manfred
    Posted Aug 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    Shouldn’t his service be added to Sunday Times feature writer Richard Girling’s Wikipedia page ?

  11. Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    It is interesting how this confirms my nasty snipped comment from a month ago where I said the best possible interpretation for Jones was that the “Poor Phil” storyline was contrived make-believe, rather than the far worse interpretation, which no longer needs to be said.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

      The “poor Phil” thing was real enough. There is plenty of evidence that Jones felt very sorry for himself and aged measurably during the experience.

      However, in other scandals, spinmeisters don’t usually succeed in diverting attention from the scandal itself to the problems of “poor Conrad” [Black] or “poor Bill” [Clinton] or “poor Martha” [Stewart]. In cases like this, the investigators have a job to do and seldom pull their punches because they are worried about the subjects. I think that there’s a lesson to be learned from people who’ve dealt well with humiliation – Martha Stewart being a good example of someone who dealt effectively with going to jail.

      A measure of the effectiveness of Outside Organisation’s spinning is that they managed to bracket Jones with the honorable David Kelly in the “poor Phil” articles. This diverted attention from Jones’ conduct – which, unlike Kelly’s, deserved criticism – to Jones’ state of mind.

      The success of the spinning can be seen in Oxburgh’s opening letter to his panel where he focuses on the “stress” that events have caused to CRU as opposed to CRU’s conduct:

      There is clearly a high level of stress that has been generated by aggressive and abusive blogs and a very large number of requests for information under Freedom of Information legislation. I wanted to reassure them that we were in no sense seeking to victimise them further and that our scrutiny would be as fair as we could make it.

      Kerry Emanuel said at the time that it was “truly pitiful” to see “what all this has done to” Jones and expressed his hope that Jones “may be spared further trouble.”

  12. Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Claims of “poor Phil” is the standard defence and deflection of victimization of those associated with disclosures of malfeasance in IPCC climate science.

    – snip – OT

    It appears Santer was also among the first to use the “poor me” diversionary defence claiming that the unwarranted attacks were causing him to have a nervous breakdown.

  13. Bad Andrew
    Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    “poor me… poor me… pour me another drink”


  14. Dave Andrews
    Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    Wallis might have spun and spun and Acton might have been pleased with the resulting damage limitation as far as UEA overall was concerned. But surely no climate scientist in their right mind will want to have either Jones or Briffa associated associated with their research in the future?

    They are a busted flush – or am I being too optimistic?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

      Jones was an invited speaker at AGU in San Francisco last year. Osborn is a Lead Author for AR5 and will be handling the section that Mann did for AR3 and Briffa for AR4.

      The attitude within the industry seems to be that CRU were victims, rather than offenders.

      • Green Sand
        Posted Aug 28, 2011 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

        “The attitude within the industry seems to be that CRU were victims, rather than offenders.”

        Steve, you have just written the justification UEA employing their “PR” people.

        They realised that they could not justify the malfeasance portrayed in the emails to the “real sceptical outside world” their job was to upheld CRU in the “scientific society”.

        It was the politicians job to deal with the mere mortals that had brains, so far they are figthing well above their weight. Either that or we are not learning?

        But today’s HadCRUT3 data to July makes interesting reading, it is becomming very doubful that this year will comply with the mantra that it will be one of the “Top Ten” on record.

      • Posted Aug 29, 2011 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

        This strongly suggests that there may be considerable merit to the views of those who consider the various “investigations” as being little more than rather elaborate and expensive exercises in “reputation rehabilitation”.

        Somewhat O/T but … Since you mentioned Osborn, it is worth recalling that Osborn’s name accompanied Briffa’s on the submission of the “response” to (a “reconstruction” of) Boulton’s butchery of David Holland’s submission to Muir Russell. [] The excuse for Osborn’s involvement in the preparation of this masterpiece was that he was a “co-author on the chapter in question” (when in fact he was a Contributing Author)

        The above pdf – from which accuracy, brevity and clarity are conspicuously absent – is described as “Responses from Keith Briffa and Timothy Osborn to questions from Geoffrey Boulton on Review membership” – which (to my non-scientific and non-statistically oriented eyes) bears absolutely no relationship to the content. Skimming it again today was rather reminiscent of the experience I had recently while examining Schmidt’s ever-changing story.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Aug 29, 2011 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

          Yup … they don’t always keep their stories straight.

