Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Littlejohn: How the press saw off Scotland Yard

Richard Littlejohn says he is not expecting a celebratory bunch of flowers from the Guardian's editor Alan Rusbridger, but argues the Daily Mail and other newspapers can claim a share of the credit for seeing off the "clodhopping attempt" by Scotland Yard to use the Official Secrets Act to force Guardian reporter Amelia Hill to identify the source of her stories on phone hacking.

He describes it as "an outrageous abuse of power, a shameful attempt to put the frighteners on a journalist doing a legitimate job."

Littlejohn, on MailOnline, says: "'I am told the Yard only backed down after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, had a serious word in their shell-like and made it plain they would receive not backing from the CPS. The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, also indicated his displeasure."

He adds: "The Met has enough problems without opening a full scale war with Fleet Street. Yet even its statement withdrawing the action was graceless and grudging.

"It said merely that officer would not be pursuing the case 'at this time' - trying to suggest menacingly that it would be reactivated once the hue and cry had died down.
Let me assure you, and them, that simply ain't gonna happen. There's more chance of Colonel Gaddafi returning to power in Tripoli."

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