Reluctant conclusion on press regulation

First published in Letters

Sir – As you reported last week, the jury at the phone hacking trial has acquitted Rebekah Brooks of all charges.

But sadly a glittering career is in ruins, the venerable newspaper she once edited has closed and scores of its journalists have lost their jobs, not all of whom were corrupt.

In a way she is as guilty of failing to exercise due diligence, first as an editor, then as chief executive of News International, as her friend David Cameron in appointing her ex-lover Andy Coulson as his director of communications.

In 37 years in local journalism, I did my fair share of exposing corruption in high and low places. So I am as keen on the freedom of the press as anyone.

I applaud your efforts to curb the “Stalinist” tendencies of Witney Town Council – an investigation no doubt I would have found myself commissioned to undertake if I were still the Oxford Mail’s chief feature writer!

Reluctantly, however, I have come to the conclusion my profession can no longer be trusted to regulate itself and the only way to restore public trust is to implement the findings of the Leveson Inquiry.

Our MP and Prime Minister should bite the bullet and act.

Don Chapman, Newland Street, Eynsham

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