    • KnR
      Posted Aug 29, 2011 at 5:35 AM | Permalink

      Sadly far to optimistic, there is no sign the climate science community are willing to do anything about the actions of Jones , Mann and the Team .
      Indeed there response has be virtual silence to even the wort of their actions . Why , well it could be because its one in all in deal and its simply not possible to take out these people without bringing the whole lot down .

      Remember that 15 years ago climate science was a minor subject with little funded at most universities and with virtual no public interest . Now there is big funded and lots of students chasing these courses which means lots of staff and lots of need for ‘Professorships’ So there is great deal of self interest in keeping things as they are within the climate science community rather they challenge poor scientific behavior of some of its leaders and risk losing the lot .

      No AGW no IPCC and no AGW a lot less need for climate science and lot less funding, a much lower public profile and lot less students which means a lot less staff . Although its nice to think that scientists are above such things and are really seekers after truth, the reality is their only human and as such will take the same sort of actions any human does to protect their own livelihoods. So mouths shut and enjoy the ride well its last and no rocking the boat for fear of it tipping over .

      • J. Felton
        Posted Sep 2, 2011 at 2:30 AM | Permalink

        Sadly, it’s called ” closing ranks.”

        Unfortunately, most professions aren’t very quick to judge it’s own members, even when there is clear evidence of wrongdoing. Happens all time in teaching, healthcare, and policing. ( Those familiar with the RCMP know what I’m talking about.)

        It seems as there is a ” he’s one of us ” mentality among climate science at the moment, and therefore there is no rush to speak out.
        However, the whispers and conversations are certainly there, and will evuntually be heard.

  15. PaddikJ
    Posted Aug 29, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    “the Joe Romm/Keith Olbermann theory. . .”

    Rather generous & polite to call it a “theory”(but then Steve is always so polite).

    Gotta hand it to the UEA spin-meisters, though – they can make coal dust look like driven snow if you don’t “keep your eye on the pea under the thimble.”

  16. JCM
    Posted Aug 29, 2011 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    My 2 cents says it was a Chinese hack and the authorities know that to be the case but cannot quite figure out which PR firm to hire to help spin the news.

  17. Malcolm Shykles
    Posted Sep 1, 2011 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Murdoch is supporting the Underdogs in order to keep the news flowing. e.g.

    “Australia’s climate scientists expose shock-jock distortion tactics

    Academics catalogue the deluge of spin and misinformation of climate science by various Murdoch-owned papers”

    For “Murdoch” read “William Randolph Hearst”

    “The year was 1897 and tensions were high in the United States due to the growing conflict between our close neighbour Cuba and Spain. William Randolph Hearst, already an established newspaper owner in San Francisco was engaged in a fierce battle for readers between his newly acquired paper the New York He spent untold sums of money to send reporters and correspondents to Cuba to capture the stories of Cuban insurrection. When his artist correspondent, Frederick Remington, arrived in Cuba to cover the anticipated Spanish-American war only to find there were no visible signs of war and cabled Hearst forpermission to come home, Hearst reportedly cabled back, ”You provide the pictures, and I’ll provide the war. ‘This strategy worked, as the Journal sold more than a million copies during the height of the crisis. It also foretold of what was to come in Hearst’s newspapers, the fact that a publisher and the President had an equal right to act for the nation.”

    Newspapers crave news and Murdoch has set up the news; we are in his war of Environmentalists versus Actuality.

  18. Posted Sep 20, 2011 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    I’ve just noticed the BBC’s rather cool power network diagram for Hackgate. Helpful in all kinds of ways but there’s no link between Neil Wallis and “Poor Phil” or anyone at UEA – or even something as basic as Norfolk Police. Don’t you think someone should write in and tell them?

    • Posted Sep 21, 2011 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

      Well, in the words of the BBC, it seems that if they didn’t report it, it may or may not have happened, but it doesn’t warrant entry in their narrative:

      The links shown are all those reported in BBC News stories relating to the phone-hacking scandal and appear at the time they were revealed. Other connections may exist. All those arrested as part of the police investigation into hacking are included, but not all arrests in the related investigation into allegations of inappropriate payments to police will appear.

