Mary Fitzgerald, Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy:
It’s a privilege to do this job.
As editor-in-chief, when the award nominations and accolades pour in, you get to bask in the glory of your brilliant, tenacious colleagues.
Equally, when your organisation gets threatened by powerful, sometimes dangerous people who want to silence it, it’s your job to take that heat.
Often those threats come in the form of expensive lawyers’ letters, usually from the expected quarters. Oligarchs. Criminals. Sex offenders.
But something happened recently which was completely unexpected. We’ve decided to go public about it, not only because the Liberal Democrats have some serious questions to answer. But also because it stinks of the cynicism and fakery we’ve seen across politics during this election.
And it would be quite funny – except it’s not.
It all started when we published a story by my colleague Jim Cusick, a highly experienced political reporter. It was about how the Liberal Democrats had sold voter data to the official Remain campaign, Britain Stronger In Europe, for £100,000 back in 2016.
The Lib Dems have always maintained there was nothing wrong with the lucrative deal, but it raised eyebrows, and the Information Commissioner launched an investigation. You can read more about that here.
The way in which the Liberal Democrats have handled this cements, in my mind, that they’ve truly become the ‘yellow Tories’. 🙁