HAS Isabel Oakeshott crippled the already faltering public trust in journalism? It was her that leaked the WhatsApp messages she had been given in confidence by the hapless and trusting ex Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.

The guy was going through a pandemic of emotions, with his marital relationship if not actually on the rocks then damn near it, until he himself kicked it over the edge with the CCTV snog being released, starting his fall from mediocrity.

Hancock may very well in retrospect have been less than able for the job, as were several Cabinet ministers that were within his touching distance.

READ MORE: Who is Isabel Oakeshott? The journalist involved in leaking Matt Hancock's WhatsApps

However, Oakeshott, in her defence of breaking the trust that Hancock thought he had with his ghost writer, advised that it was of significant importance to the general public, and as such was worth putting the several thousand WhatsApp messages into the public domain.

Hancock was “skewered” by his own hand, or actually his own thumbs, but doesn’t Oakeshott bear some responsibility for the feeding frenzy of other reporters and political news outlets over this detritus of a person’s work and life, and have these breaches of trust between the client and journalist also brought journalism into disrepute?

What is to stop other journalists and “ghost writers” from dishing the dirt on their apparently trusting clients?

READ MORE: Matt Hancock criticises Eat Out to Help Out scheme in leaked messages

When journalism has been so trashed by the “News of the Screws” over the Milly Dowler phone hacking and the numerous settlements for press invasion of privacy, is IPSO going to examine Ms Oakeshott’s excuses for breaking the client/writer trust?

Does this mean no journalist can now hide behind journalistic confidentiality code and protect their sources?

Perhaps artificial intelligence could do a better and safer job than Oakeshott.

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

YOUR exciting article, “Neolithic project to move on to next phase” (Mar 7) said so much about the state of our country.

I have been fascinated by the amazing discoveries at the Ness of Brodgar ever since I first became aware of them. I have yet to visit!

Few would dispute that this is a revelatory example of a state of civilisation, hitherto unknown in the world, and discovered here in our country. It is difficult and foolish to attempt to rank such discoveries but I must ask, why did the Chinese and world authorities consider that the terracotta army was important enough to put the money together, enabling the site to be covered with a protective building, turning it from a raw archaeological site into a highly popular museum, without inhibiting the continuation of the archaeologist’s work?

While we, in Scotland, Great Britain, the UK, just ignore this site, and will have to fill it with earth again to protect it, when clearly other, better answers are available?

The influx of immigrants responsible for such sites, such as the Beaker people, clearly brought with them skills way above just building houses.

Most will not know that these stone-age people were almost certainly responsible for building the wonders of Skara Brae, Maes Howe as well as the Ring of Brodgar, and that these sites were able to plot the passage of time, with unbelievable accuracy.

There are proofs in these sites, among others, that their study of Venus demonstrates an understanding of time, to within a few minutes, over that planet’s eight- and 40-year cycles.

Sadly, most just continue to conclude that these were just primitive burial sites, and therefore, not that interesting!

One millionth of the North Sea oil money would do a wonderful job for us in preserving such important sites for Scotland, and the world.

Do we have to wait for independence before establishing these important world heritage sites?

Christopher Bruce

ANENT the new proposals to deny asylum to anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat, can someone please enlighten me on two questions?

First, under international law, how can any asylum seeker be “illegal” before their claim has been considered? Second, how does a young person fleeing from Syria, for example, where he has seen his father murdered and his house bombed to rubble with the rest of his family in it, manage to reach the UK as the first safe country?

Or do the Tory proposals simply ensure that we almost NEVER need to take asylum seekers, except from the very few countries with agreed legal routes, because for most we cannot be the first safe country?

L McGregor

AS Bill Murray o Embro says (Letters, Mar 7), the Stane o Destinie suid byde whaur it belangs. Gif Charles waants ti be crounnit ontilt, he maun cum ti Scotland an set hiz dowp doun heir as he suid be daein oniegates.

Iain WD Forde