Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Blair Government Threatens Newspapers After Memo Leaked

The Blair government has threatened the Daily Mirror and other British newspapers with sanctions under the Official Secrets Act and the Contempt of Court Act after the Mirror quoted from a memo leaked to it that relates to discussions British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U. S. President George Bush had over the war in Iraq last year, including the President's suggestion that Al-Jazeera be bombed. The Mirror's editor Richard Wallace responded that the paper had contacted No. 10 Downing Street, the PM's official residence, in advance and received no response. A British civil servant, David Keogh, is accused of leaking the memo to a former employee of former Labour MP Tony Clarke. Mr. Clarke sent the memo back to the Prime Minister's office.

Faced with a gag order, the Mirror has now agreed to comply with the British government's request not to publish any further information from the memo. Read the Daily Mirror's original article discussing the content of the memo here. Read its follow-up article here. Read articles in the Guardian about the gag order, fall-out from the content of the memo, and the arrest of two persons leaking of taking the memo.

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