He should have realised from his affair with Petronella Wyatt: London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is never going to have enough financial, and therefore legal, clout to hold the press at bay for long. This is especially important for any politician unable to keep his trousers firmly zipped up, and today it has once again been Bozza’s undoing.
We knew about his affair with Ms Wyatt, mainly because of Bozza’s ridiculous protestations of innocence, including the “inverted pyramid of piffle” remark, and his subsequent sacking by Michael Howard for lying about it. What was also known was that he had a later affair with Helen Macintyre, which resulted in Bozza’s long-suffering wife Marina throwing him out of the marital home.
What caused Bozza to be ejected was the thought that Ms Macintyre’s newly born daughter was the result of the affair. So it might be thought that this news would just filter out and be reported, but that thought would have been misplaced. There was even the obligatory source close to Bozza (ie himself) waffling “Is Boris the father of this child? It’s quite likely he hasn’t the faintest idea”.
Like heck he didn’t: his wife didn’t chuck him out of the house on a mere whim. This was not helped by Ms Macintyre not exactly keeping her own counsel on the identity of the father. That was most unwise, because the next thing was that the Daily Mail came sniffing after the story. And the paper has the very deepest pockets when it comes to fighting its legal disputes.
So the Mail was not put off, even when Ms Macintyre and her backers took their privacy case to appeal before Master of the Rolls Lord Justice Dyson. They had been instructed to pay damages for publishing a photograph of the child, and did not contest the ruling. But in the case that led to the appeal, the Mail had prevailed in the matter of reporting the affair and its consequences.
The appeal upheld that judgment. And what Bozza and Ms Macintyre did not want to hear was this comment: “The core information in this story, namely that the father had an adulterous affair with the mother, deceiving both his wife and the mother's partner and that the claimant, born about 9 months later, was likely to be the father's child, was a public interest matter which the electorate was entitled to know when considering his fitness for high public office”.
Thus the Mail is now crowing “Boris's secret lovechild and a victory for the public's right to know: Judge rejects lover's attempts to keep daughter's birth quiet”, and whoever is backing Ms Macintyre is rather worse off. The moral of the story is not only to keep schtum, but not to get into a legal war with the Daily Mail.
Especially if Bozza is involved. Cripes, readers! Oo-er!! Yikes chaps!!!
What happened to the so-called chilling effect of Leveson that would not allow such public interest stories to be published?
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