HC Deb 17 May 1976 vol 911 cc318-9W
Mr. George

asked the Attorney-General whether, following the recent report of the Press Council on the allegations made in October 1975 in a national newspaper to the effect that prosecuting authorities, including the Director of Public Prosecutions, had let bomb suspects go free because of a politically-motivated veto on conspiracy charges, he has received any withdrawal of those allegations.

The Attorney-General

No. The Press Council a fortnight ago recorded its "disapprobation" of the conduct of the former editor of theDaily Express in publishing without clear confimation allegations of political intervention in the prosecution process which the Press Council rightly described as extremely grave and as going to the root of our system of criminal justice. It added that the story should have been checked with official sources before publication, and this was not done. Furthermore, when the story, having been published, was explicitly denied, the Editor should have promptly and frankly admitted the falsity of allegations based on information which was wholly untrue. It is a matter of regret that those allegations, which reflected on Ministers, the Director of Public Prosecutions and counsel, have even now not been withdrawn. I hope that that omission will now be rectified.

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