Prince to be asked to help inquiry over 'Camillagate'

THE Press Complaints Commission is to write to the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles, to ask if they will co-operate with a PCC inquiry into whether certain British newspapers were justified in publishing the transcript of their late-night telephone conversation.

Mark Bolland, director of the PCC, said yesterday that it had so far received several letters from members of the public saying that the Daily Sport and Kent Today were wrong to publish information last week invading the two individuals' privacy.

He expected further letters would arrive this week complaining about the transcripts, which later appeared in the People and Sunday Mirror. So far there has been silence from the Palace about the tape's publication: he confirmed that no complaint had been made direct to the commission from either the Prince or Mrs Parker Bowles.

A PCC inquiry would presumably need confirmation from them that they did feel their right to personal privacy had been breached. This follows the revelations last week that Palace officials had tried to forge behind-the-scenes links with the PCC, rather than making complaints in the normal manner. Last autumn the PCC, which had initially only accepted complaints from people who were directly involved in alleged press abuses, set out a new liberalised policy, extending its scope into areas of dubious practice which clearly concerned readers. But in order to investigate properly it says it has first to establish whether the principal people involved will also co-operate and give their views.

The PCC conduct and code, savaged as being out of balance by last week's second report by Sir David Calcutt says, under the heading of privacy, that 'intrusions and inquiries into an individual's private life without his or her consent are not generally acceptable.

'Publication can only be justified when in the public interest. This would include: detecting or exposing crime or serious misdemeanour, detecting or exposing seriously anti-social conduct'.

Members of the commission meet next Wednesday to discuss their reaction to the Calcutt report, which recommends its abolition. Lay members have reacted angrily to the allegation that they are too closely identified with the newspaper industry. They are likely to offer to tighten up the code.

The PCC's regular complaints report published yesterday, covering November and December, said that despite the present outcry against newspapers there has not been a rise in complaints. It adjudicated on only five complaints, four involving national newspapers.

It upheld one against the Daily Sport, for publishing, incorrectly, that Malcolm Forbes, the US publishers, had died of Aids, and for failing to put the record straight with a prominent correction. It also upheld a complaint from the Ramblers' Association against the Sunday Express. The association said it had been inaccurately blamed for the homelessness of a family whose house, repossessed, lay across a footpath.

The Radio Authority has censured six radio stations for programme lapses: these include LBC Newstalk for the 'brash' remarks of the presenter and Sun columnist Richard Littlejohn who said: 'I'm no Royalist, I'd string them up tomorrow' and 'What sort of example is a tax-evading bunch of adulterers?'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us