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The BBC's Guto Harri
"She feels devastated"
 real 28k

Sunday, 5 March, 2000, 20:32 GMT
Blair defends book injunction
Blair family
The Blairs on holiday in Italy last summer
Prime Minister Tony Blair has defended blocking a newspaper from publishing his former nanny's memoirs - as the row over the leaked extracts intensifies.

His lawyers secured an injunction preventing the Mail on Sunday newspaper publishing details from the book by Rosalind Mark. Later editions had to be changed.

Ms Mark talked to us openly, confirmed she was seeking a publisher for her book and discussed its contents

Mail on Sunday statement
Mr Blair said the action was taken to protect "the legitimate privacy of our family life and protect our children from unwarranted intrusion into their lives".

He said his family had not sought the injunction lightly and added that he will do "whatever it takes" to ensure "our children have as normal an upbringing as possible".

He added that the former nanny had been bound by a confidentiality agreement, but said she remained a "good friend of the family" who did not intend to cause any harm but has been "exploited" by others.

Ms Mark said she was "devastated" by the row, insisting she had not intended any of her account to be printed without the Blair family's consent.

She insisted the Mail on Sunday had edited published extracts without her permission, blaming literary agent Jonathan Harris for passing on material.

However, Mr Harris has since denied any involvement in the publication, insisting: "I played absolutely no part whatsoever in the story carried by the Mail on Sunday."

Rosalind Mark
Rosalind Mark is "devastated" by the row [Picture: Mail on Sunday]
The Mail On Sunday said it was surprised by the injunction, saying it had told Mr Blair's spokesman about Miss Mark's book on Saturday.

Later, the Mail added a further statement, saying Ms Mark had offered the paper full co-operation.

It said: "She talked to us openly, confirmed she was seeking a publisher for her book and discussed its contents. She insisted that confidentiality would not be a problem.

"She was fully aware we were writing a story, posed for pictures and gave us two photographs of her with the Blairs."

The paper added that it intended to fight the injunction in court.

The extracts contained comments on senior government figures, and detailed descriptions of life with the Blairs.

The publication has already led to warnings of tougher privacy legislation.

I think there have been a number of incidents, not just to do with politicians, which have worried people

David Blunkett
Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett told the Sky News' Sunday with Adam Boulton programme that more protection was needed.

"I think there have been a number of incidents, not just to do with politicians, which have worried people," he said.

"What ministers had to balance was somebody's desire to make money against a person's privacy."

Protecting privacy

The injunction is the latest example of how determined the Blairs are to protect their privacy.

Last year the Mail on Sunday was criticised by the Press Complaints Commission after the Blairs protested about a report concerning their daughter Kathryn's schooling.

And last month the PCC upheld another complaint by the Blairs, this time against the Daily Sport for publishing a picture of their son Euan kissing a teenage girl.

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21 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Blair plans press complaint
06 Aug 99 |  UK Politics
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24 Jan 99 |  UK Politics
Blairs angry over school story
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