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NUJ condemns Mirror gag – demands full truth

26 January 2005

The National Union of Journalists has spoken out in defence of the Daily Mirror newspaper after it was issued with a gagging order in relation to an allegedly leaked memo.

The order imposed by the Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, invoked the Official Secrets Act and came nearly 24 hours after the controversial Mirror story was published on November 22, 2005.

Because of the strict terms of the gagging order the NUJ is unable to reveal any details.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:

"This is a heavy-handed attempt to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. It is a double attack on the freedom of the press and freedom of information.
"These attempts to stifle uncomfortable revelations printed by a newspaper which is only carrying out its proper duty to inform the British public does the government of what is supposed to be a democracy no credit whatsoever.
"What we need in this country is free and open debate and a proper political dialogue over important issues of this sort, not a knee-jerk panic reaction."

According to the Daily Mirror, there had been no move to stop the publication of the story, but that it had "essentially agreed to comply" with the order.

Tags: , Daily Mirror, Official Secrets Act, newspapers, press freedom