Matthew Norman on Monday: A Sun reporter who knows if it was the spooks wot leaked it


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The Independent Online

Joy at The Sun over the imminent arrival of its Sunday sibling is bridled, sad to report, by angst about one of its giants. Could Trevor Kavanagh, whose musings on police brutality caused that mass lachrymal eruption last week, be the next "legend of Fleet Street" to be persecuted?

One senior Sun colleague of Trev's has fears over the leaking of Lord Hutton's report into Dr David Kelly's death in January 2004. On the morning of its publication, Trevor starred on the front page holding a telephone, that pose designed both to claim for himself sole credit for the scoop, and pre-emptively rebut allegations that he had seen the document (he claims it was read to him over the blower). But who leaked it to the Mephistophelian old darling?

It cannot have been No 10, because Mr Tony Blair said he was furious about the breach (so cross, in fact, that he sent Rupert to Coventry, and would not speak him again until the following day), while another rumour about south London printers was a transparent smokescreen. That leaves very few options – one involving the intelligence services, with whom The Sun was known to be close and which had little less to gain than Downing Street from the "everyone's Persil-white except the vile Beeb" tone which Trevor's report set. The possibility that it was the spooks wot leaked it doesn't merely raise the familiar spectre of public servants being bribed, but might bring the Official Secrets Acts into play.

No doubt the Met will turn to this shortly, and if so I ask this. Forgo the dawn raid, and have the courtesy to invite Trevor down to the station at his convenience. Another explosion of woolly-minded, bleeding-heart, anti-police ranting like last week's would be simply too much to bear.


The Millies: a Sun award in dubious taste

Enough has been written about the awkwardness anticipated at this year's Sun Police Bravery Awards, but there are also concerns about another of its annual ceremonies. The 2012 Sun Military Awards are due in December, which allows plenty of time for the paper to coin an alternative nickname to the one it has always used before. Somehow, "the Millies" no longer sounds quite right.


Which band holds key to end of Rupert's affair?

As for The Sun on Sunday, I'm not sure about its diminutive either. SOS will invite cheap sinking ship gags from sneerers, while some smart-arse is bound to examine Abba's SOS for lyrical guidance on the souring love affair between staff and proprietor (one the new title may not rescue, because when did a baby conceived for the purpose ever save a failing marriage?)

"Whatever happened to our love?/ I wish I understood/ It used to be so nice, it used be so good."

Nope, nothing there. If the ad agency doesn't fancy that one for the big-launch TV commercial, they might think about the last lines from "Message In A Bottle", "Sending out an SOS, Sending out an SOS" – though probably wise to draw a veil over the band responsible (The Police).


Santorum's homophobia returns to haunt him

Good to see Rick Santorum, America's Gaybasher Supreme, cementing his challenge to Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination. If anyone is still unaware of Rick's singular contribution to the lexicon of slang, google "Santorum". It's right there at the top of the first page. But best leave it until after breakfast, eh?


Odds are on Bush scion launching late challenge

Whether Santorum will be the last anti-Romney becomes ever more doubtful. Fox News will premiere what promises, from the trailer, to be an astoundingly flattering documentary about George H W "Pappy" Bush this week. Since there is no anniversary or other peg on which to hang this curious panegyric, one assumes that the Fox supremo Roger Ailes, an old Nixon hand, is preparing the ground for Dubya's younger brother Jeb to be crowned at a brokered convention in August.

Jeb's Betfair odds have plummeted recently from 600-1 to 33-1, shorter than Newt Gingrich's. We shall see.


Guardiola for Arsenal? The MoS has lost it...

Absolutely Convincing Sports Headline of the Week award goes to the Mail on Sunday for "Guardiola ready to replace Wenger". Ah yes, of course. What coach wouldn't want to swap the drab mediocrity of Barcelona and Lionel Messi for the rich, rich promise of Arsenal and Theo Walcott? If the report was rather less unequivocal than its headline, no wonder. Sub-editing standards aren't quite what they were when Jim Anderson, a gentle, civilised and delightful man who has died aged 73, was the MoS's chief sub long ago.