Sometimes, editorial decisions just happen to go wrong. Sometimes they go deliberately wrong. Which of those applies to the BBC’s latest lack of coverage is something I will leave to others to decide. What is hard to dispute is that someone in New Broadcasting House made a decision that once again casts suspicion on the supposed impartiality of our national broadcaster - and its relationship with our free and fearless press.
Fortunately, the people at ITV News realised the importance of what was going on at the High Court yesterday, telling their audience “High Court challenge begins over cancellation of part two of Leveson Inquiry” and going on to add “The Government’s decision not to go ahead with the second part of the Leveson Inquiry into press standards and regulation is being challenged at the High Court”. There was more.
“The challenge is being brought by Christopher Jefferies, Kate and Gerry McCann, and Jacqui Hames, who all gave evidence during the first part of the inquiry”. Jefferies had been wrongly accused by the press of murdering Joanna Yeates, the press pursuit of the McCanns after their daughter Madeleine disappeared is well known, and Ms Hames was subjected to a catalogue of intrusion by those acting on behalf of the Murdoch mafiosi.
Kate and Gerry McCann
She had also received apologies and damages from the Mirror titles, who had probably been indulging in phone hacking as a means of keeping up with the Screws and Sun. At the time that press stooge Matt Hancock, who claims to be a minister, caved in to pressure from the newspaper owners and canned Leveson 2, she was unimpressed.
The ITV report confirms this: “Speaking after Mr Hancock’s announcement, Ms Hames said the Conservatives had broken a promise by former prime minister David Cameron to finish the inquiry and she had ‘no confidence’ in the Government”. But not only is ITV almost alone in reporting proceedings, there is one more item that makes this potentially damaging not just for the Government, but also former PM David Cameron.
JOLLY BAD RECORDING SHEOW!
Young Dave has, according to the Murdoch Sun, become bored with life outside politics and would rather like to return to the fray as Foreign Secretary (the sense of entitlement of such people is sometimes just beyond parody). Before he does so, he has the small matter of having been recorded promising Leveson 2 to victims of press abuse.
Yes, as the Telegraph, the only national to carry any report of the case, has confirmed “David Cameron was secretly recorded pledging to press intrusion victims that the second part of the Leveson Inquiry would go ahead, the High Court has heard. Senior judges were told the then-prime minister made a ‘clear and unambiguous commitment’ at a meeting in November 2012 with Christopher Jefferies, Kate McCann and Jacqui Hames”.
Why does this matter? The Tel adds “Lawyers for the Government argued whatever Mr Cameron said at the meeting ‘cannot and does not give rise to a binding obligation’ to proceed with the second part of the inquiry … They also complained about a ‘covert recording’ made of the 2012 meeting, which was only recently disclosed to the Government's legal team”. They complained because this could be crucial.
His reputation is on the line ...
So let’s sum up. One, the reputations, such as they are, of Matt Hancock and his then ministerial colleague Amber Rudd are being shredded here. Two, the covert recording of what Young Dave told those victims of press abuse could sway the case, and away from the Government’s preferred outcome. And Three, Cameron’s planned comeback could be dealt a fatal blow as a result. All of those are newsworthy items.
... and so is hers
Yet the BBC, along with most of the press, has kept schtum on the case. Why would they do that? Another case of You May Wish To Speculate Thus - I Couldn’t Possibly Comment.
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