MPs to challenge editor over 'name and shame' campaign

Rebekah Wade, the editor of the
News of the World, is to be called before a House of Commons committee to defend her policy of "naming and shaming" paedophiles.

Rebekah Wade, the editor of the News of the World, is to be called before a House of Commons committee to defend her policy of "naming and shaming" paedophiles.

The Home Affairs Select Committee will cross-examine Ms Wade, who has so far refused to be interviewed about her newspaper's campaign to expose sex offenders.

Her decision to print the names of paedophiles has been blamed for attacks on the homes of innocent people, the suicide of one sex offender and disturbances by vigilantes. The police have also sharply criticised the campaign and warned that known paedophiles have gone into hiding.

Robin Corbett, the select committee chairman, said the issue would be discussed during the committee's first meeting after the parliamentary summer recess on 24 October.

"I find it quite astonishing that an editor can launch a campaign and cause such predictable problems and then attempt to maintain Trappist silence about her role in it.

"I am sure that the committee will want to consider an inquiry into all the issues raised and, if so, we expect Miss Wade to attend. We have powers to require her to attend if we choose to use them."

Mr Corbett added he would challenge the newspaper's editor on whether she had just ignored advice both by police and by probation officers that naming paedophiles could lead to disorder and lead to offender going underground.

He said: "So far there has been one death and five innocent families forced from their homes. Far from protecting children, it has endangered them because known paedophiles have disappeared from police view. These events make it all the more important that Miss Wade explains why she continued with her campaign and what she makes of the results of her actions."

The newspaper had intended to print the names of 110,000 paedophiles after the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne. It stopped the naming two weeks later amid a series of violent incidents and growing criticism.

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