Murdoch: 'No such thing as a free press in the UK' - Press Gazette

Murdoch: 'No such thing as a free press in the UK'

News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has weighed in to the debate over the naked Prince Harry pictures – claiming there is 'no such things as a free press in the UK".

News International's The Sun was the only paper to break ranks by publishing the pictures in the UK on Friday, after Clarence House issued a warning to newspaper editors.

Murdoch took to Twitteron Sunday night in defence of the decision, telling users: 'Needed to demonstrate no such thing as free press in the UK. Internet makes mockery of these issues."

He later urged people to give Prince Harry 'a break", adding: 'He may be on the public payroll one way or another, but the public loves him, even to enjoy Las Vegas."

And in a Twitter exchange with former deputy prime minister John Prescott, Murdoch denied that the decision to publish the photos was taken by him.

"Decision was rightly that of the editor, and I support. I was in Silicon Valley far removed," he wrote.

He later added: 'Simple equation: free, open uncontrollable internet versus shackled newspapers equals no newspapers. Let's get real."

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed The Sun was not acting in the public interest when it published embarrassing photographs of Prince Harry, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Speaking to BBC News on Sunday morning, Hunt said: "Personally I cannot see what the public interest was in publishing those.

"But we have a free press and I don't think it is right for politicians to tell newspaper editors what they can and cannot publish. That must be a matter for the newspaper editors.

"I just hope that people won't remember this, but they will remember the amazing good work that Prince Harry has done."

He added: "We can agree with what someone like Mr Murdoch does or you can disagree with it.

"But in the end that is not for politicians to tell editors what to publish…

"As I understand it even Buckingham Palace have said that editors have a right to publish what they want to and that is a matter for editors."

The Sun argued that printing the images was in the public interest and a "crucial" test of the country's free press.