Press Complaints Commission rules in favour of the Daily Mirror in Ruth Kelly hearing

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has decided in favour of the Daily Mirror in the case which the Communities Secretary, Ruth Kelly, brought against the paper in January for revealing that she had decided to send her child to a private school.

Kelly argued that by naming her, the Mirror had in effect named her son and therefore unnecessarily intruded on his school experience, thus breaking PCC code. If a newspaper is found to have interfered with a child under 16’s schooling, it must be due to an “exceptional public interest to override the normally paramount interest of the child.” Kelly felt that this matter did not involve enough public interest to satisfy the code.

Though the PCC understood Kelly’s concerns, they said the story “raised questions about the nature of publicly-funded schooling and its ability to cater for children with special needs,” and that the Mirror took enough care in protecting the child’s identity.

The Editors weblog commented that the ruling should serve as a guideline for journalists in future privacy versus freedom of information ethical dilemmas.

Press Complaints Commission vindicates Mirror in freedom of information complaint (The Editors weblog, 27 March 2007)