Tabloid revelations on Chris Huhne suggest privacy bar is set higher for MPs

Cabinet minister Chris Huhne was bounced into announcing that he was leaving his wife on Saturday night after an investigation by the News of the World into his affair with media adviser Carina Trimingham. The People is also claiming that it had the story, which went public at 4pm on Saturday so in time for all the Sundays.

UPDATE: See comment below from People news editor Lee Harpin who says that the Huhne affair revelation was down to their digging.

Unsanctioned stories about the love-lives of the famous and powerful are becoming an increasingly rare thing nowadays in the wake of the Max Mosley privacy decision and others.

In the eyes of the law, exposing extra-marital affairs is no longer seen as being in the public interest. In Max Mosley’s case, even if the affair in question was an orgy with five dominatrices.

Presumably the Mail on Sunday and NoW are gambling that in the case of MPs – the bar is still set a little higher.

The Daily Mail reports today that at the time Huhne was conducting the affair he was pictured with his wife on a campaign leaflet which said: “Family matters to me so much  –  where would we be without them?”

Exposing such apparent hypocrisy in a cabinet minister should give the press ample ammunition for a public interest defence.

The Daily Mail would appear to be on shakier ground privacy-wise with this report about the sexual history of Huhne’s lover, Trimingham – who is campaigns director of the Electoral Reform Society.

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