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Wednesday 25 February 2015

Sun Attacks Its Own Lawyer

The Super Soaraway Currant Bun can never be said to do its knocking copy by halves: once Rupe’s downmarket troops go after someone, there is no holding back, no quarter given. And the paper’s recent attacks on what it terms “Greedy MPs” was no exception: both Labour and Tories were given what The Italian Job’s mastermind Mr Bridger called “a good going over”.
Top of the Sun’s alleged greed pops was, to no surprise, Pa Broon. The paper has had to apologise to Brown so often recently that these recurring events no longer count as news, so it should surprise no-one that no effort is spared to make him look bad, rather than the hacks doing the accusing. But what may surprise some observers is the identity of the Tory MP whose photo appears next to that of the former PM.

CONSERVATIVE MP makes his money from doing legal work as a QC” told the Sun, trowelling it on by making sure readers knew that “MPs coin in £7.4m from 2nd jobs … & here’s [the] top 10”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point. So who is this legal eagle? He is Geoffrey Cox, who represents Torridge and West Devon. But there is something that the Sun is not telling its readers about him.
Fortunately for the cause of transparency, Lisa O’Carroll at the deeply subversive Guardian has, in the course of her court reporting, brought that information to a wider audience as she told readers ofAn Old Bailey trial of four Sun senior journalists” earlier this month. These included the Sun’s chief reporter John Kay, and its deputy editor Geoffrey Webster.

The trial has come about mainly because the Management and Standards Committee of what was then News International effectively shopped the unfortunate hacks to the Met (and, yes, the Sun, and also recently the Sunday Times, have been going after the CPS and even now the judiciary). By the beginning of February, DC Jim Britton was being questioned by those representing the four.

As Ms O’Carroll noted, “The police officer was being questioned by Geoffrey Cox QC for Geoffrey Webster, the deputy editor of the paper and one of four senior Sun journalists including Kay on trial over allegations that they plotted to cause misconduct in public office by approving or requesting payments to public officials for stories. They deny all charges”. Geoffrey Cox QC. Representing Geoffrey Webster.

Yes, the MP whose face the Sun has put in its “gallery of greed” next to Pa Broon is defending the paper’s deputy editor at the Old Bailey right now. Cox is working for the Sun, but even that is not enough to stop the hacks going after him. One has to wonder if there is anyone off-limits when the Murdoch faithful are scratching around for something to fill the next day’s paper. Because working with them doesn’t seem to afford any protection.

I’m sure Geoffrey Cox will bear this in mind when he lets News UK have the bill.


rob said...

"Because working with them doesn’t seem to afford any protection."

Isn't it part of the defendents in this and previous cases that The Sun didn't inform them that what they were doing might be considered illegal?

Not only that haven't there been complaints that they were shopped by their superiors as part of a deal with The Met?

Which seems to indicate that working FOR them doesn't afford much protection either unless you are part of the hierarchy?

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