Fairbairn calls for press showdowns (21.01.90)


The Sunday Times

January 21, 1990

Sir Nicholas Fairbairn has called for press shutdowns to bring irresponsible papers to heel. Grania Forbes reports on the claims of the former solicitor general for Scotland
A FORMER law officer has called for legislation to shut down newspapers that publish false allegations. Sir Nicholas Fairbairn MP, a senior QC and former solicitor general for Scotland, made the call in the wake of rumours involving Court of Session judges in allegations over homosexual conduct.
Fairbairn said parliament should give the Press Council powers to close down a newspaper if it is found guilty of spreading false allegation and rumour.

He said it should also be a criminal offence for papers to print allegations from a third party knowing there was only a grain of truth in the accusations.
He claimed this was what took place when Ross Harper, former president of the Scottish Tories…

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