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Ex-editor Dyson lands another political scoop

Former Birmingham Mail editor Steve Dyson has delivered another political scoop in his series of ‘big interviews’ for local radio.

Last week, Birmingham’s director of children’s services revealed during Steve’s ‘HardTalk’ programme for BBC WM that he had sacked six social workers following the death of seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq.

In this week’s interview, being broadcast this morning, former Labour minister Clare Short discloses that she holds fellow female Cabinet memeber Jacqui Smith responsible for ending her career in the party.

She claims that ‘constant haranguing’, ‘nit-picking’ and ‘criticism through the media’ by former Home Secretary Ms Smith that pushed her over the edge into resigning from the Labour Party in 2006.

Ms Smith, a fellow West Midlands MP, was serving as Labour’s Chief Whip at the time and, according to Ms Short, was constantly threatening her with disciplinary action for speaking her mind on issues such as proportional representation.

As a result, Ms Short resigned the Labour Whip and has served the last three-and-a-half years as an Independent Labour MP. She is due to step down from Parliament at the election.

Said Steve: “Clare had been asked exactly why she resigned, and about who said what and when, and it was then that her impassioned voice became cutting at the memory of the events in 2006.

“She had mentioned Jacqui Smith once and then twice in an increasingly disparaging way that I had not heard or read before, leading to my question on whether she was actually blaming the former Home Secretary personally for her resignation.

“This was met with a moment of silence and consideration, but only a moment, before Clare thundered ‘Yes!’, and then went into the detail of how Smith’s nit-picking, haranguing and constant criticism had pushed her over the edge.”

During the interview, Ms Short also confirmed that she would seriously consider standing as an Independent candidate for the job of elected mayor of Birmingham if such a position is created.


Alexander Hough (26/03/2010 09:15:02)
Scoop?? You might want to run this through google news, where there are pages of “Short blames Smith” stuff dating from, errrr, 2006.

ajinexile (26/03/2010 09:57:22)
I agre with Alexanda, the Short-Smith ‘disagreements’ are old hat. But I was interested in the last para –which offers a different angle: do Westminster ‘celebs’ make good mayors?

nathan goldberg (26/03/2010 10:12:56)
why do you continue to run plugs for this Dyson man? There are far, far more important issues for the regional press right now than you cow-towing to old boys calling in favours.

hilary (26/03/2010 10:38:58)
Goldberg, that’s the meanest comment I’ve heard on here for a long time. Dyson may be calling in his contacts for this radio series – he obviously is – but isn’t that what really good reporters always do? Are we not just a teensy bit jealous???

Onlooker (26/03/2010 11:09:58)
Although I enjoy Steve’s blog, I must admit that his ‘scoops’ do seem a bit underwhelming from where I’m sitting. Probably best not to keep boasting about them unless he lands a genuine, 22-carat jaw-dropper.(‘Clare Short ate Tony Blair’s hamster’)

Scoopy McScooperson (26/03/2010 12:08:59)
Sorry, didn’t realise this site had become “Hold the Steve Dyson”

Paul Linford, Editor (26/03/2010 14:37:07)
For the record, we will continue to run stories about Steve and for that matter any other former regional press journalists who are doing interesting things with their lives having left the world of local newspapers. For instance over the last few months we have featured an ex MEN assistant editor who became a driving instructor, a former weekly editor who set up his own hyperlocal news site, a former Newsquest divisional MD who launched a training consultancy, a former Northcliffe deputy editor who now sells men’s handbags – shall I go on?

Hengist Pod (26/03/2010 15:19:07)
Is Steve intent on becoming the Piers Morgan of the regional media world. What next, a TV show interviewing famous Brummies?

WithoutfearorFaber (26/03/2010 16:54:08)
Looking forward to Dyson’s exclusive interview with Steve Brown.