Miliband Letter to Lord Rothermere in Full

Dear Lord Rothermere,

Yesterday I spoke at a memorial event held at Guy’s Hospital in London for my uncle, Professor Harry Keen, a distinguished doctor who died earlier this year. It was an event in a room on the 29th floor of Guy’s Hospital which was attended only by family members, close friends and colleagues.

I was told by one of my relatives late yesterday evening that a reporter from the Mail on Sunday had found her way into the event uninvited. I also discovered that, once there, she approached members of my family seeking comments on the controversy over the Daily Mail’s description of my late father as someone who “hated Britain”.

My wider family, who are not in public life, feel understandably appalled and shocked that this can have happened.

The Editor of the Mail on Sunday has since confirmed to my office that a journalist from his newspaper did indeed attend the memorial uninvited with the intention of seeking information for publication this weekend.

Sending a reporter to my late uncle’s memorial crosses a line of common decency. I believe it a symptom of the culture and practices of both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.

There are many decent people working at those newspapers and I know that many of them will be disgusted by this latest episode. But they will also recognise that what has happened to my family has happened to many others.

I believe no purpose would be served by me complaining to the Press Complaints Commission because it is widely discredited.

Instead, I am writing to you as the owners of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday because I believe it is long overdue that you reflect on the culture of your newspapers. You should conduct your own swift investigation into who was responsible at a senior level for this latest episode and also who is responsible for the culture and practices of these newspapers which jar so badly with the values of your readers.

There are bigger issues for the people of Britain in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis for a century than intrusion into the life of my family. But the reaction of many people to the Daily Mail’s attacks on my father this week demonstrates that the way your newspapers have behaved does not reflect the real character of our country.

It is now your responsibility to respond.
Ed Miliband

Well this could be a blow to the ambitious plans of Mail on Sunday Editor Geordie Greig.

Telegraph’s Steve Hawkes Comes Home to The Sun

With Graeme Wilson off to Downing Street, the Sun has signed former business editor Steve Hawkes as its deputy political editor. One time contender to become Bank of England governor, Hawkes moved to the Telegraph earlier this year. Now he’s back home. 

Miliband Goes Crying to Mail

Miliband’s decision to rise to the Mail saying mean things about his dad went well then. Touch a nerve?

“Britain has always benefited from a free Press. Those freedoms should be treasured. They are vital for our democracy. Journalists need to hold politicians like me to account — none of us should be given an easy ride — and I look forward to a robust 19 months between now and the General Election. 

But what appeared in the Daily Mail on Saturday was of a different order all together. I know they say ‘you can’t libel the dead’, but you can smear them.”

So Ed gets a fifth of the page, the Mail use to the rest to twist the knife. Comprehensively. What did he expect them to do?

You Won’t Like Them When They’re Angry

The Mail have given Ed Miliband a right of reply to Geoffrey Levy’s hatchet job at the weekend that accused his late father of ‘hating Britain’. A source familiar with the situation tells Guido that Labour leader ‘went absolutely spastic’ about it. Eighteen months out of the election and Ed might have to get used to this. Nick Clegg got a worse pasting in 2010…

Read Guido’s Column in The Sun on Sunday Online

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The PM reveals he is bringing forward Help to Buy in today’s Sun on Sunday. Save yourself a trip to the newsagents by subscribing to Sun+ and reading Guido’s column online. Find out:

  • Dave’s chief of staff used the Tory conference slogan “for hard working people” to mock a Downing Street handy-man
  • The pollster who told David Cameron that UKIP would be a flash in the pan is leaving Downing Street
  • The ministers Alastair Campbell briefed against when he was in Downing Street
  • Tory MP Matt Hancock’s expensive skills upgrade
  • Conference suit wars
  • Happy ending for Tory delegates in Manchester

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Tory Gain: Flanders Quits BBC for JP Morgan

Word is that the “Chief Market Strategist, UK and Europe” job title it is more of a PR rather than investment role, being a high profile public face for the firm.

Champagne corks will be going off in No. 11 later.

Ed’s Page 3 Boob

Ed Miliband told Five Live earlier that he would be prepared to meet with the Sun editor to discuss Page 3, adding:

“I’m not in favour of banning it. I do think though that Page 3 is a total anachronism in this day and age. We have got a free press in this country and I think a ban on that is not right, but I will say to you very squarely, this is an issue I take very seriously.”

Yet it seems he’s all talk:

So that went about as well as the rest of the conference then…

Hennessy’s Telegraph Deputy Becomes Banker Lobbyist

All change on the Sunday Telegraph political team. With Paddy Hennessy off to spin for Ed, his former deputy Rob Watts has taken a slightly different path. Watts has been snapped up as a lobbyist for the British Bankers’ Association, where he will help to make them “a less defensive and more proactive organisation”. Another Telegraph hack moving over to the dark side…

Great Newspaper Corrections of Our Time

It looks like the Londoner’s Diary have had a bit of mare…

Via Katy Balls

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Kangaroo Court

Rolf Harris was in the dock this morning, He was bailed and indicated he will be pleading not guilty, but had nothing to say to the media on the way out.

The trial starts in two weeks…

Picture via Martin

[…]

+ READ MORE +

McBride Complains About Anonymous Briefings

mcbride-shag
The irony is exquisite, Damian McBride is hurt that supposed friends are briefing about his private life:

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Read Guido’s Column in The Sun on Sunday Online

Click here to subscribe

Save yourself a trip to the newsagents by subscribing to Sun+ and reading Guido’s column online. This week find out:

  • Why Labour’s new spinner Patrick Hennessy will know exactly what’s coming when Damian McBride’s book is released on Wednesday.

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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