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New Statesman political correspondent's account of Tory bloggers lunch is "work of fiction"

Screen shot 2009-12-19 at 09.23.19James Macintyre is a political correspondent for the New Statesman.

In the recent past he accused the Tories of being "institutionally racist". The article had to be removed from the New Statesman website. He has a history of writing very partisan pieces that have been subsequently rubbished.

Yesterday he wrote a piece about a private lunch that CCHQ's Samuel Coates hosted for Tory bloggers, on Tuesday of last week. Macintyre reported that the Tory bloggers used the meeting to attack CCHQ web strategy and he listed some specific criticisms.

I wasn't at the lunch. Jonathan Isaby represented ConHome and he describes Macintyre's piece as an "utter work of fiction".

Graeme Archer, from CentreRight.com, was at the lunch and emailed me this morning to say that "the biggest two lies in his piece are that bloggers were complaining about access and that we were told to "back off"." Graeme concludes: "The *precise reverse* is the truth."

Shane Greer and ToryBear have already written their own rebuttals. Below James Macintyre's thread other attendees at the lunch also attack the piece. Sam Coates himself writes:

"Not a single thing you say was said at the lunch was actually said - ask anyone who was actually there. Saying Eric Pickles was there is wrong. The number of attendees is wildly wrong. Even the pudding is wrong! In fact, the only things that are right are a few basic snippets that were posted online by centre-right blogs on the day: 1) that it happened on Tuesday, 2) that Hunt, Macrory and the new media team were there, and 3) that there was some boar in the main course). Cracking journalism."

It is very difficult to respect the New Statesman as long as they employ someone willing to write such nonsense.

Tim Montgomerie