      But speaking of Wallis, the manner in which they’ve chosen to depict (“airbrush”?!) Wallis’ involvement is curious. In addition to omitting mention of the fact that Wallis was actually arrested in July 2011, unlike other involved personnae, there’s no time-context for any of Wallis’ activities and roles:

      Also in July, Britain’s most senior police officer, Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson (above left), and his deputy, Andy Yates (above right), resigned following criticism of their links to former NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis (centre).

      Mr Wallis, questioned by police investigating hacking, had been hired to advise the Met by communications chief Dick Fedorcio.

      Sir Paul also faced questions over his stay at Champneys spa – co-owned by Stephen Purdew – a family friend. Mr Wallis was also employed by Champneys as a public relations consultant.

      Considering the above, if one didn’t know better, one might almost be inclined to think: ‘Oh, my …. Poor Neil, caught up in this distasteful mess”!

      My guess is that if anyone wrote to tell the BBC about the connections they’ve missed, it would be a miracle if they were to correct the record 😉

  19. Viv Evans
    Posted Sep 23, 2011 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Hilary – you might be interested in these news just posted at the Daily Telegraph:

    I wonder if we might extrapolate from this and assume Neil Wallis kept his connections to other Murdoch journalists open when he was trying to ‘save’ UEA from the storms of climate gate …

    • Posted Sep 24, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

      Wow, thanks Viv … an amazing “divergence” in the Telegraph‘s portrayal of Wallis and that of the BBC. Although the following (from the Telegraph piece) is worth noting:

      It is understood that Mr Wallis was also selling crime stories to other newspapers during his time at Scotland Yard.

      The legality of Mr Wallis, who was effectively working as a police employee, selling potentially confidential police information to tabloid newspapers is not clear.

      Wallis’ actions may or may not have been “legal”; but I cannot imagine any code of “ethics” that would make them permissible. Oh wait, I almost forgot; according to the Financial Times:

      Neil Wallis, the Sunday tabloid newspaper’s former executive editor, had also served as a member of the editors’ code of practice committee at the Press Complaints Commission, the watchdog charged with enforcing journalistic ethics.

      Considering that (according to the same FT article) Wallis’ position in July was that there should be an investigation so that the “public would be reassured” that such arrangements (as his with Scotland Yard at the time that the NOTW hacking investigation was being re-examined) were “not inappropriate”, one might be forgiven for wondering what the provisions of the “editors’ code of practice” might be.

      As for “keeping his connections to other Murdoch journalists open”, it had never occurred to me that Wallis wouldn’t have done so (whether he was being paid or not!)

  20. Posted Sep 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    In this occasional series of the life and times of Neil Wallis, it may be worth noting that the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, announced yesterday that John Stevens – Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington to his friends – will carry out an “independent review” into the future of policing for the Labour party. Stevens was Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police between 2000 and 2005, the last three years of which term our old friend (and most of all Neil’s) Andy Hayman was Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary.

    The plot thickens when you consider an edit to Wikipedia’s page for John Stevens this afternoon (London time) which, as well as revealing the shock news that the News of the World has closed, gave this additional tidbit:

    Stevens also wrote for the News of the World newspaper before it closed in July 2011, many of his earlier articles being ghost-written by Neil Wallis.

    How did the person making the edit know that? Because I read it in the Daily Mail in a cafe earlier – then couldn’t find the text online. Oops, almost gave the game away there.

    • Posted Oct 2, 2011 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

      Stevens also wrote for the News of the World newspaper before it closed in July 2011, many of his earlier articles being ghost-written by Neil Wallis.

      Good grief! This just gets curiouser and curiouser, doesn’t it?! It’s becoming quite challenging to keep track of all the hats that Wallis has worn over the years!

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] by Wallis has been resolved with information obtained by Andrew Montford under FOI – see here. It was the Richard Girling “poor Phil” […]

  2. By Steve McIntyre « Newsbeat1 on Aug 26, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    […] Climate audit update […]

  3. […] that employed the News of the World scandal detectives for their Public relations propaganda, (Neil Wallis and the “Poor Phil” Article) following the Climategate […]

  4. […] Source: […]

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