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This week in Tortoise: A finding of rape

This week in Tortoise: A finding of rape

For over a year, Tortoise sought to make public a court finding that Andrew Griffiths, the former Conservative MP and government minister, had abused, coerced and raped his then wife, Kate Griffiths. The Family Court’s finding would, normally, have been kept private. But, after a long legal battle through the High Court and then the Court of Appeal, we won: the judges ruled in favour of our application to publish. 

Today, Louise Tickle, the journalist who pursued the case, tells the story. For the first time, Kate Griffiths, herself now the MP for Burton, talks about the judge’s findings against her former husband and what it took to prevent the secrecy of the family court system from protecting him. The lawyers replay the case, and the arguments for holding the powerful to account and responsible openness in the family justice system. 

A Finding of Rape is this week’s Slow Newscast. Beyond MPs and the courts, beyond power, accountability and justice, it is a story of abuse and sexual violence within a marriage.

All that said, newsrooms should take what they do seriously, but not themselves. And at tonight’s ThinkIn, as if on cue, we will be offering our predictions for 2022 – and sputtering shame-faced excuses for our forecasts for 2021. 

There’s plenty of coverage of the royals in the news. Tomorrow night, we are trying to understand the role of one increasingly influential and little understood figure in the family: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Once, it was unclear whether she would ever be Queen; now she looks set to be pivotal to the future running of the Royal Family. Join us tomorrow evening at 6.30pm to discuss.

Our weekly Open News meeting will be back on Wednesday evening at 6.30pm. If you’re interested, it’ll be a chance to understand the process of fighting a court case on the right to publish – but, as ever, it’s made by the ideas and issues you bring to the meeting.

With Joe Biden’s approval ratings plummeting and his agenda stalling, what is Donald Trump’s route back to the White House? At a ThinkIn at 6.30pm London time, with some expert help, we’ll set out to plot the politics of the midterm election year and the path to 2024. 

Each day, the Sensemaker tries to provide a concise, considered alternative to the scroll of headlines and text alerts – while also taking a little longer to get to the story behind the news. 

Have a very good week.


James Harding
Editor & co-founder