Mirror crime man: Journalists would never endanger lives

Chairman of the Crime Reporters' Association and Daily Mirror chief crime correspondent, Jeff Edwards refuted the suggestion that journalists would knowingly endanger an investigation.

And he suggested that the Birmingham "terror plot" leaks may have really emanated from a government keen to "bury its own problems".

He said: "I don't know exactly what Peter Clarke is driving at. I think he's a very good man and he's a very able counter-terrorism chief but I'm not sure what point he was trying to make in that speech.

"Journalists won't run stories if someone says that if you run this it will endanger someone's life or jeapordise the conviction of someone who's guilty of serious crimes. But unfortunately the time-frames we work in don't always allow that luxury.

"I don't think that necessarily all the information he's concerned about got into the media because of the police – some of it got into the media because of enterprising reporting.

"If police seal off an area, move people out and send a team in to make arrests reporters will inevitably hear about it. If a police operation is big enough you are always going to struggle to keep a lid on it.

Talking about the Birmingham arrests in particular he said: "There were people in the government who have other agendas and other things in play.

"That day Lord Levy was arrested for the second time. This government has a history of putting other information out there that helps bury its own problems."

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