But it appears, from the weight of circumstantial evidence that exists, that the Guardian’s journalists are capable – or at the very least have an expectation – of using their close relationships with people in the highest echelons of the legal establishment to subvert the course of justice for their own ends.
A case in point is kindly provided by the Guardian’s David Leigh, who with typical arrogance, argued before the Leveson Inquiry that the law regarding ‘phone hacking’ should not apply to him for his admitted instance of criminal activity because he believes it was in the public interest. The look on his face as he spoke suggested a confidence that other people opening admitting a crime in public just do not have. As the Daily Mail reported, Leigh argued:
I like to think that if the incident I have described came to the attentions of the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], and I was asked about it, the DPP would conclude that there was no public interest in seeking to prosecute me or another person for doing something like that. That is a backstop that the law has to stop it making an ass of itself.
Ordinarily this would seem a quite staggering assertion to make. Particularly as there is no public interest immunity from prosecution for that criminal offence. But Leigh’s circumstances are anything but ordinary. Leigh appears to feel in a strong enough position to effectively challenge the DPP to prosecute him. And that is because of his close ties to the man this blog has previously identified as the Guardian’s Angel, the DPP himself, Keir Starmer.
Unlike the vast majority of the population, there is more than a hint that Leigh enjoys protection and preferential treatment reserved for good friends and colleagues who inhabit the same ideological, activist plane on the distant left of the political spectrum.
In our Guardian’s Angel post we showed how Keir Starmer’s career had been nurtured by his close friend and mentor, the activist left wing lawyer Geoffrey Robertson. We reminded readers of Robertson’s direct involvement as contributor to the Guardian and its legal counsel in court actions. We also established the clear conflict of interest Starmer has personally as a former contributor to the Guardian and also its legal counsel in court actions. What we did not show was the professional links between Robertson/Starmer axis and Leigh.
Many people do not realise that David Leigh (then at the Observer) actually worked as an aide to Geoffrey Robertson during the Neil Hamilton sleaze action. This was explained in Leigh’s co-authored book ‘Sleaze’ shown in extract below:
Taken in the round it can be of little surprise that this very cosy network of friends and allies working in a mutally supportive manner to further their aims.
Interestingly, in media reports from the Leveson Inquiry, there was no mention of Leigh’s involvement in other criminal activities concerning the infamous Benji ‘the binman’ Pell, which show the same contempt for the law exhibited in his phone hacking and ‘blagging’ behaviour.
The focus now turns once again to Director of Public Prosecutions Starmer. Arrests are being made as journalists suspected of being involved in the commissioning of phone hacking are pursued by the Met Police’s Operation Weeting investigation team. Here, in the shape of David Leigh, the Weeting investigation has a journalist who has openly admitted personally hacking the messages on a mobile phone. It’s an open and shut case.
So where is the arrest and where is the Crown Prosecution Service action? As the police and CPS are aware there is no public interest defence for the action Leigh has confessed to. So what is holding them back?
Could it be that with these evident conflicts of interest and biases, Leigh’s former colleague and ideological soulmate who currently occupies the office with DPP on the door, has got Leigh’s back? Could it be that to protect a former colleague and ally Keir Starmer is perverting the course of justice?