Sunday 17 December 2017

You couldn't make up latest shameful story of betrayal

The extraordinary drama that is Hackingate is still far from being played out, writes John McEntee

Less than a month ago, not even the most feverishly imaginative journalist in the Fleet Street diaspora could have conjured up a dramatic front page featuring a picture of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks alongside her close friend Sara Payne above a headline: 'Named and Shamed: News of the World Targeted Sara Payne.'

The banner headline on Friday's London Independent was positioned above the facsimile of the 'Named and Shamed' front page of Rebekah's News of the World almost exactly 11 years ago listing the names and addresses of known sex offenders.

To quote WB Yeats, all is changed, changed utterly. Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was murdered by a sex offender in 2000, triggering Brooks's successful campaign for a Sarah's Law, wrote a valedictory piece in the final edition of the News of the World earlier this month in tribute to her "good and trusted" friends at the newspaper.

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