The Sun says today that MPs backed its decision to publish controversial pictures yesterday of Prince Harry and a girl cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel suite.
No newspaper in the UK had previously published the pictures, although they had been seen by millions worldwide on line and in print.
Earlier the Drum published a column arguing that British papers were wrong to gag on printing the pictures.
- and showing how the New York Daily News had handled the story.
The Sun says today of their decision, "We defied warnings from Palace lawyers who wanted to suppress the snaps taken of Army officer Harry, " .
Tory MP Damian Collins, a member of the influential parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport select committee, was quoted : “There’s a clear public interest in the Vegas pics.
“Harry is a senior royal. There is a public interest in his judgment and in his safety.”
Tory Louise Mensch, who is also on the committee, said: “The Sun was right to publish. There is a clear public interest. The Royal Family receives money from the Civil List. And in inviting people to his room, Harry did not have the expectation of privacy.”
British newspapers had held back from publishing the pictures which first appeared on the US TMZ website after royal pressure on the media via the Press Complaints Commission.
Ms Mensch told The Sun : “We cannot have our press scared to publish things that are in the public interest. Someone, a total stranger, took those photos — and honeytraps have happened.”
She added: “It won’t do Prince Harry any harm — we all like and support Harry.”
Labour MP John Mann said: “It has to be left to the editor’s judgment. The press must always be bold. Nobody can suggest this was media intrusion.”
The Sun said a poll by radio station LBC showed 80 per cent of listeners backed The Sun’s stance in the name of press freedom. Most ordinary people took that view — and supported Harry’s right to enjoy himself.
Student Tom Treherne, 19, of Cambridge, said: “If he wants to get naked, that’s up to him. And the papers have a right to publish the pictures.”
The Press Complaints Commission has had 850 complaints about the photos. None came from the Royal Family.