Mosley hits out at Dacre

The "value of free speech" came under the spotlight last night when five celebrity speakers discussed the subject at an event hosted by The Independent national newspaper.

Paul Dacre: editor of the Daily Mail
Paul Dacre: editor of the Daily Mail

The event was held at The Royal Institution in West London where the speakers discussed the value of free speech with host Chris Blackhurst, the new editor of The Independent.

On the panel was: former Formula 1 boss Max Mosley; Independent columnist Johan Hari; comedian Ruby Wax; Evgeny Lebedev, chairman of The Independent; and Charlotte Harris, media law specialist.

The speakers discussed a range of issues around free speech and its implications for society and journalism.

Mosley, who is campaigning for tighter privacy laws following revelations about his private life in the national press, took the opportunity to attack Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail's editor, and the paper's coverage of the revelations.

Mosley said Dacre did not show "much imagination" and described the way the revelations were reported as "unimaginable depravity".

He went on to say that, in Dacre's eyes, depravity was perhaps as trifling as "turning a light on".

Dacre is a long-standing critic of privacy laws that hinder the freedom of the press.

Prior to Mosley's speech, the event kicked off with Lebedev voicing his opinion on the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, describing it as "simply disgusting," and saying "those responsible should hang their heads in shame".

He also criticised The Daily Telegraph's journalistic techniques in its Vince Cable sting.

Lebedev further predicted that some newspapers would "go to the wall" within the next five years.

Questioned afterwards by Media Week, Lebedev refused to be drawn on which titles would close.

The Daily Mail was unavailable for comment.

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