Freedom of the press victory for Mail on Sunday over Sir Nick Clegg emails

Freedom of the press victory for Mail on Sunday over Sir Nick Clegg emails

  • The former Deputy Prime Minister met Dame Melanie Dawes shortly before he apparently tried to interfere with the appointment of a new chairman of the media regulator
  • The MoS established that Sir Nick met Dame Melanie twice – on April 16, 2020 and February 3, 2021 – but Ofcom refused to reveal what was discussed
  • The information watchdog has ruled that Ofcom must disclose certain details of the meetings

The Mail on Sunday has scored a victory for press freedom after the information watchdog ruled media regulator Ofcom must release details of some of its meetings and emails with the Facebook chief , Sir Nick Clegg.

Clegg met Dame Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, shortly before he pushed for the appointment of a new regulator chair. Last year the MoS revealed Sir Nick met her on April 16, 2020 and February 3, 2021 – but Ofcom refused to reveal what was discussed.

Now the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ordered Ofcom to release some of the emails.

The Mail on Sunday will be able to see details of some of Ofcom’s meetings and emails with Facebook chief Sir Nick Clegg

Dame Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, met Nick Clegg shortly before he pushed for a new regulator chairman

Dame Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, met Nick Clegg shortly before he pushed for a new regulator chairman

The ICO said some of the information Ofcom refused to release was “routine emails to highlight news of general interest” rather than anything sensitive and some of that information being guarded secrets were already in the public domain. He was also ‘very skeptical’ that, as Ofcom claimed, anyone could be prosecuted under the Communications Act 2003 if any information was leaked.

Last night an Ofcom spokesperson said: ‘We take note of the ICO’s decision and will review its findings.’

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