In response, we received nearly 100 letters. A large majority of these said we were wrong to give the story such prominence. Below, we publish a selection.
I WAS incensed by your front-page article on Cherie Booth ("Cherie Blair sought to keep poll tax defaulter in jail", 22 January). It was cheap and shoddy journalism which misrepresented the issues and contrived to produce a shock headline.
As a barrister, Ms Booth is obliged to represent her clients' interests to the best of her abilities, irrespective of her personal feelings and opinions. As your article points out, barristers cannot choose the cases they take, nor do they choose the lawof the land. If anything should be attacked here it is the law which allows imprisonment for poll tax defaulters.
Similarly, in her paper to the Institute of Revenues, Ratings and Valuation Officers, Ms Booth appears to have outlined the legal options available to enforcement officers, while drawing their attention to how pointless it is to send those who cannot payto prison. She is not responsible for how enforcement officers choose to exercise their legal powers.
Finally, as the article points out, Ms Booth chooses to be known professionally by her maiden rather than her married name. It is inexcusable that you did not have the courtesy to respect her choice in your headline.
Katy Donnelly SheffieldReuse content