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Description

Guido Fawkes is a right-wing political website published by British-Irish political blogger Paul Staines.

History

In September 2004, Staines began writing an anonymous blog about British politics under the name of Guido Fawkes, an alternative name of Guy Fawkes, one of the group that plotted to blow up the Palace of Westminster in 1605. In February 2005, The Guardian reported that the Fawkes blog shared a fax number with Staines. Although he subsequently refused to confirm the links, further media coverage continued to name Staines as Fawkes until the airing of a BBC Radio 4 documentary about him on 10 February 2007, which gave a detailed history and background, and prompted his blog post "So Much for Anonymity".

In 2005, Guido was voted the best in the Political Commentary category of The Backbencher Political Weblog Awards, run by The Guardian. It wasn't a survey of Guardian readers explicitly; rather, it was an internet poll linked to the Guido Fawkes website. In May 2006, Staines (as Guido Fawkes) co-authored a book with Iain Dale, which was critical of the Labour Party's practices since taking office in 1997.

In April 2006, Staines was one of numerous bloggers subject to an injunction[10] from News International for publishing a picture of the undercover journalist Mazher Mahmood. Staines agreed to publish the photo if 10 other bloggers would do so. The picture remained on Guido, and, following legal action from George Galloway, was subsequently released into the public domain.

Guido reported the allegation that Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was having an extramarital affair with an MP. It also named the woman in question, saying that such rumours had long been shared among Westminster journalists, but that the blog was being less hypocritical and breaking the clique by refusing to cover up such stories. The coverage of the Prescott affair drew considerable extra traffic to Staines's blog.

He was named at number 36 in the "Top 50 newsmakers of 2006" in The Independent, for his blog, and his role in the Prescott scandal in particular. In 2011 GQ ranked him, alongside co-author Harry Cole, jointly at number 28 in the magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential Men in Britain.

Staines encourages readers to forward political documents and information, which he publishes on his blog. One such leak was a strategy document for the Peter Hain for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party campaign. This leak caused embarrassment to Hain's campaign as it included information on MPs who had not gone public with their support, as well as others who were supposed to be independent.

"Tottywatch" is an irregular feature that comprises pictures of attendees at political events. Although the pictures are of both men and women, the majority are of attractive young women. Staines' wife is referred to as Mrs Fawkes and his daughters as Miss Fawkes and Ms Fawkes. On Monday mornings, the blog features a Monday Morning Point of View cartoon by "Rich&Mark", cartoonist Rich Johnston, archived at the RichAndMark website.

In 2012, RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast a documentary about Staines, Our Man in Westminster, as part of its Documentary on One series.

Vote Leave employee Tom Harwood was hired as a Guido reporter in July 2018; he left in 2021 to join GB News.

Staines has said that Steve Bannon, former Chief of Staff to Donald Trump and head of Breitbart News, once tried to buy Guido. "That fell through over price," Staines told Press Gazette. "I never could work out whether we were talking dollars or sterling".

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