Leading article: Too grave an error of judgement to ignore
Thursday 25 June 1998
Lord Neill's decision to accept the brief raises serious questions about his judgement. It hardly takes a sophisticated mind to see that Dame Shirley is precisely the sort of client that a man in Lord Neill's position should not have. His position as chairman of the Standards Committee rests in large part on his supposed intuitive sense of propriety. Compounding the error, he has shown that he is susceptible to public pressure, albeit this time in the right direction. Lord Neill's great merit was that he was obviously beyond reproach. In all likelihood this was just a silly error on his part. But he has the one job in Britain where no silly errors are acceptable.
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