Security Concerns Over Assange Lawyer’s Access

Seumas Milne’s relationship with Julian Assange’s lawyer has raised security concerns about the confidential intelligence briefings received by Jeremy Corbyn. As a member of the Privy Council, Labour have confirmed that Corbyn has received security briefings about threats to the UK. Given the links between Assange, Wikileaks, hacking and Russia, it is a quite extraordinary situation for the Leader of the Opposition’s main aide to be involved with Assange’s long-term lawyer. Imagine if Theresa May’s top adviser was in bed with someone on the Wikileaks defence team – it would be a national scandal on a par with Donald Trump Jr.

The Hacked Off brigade’s criticism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Hugh Grant, Hugh Tomlinson QC et al argue there is no public interest. The Editor’s Code sets several public interest conditions, including “Protecting public health or safety” and “impropriety, unethical conduct or incompetence concerning the public”. The security concerns easily satisfy the “protecting public health” condition, and no one can argue married Seumas has behaved properly or ethically.

Robertson claims the story fails to meet the Editor’s Code rule that “It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy”. Seumas and Jennifer were in a hotel bar with dozens and dozens of other drinkers. As you can see from the nervous look on Seumas’ “unwilling” face, there was patently no reasonable expectation of privacy. The press haters will have to suck it up – any regulator or judge would throw out a complaint in about five minutes…

Hugh Grant: The Edge Of Reason

Hugh Grant probably wishes he stayed in bed this morning, instead of bungling a Today programme outing in which he openly admitted to being a puppet for Evan Harris and his Hacked Off cronies. In an excruciating debate, Grant admitted he did not know the details after making a dopey allegation that the journalist who even the Guardian credit with triggering the entire RIPA/Met scandal, had nothing to do with the change in the law:

Hugh Grant: Tom Newton’s contribution was brief

BBC: Really, you’re saying it’s simply not the case that Tom Newton Dunn, who was one of the journalists concerned,

Hugh Grant: Yes.

BBC: …intimately involved. You’re saying he didn’t…

Grant: …that’s my understanding of it…

BBC: That’s quite an allegation to make, that basically the paper likes to be in a position where they feel like victims and are perfectly happy with the status quo, and their phone records to be gone through. Are you seriously saying that?

Hugh Grant: Well in the case of Tom Newton Dunn, I don’t know the exact details of how much he contributed to this particular campaign to get the law changed.

BBC: so you’re not accepting he contributed a lot?

Grant: that’s not what I’ve been told.

Grant’s blind, frothing hatred for anything or anyone linked to Murdoch has left him high and dry. TND tells Media Guido:

“It’s just not true to say editors and newspaper companies did nothing to fight the police abuse of RIPA. My own, The Sun, has invested considerable amounts in legal resources as we continue to pursue the Met through various channels, and newspapers from ours to the Mail, Telegraph and Guardian have all ran powerful leaders recently condemning the police in a very united stand. Not for the first time, Hugh Grant appears to be shoehorning myth to suit his own agenda.”

“That’s not what I’ve been told”? Pull yourself together, man.

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Quote of the Day

In response to the news that Emily Thornberry described the Lib Dems as “like the Taliban” over their new revoke Article 50 Brexit policy, the former Lib Dem leader responded:

“Come on Emily, if we really were like a Middle East terrorist group, don’t you think Jeremy would’ve invited us to a conference fringe meeting before now?”

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