The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

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Leveson Inquiry: live

By Sarah Rainey  6:00PM GMT 16 Nov 2011

 Rolling coverage after the third day of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and the News of the World phone hacking scandal at the Royal Courts of Justice. 

Image 1 of 5 Kate McCann felt 'mentally raped' when her private diary was printed Photo: PA

 This page will automatically update every 90 secondsOnOff 


• Kate McCann felt 'mentally raped' when private diary printed

 • Met police: Not all 28 names in Mulcaire's notes are NotW

 • 'Self-regulation like handing the police station to the mafia'

 • Sherborne: tabloids 'see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil

 • 'NotW told private eye Derek Webb to become a journalist'

 • Guardian editor: journalists do not come to work to snoop 



18.00 We're bringing our live coverage of today's Leveson Inquiry hearing to a close. 


After three days of evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice, the inquiry has ended for the week. It will resume next Monday, November 21, at 10am. 


We will be live blogging all next week, when celebrities including JK Rowling, Charlotte Church and Sienna Miller are expected to take to the witness stand. 


For our full coverage and stories from today's proceedings, visit our Leveson Inquiry and phone hacking archives. 

Bob and Sally Dowler, pictured with daughter Gemma, will speak next week


17.57 Bob and Sally Dowler, the parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly, will be the first witnesses to give evidence when the inquiry resumes on Monday.


Each of the 21 witnesses to speak next week will be given no longer than an hour, except for Hugh Grant and Max Mosley, who may take the stand for longer.


A full schedule of witnesses up to November 28 is expected to be published online at the Leveson Inquiry website.


17.52 Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ's general secretary, and broadcaster Stewart Purvis have been talking about the Leveson Inquiry and the PCC on this afternoon's BBC Radio Four's Media Show.


Stanistreet said "corner-cutting" may have led to the culture within which phone hacking took place:


There are incredibly talented hard-working journalists working in the tabloid press as well as the quality press.. But there has been more and more focus in recent years on celebrity tittle-tattle as a cheap way of filling up newspapers.


The kind of quality journalism that we'd all love to see and what we all want to read, it takes time and it costs a lot of money.


Listen to the full programme here.  


Michelle Stanistreet gave evidence on behalf of the NUJ


17.50 Our video team have sent this clip of Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger acknowledging the "damaging" impact of the phone hacking scandal: 


17.47 A full video of today's evidence has now been uploaded to the inquiry website.


17.34 The BBC's Ross Hawkins, who has been at the RCJ for the Leveson Inquiry, has written a useful analysis of what Lord Justice Leveson may be thinking at these early stages.


He writes that Leveson has already given clear hints about press regulation, control and the likelihood of change in how newspapers operate:


None of this is to suggest minds are made up. Where Lord Justice Leveson appears to express an opinion, he is careful to caveat his comments. The inquiry's barrister is not simply a mouthpiece for the judge.


They are, for now, inquiring not concluding. But lawyers and witnesses will monitor Leveson's words carefully, trying to guess the mind of a man with the future of press regulation in his hands.  


Lord Justice Leveson said he was still trying to work out what he thought


17.05 David Rowell, head of editorial development at Johnston Press, has reminded us that it's not all doom and gloom in the journalism world.


He tweets:


Only hearing from #leveson inquiry about bad things involving newspapers. Sadly, no mention of good guys - the regional journos #itsnotnews


16.45 Here's a quick round-up of today's revelations:


• The mother of Hugh Grant's baby allegedly received abusive phone calls because the actor criticised the press

 • The News of the World tried to convince private investigator Derek Webb to "become" a journalist by joining the National Union of Journalists

 • Former Formula One boss Max Mosley believes the News of the World's coverage of his private life contributed to his son Alexander's suicide

 • The mother of Charlotte Church tried to commit suicide after press allegations about her husband's affair

 • Not all 28 'corner names' listed in the notebook of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were News of the World staff, contrary to what inquiry counsel Robert Jay previously claimed

 • Mr Sherborne compared self-regulation of the press to "handing the police station over to the mafia"

 • He said the tabloid press were part of the "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil brigade" in covering up phone hacking

 • Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian newspaper, said 99 per cent of journalists do not know how to hack and most do not come to work to "snoop"

 • Michelle Stanisbrook, general secretary of the NUJ, accused the Press Complaints Commission of being a "self-serving gentleman's club which has failed abysmally" 


Derek Webb, the NotW private eye who was told to "become" a journalist


16.04 In case you missed it this morning, here is the full text of Alan Rusbridger's statement to the Leveson Inquiry.


15.54 The hearing has ended for the day. It will resume on Monday at 10am. Stay tuned today for more comment, reaction and reports from today's proceedings.


15.52 Lord Justice Leveson says he may call specific journalists who wrote stories about Christopher Jefferies and Gerry and Kate McCann in order to "hear the other side" of Sherborne's case.


Sherborne says he will provide a list of names within the next three days.  


Individual journalists may be called by Lord Justice Leveson


15.49 The inquiry has resumed. All the legal difficulties seem to have been sorted out in the break.


Lord Justice Leveson asks lawyer David Sherborne to provide copies of the articles he mentioned in relation to Christopher Jefferies and the parents of Madeleine McCann.


You said that similar bylines were visible on the stories, in other words they were written by the same people... If you could pick out a number of examples it may be that I will think about asking the specific journalists to deal with the very points you made. I'm not saying that I will but I think it's a particularly fruitful line of inquiry.


15.41 Just before the break, Lord Justice Leveson agreed that the MPS will appoint a police officer who will look at witness statements to advise on possible redaction of private details.


