Saturday 24 June 2017

Ruth Dudley Edwards: Affair exposed on historic day for British press

The tables were turned in court on two former editors of the defunct 'News of the World'

EDITORIAL JUDGEMENT: Rebekah Brooks outside the Old Bailey, where details of an alleged affair with co-accused Andy Coulson were read out in court
EDITORIAL JUDGEMENT: Rebekah Brooks outside the Old Bailey, where details of an alleged affair with co-accused Andy Coulson were read out in court
Andy Coulson

What a week it's been for the incestuous group of politicians and journalists who enjoy a love-hate relationship in their Westminster bubble. Journalists fraternise with politicians to extract information: politicians play along because they love good company and crave positive publicity. But when, in 2009, the Daily Telegraph published information on parliamentarians' expenses that led to open season on hundreds of MPs and peers, politicians were furious and whispered in dark corners about how the wings of the press should be clipped.

Revelations about phone-hacking led to the closure after 170 years of News International's News of the World (NOTW), and after harrowing testimony about tabloid excesses at the Leveson Inquiry, angry victims set up Hacked Off – a lobby group driven by luvvies and media academics.

In their secret desire for vengeance and a tame press, instead of the "voluntary, independent, self-regulation" recommended by Lord Justice Leveson, politicians agreed with Hacked Off to institute a form of press regulation that would involve the state.

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