Drop case against Harnden

Last week this column raised concerns about whistleblowers and the journalists they speak to being hounded by the authorities.

So it was a welcome breath of fresh air to hear Lord Saville declare that he would not, after all, require Channel 4’s Alex Thomson and Lena Ferguson to reveal their sources to his Bloody Sunday inquiry.

The two had been threatened over the six years of the hearings with contempt of court if they refused to reveal the identity of the soldiers they spoke to for a documentary series.

It’s only a qualified sigh of relief though. The decision does not apply to Toby Harnden, the Telegraph’s Middle East correspondent who is already the subject of High Court proceedings for contempt after failing to reveal his own sources to the inquiry.

He’ll have to apply to the High Court to have his summons dismissed.

For this to represent real progress, Harnden’s case must be dropped and his costs paid.

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