Beckham hack reveals No-support was attempt to win “establishment” favour
FOOTBALL STAR David Beckham was persuaded to oppose Scottish independence as part of a campaign to bag himself a top royal honour, leaked emails in his name reveal.
Beckham, a former England and Manchester United player, was caught up in the scandal after FootballLeaks – the Wikileaks of football – divulged a series of unflattering emails between him and Simon Oliveira, his chief public relations adviser.
Beckham and Oliveira are revealed in the emails to have concocted various ways of appealing to the honour committee system, including placing the issue on the Jonathon Ross TV show and through charity work.
A month before the independence vote, Oliveira advised Beckham that: “I also think your support [for the No Campaign] will play well with establishment and in turn help your knighthood.”
With Beckham’s agreement, his PR man drafted a full statement in his name. According to FootballLeaks, “It did not contain any of Beckham’s words.”
FootballLeaks was previously involved in the European Investigative Collaborations reporting on tax avoidance by high-profile football players.
Beckham’s anti-indy statement was released just days before Scotland went to the polls in September 2014. His spokesperson claims the emails are inaccurate.
It’s not the first example of behind the scenes political shenanigans within the celebrity and entertainment sector.
The UK Government was accused of trying to stop the serialisation of hit TV show Outlander, which is based on the Jacobite rising, due to fears it would boost support for independence. Leaked emails revealed that Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the political sensitivity of the show in relation to independence with top Sony officials.
A briefing for the meeting said “the importance of OUTLANDER (i.e., particularly vis-à-vis the political issues in the U.K. as Scotland contemplates detachment this Fall)” would be discussed.
Picture courtesy of Kevin Xukun HU
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