“When a politician tells you something in confidence, always ask yourself Why is this lying bastard lying to me?“
These are the famous words of Louis Heren, the lifetime reporter for The Times whose heart was always in reporting how the news affected ordinary people.
An advocate of the independence of the press, Heren was the favourite to become the successor of William Rees-Mogg as editor of The Times in 1981 (although Harold Evans got the promotion).
His career spanned the papers’ ownership of Lord Astor, Lord Thompson and finally to the takeover of Rupert Murdoch. Retiring in 1981, Heren – who had served in the military until 1946 – declared “I loved my paper as a soldier loves his regiment.” He passed away in 1995 at the age of 76.
An interview with Louis Heren describing his upbringing in 1972 [from Chris-Dorley Brown’s BBC documentary on the Eastend of London]: