Letter: Mellor, the media and morality

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Sir: When David Mellor was appointed as the first Secretary of State for National Heritage even his political opponents recognised the strength of the appointment. The combination of senior Treasury experience and a genuine deep interest in the arts and sport made him an unrivalled candidate for the post. His appointment has aroused hopes that ought not to be dashed by the revelations of the past week.

Constitutional questions about the freedom of the press and the privacy of the citizen for which David Mellor's department has the lead responsibility are matters that inevitably will be decided by the Cabinet collectively. We do not yet know David Mellor's own conclusions on these questions, but from our knowledge of his performance in Parliament we could expect him to reach a judgement (however controversial) about the public interest in these matters without being overborne by his recent personal experience.

Yours faithfully,


MP for Caithness and

Sutherland (Lib Dem)

House of Commons

London, SW1

23 July

The writer is the Liberal Democrat spokesman on the Arts.