UK media news: Royal Mail staff threaten strike as government seeks to privatize the postal service; Sun news editor charged
The Guardian and other UK newspapers are reporting that the staff of the Royal Mail are threatening to strike to protest the plan to privatize the 497-year old postal service. The UK government on Thursday unveiled plans for a £3 billion privatization of the postal service within six weeks.
“This isn’t about what’s best for the Royal Mail, it’s about vested interests of government ministers’ mates in the City,” Billy Hayes, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said.
A spokesman for the Professional Publishers Association (PPA)m the UK magazine trade association told TNM that the association is supportive of moves to reform the Royal Mail.
“Whilst we are not in a position to comment on the detail of the proposal to privatise Royal Mail, as the industry body for UK magazine publishers, the PPA is supportive of any move designed to strengthen and further modernise Royal Mail, in order to ensure a cost-effective, efficient & reliable UK delivery service for magazines,” a PPA spokesman told TNM today.
Meanwhile, The Sun’s former deputy news editor, Ben O’Driscoll, has become the 14th journalist at the News Inter’l daily to be charged in connection with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Elveden investigation. O’Driscoll is accused of making £5,000 in payments to public officials including police officers.
It is not just Rupert Murdoch’s papers that are caught up in the scandals, as the Mirror Group is under investigation by police for intercepting phone voicemails, a similar charge to that leveled at the new defunct News of the World. The Independent reports that the media group could run up to £300m in bills due to the growing scandal.
The key to winning the press wars in the UK may well be simply staying out of jail.