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RedBird IMI's Telegraph deal a headache for Sunak

RedBird IMI's Telegraph deal a headache for Sunak


As trade between the UK and the UAE surpassed 25.3 billion last year, Rishi Sunak is increasingly concerned that his government is blocking the RedBird IMI bid, backed by United Arab Emirates, for the project.Today's telegraphband.

The UAE is taking this issue seriously at the state level, which could jeopardize a complex set of relationships, my informant close to the bidding process said. There are also personal issues for Sunak, as Infosys, the IT conglomerate co-founded by his father-in-law NR Narayana Murthy, has numerous business interests in the UAE. Even one of the rival bidders, theDaily MailLord Rothermere, the owner, must tread carefully as his exhibition business is also heavily dependent on income from the region.

Lucy Frazer, the Culture Secretary, is currently reviewing theTelegraphsale amid concerns over foreign control of a national newspaper. The already tense situation was hardly helped by the row over Islamophobia which followed Lee Anderson's intemperate speeches against London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

I am told that the RedBird IMI team are also well aware that parliamentary opposition to their candidacy is being coordinated by Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is paid 32,000 a month to work as a presenter for GB News, whose majority owner is Paul Marshall. RedBird's main rival IMI will take over theTelegraph. The charity Hope Not Hate exposed Marshall last week for sharing and liking anti-Muslim posts on social media platform X, shortly before Anderson disgraced himself and had the Tory whip removed.

My insider adds: “I have a feeling Sunak will either ask Frazer to accept the UAE bid or throw the whole process into the long grass and make it a problem for Labor when they take office.” . He is also of course wary of any action that contradicts his message that the UK wants to do business with the whole world.

Although Chris Evans, theTelegrapheditor-in-chief, has expressed his opposition to a takeover of the newspaper supported by the United Arab Emirates, the feeling in his editorial staff is ambivalent to say the least. Journalists know that RedBird IMI has the money the newspaper needs to ensure it is adequately funded in the years to come. I suspect that Lloyds Bank, which effectively forced a sale of the Telegraph business to recoup monies it had lent to the Barclay family, also sees a sale to RedBird IMI as the quickest and easiest way to recoup its losses.

Curiously, Marshall is advised in his offer to purchase theTelegraphby Paul Zwillenberg, who was CEO and chairman of Rothermeres until parting ways with him in 2022.EmailThe man tells me: Since they were together at Duke University in the United States, Paul has been Rothermeres' mini-me. When Rothermere went grouse hunting, Paul decided to learn to shoot so he could go too; when his boss received monogrammed shirts, he received them; he drank the same vintage wine and insisted on staying in the exact same hotel suites that Rothermere had stayed in. Frankly, Paul's involvement in Marshall's candidacy is really a bromance gone sour.

With her post-Prime Minister earnings dwarfed by those of Boris Johnson and even Theresa May, Liz Truss needed to make friends and influence people on her trip to the US to attend the Action Conference conservative politics in America, but it received, at best, mixed reviews.

Syed Mahmood, who was one of the organizers of a leaders' dinner held at the same time at the Waldorf Astoria in Washington, DC, invited Truss to speak for five minutes about a trade deal between the U.K. United and the United States and has made it clear that she should not talk about her ideology or her new book.

Overall, his trip didn't go well, he added. In the United States, no one cares what a hapless former British Prime Minister says.

He said she had received a lot of bad publicity and felt her advisers were not very good. He told Jonathan Isaby, the former gossip columnist who is now Truss' communications manager, that he should have organized more high-profile events for his boss involving serious broadcasters like CNN or ABC rather than going to CPAC to appear alongside Donald Trump's former acolyte. Steve Bannon.

He said Truss seemed surprised that the leaders' dinner was attended by both Republicans and Democrats, making her feel like she wasn't used to venturing outside of her comfort zone. far right.

Even though Sir Ed Davey's media team was irked that three-quarters of his interview with Laura Kuenssberg this weekend was devoted to his failure to take action within the coalition government over the scandal of the Post Office, things could have been even worse. Kuenssberg could also have asked the Lib Dem leader how he just accepted a donation of 25,000 euros from oil and gas magnate Francesco Mazzagatti.

Sir Ed took the money to pay for a table for him and his band at the London Air Ambulance Black and White Gala at Raffles in London earlier this month. A good cause, sure, but taking money from a man so involved in the fossil fuel industry when the Liberal Democrats are proposing a windfall tax on the oil and gas industry and seeking to boost renewable energy doesn't help. is not a good idea.

Mazzagatti leads a group of energy companies whose main activity is upstream oil and gas production through his company RockRose Energy which he acquired in September 2020. It has a significant turnover of 873.4 million in 2022, up 400 million from 2021 and is now looking to pursue future acquisition opportunities in the North Sea and beyond.

You might have thought a penny would be too much to pay for the thoughts of Dominic Raab, Sir Gavin Williamson, Sir Alok Sharma, Guto Harri and Lord David Frost, but surprisingly they helped Chartwell Speakers, the speakers agency established in 2007, to accumulate 600,000 in annual profits, which brought it to 1.15 million in cumulative earnings.

Curiously and perhaps for comic relief, Dido Harding, who oversaw what the Public Accounts Committee called the unimaginable cost of 22 billion in testing and tracing during the Covid pandemic, is put forward by Chartwell to talk about leadership . Our speakers provide knowledge and inspiration to audiences, with practical, actionable tips for success, the company says.

Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, might disagree. She stressed that Harding, in charge of testing and tracing, could not point to a single measurable difference in the progression of the pandemic. British taxpayers, Hiller said, cannot be treated by the government like a cash machine.

I guess Harding didn't turn out to be one of Chartwell's most in-demand speakers.




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