In a long piece in the last issue of the Sunday Times (£) Isabel Oakeshott, its political editor, wrote of her relationship with Vicky Pryce. She sobbed and sighed. She was full of sympathy. You can almost hear the tears pitter-patter on her keyboard as she describes how Pryce had become a ‘broken woman’.
The reader has to stare hard at her words to realise that Pryce was Oakeshott’s source, and that Oakeshott and her editor John Witherow had handed her over to the police. The eight-month prison sentence Mr Justice Sweeney gave Pryce today followed. Of course it did. Journalists once knew that if you betrayed a source they could end up on the dole, or in prison or, in the most severe circumstances, dead.