Ben Fenton of the FT tweets:


Police have seen something in a statement that they want redacted, but the QC for Scotland Yard won't say what it is. #leveson


15.39 The inquiry team has already received 2,000 documents, Jay says.


The hearing breaks while Sherborne, Jay and Garnham discuss the release of documents.


15.30 Lots of legal argument in Court 73 as Lord Justice Leveson and Robert Jay QC discuss next week's witness schedule.


Leveson said he would be "disturbed" if statements given to the inquiry were used by police to identify suspects, as witnesses have a privilege against self-incrimination under section 22 of the Inquiries Act. He adds:


There is no question of them entering the public domain. What Mr Garnham is seeking, on my understanding, is that as and when a document migrates from the private part of the site to the core participant part of the site, that document may be of interest to the officers of Operation Weeting.



Sue Akers, deputy assistant commissioner at the Met Police


15.25 Robert Jay QC confirms that Sue Akers, head of Operation Weeting - the police investigation into phone hacking - will give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry.


15.21 His point that not all 28 legible names in Mulcaire's notebook are necessarily those of News of the World staff is raising a few eyebrows.


James Robinson of The Guardian tweets:


This is significant. Met's QC says it can't be assumed that 28 names in Mulcaire notebooks are NoW hacks 'altho a lot probably are' #leveson


15.17 Garnham raises a few more apparent misunderstandings between the evidence given by Robert Jay QC, and that understood by the Metropolitan Police Service.


He also says Kate McCann's diary was not in possession of the MPS, but the Portuguese police. 


Neil Garnham said not all 28 'corner names' in Mulcaire's notebook are NotW staff


15.14 Neil Garnham, lawyer for the Met police, is now speaking. He has some corrections to make:


He says there are 28 readable corner names in Glenn Mulcaire's notebook, but adds: "it is not a resonable inference to suggest that they are all News of the World employees".


It certainly cannot be said that the MPS have established that all the notebook corner names were from the News of the World.


The Mulcaire notebooks indeed went to some 11,000 pages, and they evidence from 2,266 taskings. But the police cannot say, because they do not know, whether every tasking targets a different individual, and that is unlikely.


15.11 Inquiry counsel Robert Jay QC is back with some housekeeping points on next week's witnesses.


He says the evidence of Gary Flitcroft and Ian Hurst went on to the inquiry's system last night


Statements from Charlotte Church, Steve Coogan, Anne Diamond and supplementary evidence from Hugh Grant should go on the system by the end of the day. The statement from Sienna Miller has just been received.


Evidence will be emailed directly to the core participants, while the first seven statements should be available publicly by tomorrow. 


Robert Jay QC is the Leveson Inquiry's leading counsel


15.09 The hearing has started again and Jonathan Caplan QC is on his feet.


He wants to clarify that the harassment injunction to protect the mother of Hugh Grant's child was not against Associated Newspapers, instead against a number of paparazzi.


15.02 Lots of reaction online to that claim that Hugh Grant's girlfriend received a menacing phone cal during the media frenzy over their child.


Josh Halliday, reporter at the Guardian, tweets:


Most dramatic moment of Leveson Inquiry so far: mother of Hugh Grant's child threatened anonymously in recent weeks  


The inquiry will hear from Hugh Grant over allegations about the mother of his child


15.00 The hearing is taking a short five-minute break.


14.57 Lord Justice Leveson asks Sherborne to ensure he participates fully in discussion on the way forward for press regulation.


Sherborne replies:


After listening to Mr Rusbridger it may well be that there is some common ground.. in looking at a real way, a sensible way, of dealing with this area.


14.55 Sherborne says he is coming to the end of his statement.


The victims who I represent don't want to stop proper investigative or public interest journalism. No-one sensibly does. But if the relationship between the public and the press needs to improve and it needs to start now.


Self-regulation by the PCC, as one of my clients says, is tantamount to handing the police station over to the mafia.


We have had self regulation for many years but things have not got better; it is time, we say, for real change.


14.53 Thais Portilho-Shrimpton tweets:


Sherborne talking about Anne Diamond, journalist and broadcaster. Sun published pic of her and her husband holding son's coffin #Leveson


Sherborne says Ms Diamond was harassed because she asked Rupert Murdoch why his newspapers ruined people's lives.


14.52 Victims' lawyer David Sherborne QC tells the court an emergency injunction was granted last week to prevent the harassment of the mother of Hugh Grant's child.


He says she received an abusive phone call while Grant appeared on Question Time and claims a photographer tried to run over her mother. He assures Lord Justice Leveson the police have been informed.



Actor Hugh Grant had a baby with Tinglan Hong


14.49 Sky's James Old tweets:


So, next week will be uncomfortable for the red tops and perhaps the media at large. Many angry people are lined up to tell their stories.


14.45 Sherborne is detailing the impact of the unauthorised publication of Kate McCann's diary, which had been in possession of the police. He says she felt "mentally raped" when it was printed.


Here is our story from 2008 on the publication of the diary in the tabloid press after it was leaked by a Portuguese reporter. 


Kate and Gerry McCann's daughter Madeleine went missing in May 2007


14.43 Richard Peppiatt, the former Daily Star reporter who wrote a very public, damning letter to proprietor Richard Desmond about ethical practices at the paper is watching today's hearing.


He tweets:


Sherborne landing devastating blows. His anecdotes of press excess' are completely ruinous 2 tabloid claims of ethical priorities.. #Leveson


14.41 James Robinson, media correspondent at The Guardian, has an update on the Charlotte Church story Sherborne claims was a "complete fabrication":


People wrote that Church story, BTW. Maybe they should introduce a page 2 corrections column? #leveson


14.38 The victims' lawyer mentions Christopher Jefferies, the Bristol landlord of murdered architect Joanna Yates who was arrested after being vilified in various tabloid newspapers.


