There's an astonishing story in the Mail on Sunday today about Cherie Blair and Peter Mandelson. Mandelson quotes a private note from her which she kindly sent him after his first resignation. In the note the makes critical comments of Gordon Brown.
She has now instructed lawyers who have written to Mandelson's publishers, HarperCollins, and demanded that the passage be taken out of the book and the note returned to her.
This sort of thing is becoming increasingly common, with publishers continually receiving veiled threats, which the lawyers must no have no basis in law. My company, Biteback, stood up to the threats of Wayne Rooney and his lawyers when we published a biography of him, Rooney's Gold, by John Sweeney. I can't say it didn't give me the odd uncomfortable moment, but in the end, if publishers give in to this sort of legal blackmail we might as well all give up.
So I hope Peter Mandelson and his lawyers will tell Cherie Blair's lawyers exactly what they can do with their letter, for which, by the way, her lawyers are charging £800 plus VAT. And they also have the cheek to demand those "costs" from HarperCollins.
They bring their own profession into disrepute.