The Daily Mail has come out in support of The Guardian in its refusal to reveal the identity of phone-hacking sources to the Met – despite claiming the paper is ‘increasingly detached from both the real world and the concerns of ordinary Britons”.
Outspoken columnist Richard Littlejohn wrote in today’s paper:
When I heard that Scotland Yard was using the Official Secrets Act in an attempt to force Guardian journalists to name the sources of their stories about the phone-hacking investigation, my instinctive initial reaction was: serves them right. The Guardian opened this can of worms. Let them live with the consequences.
Littlejohn went on to say that, despite being ‘insufferably smug, self-righteous and censorious”, he applauded the paper’s investigation into phone-hacking at the News of the World, and claimed the Met’s ‘monstrous’action against the paper was a threat to the future of the free press in the UK.
‘The Press can’t be trusted to regulate itself, so the argument goes,’he said. ‘But the phone-hacking scandal was uncovered not by the police but by a brilliant Guardian investigation.”
It is not often that this paper defends the Guardian, whose politically correct, bien-pensant views seem increasingly detached from both the real world and the concerns of ordinary Britons.
But when police invoke the Official Secrets Act to try to force one of its reporters, Amelia Hill, to reveal her sources, everybody who cherishes the freedom of the Press and the vital role of the fourth estate in a healthy democracy should be deeply alarmed.