Peter Geoghegan Profile picture
Editor-in-chief @openDemocracy. Author of Sunday Times best-selling Democracy for Sale. Political Insight. Irish.
Dame Chris🌟🇺🇦😷 #RejoinEU #FBPE #GTTO🔶️ Profile picture Dave Kahn #FBPE Profile picture Sportinglesbian Profile picture Rt Hon Sir European, always 🏳️‍🌈🇪🇺😷💚 Profile picture John Lockhart Profile picture 5 added to My Authors
Aug 25 5 tweets 3 min read
🔥🔥🔥 HUGE WIN FOR @openDemocracy

Cabinet Office review into its 'Orwellian' Freedom of Information Clearing House calls for it to be disbanded and replaced with a 'centre of excellence'.

This comes after 2 years+ of reporting by @openDemocracy 🧵
gov.uk/government/pub… When we revealed in 2020 how the Clearing House was vetting Freedom of Information requests from journalists and preventing the release of 'sensitive' information, the Cabinet Office smeared us.

Michael Gove said we were "tendentious and ridiculous"

opendemocracy.net/en/freedom-of-…
Jun 10 7 tweets 4 min read
🚨 Remember 'cash for ash' in Northern Ireland? Well it's been happening in Britain, too.

Tory minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan and senior backbench MPs are among those raking in a fortune from it.

Must read investigation by @carolinejmolloy @openDemocracy
opendemocracy.net/en/renewable-h… This story is *wild*.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced in 2011 to encourage a shift to cleaner energy.

The regulator warned people were 'gaming' system - but government did nothing.

Meanwhile Tory MPs, members of the Lords and the very rich profited.
Apr 29 9 tweets 5 min read
A parliamentary inquiry has condemned British government for running a secretive Freedom of Information 'clearing house'.

From moment @openDemocracy broke this story in 2019, government has smeared our work.

So: Any chance of an apology Mr Gove? 🧵
opendemocracy.net/en/freedom-of-… British government's attacks on @openDemocracy 's reporting started from moment we revealed that a Cabinet Office 'clearing house' was vetting Freedom of Information requests, in November 2019.

Cabinet Office denied that this was happening. It was
opendemocracy.net/en/freedom-of-…
Jan 19 5 tweets 3 min read
🚨 EXCLUSIVE: UK government is refusing to say whether Sue Gray will record or publish interviews conducted during her Partygate investigation...

@JolyonMaugham says police should take over investigation as MP warns of 'white wash'

New @openDemocracy
opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocra… Boris Johnson has repeatedly cited Sue Gray as an excuse to avoid Partygate questions - but how can the public access her investigation?

Cabinet Office refuses to say whether even a list is being kept of people whom Gray interviews during her probe.
Jan 14 4 tweets 3 min read
🚨🚨🚨 Boom: Emails show how Sue Gray was consulted over decision to withhold information about Grenfell fire.

Grenfell campaigners dismiss excuse as “gobbledegook”.

Cracking @JennaCorderoy exclusive on @openDemocracy
opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-… Sue Gray has *serious* form on stymying transparency.

A campaigner this week said he had "no confidence" in Gray handling 'partygate' inquiry after she cited the Chilcot Inquiry as an example of how to “releas[e] the information in a managed way”.
opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocra…
Nov 11, 2021 9 tweets 7 min read
At 5pm (Thurs 11) we're hosting a live discussion on corruption in Britain (timely, no?) w/ @OliverBullough @susanpjhawley and @premnsikka

Do register to join
us02web.zoom.us/webinar/regist…

@openDemocracy has been leading the fight to clean up British politics for years (a thread) At the weekend, @openDemocracy (with the Sunday Times) revealed that Conservative treasurers who donate £3m to the party get seats in the House of Lords.

Fair to say the story made waves 😬
opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-…
Oct 30, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
I wrote a thing, for first time in ages.

Prompted by Telegraph story that said 'the British public wants a referendum on Net Zero'.

Surprise, surprise it's all astroturf and and dark money.

And it's not the only uncanny parallel w/Brexit campaign
opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-… From the ERG 2.0 - 'the Net Zero Scrutiny Group' - to fake grassroots campaigns fronted by Reclaim party reps to the rush of political donations from oil and gas companies to the Tories, the campaign against climate change really feels like early days of Brexit campaigning.
Jun 8, 2021 7 tweets 3 min read
BOOM🚨British Government has lost three-year-long battle to block transparency over its secretive FOI 'Clearing House' unit

Judge finds a “profound lack of transparency” and Cabinet Office 'misled' court over its FOI operation

New @openDemocracy scoop:
opendemocracy.net/en/freedom-of-… Details of this case are *wild*.

Michael Gove has spent months thrashing @openDemocracy 's reporting. In April he called it "ridiculous and tendentious".

But behind scenes Gove's Cabinet Office was furiously backtracking, releasing bits of documents to try to make us go away.
Apr 14, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
🚨🚨🚨 Dozen+ firms received furlough cash after being awarded public contracts worth hundreds of millions.

Among them a digital marketing firm given £19m to supply medical gowns and pest control firm given £350m for PPE. 😬

Latest from @martinrw and me opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-… Faculty Science - was part-owned by a government minister when it was given Covid contracts - has received furlough cash.

So has Randox, which won £479m in COVID-testing contracts, and paid former government minister Owen Paterson £120 an hour to act as a consultant.
Feb 9, 2021 4 tweets 4 min read
Today's big British media news:

Editors of Times, Guardian, Telegraph, FT, Mirror, Paul Dacre, and many others have all signed an @openDemocracy letter calling for 'urgent' investigation of Cabinet Office's secretive FOI 'Clearing House'.

opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocra… #saveourfoi This show of Fleet Street unity follows directly from @openDemocracy 's reporting on how FOI requests are being stonewalled and requests from journalists and others are being vetted.