"This could happen to any one of us, celebrity or not", he says, reading out some headlines from the time which labelled Mr Jefferies "weird" and a "nutty professor".


Sherborne says the coverage was:


A frightening combination of slur, innuendo and dirt-digging...All of it was nonsense.


It was a devastating destruction of all aspects of Mr Jefferies' life, from his professional to the deeply personal.. Like clumsy thieves drunk on the intoxicating frenzy of a good story, the press broke into his life.


Mr Jefferies is not a celebrity, he is not a politician. I don't believe that a year ago, even in his worst nightmares, Mr Jefferies could ever imagine this would happen to him.


14.35 Sherborne says the only recourse that "worked" in stopping press vilification of the McCanns was a libel case against the Daily Express.


Reading out a number of headlines, he says the pursuit of Madeleine McCann's parents during this period represented "some of the darkest days for this section of the press". 


Kate and Gerry McCann are among the 51 'core participants' in the inquiry


14.31 Sherborne now turns to Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of missing toddler Madeleine.


He says Gerry McCann will give evidence next week about what it felt like to be thrust into the limelight. He will tell the inquiry how "hopelessly inadequate" the PCC Editors' Code of Practice clause on grief is.


Sherborne tells Lord Justice Leveson:


Apparently journalists were being told, he will say, that they had to get a front page story or their job was on the line.


14.25 Sheryl Gascoigne will tell the inquiry how she became a villain in certain sections of the press as soon as she married footballer Paul, Sherborne says.


Charlotte Church also comes up again, this time in relation to "deeply irresponsible" stories about her personal life as a teenager. Sherborne says:


She will dismiss the myth of the so-called whingeing celebrity', as well as the line trotted out by various tabloid newspapers taht celebrities somehow need this publicity, and only complain when it is negative.


She will recount how a week or so ago a story hit the newspapers about how she is meant to have made an exhibition of herself drunkenly proposing to her boyfriend while singing karoeke in a bar... the problem is that it was a complete fabrication. To use the Kelvin McKenzie line: 'It sounds right, so it probably is. Let's bung it in.'


Sheryl Gascoigne married Paul in 1996 but divorced two years later


14.23 Andy Davies of Channel 4 News tweets:


Sherborne on paparazzi: 'an aggressive breed of unregulated males equipped with a camera' #Leveson


14.20 JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, will also speak next week.


Sherborne says:


The fact that Ms Rowling has tried to carve out some semblance of normal life for her children but has failed to do so, despite her best efforts, just highlights the excesses of the press.


Just because children have famous parents does not mean they are public property as well. Adults can make choices; children cannot.


...She will explain the very real corrosive effect this has had on her children.


14.15 The victims' lawyer now turns to Charlotte Church, whose mother attempted suicide after a series of "lurid" revelations about her husband's affair.


Church will give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry on Monday. Sherborne adds:


This is the real, brutally real, impact which this kind of journalism has.


He also discusses Steve Coogan, who was hounded by the press despite actively shunning publicity. Sherborne runs though a list of "dirty tricks" that are part of media intrusion, including chasing victims and tailing their cars. 


Comedian Steve Coogan will give evidence to the inquiry next week


14.12 Sherborne asks whether Flitcroft's privacy was really outweighted by "the need to satisfy an insatiable public appetite for salacious gossip".


We do need to ask what price we place now on privacy in our society; one we would like to think of as a mature and tolerant one.


14.10 Mr Flitcroft got an injunction to prevent publication of his marital affair in 2001, but it was overturned in 2002, Sherborne says.


He says the impact of the media treatment of the story on his life was "enormous":


Following the very public humiliation of him and the feeding frenzy in the media when his anonymity was lifted, his family was ripped apart. He told his wife about the affair before the injunction was lifted.. but any chance they had of dealing with the problems this had caused was shattered by the public humiliation they had to endure; both of them.


In the full glare of the media spotlight it is no wonder that they had absolutely no chance of dealing with a situation which those not in the public domain can deal with in private.




Gary Flitcroft, a former Blackburn player, will speak to the inquiry next week


14.05 David Sherborne QC, the lawyer for the victims, is back on his feet.


He returns to the matter of celebrity kiss and tell stories, starting with the case of former footballer Gary Flitcroft, who was the subject of the first such injunction decided by the British courts after the Human Rights Act was introduced.


14.02 Just a few minutes now until the hearing resumes. You can watch the proceedings live here.


Ashley Highfield, the chief executive of Johnston Press, reminds us that the claims being made about press behaviour may not apply to all types of newspapers. He tweets:


Under-reported #Leveson Inquiry opening remarks that "The issues may also be very different in relation to the regional titles.."


13.53 A reminder from BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt of the scale of the allegations:


"victims" lawyer: the nearly 6000 people hacked by NotW could fill the new Olympics velodrome. #Leveson #hacking




Sherborne said the alleged hacking victims could fill the Olympic velodrome


13.45 Here's a quick lunchtime summary of what we heard this morning:


• Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, said the PCC was a "self-serving gentleman's club" which "failed abysmally" to investigate complaints

 • She said the News of the World tried to force private investigator Derek Webb to "become" a journalist by joining the NUJ. Stanistreet called this "unbelievably cynical"

 • She spoke of a "genuine culture of fear" of speaking out against news editors

 • Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger defended journalists, saying 99% of them do not know how to hack phones and "they do not come to work to snoop"

 • He said the PCC should be "given teeth" to include mediation and cover libel complaints

 • David Sherborne QC, victims' lawyer, said the British tabloid press had become "tawdry" and followed a "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" philosophy over press misbehaviour

 • Sherborne said hacking was not a "cottage industry", as Robery Jay QC suggested on Monday, but an "industrial revolution" among the tabloids

 • Hacking into Milly Dowler's voicemail was "despicable" and gave her parents "euphoria", while Max Mosley believes press intrusion may have led his son to take his life




Lord Justice Leveson will hear more from victims' lawyer David Sherborne later today


13.30 Lots of reaction online to David Sherborne QC's powerful description of how press intrusion affected Max Mosley's life.


