PHONE HACKING AT THE SCREWS
Lewis told MPs that News International had now threatened injunctions to stop him acting for other clients who want to sue over voicemail hacking – including PR man Max Clifford, whose phone was hacked by private investigator Glenn “Trigger” Mulcaire. He gave the committee a copy of a letter, dated 11 August, from Julian Pike of Farrer & Co, the Dirty Digger’s solicitors.
“We refute [sic] any suggestion that you are able to act for Mr Clifford either now or in the future or any other would-be claimant in respect of voicemail accessing allegations… You personally were party to confidential information… which you are obliged not to disclose. Were you to act for any other would-be claimant in respect of the voicemail accessing allegations, at the very least there is an undoubted risk that the confidential information would be put to use… It goes without saying that our client will object to your involvement in this or any other related case as against our client for the reasons set out above. We reserve our client’s rights to take injunctive proceedings against you should you choose to disregard the matters contained in this letter.”
Just one rogue reporter…
When Lewis was asked by the committee what he understood this letter to be saying, he replied: "You know too much. Don’t act against us or we will bring the whole weight of the organisation against you.” The chairman asked Lewis on what possible legal basis NI could injunct him. “On the basis that I won,” he said, “and my client got a lot of money.”
All this is very odd in light of the repeated assertions by Murdoch executives that they had nothing to do with systematic phone hacking, which was all the work of just one rogue reporter and an overactive private investigator. Why so jumpy?
More top stories in the latest issue:
OUT NOW! THE DAILY BREXPRESS
Even the weather, Princess Diana and Madeleine McCann have ceded the front pages of the Express this summer, thanks to its fervour over Brexit.
The summer heat is getting to staff at the Sun, where senior figures including editor Tony Gallagher are locked in internal power struggles.
Again the Telegraph is bravely refusing to let editorial matters affect advertising revenue, as Google and Apple get an easy ride.
THE ROYAL STANDARD
The Evening Standard’s list of London’s most influential people featured a huge U-turn in its attitude to Sadiq Khan and some regal brown-nosing.
As the Guardian launches its first chatbot (after laying 257 people off this year), Facebook’s algorithmic troubles suggest it might not be a great idea.
SIDEBAR OF SHAME
Who was in charge when the Sunday Times published that ill-advised sidebar on childless politicians? Only the chair of Women in Journalism…
DEGREES OF KELVIN
Kelvin MacKenzie uses the grammar school debate to have a dig in the Sun at two politicians who happened to be his sternest critics over Hillsborough