World

Due process is essential – yes, even for Westminster sleaze

The experience of the Leon Brittan and Ted Heath inquiries should remind the media that, even in a blizzard of serious cases, correct procedure matters

Over a decade ago in Dar es Salaam, I was running a British Council seminar for journalists – a dozen or so men, half that number of women – from seven southern African countries. One afternoon we got round to work, sex and the whole murky drama now being played out on stages from Hollywood to the Palace of Westminster. And the women didn’t hold back.

“Look,” cried one Tanzanian freelance feature writer. “I want to get a piece published so I have to sleep with the editor. Then I want to be paid and I have to sleep with the cashier.” She was on her feet, blazing anger and cheered on by the other women – while the men skulked in silence.

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