Black letter 'sets record straight'

Wade: Telegraph published letter

Press Complaints Commission director Guy Black was no slouch in defending himself against Daily Telegraph criticism.

In the paper’s letters column last Saturday he excoriated one of its stories for "untrue innuendos and false statements about the PCC’s role and activity" and set out to put the record straight, claiming:

lThe PCC had not "cleared" the Prince Harry drink and drugs story for publication.

lSt James’s Palace, not the PCC, said the article was "an exceptional matter of public interest" and concluded it was an exception to the usual strictures of the Code of Practice.

lIt was untrue the PCC gave the "green light" to intrusion.

lThe PCC had no role in the News of the World’s Sophie Rhys-Jones story and did not leak details of tape-recordings of her meeting with a reporter to The Mail on Sunday.

lIt was not Lord Wakeham but the whole commission which decided The Sun’s payment to Ronnie Biggs was in the public interest.

Black ended his letter: "These allegations have been repeated a number of times without any shred of substantiation. They never will be substantiated, because they are all false."

This week, he was unavailable to comment further.  His deputy, Tim Toulmin, said: "Guy has taken a few days off to care for his mother in hospital. He made a statement – as did two Fleet Street editors  and the Prince of Wales’s private secretary – in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday and these letters stand as substantiated, on-the-record and definitive facts. I doubt he will want to say any more."

By Jean Morgan

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