Campaigners for press reform have seized on the recent Daily Mail article about late Frinninghampton resident Reginald Walker as the clearest evidence to date that greater regulation of an out of control press is urgently needed. Friends attribute to the article the suicide last night of Reginald’s son Jonathan, who was 44 and leaves behind a wife and three children, and state that he confided in a number of people that he could not live with the shame of the allegations made or the possibility that some people might think they were true.
In the controversial piece published on Monday the Daily Mail claimed that the late Reginald Walker had been an inoffensive bloke who lived a respectable life during the inter-war years, contributing to community life and taking a constructive interest in local politics and the parish council. Most dammingly, they went on to claim that ‘Reg’ was the sort of person readers would dream of having as a neighbour.
Prior to his death Jonathan Walker had issued a statement rebutting the allegations, stating “My father was never a fascist and never a Nazi. He did not support or condone racism or glorify Nazism in any way shape or form, ever. He had an active interest in justice and brought myself and my sisters up to know the difference between right and wrong. He would have been horrified to be associated with any Daily Mail reader. It is abhorrent that the Daily Mail should make such allegations against those unable to defend themselves and I reject their allegations entirely.”