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'Media more influential than MPs'

Julia Day
Friday June 23, 2006

Most voters believe that the media have more influence over the government than its own MPs, a new poll showed today.

A Populus survey for BBC2's The Daily Politics show found more than six out of 10 (61%) voters thought newspapers held more sway than politicians. A third disagreed with the assessment.

The survey results come after a police chief accused Downing Street of making up policies on the hoof because of the News of the World's agenda on issues such as paedophilia.

Terry Grange, the chief constable of Dyfed and Powys, said fawning to tabloid agendas went across policy making in the Home Office. He reeled off a list of areas where he believes No 10 and ministers are responding to the campaigns and opinions of the press to make statements and form policy.

The treatment of foreign criminals, home-grown violent offenders and paedophiles are all subjects he believes have been hijacked by tabloid newspapers, which have used their muscle to help form policy."


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