But Jules Lewis tweets:


David Sherborne's bit on Max Mosley at #Leveson appears to flatly contradict Thurlbeck's self-exoneration in Press Gazette... #phonehacking


Here's a link to that Neville Thurlbeck exclusive in Press Gazette in case you missed it earlier.


13.03 The hearing has resumed until 2.05pm. Stay with us for comment and analysis of this morning's proceedings.


13.00 Sherborne continues:


As I always tell my children, things that you enjoy are rarely good for you. And if they can understand that, I'm sure journalists can can. I'm not saying that stories printed need to be boring.


It is important to remember the distinction between these two different and recognised roles of the press in society: namely, on the one hand, reporting facts..what we like to call the press as a public watchdog.. and on the other hand, reporting on the private lives of individuals. The former has a legitimate public interest; the latter does not.




Mr Sherborne criticises 'kiss and tell' stories and celebrity gossip


12.56 David Sherborne QC has now turned to the death of Max Mosley's son Alexander of a suspected overdose.


He says Mr Mosley firmly believes this was related to the allegations made about him in the press - a "terrible postcript" to his ordeal.


12.52 He claims blackmail was "commonplace" at the News of the World, accusing the paper of not putting the allegations to Max Mosley because they were worried he would seek an injunction to stop publication.


Sherborne says the Nazi theme was a preconceived idea that editors at the paper needed the facts to fit, which Neville Thurlbeck tried to bribe a female prostitute to act out.


It is an insight into how this section of the press regards itself as being above the law. This inquiry may recognise the rubbishing by editors of those who make the decisions as a way of undermining the process itself.


12.48 Sherborne has turned to injunctions. He says it is stories about sex and scandal drive the press, because they make money and attract advertisers.


The victims' lawyer moves on to discuss the allegations about Max Mosley's private life, "which has nothing whatsoever to do with public interest".


Is this the right way for law to work? It certainly is how the press want it to be. Whilst the original story with the Nazi lie was bad, in the follow-up story, the newspaper (NotW) sought to rub salt in the wounds... Who can look at him without thinking what he chooses to do with other consenting adults in private?


Mr Mosley was faced with a choice: whether to retreat and accept this humiliation, something which the papers were counting on that he would do. Or he could prepare himself for a full trial, with all the cost and embarrassment that this would bring.



Max Mosley will give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry next Thursday


12.43 Martin Evans tweets:


There is a difference between freedom of speech and freedom of the press, Mr Sherborne says. #Leveson #hacking


12.40 Sherborne deals with the potential clash between freedom of expression and the right to privacy, using a metaphor about his own holiday photos.


The respect given to an individual's privacy is as much a mark of a tolerant and mature society as a free and forceful press. Freedom is not an unqualified concept.


12.37 Sherborne continues, saying the "role call of dirty tricks" used by the press include activities broader than just hacking and intrusion into privacy.


He adds:


I know I'm meant to say freedom of speech is essential, but more importantly it is only one part of equation


12.34 The inquiry has reopened. Mr Sherborne is looking at What Price Privacy Now, the report compiled under Richard Thomas, the former Information Commissioner, into press misbehaviour.


The document detailed the findings of Operation Motorman, the inquiry in 2006 that found 3,522 suspected cases of illegal access to records by the media.


Here is the What Price Privacy Now report in full:


What Price Privacy



12.30 Martin Evans has filed this story on the statement by Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, that it is 'unbelievable that phone hacking was the work of one rogue reporter'.


12.22 The inquiry has stopped for 10 minutes.


Press reform campaigner YorkieRosie tweets:


Sherbourne's submission to Leveson Committee so far makes Tom Watson's Mafia references last week seem an understatement.....#leveson


12.20 The victims' lawyer continues his assault on the News of the World:


What a culture, what an ethical vacuum, at a paper whose ethical values are still being championed, even yesterday. It is, or at least was, a fairly representative newspaper, and fairly similar in many respects to the rest of the tabloid market.


What we have so far many only be just the tip of the iceberg.


He explains how two victims, army officer Ian Hurst and colleague Jane Winter, had their computers hacked by Trojan viruses.


12.17 Sherborne says the inquiry will hear from Mark Lewis, the NotW lawyer who was involved in negotiations over a settlement in the Gordon Taylor case. He says the lawyer was targeted after standing up to his former employer:


The story about what happened at the News of the World would read a little like a John Grisham novel, if only it was fictional. But the truth, as Mark Twain said, is sometimes stranger than fiction.




Mr Sherborne accuses the NotW of using tactics of "fear" and "desperation"


12.11 Sherborne says the revelations about hacking at the NotW revealed a "tangled web" at the newspaper. "Someone, somewhere, is not telling the truth," he adds.


He is now referring to a statement on the NotW website about investigations over hacking after the Gordon Taylor case, which claimed that no evidence was found at the paper.


News International knew perfectly well from 2008 that the "rogue reporter" defence was blatantly untrue.


12.10 Sherborne continues:


The very foundations of this very popular newspaper [the News of the World] were built on manifestly unholy and undefensible ground. And, it must surely raise questions about who knew what and at what level. That is something about which I will have much more to say.


Can it really be sensibly argued that this is a simple case where checks and balances were not properly observed and a handful of rogue journalists were allowed to run amok with the company chequebook?


There was on any view a concerted effort to conceal the ugly truth from ever surfacing. There is little that can be said about this because of the criminal prosecutions, at least because of the individuals involved.




James Murdoch insisted he did not know about phone hacking at NotW


12.06 Max Mosley is sitting directly behind Mr Sherborne. While others in the courtroom take notes, he has his arms crossed and appears to be listening intently to the evidence.


The victims' lawyer continues, saying he will avoid repeating the numbers drawn from Glenn Mulcaire's notebook:


The evidence demonstates not so much a 'cottage industry', as Mr Jay called it, but rather an industrial revolution. A cultural change, we would say, away from good old fashioned journalistic activity.


12.03 Sherborne says none of the stories resulting from hacking had "any public interest defence whatsoever". He says hacking was a "systematic and very well organised network".


Ben Fenton of the FT tweets:


NotW's "former glory has been so fatally befouled by its cultural dependency on the dark arts which give ...journalism a bad name. #Leveson


12.00 Sherborne is running through a list of victims who will speak at the inquiry next week, including the anonymous 'HJK', Joan Smith and Tom Rowland, a former Telegraph journalist, whose phone was allegedly hacked by the NotW.


He then turns to Sara Payne, mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne, who was told by detectives that a mobile phone she was given by the NotW may have been hacked by Glenn Mulcaire.


Sherborne says:


The press are even prepared to turn on their own. Perhaps one of the cruelest twists in this saga is that one of the newspaper's most prominent targets had also been one of its most prominent supporters.




Former NotW editor Rebekah Brooks with Sara Payne


11.55 He now turns to Mary-Ellen Field, adviser to supermodel Elle Macpherson, who was sent to a clinic in America after refusing to accept responsibility for selling stories about her employer to the press.


The stories were, in fact, the product of voicemail hacking by the tabloid newspapers. Lord Justice Leveson will hear from her next week.




Intellectual property expert Mary-Ellen Field worked with Elle Macpherson


11.52 David Sherborne QC continues with a swipe at the PCC:


It's an inconvenient truth for the press. The press largely, but not entirely, held out through self-interest and self-preservation. Or, to put it another way, continuing self-regulation.


11.50 Martin Evans tweets:


Tabloids are part of the "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil brigade" Sherborne says. #Leveson #hacking


11.45 The victims' lawyer is now addressing the allegations that Glenn Mulcaire, acting for the NotW, accessed the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.


He turns to Bob Dowler, sitting behind him, saying he will tell of the "false hope" given by the "despicable" act, which caused him to think his daughter was still alive:


The Dowlers were subjected to terrible intrusion by the press, intrusion at a time of immense grief. And as I will explain, they are not alone in experiencing this.




Milly's parents Sally and Bob Dowler will give evidence on Monday


11.44 David Sherborne QC turns to the "breaking point" that led to the Leveson Inquiry being set up.


In the beginning was the word, and the word was hacking... While its significance may not have impacted heavily upon the public consciousness at the time, it was something that the press - or certain sections of it - chose to ignore publicly.




David Sherborne QC addresses Lord Justice Leveson


11.38 He continues with a strong case for press regulation:


The press is a powerful body. They have a common interest and a self-serving agenda. Why wouldn't they, after all? This is about survival.


However the press have a very powerful voice, and this voice should not be allowed to drown out the voices of the victims. A number of individuals have already been vilified for agreeing to share their opinions.




Radio and TV presenter Anne Diamond is one of Mr Sherborne's clients


11.35 Sherborne, who represents 51 victims of press intrusion and hacking, starts with a condemnation of the "tawdry journalistic trade" in the UK


He says there has been a "serious breakdown in trust between the press and the public", adding that the whole of the press - but principally the tabloids - are in the dock of the court of public opinion for accessing emails, blagging sensitive data, bribery and intrusion.


He adds:


My role on behalf of those who have suffered at the hands of the press over a number of years means that I am here to highlight the wrong; systemic, flagrant and deeply entrenched as they are.


11.28 While we wait, Neville Thurlbeck, the News of the World reporter implicated in phone hacking through the infamous "for Neville" email, has written an exclusive article for Press Gazette.


In 'I am either a fool or an innocent man... You decide', he explains his version of the events leading up to his dismissal from the newspaper. Thurlbeck writes:


I too must take my fair portion of blame. It is a matter of great personal regret that I failed to walk into Rebekah Brooks’ office. I had discussed doing so with friends and colleagues many times. I was naive to assume she and James Murdoch had been fully appraised.


I had a warm and trusting relationship with Rebekah over many years. I had been her news editor. She would have opened her door to me. I should have grown a spine and gone over my boss’s head.


Any member of this dramatis personae who feels aggreived by my script, I say to them - you watched as I carried your burden for two and a half years. I am merely giving back what belongs to you.


With that explanation and confession, I hope to leave my brief appearance on the stage for the time being.


David Sherborne QC has just re-opened the inquiry - more on Thurlbeck's article later.




Neville Thurlbeck has spoken for the first time about the infamous email


11.21 Formula One boss Max Mosley and Bob Dowler, the father of Milly, are in court today, Andy Davies of Channel 4 News tweets.


We heard yesterday that Mosley, who was awarded damages of £60,000 after the News of the World exposed his involvement with prostitutes, has submitted a 450-page witness statement to the inquiry.


