PR guru Max Clifford has entered the ongoing fray between privacy and media freedom campaigners by saying that there needs to be a “halfway house” between the two opposing camps.
Despite admitting that only 20% of the celebrity based stories he has pushed would qualify for publication on the grounds of public interest Clifford said newspapers should be forced to justify publishing stories about people’s personal lives.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Media Show Clifford was asked if so called super-injunctions were killing kiss and tell stories, to which he replied: “Certainly at the moment it is but I think obviously the answer I'm hoping will come about will be a halfway house whereby you [newspapers] know you have to justify public interest in order to print a story.
"So in other words if someone is having an affair with a cabinet minister ... and all kinds of secrets have been passed on to that person which shouldn't be passed on then of course it's a matter of public interest. But if it's a straightforward 'footballer is doing this' then I think there is no public interest in this at all other than circulation."
Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has said he would consider introducing privacy legislation to assist judges in determining when a gagging order is appropriate.