Jeremy Hunt ‘cannot see public interest’ in The Sun’s decision to print naked Prince Harry photos
• The Sun printed naked photos of Prince Harry last week
• Rupert Murdoch defends his newspaper’s decision
• Publication of photos not in public interest - Jeremy Hunt
The minister said “personally” he could not see a justification for printing the controversial images. However, he insisted that newspaper editors had to be free to make decisions on such issues.
The comments came as Rupert Murdoch defended the Sun’s move, posting on Twitter: “Needed to demonstrate no such thing as free press in the UK.
Internet makes mockery of these issues.”
The News Corporation chief also urged people to give Harry “a break”. “He may be on the public payroll one way or another, but the public loves him, even to enjoy Las Vegas,” Mr Murdoch wrote.
Mr Hunt said: “Personally,
I cannot see what the public interest was in publishing those.
“But we have a free press, and I don’t think it is right for politicians to tell newspaper editors what they can and cannot publish. That must be a matter for the newspaper editors.
“I just hope that people won’t remember this, but they will remember the amazing good work that Prince Harry has done.”
Mr Hunt added: “We can agree with what someone like Mr Murdoch does or you can disagree with it.
“But in the end that is not for politicians to tell editors what to publish …
“As I understand, it even Buckingham Palace have said that editors have a right to publish what they want to and that is a matter for editors.”
The Sun argued that printing the images was in the public interest and a “crucial” test of the country’s free press.
It has been reported that Mr Murdoch, 81, also wanted to fire a warning shot at Lord Justice Leveson, the man leading the inquiry into press standards in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
News International refused to comment on the speculation. But Mr Hunt said: “Nothing that Lord Justice Leveson is going to come back with is going to threaten or undermine the
functioning of a free press.”
More than 850 complaints have been made to the press watchdog about photographs of the 27-year-old prince frolicking in the nude with an unnamed woman after they were published in Friday’s edition of the Sun.
Nearly all are about invasion of privacy and are to be investigated in due course.
TMZ, the celebrity gossip website which first published the pictures last week, said that they were taken last Friday after
Harry and his entourage met some women in a hotel bar and invited them up to the royal’s suite.
The group played a stripping game and someone in the party is thought to have captured the images of the naked prince on a camera phone.