The Royals and the Press: 'Sun' editor calls Tory MP stooge of Establishment

SIR IVAN LAWRENCE, the leading Tory advocate of legislative controls on the press, was attacked yesterday by the editor of the Sun as a 'lickspittle for the Establishment'.

Kelvin McKenzie telephoned a BBC Radio phone-in programme on the Calcutt report to denounce Sir Ivan's views. 'He is a lickspittle for the Establishment - that is why he is trooped out so often,' Mr McKenzie said.

That was news to the Government whips, who regard Sir Ivan, a barrister and Tory MP for Burton, as something of a rebel in spite of his knighthood and a preference for striped morning trousers. His views on controls on the press do not echo those from No 10.

Sir Ivan, a buccaneering right- winger and chairman of the cross- party Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs, appeared to be too independent for promotion to ministerial rank during Baroness Thatcher's term of office, although he had impeccable credentials as a member of the Monday Club, a supporter of South Africa, a Zionist and a supporter of capital punishment.

One of the longest-serving Tory backbenchers - he has toiled in the background for 19 years - he rebelled against the 'softly softly' approach to the unions by Lord Prior in the early 1980s and fought against fluoridation, making the longest speech in the Commons in years. His most recent rebellion came in November last year when he abstained on the Maastricht debate and John Major narrowly survived with a majority of three votes. That was only four months after receiving his knighthood for 'political services' in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

The whips pleaded with him to vote with the Government but Sir Ivan sat tight on the back benches where he has been since 1974.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Administrator

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral