23 November 2011

Leveson Inquiry: Hearings - Day 6


"I want this inquiry to mean something", not end up as "footnote in some professor of journalism's analysis of 21 century history." LJ Leveson in reply to A Rusbridger's submission to Inquiry.

Lord Justice Leveson, Shami Chakrabarti, Sir David Bell, Lord Currie, George Jones, Sir Paul Scott-Lee, Elinor Goodman

Opening submissions began on Monday 14 November 2011.  The proceedings are shown here live on the Leveson Inquiry website. 

BBC Democracy Live Leveson Inquiry live-feed here.

Full list of Core Participants to be found here. (Guardian Website)

Relevant links from mainstream media, blogs and social media:

(Twitter feed for Leveson Inquiry on right of Home page of this (#pressreform) blog.) ->->->

Wednesday, November 23rd 2011 (Hearing 5 record of  Leveson Inquiry on this blog can be found here.)

Further to lawyers' complaints throughout the morning following Mark Lewis' hearing:
- from Guardian Live Blog:
    12.36pm: Jonathan Caplan is now talking about a reference to Amanda Platell in Lewis's testimony in which it may have been intimated that she may have a written an article "to settle an old score".
    Caplan says "that is absolutely refuted".
    12.34pm: Rhodri Davies, for News International, is now running the Leveson inquiry through this statement from Greenberg.
    12.33pm: Simon Greenberg of News International has issued a statement rebutting claims in Mark Lewis's witness statement.
    Statement from Simon Greenberg
    1) Mark Lewis' witness statement at paragraph 23 is totally incorrect about my working relationship with (name redacted). 2) At the time the tape recording was made I was working for Chelsea Football Club. I had left the Evening Standard to join Chelsea in July 2004, several months before the recorded conversation in question 3) Moreover I did not recruit (name redacted) for The Times. I worked for Chelsea from July 2004 until November 2009. I then worked for the England 2018 World Cup bid from December 2009 until December 2010. During these periods (name redacted) moved to The Times. 4) In September 2010 (name redacted) identified himself to senior personnel on The Times and News International as the other voice on the tape after it was published by the New York Times and from that point went on sick leave. 5) I joined News International in January 2011. It was some time after joining that I was told about the recorded conversation, the identity of the person on it and the series of events that followed which I reference in paragraph 4 above.
From Guardian Online following an article in today's Guardian and a complaint by lawyer representing the Sun:
  • Wednesday 23 November 2011
  • Steve Coogan: The media are like the mafia. It's just business. In a piece sketching the Leveson inquiry we incorrectly stated that the Sun newspaper sent a reporter to the home of a junior counsel to the Inquiry. The Sun did not send a reporter to the barrister's home. We apologise for the error and any suggestion that there was an intention by the Sun to show a lack of respect to the Inquiry or Lord Justice Leveson.
Guardian Apology to Sun Over Leveson Doorstep Claims - Press Gazette

Today's Participants: Mark Lewis, Sheryl Gascoigne, Tom Rowland, Mr. and Mrs. McCann

Profiles of today's Core Participants from Guardian here.

Mark Lewis

 Mark Lewis' Witness Statement not yet online

From the Guardian 8th November 2011:
"The News of the World hired a specialist private investigator to run covert surveillance on two of the lawyers representing phone-hacking victims as part of an operation to put pressure on them to stop their work.
The investigator secretly videoed Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris as well as family members and associates. Evidence suggests it was part of an attempt to gather evidence for false smears about their private lives.
The News of the World also took specialist advice in an attempt to injunct Lewis to prevent him representing the victims of hacking and tried to persuade one of his former clients to sue him."
8 November 2011: (Taken from Taylor Hampton Solicitors' website)
Jeremy Paxman, BBC Newsnight. Interview with Mark Lewis of Taylor Hampton Solicitors >>
NoW placed hacking lawyers under surveillance The BBC has learned that a former police officer was hired by the News of the World to carry out surveillance on two lawyers, representing victims of phone hacking.

Video: Mark Lewis Tells leveson Inquiry: Phone-hacking No Worse then Speeding' to Journalists - Telegraph

My MS Consultant Told me Not to do Anything Stressful - So I Went After Murdoch's Phone-hackers - Evening Standard

Libel, Buscombe and the PCC: What's Going on? at PCC Watch  (from March this year)

AP - UK Lawyer: ' Tabloid Hacking Led to Untrue Stories' 

Ben Fenton
Lewis says DMail [APlatell] wrote about his "sanctimonious face". Also called him "greedy lawyer" over Dowler settlement.

Ross Hawkins
Mark Lewis at : Was told Mail Ed Paul Dacre would sue him if he suggested Associated were involved

james robinson
We are now on to fact a journalist at Evening Standard was recorded being taught how to hack by Mulcaire

james robinson
Lewis alleging a story about Garry Flitcroft's second affair obtained by the People was the result of hacking

Sheryl Gascoigne

Witness Statement for Sheryl Gascoigne

Sheryl Gascoigne Profile By the Sun Writer Who Knows Her Best - the Sun

Audioboo/Sheryl Gascoigne Tells #Leveson of Harassment by Paparazzi ( via @joshhalliday )

Audioboo/Sheryl Gascoigne SaysShe Fears Repercussions From Giving Leveson Evidence - (via @joshhalliday )

McCanns and Sheryl Gascoigne Give Evidence - Guardian

Ross Hawkins
Sheryl Gascoigne at : complaint to PCC didn't go anywhere, got opinion PCC was a waste of time
    From Guardian Live Blog: 12.00pm: Gascoigne on the Press Complaints Commisison:
    "The PCC was a waste of time really."
    How she got introduced to the PCC:
    "I didn't know that the PCC existed, I didn't know what it was. I was introduced to Guy Black [the PCC director] , I didn't know what his position was; he was with the PCC, so the next time I felt really aggrieved by something, I took it up with them and it just didn't go anywhere, they just didn't do anything about it..."
    12.00pm: Gascoigne says that Paul's advisors told her not to take action against newspapers because she'd "never win". She says journalists rarely checked facts with her and if they did you had to be careful about not making a headline inadvertently.

Tom Rowland

Witness Statement of Tom Rowland

From Guardian Live Blog:
"Business journalist Tom Rowland is now taking the stand
He started his career as a technology journalist in the trade press, then he climbed the ranks of the Telegraph before leaving to join Basil Productions (now Endemol) in the TV world.
He wrote about property."
    ' 2.10pm: Rowland says he wants to add something about remarks made about press practices in the 1970s and how they had improved greatly. One of the examples was given was the theft of photographs. And it was said this no longer took place.
    "I would disagree. There are many many photographs ... but stolen electronically", he says.
    2.09pm: I was the first journalist exonerated by the PCC, Rowland tells the inquiry.
    This was, he said, because his stories had been lawyered "up and down".
    2.06pm: Rowland's recommendations for reform of the press:
    He tells the inquiry the Daily Telegraph was that it was a "repressive" regime and that there were quite innocuous stories that were being kept out of the paper by the libel lawyers.
    "Having a lawyer standing at your elbow improves the quality of what you do, because the lawyer is the only person in the office who acts as quality control" '

Kate and Gerry McCann

    Witness Statement of Dr. G. McCann   Witness Statement of Dr. K. McCann        From Guardian Live Blog: Gerry McCann says he would like to see a system put in place for a press that falls well below the standards that are acceptable
    2.13pm: Leveson says he is very grateful to them for appearing.
    "Nobody with children could fail to appreciate the terrible impact the abduction of your child has on your family", says Leveson before Robert Jay, QC, starts to ask them questions.
McCanns: 'Angry' Colin Myler 'Berated Us' Over an Interview - Press Gazette

McCanns: Express Worst But Not Only Offenders - Press Gazette

The Real McCann Scandal - Brian Cathcart - New Statesman

Why Kate and Gerry McCann Are no Longer Afraid of the British Press - Guardian

Zelo Street: Leveson is Served (4) 

BBC News - Leveson Inquiry: McCanns Left 'Distraught' By Press

McCanns and Sheryl Gascoigne Give Evidence - Guardian 

Search Engine Results for: Express/McCanns/Maddie

Front Page Apology to the McCann Family
Kate and Gerry McCann Accept Express Damages and High Court Apology - Guardian 19th March 2008

Search Results for 'Express/McCann' - showing extent of coverage by the paper

Peter Hunt
Gerry McCann: we were tried by the media and unable to defend ourselves adequately.

Gareth Owen
K McCann: "You want to shout out It's Not True, but when it's your voice against a powerful media there's no point.

Gareth Owen
G McCann refers to Evening Standard article "Police Believe Mother Killed Maddy" as hurtful.

Ben Fenton
Often it was downright made up," Gerry McCann tells .Surprised at perserverance of UK press.Expected them to leave.

Ben Fenton
We quickly realised there was tremendous amount of speculation in the coverage. We found that to be unhelpful.

Mark White
Gerry McCann says they decided to interact with the press after Madeleine disappeared as thought it would be in her best interest