He is expected to be among those taking to the witness stand next week.




Max Mosley after winning his privacy case at the High Court in 2008


11.19 David Sherborne QC, acting for victims of hacking and other illicit press activities, is expected after the break.


Ben Fenton from the FT says today's line-up has drawn more people to the public gallery at the RCJ. He tweets:


Breaking News: there are actual members of the public in the public section of the #leveson marquee. Just noticed. there are about 7.


11.15 The hearing has taken a short break for 15 minutes.


Lord Justice Leveson says he supports Rusbridger's idea of a system that would allow readers to make claims against newspapers outside the courts:


I think there's a great deal of scope in finding some mechanism that allows for the resolution of disputes between members of the public and the press, short of the courts, because it has become so expensive.


11.11 The pair are now debating libel, including the so-called 'Reynolds defence', which claims that a paper acted in good faith in publishing claims that are being disputed.


Rusbridger says the meaning of the defence is not clear.


The Guardian's James Robinson tweets:


Rusbridger says hacks scared they will be 'unemployable if they sad bad things about the industry' #leveson


11.05 Alan Rusbridger attempts to answer some of the queries raised:


The only way it's going to work is for people to come together around a public interest defence that they believe in.. Unless you have universal principles that we all agree to, it has to be around a common idea of what the common good and common interest is, and we must mean that, including arguing it in court.


The best investigative journalists at the Guardian know that they may have to answer these questions. It's about who the source is, what's the quality of the information, have you put the information to the people you're writing about, have you included their response?




Rusbridger says the Guardian's investigative journalists have to check their sources


11.02 A final plea from Lord Justice Leveson:


I want this inquiry to mean something. I am very concerned that it should not simply form a footnote in some professor of journalism's analysis of the history of the 21st century, while it gathers dust. This is an opportunity for your profession, for journalism, and I'm very keen that it is used so that the vast expense that we are incurring isn't wasted.


11.01 Lord Justice Leveson is giving Mr Rusbridger a lengthy series of questions about how to expose wrongdoing in the press:


Should I be requiring a conscience clause? I am concerned about extent to which the law should be prescribing any of these things. I think there is a great deal of scope in finding some mechanism that allows for the resolution of disputes between the public and the press short of the courts.


I would like to investigate the idea of having some sort of service that does that, that ties into the law and that runs parallel. I do feel that everybody could benefit from some mechanism. At least I think I feel; I'm only beginning. None of these views are formed, they're only thoughts.


But then how am I going to persuade those who don't even subscribe to the PCC that it's a sensible approach. And how am I going to persuade that other great media outlet, the internet, to buy in? I feel it's likely the approach is likely to require something more nuanced than one or the other - but how can we find an approach that doesn't impact on the freedom of the press of the freedom of expression, both of which I believe are absolutely fundamental to our society.




Lord Justice Leveson says he needs advice from Mr Rusbridger on the way forward


10.55 Martin Evans tweets from the courtroom:


99% of journalists would not know how to hack a phone and don't go to work to snoop, Rusbridger tells inquiry. #Leveson #hacking


10.49 Rusbridger concludes with a plea to Lord Justice Leveson:


It's our hope that you and your team can find a way to bolster the best in journalism while weeding out the worst.


Lord Justice Leveson welcomes his submissions but says he wants to hear some examples of a solution; not just a list of the problems affecting the press. He asks:


How am I going to get to the bottom of the culture which is hinted at, which is spoken about, unless people are prepared to say it?




Lord Justice Leveson says he has a series of questions for Alan Rusbridger


10.48 Rusbridger continues:


All journalists worry about any form of interference in freedom of expression. From one point of view, no-one currently gains very much from regulation...The PCC, for all its failings, was born from the view that there was an overriding imperative to agree a code, to which we would not only pay lip service but would actually inform everything that we did.


Only by acting together would be protect ourselves from the people who really were trying to dye our hands. And so we lashed ourselves together.


10.46 Telegraph reporter Martin Evans tweets:


Guardian was not impressed with the way the PCC handled phone #hacking Rusbridger tells the #Leveson inquiry.


10.40 Rusbridger joins Stanistreet in slamming the PCC. He says there have been a series of "lamentable failures", urging the PCC to be a press standards and mediation commission covering libel and privacy


He says a self-regulatory system needs to be a one-stop-shop, cheap, responsive and quick to act. It needs to have teeth:


We don't agree with those who say that everything is currently ok, subject to a touch on the tiller.


10.38 He reminds the tribunal of a "record payout" of £800,000 made to a journalist at the News of the World under the editorship of Andy Coulson, for what an employment tribunal described as a "culture of bullying". He asks:


How did News International leverage its commercial, political and - as we now know - outsourced criminal muscle?




Andy Coulson, David Cameron's former communications chief, was NotW editor


10.34 The Guardian editor is now discussing developing privacy law and how the new digital world is changing journalism:


Equally important in our view is to look at the failures of the 18-month period once the so-called 'rotten apple' defence had been exploded by the Guardian... These events seem to be worth examinining as they show the dogs that didn't bark. Why didn't they?


Here's a reminder of how The Guardian broke the story that NotW journalists allegedly hacked Milly Dowler's voicemail.


10.34 Rusbridger says:


All the events which led to this inquiry were shocking and immensely damaging. There was, in short, a failure of the normal checks and balances in society to hold power to account.


10.31 The NUJ general secretary has finished her evidence. Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger is up next.




Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger addresses Lord Justice Leveson


10.30 Michelle Stanistreet finishes her evidence with a staunch defence of journalists:


For us this is an inquiry that could shape the future of our industry and it is vital that the views of working journalists are considered.


But Lord Leveson isn't letting her get away so quickly. He asks her how phone hacking went on under the noses of NUJ chapels at News International.


Why didn't one of your fearless journalists raise the issue of phone hacking after the Guardian first broke the story?


10.25 Journalist Thais Portilho-Shrimpton tweets:


It's the view of the NUJ and its members that the PCC failed, abysmally so - @nuj_michelle #leveson


10.23 Stanistreet accuses the PCC of being "a self-serving gentleman's club".


She is encouraging Leveson to implement regulation similar to the "conscience clause" in the NUJ's code of conduct, which was rejected by the PCC and Society of Editors in 2003.


It goes as follows:


The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code. The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code


10.18 She is now talking about her time as an NUJ chapel member at the Daily Express. She says she made complaints to the PCC while working there about the paper's coverage of asylum seekers and gypsies entering the EU:


In both cases we believed the paper was guilty of breaking the PCC's code of conduct on discrimination.


10.11 Stanistreet says News International's line that phone hacking was confined to a single rogue reporter is "as daft as it is unbelievable":


She says a NotW executive told Derek Webb, it private eye, to "become" a journalist, join the NUJ and get its press card. This was "breathtakingly cynical", she adds.




News International's parent company News Corp is owned by Rupert Murdoch


10.10 Ben Fenton of the FT tweets:


NUJ attacks managements for cuts. "Playing fast and loose with out industry" Affects quality. Threatens investigation. Churnalism. Pressures lead to abandonment of fundamental principles, to journalists being asked to write stories that are not accurate. Stark expectation from on high to bring in story by whatever means. If not, consequences are clinically brutal. #leveson


10.08 Lord Justice Leveson asks Michelle Stanistreet to slow down for the second time, telling her her words aren't being picked up by the shorthand writers.


She continues, talking about the pressure in newsrooms:


These practices are the product of the culture. You cannot separate the practices of journalism and the culture.. It's not journalists who develop and foster the culture in their newspaper group. In any workplace, where does the power lie? There is often a stark expectation from on high. Editors rule the roost. They set the tone.




Michelle Stanistreet said newsroom cultures can often be pressurised


10.06 The Telegraph's editorial legal director, Adam Cannon, is at today's hearing. He tweets:


Day 3 of leveson. More crowded today. Perhaps to hear the editor of the guardian deliver their opening #leveson


10.03 Stanistreet says the NUJ is asking journalists to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, but at some publications there is a "genuine climate of fear" over speaking out:


The reality is that putting your head above the parapet and speaking out openly is simply not an option for many journalists, who would risk losing their job or failing to get employment in the future.


10.01 Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, has opened the third day of the inquiry.


She says:


It's vital that in an inquiry reflecting on the problems affecting our industry that the concerns, the expressions and the insights of ordinary journalists are heard. They are at the sharp end.


09.47 James Old, field producer for Sky News, is at the Royal Courts of Justice ahead of today's hearing. He tweets:


Day 3 of the #LevesonInquiry. Opening statements from the Guardian and NUJ. Also hoping for more details of next weeks celeb witnesses.


09.41 David Sherborne QC, the lawyer representing victims of phone hacking and other press misbehaviour, will address Lord Justice Leveson third today.


Sherborne is a barrister at media and entertainment chambers 5RB and has represented celebrity clients including Diana, Princess of Wales, Nicole Kidman, Mick Jagger, Lewis Hamilton and David Beckham.


According to his online profile, he has acted for a number of the Leveson witnesses previously, including Sienna Miller, Jude Law, Charlotte Church and Max Mosley. He has also worked on a number of high profile divorce cases and anti-paparazzi injunctions.




David Sherborne QC has represented celebrities including David Beckham


09.30 The paparazzi will be out in force at Leveson next week, when 21 witnesses from the "core participant" group, including Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan, Charlotte Church and JK Rowling, are expected to give evidence.


Dan Sabbagh, writing in The Guardian, has this warning for tabloid newspaper editors:


In a culture obsessed by fame and victimhood, these are all people who will command the national attention. Newspapers that have traditionally dipped in and out of the hacking story will have little choice but to take an interest in what they say. Each person giving evidence has a chance to put those who once pursued them for news back in the dock.


No wonder Richard Wallace, the editor of the Daily Mirror, warned at the Society of Editors conference on Monday that newspapers will have to endure a torrid week or two as the public hears how people were harassed or hacked for stories.




Singer Charlotte Church has asked to be included in the Leveson Inquiry


09.23 Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, is up second this morning before Lord Justice Leveson.


Here's a reminder of the Orwell Lecture he gave last week: Hacking away at the truth.


In his lecture, Rusbridger urged journalists at all publications to learn from the phone hacking scandal and its aftermath:


We write stories all the time attacking councils, corporations and governments for snooping or being careless with personal data. We understand “privacy” in many other contexts. An Englishman’s home is his castle and all that.


But here was a newsroom blinded to the moral darkness of such intrusion when it came to their own behaviour. And, in that inability to turn a mirror on themselves, I doubt they are alone.


09.17 A reminder that you can watch today's proceedings live on the inquiry website.


You can also catch up on yesterday's hearing. Transcripts of evidence and witness statements are expected up on the site shortly.




Part Two of the Leveson Inquiry will look at phone hacking at NotW


09.05 Lord Ashcroft, writing for ConservativeHome, has posted his views on the Leveson Inquiry.


He reckons revelations about the activities of the 'quality' press may yet be the most interesting:


For now, it is the tabloid press that is bearing the brunt of the public outrage over its activities while the so-called “quality” press is devoting endless pages to reporting on the “shocking” evidence submitted to the Leveson inquiry.


