Telegraph smear story exposed as BBC states Tories behind ‘Get Clegg’ newspaper campaign

by Stephen Tall on April 22, 2010

Last night the Telegraph splashed its entire front page with a silly smear story about Nick Clegg receiving donations into his bank account. It’s been demolished within 24 hours, as the BBC reports:

Mr Clegg released copies of his bank statements and other paperwork in an attempt to clear up the row. The figures released by the party show donations from three private donors amounting to £19,690 were paid into Mr Clegg’s account between January 2006 and January 2008.

But according to the Lib Dems’ figures Mr Clegg paid £20,437.30 into party coffers between March 2006 and February 2008 for staffing costs.

So much for the Torygraph’s reputation for news credibility: knocked down with one desperate attempt to thwart the Lib Dem’ chances. Perhaps they think it was worth the loss of their integrity.

But more interesting than the Torygraph’s bit of nonsense is this revelation by the BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson that the rightwing papers’ smear campaign was coordinated by Team Cameron:

I now learn that political reporters from the Tory-backing papers were called in one by one to discuss how Team Cameron would deal with “Cleggmania” and to be offered Tory HQ’s favourite titbits about the Lib Dems – much of which appears in today’s papers.

If ever we needed proof that the Tories remain the nasty party, here it is. Thankfully they can’t even mount a smear operation competently, and today’s rightwing attacks on Nick Clegg has comprehensively backfired on the Tories and their allies in the press.