William Straw cautioned for selling cannabis

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The Independent Online
William Straw, the son of the Home Secretary, was yesterday cautioned by police for selling cannabis to an undercover journalist. Police also confirmed that Dawn Alford, the Mirror reporter arrested after buying the drug from the teenager, would not face any further action.

Last night Jack Straw issued a statement saying that his 17-year-old son was learning the lessons of the episode. He added: "I am grateful for the restraint shown towards him by most of the media. I hope that they will continue to agree that he should not suffer additionally simply because he is my son."

The teenager was arrested by police after he voluntarily attended a south London police station with his father shortly before Christmas. Their action preceded a report in The Mirror that William had sold 1.92 grams of cannabis to Ms Alford at a south London pub.

The Mirror's editor, Piers Morgan, had contacted Mr Straw with the news and two days later the Home Secretary accompanied his son to Kennington police station, where he was arrested and released on bail before The Mirror ran its story. Ms Alford was also arrested when she attended a meeting with police.

While Mr Straw was undoubtedly embarrassed by the affair he emerged largely unscathed politically. When he was finally identified he said: "I felt the same emotions as any parent would do in such circumstances - those of shock and concern,"

William has since been told by Oxford University that his offer of a place to study at New College is safe.

Mirror editor Mr Morgan said last night he was delighted his reporter would face no further action.