I believe that, when the Leveson inquiry looks into “the extent of unlawful or improper conduct” by newspapers, it will be elements of the “quality” press that will start to squirm and feel the heat of public outrage.


And, once again, I suspect it will be the News International titles – The Times and The Sunday Times – which have most to fear. I have no grievance with the current management or staff of The Times but more than 12 years ago – throughout 1999 – the paper waged a relentless, unscrupulous and, at times, illegal campaign to discredit me when I was Treasurer of the Conservative Party and when the paper had chosen to ally itself with New Labour.




Lord Ashcroft says he is looking forward to hearing evidence presented to the inquiry


09.00 Paul Waugh, editor of Politics Home, and Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome are speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme about the possible impact of the Leveson Inquiry on the blogosphere.


Tim Montgomerie says:


I think the best form of regulation is competition. And if you look at how The Sun and The News of the World were found out, it wasn't by regulation but it was by a competitor, The Guardian, a fellow newspaper. If we try and regulate this incredibly dynamic and fast-moving sphere, we will limit it; we will send it abroad.


Paul Waugh is also "fiercely against any statutory regulation of print and online":


I think we could possibly see something coming out of Leveson where he has an idea for a reformed PCC, where we see a committee with possibly some bloggers sitting on it, which could encourage the press to sign up to some standards.




Tim Montgomerie said he was concerned Lord Justice Leveson wouldn't deal with blogs


08.55 Here are some of the headlines from this morning's papers:


Ben Webster, writing in The Times, points out that the admission hacking may have continued at NotW until 2009 is damaging to James Murdoch because it could mean the practice was ongoing when he became chairman of News International in 2007.


He says the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler will be first to give evidence to the inquiry next week (£).


James Robinson and Lisa O'Carroll in The Guardian say both NI and Associated Newspapers "struck a defiant note" in their evidence yesterday. They write:


Jonathan Caplan QC, for the Daily Mail's owner Associated Newspapers, cautioned against making changes to the current self regulatory regime based on what had happened in the industry in the recent past.


'We need to be clearly aware that any recommendations...are not simply introduced on the basis of historic transgressions which no longer occur,' he said.




James Murdoch, chairman of NI, has repeatedly denied he knew about phone hacking


08.52 Lots of comment and reaction this morning to Rhodri Davies QC's insistence that News International only knew about five - not 28 - staff names in the notebooks of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.


Mr Davies asked for the numbers, read out in court on Monday by Robert Jay QC, to be re-checked. Here's a reminder of what he said:


Yesterday's [Monday's] statement has occasioned some surprise on our side. We do not have all the notebooks, but we knew that there were five legible corner names which could be correlated with News of the World reporters' names, those being Mr Goodman's name and A to D.


Our understanding is that it certainly does not add up to 27.


08.45 Telegraph reporter Martin Evans will be in Court 73 again this morning, tweeting and reporting live from the inquiry.


Follow him on Twitter @evansma. We've also compiled a Twitter list of journalists, MPs and campaigners to follow during the inquiry.


In his report from yesterday's hearing, he picked up on Rhodri Davies QC's admission that phone hacking at News International may have carried on until 2009. He writes:


Mr Davis said News International had not had sight of all of Mr Mulcaire’s notebooks, which documented some 2,266 taskings from journalists.


But he said there had been “some surprise” within the company at the suggestion that 27 reporters had been identified as allegedly being involved. “We would like to have this information re-checked,” he said.


During opening submissions Mr Jay had referred to an action brought against The Sun newspaper by the actor Jude Law, who claimed its journalists had hacked his mobile phone. But Mr Davies said The Sun disputed the claim and did not accept that documents referred to by Mr Jay provided evidence of such an activity.




Actor Jude Law alleged journalists from The Sun had intercepted his voicemails


08.40 Here is a quick round-up of the main points to come out of yesterday's proceedings:


• Rhodri Davies QC, lawyer for News International, apologised to hacking victims, admitting the practice was "shameful" and "wrong"

 • He said NI disputed that the names of 28 NI journalists were found in the notebooks of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Davies said the group was only aware of five

 • He asked for the numbers read out by Robert Jay QC to be re-checked

 • Davies said he "could not guarantee" that phone hacking stopped at NotW in 2007, after the prosecution of royal reporter Clive Goodman

 • Jonathan Caplan QC, acting for Associated Newspapers, said Operation Motorman uncovered no evidence that journalists at the Daily Mail asked private investigator Steve Whittamore to do anything illegal

 • Caplan urged journalists to "give evidence openly", without fear or retribution or speaking out against editors

 • He said the group was against statutory regulation of the press but admitted the PCC needs to be "beefed up"

 • Lord Justice Leveson will hear evidence from 21 witnesses next week, including celebrities Hugh Grant and JK Rowling

• The inquiry will also hear from Alistair Campbell and former Information Commissioner Richard Thomas next month




Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into media ethics is split into two parts


08.35 Today's hearing is due to start at 10am.


Lord Justice Leveson will hear from:


• Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ general secretary, at 10am

 • Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, at 11am

 • David Sherborne QC, acting for the victims, at 11.45am



Alan Rusbridger is the first national newspaper editor to speak at the inquiry


08.30 Welcome to our rolling coverage of the third day of the Leveson Inquiry, live from the Royal Courts of Justice in London.


The public inquiry into journalistic ethics was launched in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that engulfed News International in July and August.


For full coverage of the events leading up to the inquiry, visit our Leveson Inquiry and phone hacking archives.

Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 16
Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 15
Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 14


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