The Murdoch Sun has had no hesitation in publishing anything and everything about cricketer Ben Stokes, from his sporting achievements, to the clearly maliciously motivated story about what happened to his family before he was even born, to obediently recycling this week’s dubious claim from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog that he indulged in an act of domestic violence against his wife.
Ben Stokes spots a Sun reporter
But what the Super Soaraway Currant Bun will not tell its readers is that Stokes has signalled that enough is enough: he has instructed lawyers, and has taken legal action against the Murdoch mafiosi, along with his Mum Deborah, over the Sun exhuming that 31-year-old story about a family tragedy. What the Sun is also not telling its readers is that Stokes is being represented by one of the tabloid press’ hate figures.
As Byline Investigates, which exclusively broke the story yesterday, had told, “Ben Stokes is retaining barrister David Sherborne, who is fighting the Duke of Sussex's phone hacking case against The Sun and Mirror … Mr Sherborne … made his name at the Leveson Inquiry and then went on to represent hundreds of victims of media intrusion in the High Court”. Sherborne famously grilled the likes of Paul Dacre. Who didn’t like it one bit.
So the press hates Sherborne with a vengeance. And what the Sun is also not telling its readers is that the story which has landed the Murdoch goons in hot legal water was written by its “Chief Foreign Correspondent” Nick “Nosey” Parker, named in another Byline Investigates piece as the paper’s “master of the Dark Arts”.
The Murdoch press wanted the world to know that it would not tolerate its staff engaging in criminal activity, that all had been cleaned up from the bad old days of the late and not at all lamented Screws. Parker got himself convicted for handling a stolen mobile phone. Did the Murdoch press sack him? You jest. They took him back. The prosecution rests.
Blimey - old Nosey!
One thing is clear: the Murdoch mafiosi are taking this one very seriously indeed. As the Guardian has reported, “A spokesperson for the Sun declined to comment on the case. The newspaper’s original ‘world exclusive’ story, carrying the byline of Nick Parker, has been removed from its online edition and replaced with a web address referencing legal issues, while tweets from the Sun’s account about the story have been deleted”.
The Guardian account also notes that David Sherborne “is representing Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry in their legal challenges against newspapers”. That’s another reason the Murdoch press aren’t keen on admitting Stokes has decided to take them to the cleaners. And another reason their editors will be close to spontaneously combusting.
Another day, another payoff?
Worst for the Sun, the activities of Nick Parker - taken back by the Murdoch press, despite their knowing his track record - are likely to have the brightest and most uncomfortable spotlight shone on them as this case progresses. We are likely to see just how effective that much-vaunted clean-up of their act has really been.
So expect News UK to try and pay Ben Stokes and his Mum off, well before any kind of damaging disclosure is made. What the Sun really doesn’t want to tell its readers.
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