Press freedom victory for Mail on Sunday over Sir Nick Clegg emails
- Ex-Deputy PM met Dame Melanie Dawes shortly before he reportedly tried to interfere with the appointment of a new chairman of the media regulator
- MoS established Sir Nick met Dame Melanie on two occasions – Apr 16, 2020, and Feb 3 2021 – but Ofcom had refused to reveal what was discussed
- The information watchdog ruled Ofcom must disclose some details of meetings
The Mail on Sunday has scored a victory for Press freedom after the information watchdog ruled that media regulator Ofcom must disclose details of some of its meetings and emails with Facebook chief Sir Nick Clegg.
Clegg met Dame Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, shortly before he reportedly lobbied over the appointment of a new chairman of the regulator. The MoS last year revealed that Sir Nick met her on April 16, 2020 and February 3, 2021 – but Ofcom refused to reveal what was discussed.
Now the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has ordered Ofcom to publish some of the emails.
The Mail on Sunday will be able to view details of some of Ofcom’s meetings and emails with Facebook chief Sir Nick Clegg
Dame Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, met with Nick Clegg shortly before he lobbied over the appointment of a new chairman of the regulator
The ICO said some of the information that Ofcom refused to release were ‘routine emails to highlight news of broad interest’ rather than anything sensitive and some of that kept secret was already in the public domain. It was also ‘highly sceptical’ that, as Ofcom claimed, anyone there could be prosecuted under the Communications Act 2003 if information was disclosed.
Last night, an Ofcom spokesman said: ‘We note the ICO’s decision and will review its findings.’