DIARY: Mail fan wins a battle but the paper loses the war

Continuing the Associated theme, there was a good turnout last week at the Royal Geographical Society for Intelligence Squared's latest debate - 'This house believes the trouble with this country is the Daily Mail'.

The Times assistant editor Mary Ann Sieghart and Karl Marx biographer Francis Wheen spoke for the motion, while investigative journalist - and scourge of PR people everywhere - Tom Bower and Spectator political editor Peter Oborne spoke against.

All was good-natured fun until a few heartfelt speeches from the floor.

An unnamed PR woman stole the show, hitting back at those who had claimed the Mail was both sexist and historically anti-semitic.

'I am a woman, and Jewish,' she said, 'and my PR business almost went under 'cos of non-payment by clients until the Mail ran a campaign naming and shaming them. I will be forever grateful.'

Before Diary could collar this outspoken PRO, she scarpered - so she may not know that the vote went 318 to 201 in favour of the motion.

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