Hands Off Private Eye!

David Wolfe Esq QC
Chair
Press Recognition Panel   17 October 2018

Dear Mr Wolfe,

I would be grateful if you could confirm, clarify or deny the report in Private Eye that the Panel intends to carry out “a high-level assessment” of that publication as part of consideration “of how far the public is currently protected from potential harm.” I could find no mention of this assessment on the Panel’s website.

Private Eye quoted the Panel as saying “we are often asked to give a view” on the subject, although it is not clear what subject is referred to. How many requests has it has received for an inquiry into Private Eye, and if there are any at all, has the Panel made any check into their origin? Were they from disinterested members of the public, or did they emanate from any of the powerful people and businesses which have sought to suppress Private Eye over the years?

As you should well know, Private Eye has never carried out any of the practices against members of the general public which prompted the Leveson Inquiry and the ensuing creation of the Panel. On the contrary, it has regularly championed “ordinary people” who have been victimized by incompetents or wrongdoers in high places. The latter will be the only beneficiaries of any inquiry into Private Eye, and this is therefore likely to bring the Panel into contempt.

If the Panel wants a worthwhile subject to investigate, it might turn to the media which have sold themselves to Saudi Arabia, or indeed other interests which have used their power over their content.

For clarity: I occasionally submit proposals to Private Eye but have never been paid by them.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Heller

17. October 2018 by rkh
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