Geldof clashes with Mirror ed and blasts press

To hear Sir Bob’s speech click on this link: BOB’S SPEECH
 
By Dominic Ponsford
 
Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace had a furious
row with Bob Geldof after the campaigning singer accused the press of
ignoring the plight of Africa.
 
Geldof took to the stage of the British Press
Awards at the London Hilton to praise the Sun for its Band Aid 20
campaign which picked up the Hugh Cudlipp Award for outstanding tabloid
journalism. It was a night in which the Sun and sister paper News of
the World swept the board picking up eight of the top prizes.
 
As Geldof paid tribute to the Sun and urged other
newspapers to do more for Africa in the run up to the G8 conference at
Gleneagles he encountered increasing barracking from the Daily Mirror
tables.
Singling out one heckler he said: “You don’t even know what it is [the
G8] you twat. You’ll have a Clarkson moment in a minute” – a reference
to Jeremy Clarkson punching Piers Morgan at last year’s British Press
Awards.
 
Tony Blair is expected to use the Africa Commission report to urge richer G8 nations to take action to help the continent.
Geldof said: “We have a moment when maybe, just maybe, this country can change things a little bit.
 
“We have the ability to force the political line
of this country going forward to Gleneagles so that Blair can deliver
something possibly historic.”
 
Geldof made his way from the hotel straight after
his speech but was stopped in the lobby by an angry Richard Wallace.
Wallace said: “I went outside and remonstrated with him and he said
that Rupert Murdoch gives me TV time so that’s why I did it.
I asked him how he feels about his newspaper of choice running a racist
campaign against gypsies. I gave him a bucket full and he said we are
going to sit down and talk about it.”
 
Wallace said: “I think what Geldof said was
outrageous and I put it down to naivety. It’s a matter of fact that the
Daily Mirror stands for certain things and for the Sun to suddenly turn
around and do this… the Sun doesn’t care about Africa and it doesn’t
care about AIDS – it’s not in their remit.”
 
Geldof also singled out the Daily Mail for
criticism in his speech describing their coverage of Comic Relief as a
disgrace and hit out at Independent editor Simon Kelner for allegedly
going back on an assurance that the Africa Commission report would go
on the front page.
 
The Sun’s Band Aid 20 campaign started with
reporter Oliver Holt travelling to Ethiopia to mark the twentieth
anniversary of the original Band Aid and culminated in a
million-selling Christmas single.
 
Sun editor Rebekah Wade said she was surprised by Geldof’s speech and did not agree with his criticism of the press.
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