More on today's letter in @guardian theguardian.com/politics/2021/… and BBC bbc.com/news/uk-559882…
Jan 3, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Britain needs to deal with how, and why, a tiny group of newspaper columnists, backbench MPs, and anonymously funded thinktanks are able to warp public debate - with disastrous consequences.

My @guardian latest on the obsession with Sweden and Covid theguardian.com/commentisfree/… All the talk of Sweden - like 'alternative arrangements' during Brexit - has made a real difference to what Boris Johnson has done and, crucially, not done.

In September, PM decided not act after meeting with three pro-herd immunity scientists including Sweden's Anders Tegnell
Nov 8, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
I *really* shouldn't spend my Sunday mornings doing this but as a journalist whose job is to dig into things decided to take a look at these numbers... (v short thread)

So 840 people aged 101+. Sounds like a lot, yeah? There were 13,170 centenarians in UK in 2018 according to ONS. Pennsylvania population is c12m, roughly 5 times UK's. So would expect around 2,500 people aged 101+ in PA. Is it a huge surprise that c. a third of these voted?
Oct 28, 2020 11 tweets 5 min read
The IEA is supremely well-connected in Westminster. Its director general is a trade advisor to Liz Truss. It doesn't declare its donors.

Now an IEA advisor says it's 'hiding' behind charity laws to act as a lobbying outfit.

New @openDemocracy exclusive

opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-… Anthony J Evans says the IEA prioritises “trolling” critics on social media while 'hiding' behind its charitable status to lobby.

Evans is listed as a member of the IEA’s shadow monetary policy committee – he says he stopped participating but “no one appeared to even notice”
Oct 28, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Have starting to listen to loads of different morning radio shows to get a better handle on what's happening across the UK/int'l. Today @bbcradioulster. Plus: get great local coverage. Minus: have to listen to Sammy Wilson spread Covid misinfo, then blame rise on the GAA. Sammy is like the comment pages of the Telegraph made flesh (and given a seat in Parliament)
Oct 17, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
This really is remarkable. A credit rating agency, Moody's, citing "weakening" of British democracy as factor in yesterday's UK downgrade
ft.com/content/117349…

And what does UK government intend to do about this? Well, Tories floated idea of abolishing Electoral Commission... You'd think having written a book called 'Democracy for Sale' all about how British democracy has been degraded and undermined, I'd be inured to this sort of thing. But I'm still shocked to see a rating's agency say this and barely anyone bat an eyelid.
Sep 24, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
Remember Lubov Chernukhin, top Tory donor whose husband was secretly given $8m by a Kremlin-friendly oligarch before Brexit ref in 2016? Well, turns out Electoral Commission has had concerns about her and other Tory Russian donors for a while (thread)

opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-… In internal emails, UK elections watchdog alerted staff to 'interesting donations' from Lubov Chernukhin, flagged Chernukhin in discussions around 'foreign interference' in Britain and queried other Tory donations from Russian-linked businesses. Ultimately, no action was taken
Sep 21, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Sitting down to watch @BBCPanorama 's documentary about how Russian money has flooded into British public life, and the City has facilitated industrial level money laundering. Should be interesting.... 😬 Remarkable line in this Panorama. When journalists went to UK government with their findings, government declined to comment but on Friday, a few days before broadcast, announced new plans for company rules to combat fraud....
Sep 17, 2020 8 tweets 4 min read
Shanker Singham’s consultancy spent $20,000 on Washington lobbyists pushing for a US-UK free trade deal.

MPs raise concerns about conflicts of interest w/Singham is in line for slice of £200m govt contract.

Latest @openDemocracy scoop w/ @marcusleroux

opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-… Int'l trade secretary Liz Truss appointed Singham to a key UK government commission on trade and agriculture - while he was continuing to work for undisclosed private clients.

"These relationships should be known and not hidden" says @AngusMacNeilSNP
Sep 15, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
A *very* curious tale. March 16, Boris Johnson told Britons to avoid ‘non-essential contact’. Three days later PM met Evgeny Lebedev's holding company-but No 10 says meeting was 'personal' so refuses to release any details.

New from @RussellScott1 and me
opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-… 72 hours after warning British public to cease all unnecessary contact Johnson meets Lebedev Holdings at the PM's private residence. So that's a company, must be a business/political meeting and fully declared as such? Nope, No 10 says it's 'personal' so all details private
Sep 5, 2020 4 tweets 1 min read
Grimly fascinating to watch how stars of 90s - from Brown to Matt Le Tissier - are demonstrating in real time how conspiracy theories are taking hold across what I reckon is a really sizeable chunk of Britain. It's easy to just completely dismiss Ian Brown's ravings but that totally misses the point. These aren't aberrations they are very public manifestations of a radicalisation process that is talking place in houses right across the land, especially driven by Facebook groups
Aug 21, 2020 5 tweets 4 min read
A few months before his arrest Steve Bannon boasted to me that he talked to Europe’s populist leaders “on a fairly regular basis” and was “still working behind the scenes driving stuff.”

Extract on @openDemocracy from my new book (thread) opendemocracy.net/en/5050/dark-m… My book draws on fantastic work of @5050oD @ClaireProvost @nandi_naira tracking rise of populists and backlash against women's and minority rights. If you don't follow, you should!

They've shown how US ultra-conservatives poured millions into Europe opendemocracy.net/en/5050/reveal…