The Press Complaints Committee came down on the side of the press against the Government this week when it cleared the Daily Mirror of breaching cabinet minister Ruth Kelly’s privacy. Kelly complained after a Daily Mirror story in January named her as the cabinet minister at the centre of a row about her son’s attendance at a private school. It was a followup from the Mail on Sunday, which had broken the story, but had avoided naming Kelly after legal threats.
The Mirror took steps to minimise details about the child (omitting its name, age, sex and the identity of the school), and argued that the piece served the public interest.
The Commission said that even if Government policy included an acceptance of private schooling for those with special needs, the fact that Kelly did not feel that the current state system could meet her child’s requirements raised questions about the nature of publicly funded schooling and its ability to cater for children with special needs.
Mirror editor Richard Wallace said: “As the Daily Mirror said at the time, when it comes to important issues the public has a right to know whether politicians are as sound in deed as they are in word.”