“U-turn” on public interest hits the headlines

Sir Keir Starmer was accused of a “sudden about-turn” on journalists’ rights attracting headlines across the media spectrum about his appearance at this week’s sell-out London Press Club debate on the freedom of the Press.

Starmer, now Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras, came out in favour of a public interest defence when he joined The Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh and Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg at the full-house debate at Grange St Paul’s Hotel. Following criticism of the DPP’s decision to prosecute 27 journalists while heading the CPS – resulting in just three convictions, two of which were later quashed – Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told the Evening Standard: “I think there will be a few raised eyebrows at Keir Starmer’s sudden about-turn on the need to protect journalists. Especially given the number of costly and ill-fated buy modafinil legally prosecutions he instigated against them during his time as DPP.”

Starner’s comments both at the event and the day prior have attracted extensive media coverage, including The Times, The Sun, The Guardian and the Daily Mail.

The debate “800 years after the Magna Carta, do we have a free press?” was held in association with YouGov, the Society of Editors, Media Socieity, Women in Journalism, and the Journalists Charity. It was attended by journalists from the BBC, British Journalism Review, The Independent, the Mail, Press Gazette, Spiked, The Sun, The Sunday Times and The Times.

Read the Evening Standard article here.
Read the Guardian article here:
Read the Daily Mail article here:
Read the Drum article here:
Read the Society of Editors article here:
Read the Spiked article here:
Sir Keir Starmer also blogged about the event himself, outlining his views: Read it here

Richard Dymond

Honorary Treasurer and Director of the London Press Club and the London Press Club Ball.

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