‘Mail’ editor appeals for Press unity in wake of threats to newspapers

EDITOR of the Daily Mail Paul Dacre has appealed for Press unity in the face of what he said were wide-ranging threats to the future of the industry.

Paul Dacre
Paul Dacre

Threats to journalistic sources through police use of RIPA legislation, the EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling and suggestions from some politicians that they will “finish what they began with Leveson” after the General Election were all issues cited by Mr Dacre.

Describing a “rumbustious free press” as one of the factors behind Britain’s relatively low level of corruption, he also appealed to politicians and police to “drop hostilities” that developed in the wake of the hacking scandal and the Leveson inquiry.

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Speaking at a Ritz reception marking the 175th anniversary of the NewstraAid Benevolent Fund, he said: “I note with some irony that Leveson had barely a word of criticism for the police and the politicians. Well, if the first had done their job properly and the second had not so sycophantically fawned upon Murdoch, Leveson would never have occurred.

“To the police and politicians made so suspicious of the press by Leveson I would argue it is in all our interests to drop hostilities and to try and restore the mutual respect we should have for each other.”

Mr Dacre also criticised the BBC, accusing it of “negativity about the popular Press”. He added: “I note with some irony that there has been no judicial inquiry into the BBC’s role in the Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris scandals. The News of the World may have hacked celebrities’ phones, it didn’t sexually abuse teenage children.”

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