Monday 21 February 2011

Will Meyer complain to the PCC about Peter Hill?

Retiring Daily Express editor Peter Hill pulls no punches when discussing the former Press Complaints Commission chairman Sir Christopher Meyer (top) in an interview with Roy Greenslade in MediaGuardian.

Hill was a member of the PCC and came under fire when the Express had to make a £550,000 libel damages payout to Kate and Gerry McCann over the paper's extensive coverage of the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine. Hill eventually left the PCC.

When Greenslade suggests to him that Meyer was "
disappointed that he had not walked earlier," Hill responds: "I have no time whatsoever for Christopher Meyer. He is a complete hypocrite. I was disgusted with him.

"Throughout the time that the McCann stories were running he was friendly towards me. He never said a word about it, and nothing was said about it at the PCC. There was no criticism, no suggestion that papers should rein back on the coverage.

"Then, quite suddenly, Meyer went on television to denounce me. I was absolutely astonished, because, until that time, he'd said nothing about it. I was very angry about it. I shall never forgive him. He didn't disclose that his wife was intimately connected to the McCanns through her charity. But what can you expect from a man who ratted on all his previous colleagues and intimates in the Foreign Office?"

Ouch! Would make for an interesting PCC adjudication if Meyer complained about Hill's abrasive comments.

  • Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was so angered about references to him in Meyer's book DC Confidential, covering his time as ambassador to Washington, that he called for him to resign from the PCC and said he was regarded as a "red socked fop" on Capitol Hill.

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