View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Archive content
October 12, 2012updated 16 Oct 2012 2:59pm

23. British journalism’s greatest ever scoops: Jonathan of Arabia (World in Action, David Leigh, 1995)

By Richard Wilson

David Leigh was the reporter behind this edition of the nowdefunct ITV current affairs programme which revealed that Jonathan Aitken, the Cabinet minister for defence procurement, had benefited from bribes paid to Saudi royalty to arrange arms deals.

Leigh’s investigation also resulted in a front-page story for The Guardian.

Three hours before the World In Action report was due to be screened Aitken called a press conference in which he memorably said: “If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it.”

A libel case collapsed in 1997 after The Guardian produced evidence that Aitken had lied about his wife paying for a hotel bill at the Paris Ritz hotel. In 1999 he was jailed for 18 months for perjury and perverting the cause of justice.



Back to full list

Content from our partners
<a></a>Key ways to futureproof your media career as journalism job cuts bite deep
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network