Now The Sun tries to call in its favours from Downing Street – Crime – UK – The Independent
Yesterday morning, a Sun journalist invited Downing Street to agree that the police had deployed a disproportionate number of officers to investigating allegations of criminality at NI. Downing Street responded: “It is for the police to decide how they deploy police officers.”
Mr Kavanagh, for years the paper’s political editor, then went on a tour of broadcast appearances that included Radio 4’s The World At One, Sky News’s Boulton & Co and Richard Bacon’s show on Radio 5 Live. In the latter interview, Mr Kavanagh accused the News Corporation Management & Standards Committee (MSC) of “actually boasting” that its work was “putting people in police cells”.
What was extraordinary about these criticisms of Rupert Murdoch’s company is that they were being made not just by a senior employee but by a Murdoch ultra-loyalist, apparently with the sanction of the editor of News Corp’s most popular British newspaper.
During the day, Sky video of Mr Kavanagh’s attack was placed on The Sun’s website and his outburst in the newspaper was vigorously re-Tweeted by the paper’s official Twitter account, and by Mr Kavanagh’s newsroom colleagues. This was open rebellion. NI sister paper The Times was briefed that Sun journalists were being thrown to the police simply for taking contacts out for a £50 lunch.
The level of anger is great because the arrested journalists include some of the most respected figures in The Sun’s newsroom. The picture editor John Edwards, who was one of those raided on Saturday morning, is the son of the famous Sun photographer Arthur Edwards, a favourite of the Royal family. Another was deputy editor Geoff Webster, who is married to Alison Webster, the photographer who takes the paper’s Page Three topless photographs.
Two more of those held, John Kay and Nick Parker, are among the paper’s finest story-getters and have dedicated their careers to The Sun. Both are very well connected in government departments and Kay has twice been named Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards. A veteran in his late 60s, he was persuaded by NI executives not to retire.
Following the previous arrests of other newsroom big hitters such as crime editor Mike Sullivan and district reporter Jamie Pyatt, famed for his Royal scoops from Windsor Castle, The Sun’s editor must feel shorn of talent.