James Murdoch with Tony Blair
Tony Blair has been talking for the first time since the hacking scandal erupted three weeks ago about his relationship with the Murdoch family, something that has been much criticised in the Commons recently.
Speaking at a press conference in Australia, of all places, Blair said:
Look, let’s be honest about it. The problem is when you’re a political leader, never mind a prime minister, you get your message across, you have to get your message across, through you guys [journalists], so whatever I say today the whole of the public’s not going to be watching every word I say. What happens is you will write about it, or you’ll put it on your television and you know, therefore of course it’s going to matter to have relationships with people in the media.
But I think one thing that is very important is to try and get those relationships right in the sense that the media is an important part of our democracy, on the other hand governments should govern for the public interest.
The ONS has blamed one-off events for low GDP figures – 0.2 per cent growth – in the second quarter. Britain is a “safe haven in the storm” at a time of real international instability, George Osborne said. We have seen the first draft of his speech.
“……And I take great reassurance that in a sea of financial disaster, surrounded by the shattered fiscal remains of Greece, Italy, Iceland and Portugal, our great nation is nothing less than a safe haven of economic growth. A rock, no less. For sure, that growth is less exceptional than it would have been, due to several one-off factors. Read more
The FT reported last night that Trinity Mirror, owner of the Daily Mirror newspaper, has launched a review of its editorial controls and procedures amid investor anxiety that phone-hacking allegations could spread beyond the now-defunct News of the World.
“We have to check whether any regulations and controls are dysfunctional and whether bad practice has set in,” said a senior Trinity employee, who declined to be named. “We also need … to ensure that the provenance of stories is understood at senior editorial levels.”