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Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer

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Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer

Post by Guest on 01.02.12 14:09

Sir Christopher Meyer:

I made it perfectly plain. Indeed, I handed over some PCC literature, and we had a fair discussion, I would say, and I left him, in my view, absolutely clear about the different ways that he could proceed. And indeed, I think shortly after that, briefly, when Ms Justine McGuinness was his press secretary, a complaint was lodged with the PCC against a newspaper but the complaint was not proceeded with”.

This would suggest to me, that someone tried to initiate the help of the PCC, then someone else put a stop to it.

It reminds me of the time when Kate asked the PJ to test the twins for drugs, then Gerry phoned to cancel it.
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Re: Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer

Post by Guest on 01.02.12 14:23

Q: I just raise one final point in relation to the McCanns. Can I ask you to look at file B7 under tab 2.

A: B7?

Q: Yes. It's page 35734. It's a very small point, so maybe I can just read out.

A: 4 -- 2 -- 1 -- yeah, do.

Q: It's a meeting of the PCC which took place on 11 March 2009. At page 35734, you said: "The chairman wished to put on record his denial of a claim made by Gerry McCann that Sir Christopher had advised him to sue Express newspaper titles rather than use the PCC."

A: Yeah.

Q: Do you stand by that?

A: Yes, I -- I did not advise him to do that when I saw him in July. When I saw him in February of the next year, he had already told me that they were going to law. Is that –

Q: It's splitting hairs a bit, Sir Christopher, because it might be said that what Dr McCann was saying was that it was a choice, really: either you sue for defamation, which they did follow, or you use the PCC. Here you're putting on record your denial of that claim that you advised Dr McCann to sue Express rather than to use the PCC.

A: Well, it's not splitting hairs, is it? They are two completely different statements. When I saw him in July, I said, "These are the choices." When I saw him in February of the next year, he'd taken the decision. So what I'm denying -- it fits perfectly squarely.

Q: In February, therefore, is this the position – because you told us earlier: you effectively agreed with him that it was the right thing to do?

A: Yes, and I repeated that in public in my interview on the PM programme on 19 March. So it's not splitting hairs.

Q: It may be the answer is it's a misunderstanding between the two of you as to precisely what was said and precisely what was –

A: Yeah, I think that is right, actually. Yes, I would agree with that.
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Re: Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer

Post by Guest on 01.02.12 14:41

A: One of the successes of the PCC was in containing media scrums. Now, if you don't believe me, you can go and ask Lady Newlove, who is sitting in the Lords now, widow of Garry Newlove, who was beaten to death by yobs. She precisely wished to avoid media scrums and we succeeded in doing that and I think her appreciation is a matter of record. I don't know what happened in the Jefferies case. I was long gone from the PCC, but what I would refute absolutely is your -- I'm looking for the right adjective -- I'll just say "connection" between the McCanns and Jefferies because of a –

Q: I think what you really mean is my tendentious and unfair attempts to link the two in any way? That's what you really want to say, isn't it?

A: You have stolen the words from my mouth, Mr Jay.

Q: It does cut both ways, though, doesn't it, because the PCC adopting a more prominent position, cajoling the press better to behave might have had a causal impact on what happened in December 2010/January 2011, mightn't it?

A: I respectfully decline to answer questions on a situation where I have no control and no knowledge over and of the circumstances. All I'm saying to you is that if you look at the record over the years, you will see that one area where the PCC has shown remarkable success, including with the McCanns when they returned to England, is in dealing with scrums and stories based, according to Mr Jefferies, on police sources. That's all I can say about the case. I just don't know any more.

Q: But a different analysis of the position -- I'm just putting this forward as a possibility -- is perhaps a common theme between the McCann case and the Jefferies case is that the press fails to analyse evidence objectively and clearly and tends to come up with a line which it either believes is probably true or believes chimes in some way with the beliefs and prejudices of its readers, and it's that tendency which needs to be resisted -- it's a tendency which we all need to resist -- and requires firm leadership and direction from a regulator to eschew. Do you see that as a possible analysis?

A: I -- I'm just trying to work out in practice the meaning of what you have just said. We have -- maybe it's actually too difficult to answer. In -- you cannot generalise for the whole of the British press in that way. Some do their job of reporting well, some do it poorly.

Q: I wasn't intending to.

A: No, well, you sounded like that. That's my only point. If what you're saying is that every time there's a big story like that, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission must go out on the media or issue a press release invoking -- exhorting the press to report this responsible, I can tell you straight off, after three months of this, it would have no traction whatsoever. This is not the thing to do. This is not the thing to do. The fact of the matter -- this is what – this is what people so fail to understand. It's as if you would say to the police: "You're a useless organisation because you can't stop crime", or you would say to the bishops: "We still have sin after all these years. You'd better give up and go." t's ridiculous. It's a ridiculous set of arguments. As long as there are human beings involved, there will be fallibility, and the Press Complaints Commission doesn't always get it right and it needs strengthening, but it is a service to the public, and a vast increase in the number of people who use it over the last few years pays testament to a confidence which you seem, frankly, to ignore.

Q: At no stage am I expressing a personal view. I am testing propositions. Because the nature of the exercise involves an attempt to be precise, sometimes it might appear that I am going too far, but I make it absolutely clear, I'm not expressing a view, Sir Christopher.

A: You will forgive me, my Lord -- I hope you'll forgive me if I do push back from time to time rather than sitting here like a coconut.
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Re: Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer

Post by Angelique on 01.02.12 23:41

"A: You will forgive me, my Lord -- I hope you'll forgive me if I do push back from time to time rather than sitting here like a coconut"

You must agree that what Jay is doing and does continually try to do is undo the lie that the PCC did not offer the McCanns help which they did. The McCanns used this excuse to resort to law. The "coconut remark" means exactly that. Jay is trying to get rid of the fact that they were offered help by lobbing scenarios at Meyer and try to dislodge him from his position.

It seems that running through this whole Leveson Inquiry is a wide streak of protection for you know who. I doubt there is any point to believing anything will surface that will help us to get justice for Madeleine in the UK.

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Re: Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer

Post by kikoraton on 02.02.12 11:55

"you know who".
Sorry, angelique, but that doesn't help. Could you be more specific? McCann? Gordon Brown? I'm in the dark.
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Re: Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer

Post by Gillyspot on 02.02.12 20:33

Sir Christopher Meyer on Twitter

@SirSocks (22 hours ago)

"Interesting how my appearance at Leveson has got all the anti-McCann loonies frothing."

Funny thing is I don't know what he means (or didn't till he tweeted this) - That has got folk annoyed.

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