Fred Scuttle lookalike and nominally Tory MP for Reading East Rob Wilson and his pals at the Daily Mail are not happy today: after all the thunderous condemnation, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has declined to pursue any complaint of wrongdoing against David Sherborne and Carine Patry Hoskins, who were both involved in or around the Leveson Inquiry, and who subsequently started a relationship.
Has anyone in Reading East seen this man?
Wilson, who had invested much of his remaining credibility in this latest exercise in self-promotion, was not happy with the outcome: “This whole process has been nothing other than a complete whitewash ... I have had little confidence in the Bar Standards Board’s handling of this matter from the start, but there were no other avenues to pursue the truth”. And, as the man said, there’s more.
“I asked the Bar Standards Board to investigate in April on becoming aware of concerns about the implications of this relationship for the inquiry report and Lord Justice Leveson’s strange unwillingness to look into the matter himself ... Having taken seven months to investigate, the board has published a single page letter dismissing the complaint, which still leaves obvious questions begging”.
And I have to agree with Wilson on that last point: there are indeed questions to be answered, such as why he devotes so much time to leaking stories to the press and doing their bidding while he is supposed to be a full-time Member of Parliament, for which he is paid out of public funds. Moreover, Leveson did look into the matter, and replied to Wilson, detailing his findings.
That those findings were not what Wilson would have liked to hear is immaterial as to their veracity. Worse for the MP, there is only one paper that is prepared to weigh in on his behalf, and to no surprise at all it is the Daily Mail, with an editorial that is as righteous as it is unintentionally hilarious. Under the heading “Legal Hypocrites”, the BSB is excoriated as “supine” (so not like the PCC, then).
“Yesterday, under cover of the Woolwich verdict, the Bar Standards Board slipped out an announcement that David Sherborne and Carine Patry Hoskins – two lawyers on opposing sides during the Leveson Inquiry who had a secret affair – had been cleared of wrongdoing. The BSB did not bother to establish a disciplinary tribunal ... It simply released a contemptuous two-paragraph statement”.
The editorial continues “Lawyers queued up to declare self-regulation of the newspaper industry a failure, and back Leveson’s call for statutory ‘independent’ regulation of the Press ... Yet, when it comes to their own failures and scandals, they know they can rely on a supine BSB – staffed by, you guessed it, lawyers”. What was that about only those with press experience being able to regulate the press?
What colour is the pot, Dacre kettles? Hypocrites is right – that would be you.