WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Pot confessions spark media row

It was a banana skin lying in wait. Gordon Brown announced at Prime Minister’s Questions that he wanted a review of the downgrading of the laws on cannabis use and brand-new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was on the next day’s news programmes discussing crime figures.

Her admission on GMTV that she smoked the drug at university prompted a ‘conga line’ (Mail on Sunday, 22 July) of similar confessions from cabinet ministers and others.

The PM’s spokesman said Brown was ‘entirely relaxed’ about the admissions.

Martha Kearney, presen­ter of BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, wrote in her blog that several Tories suspected that the drugs issue was a ‘deliberate attempt to embarrass David Cameron’ (23 July) who, along with the rest of the shadow cabinet, ducked similar questions, ­relying on the phrase ‘politicians are entitled to a private life’.

The row ignited columnists across the media spectrum: the Daily Mail branded the admissions ­‘political childishness’ and called for tough action to drive drugs out of schools (22 July).

As the silly season approaches, perhaps we should brace ourselves for government admissions of over-spending in super-casinos and serial binge-drinking.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

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