Kelner: 'Personal attack by Dacre disappointed me'

Independent editor-in-chief Simon Kelner was “very disappointed” by the personal nature of the attack by Paul Dacre, his counterpart at Associated Newspapers, about his views on the Press Complaints Commission.

But he said such hostility only served to strengthen his resolve to question the workings of the commission.

In March, Dacre said Kelner had “betrayed” the industry by suggesting that an ombudsman was needed to assess PCC decisions and that current editors should not serve on the commission.

In a Press Gazette interview to mark his fifth anniversary as editor, Kelner said he thought the attacks were “unnecessary and unnecessarily personal as well”.

He was “particularly disappointed” with Dacre’s comments that he had enjoyed a high standard of living out of Fleet Street, and had betrayed it.

“I was making what I still believe was a very logical and sensible point. If self-regulation is to work, it has to be seen to work. All I’m calling for is a greater transparency and greater accountability.

“I’m not saying I have the answers, but I do think it’s a legitimate thing for us to question.

“And I think the reaction to what I said makes me feel even more strongly that questions have got to be asked of the PCC – and I’m pleased to say are being asked.”

Kelner is meeting new PCC chairman Sir Christopher Meyer for lunch this week.

By Ian Reeves

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