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Press release - Thursday, 1st March 2001

Former ‘Granada Tonight’ reporter announces decision to stand in Tatton as an independent candidate


Former Granada Tonight reporter, Jonathan Boyd Hunt, today announces his decision to stand in the Tatton constituency as an independent candidate. Hunt says he is standing to raise awareness of an investigation which clears former MP Neil Hamilton of the allegations levelled against him by Mohamed Fayed & the Guardian newspaper.


Hunt claims to have uncovered evidence vindicating Hamilton’s claims of innocence; and showing that he was the victim of a conspiracy. Hunt names those involved as including Fayed and his staff; Guardian journalists; and certain of both parties’ lawyers. Hunt alleges that they conspired in the illegal withholding and forgery of documents; the fabrication of false witness statements; and the embroilment of Fayed’s employees to give false testimony against the former MP and minister. Hunt says that there is overwhelming proof that Fayed had made his allegations out of spite because Hamilton did not help him acquire a British passport.


Hunt says that the ‘Hamilton affair’ is instead a case study of how a powerful newspaper used its influence to dupe an entire democratic state. Hunt says that the central problem lays with the British media’s alliances with the Guardian, coupled to its dependency on one news agency, the Press Association. Hunt says that Fayed and the Guardian fed the PA with false and misleading information, which was then disseminated to Britain’s press, whereupon it was repeated without examination, thus prejudicing the entire nation against the former MP.


Hunt calls on the media to review its dependency on news agencies, when concerning stories about allegations that are rebutted by the accused. Hunt calls on news organisations to recruit more journalists, and to allot more resources to enable their own investigations.


Hunt also calls on journalists themselves to suspend their own politics when investigating political stories, and calls on media organisations to reveal their political and business alliances, which he claims have militated against his evidence being aired. Hunt notes that in Tatton, the Wilmslow Express and Knutsford Express have constantly run anti-Neil Hamilton pro-Martin Bell stories, though neither reveal that they are owned by the Guardian newspaper.

Hunt cites as another example the Daily Telegraph, which has refused to discuss his findings though its journalists have examined his files and endorsed his conclusions. Hunt points out that the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian have a number of joint business projects worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and asks if this in any way influenced the Telegraph’s silence.


Hunt was Granada TV’s only representative for the NW Royal Television Society’s Best News Reporter of 1997. However, Granada, which has a close alliance with the Guardian, has refused to air Hunt & Keith-Hill’s investigation too. This is currently the subject of a complaint Hunt has made to the ITC.


It is this type of censorship that has prompted Hunt’s decision to stand in Tatton: "Certain quarters of the media might well close ranks to protect their own, but the people of Tatton will soon be aware that there exists an independent investigation clearing Neil Hamilton and condemning his accusers," he said.


Hunt, who has survived on his own funds until recently, and who now relies on donations from well-wishers, promises major revelations in the run up to the election. He appeals for funds from well-meaning people to help him continue his stance against corruption in the media.




Jonathan Boyd Hunt is available for interview.

Call 0973 676355 or e-mail

Background information:

Hunt began investigating the ‘cash for questions’ affair in May 1997, on his own initiative, after being struck by Neil Hamilton’s protests of innocence. Following his investigation, which was conducted with the assistance of freelance TV producer-director Malcolm Keith-Hill, Hunt wrote Trial by Conspiracy: the lies, cover-ups and injustices behind the Neil Hamilton affair. The book was published in October 1998, and within weeks was selected by noted historian Paul Johnson as one of his three favourite books of the year.


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