Telegraph muckrakers gag “suicide” MP – you couldn’t make it up

Click on Nadine Dorries MP’s blog – she who feared losing an MP through suicide – and what do you get? “Resource cannot be found.” This is because lawyers for Telegraph newspapers obtained a ruling to take down the blog of a sitting MP after she had made allegations above the motives of the Barclay brothers, proprietors of the paper for their exposures of MPs’ expenses. A few clicks later and you can find it; the internet as defender of freedom. If you or I accused a newspaper boss of running a sting operation or having political motives against MPs, nobody would bat an eyelid. Isn’t that what proprietors have always done – exercised “ the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages” – power without responsibility? Some may think she’s “whacky” but whacky or not, I hope she uses parliamentary privilege to let them have it with both barrels.
Nadine Dorries MP in the Independent:

“The Telegraph’s technique of picking off a few MPs each day, emailing at noon, giving five hours to reply, recording the conversation, not allowing them to speak, telling them they are going to publish anyway, amounts, at day 15, to a form of torture and may have serious consequences. No can deny the right to expose this, but any decent human being can question pushing individuals to the brink of despair.

The Telegraph conflates serious acts of fraud with the mildly embarrassing and plain administrative errors. No MP will escape the inquisition. All MPs wait with knots in their stomach every day. A sense of relief washes over when it’s not you with the fatal midday email. But then comes sickness, as the next 24-hour wait begins. “

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London