The Leveson Inquiry…Witnesses Week 5 (Wednesday)

The Inquiry resumed today with Kelvin McKenzie in the witness box. More on this in due course. I have however just realised that I did not actually publish a post about the final day of hearing witnesses before Christmas. I held it in draft form only.

I now publish it.

James Hipwell, The Daily Mirror journalist and one of the two “City Slicker” columnists jailed for tipping shares in companies in which they stood to make a profit gave evidence of the culture in the newspaper under Piers Morgan’s editorship. Hipwell says that phone hacking was common……”on a daily basis” on the Show Business desk just a few feet from his own desk. Hipwell states that Morgan had show-biz close to his hear and he thinks it unlikely that Morgan would not have known about phone hacking. He does not think it likely that any journalist would withhold a source from Morgan.

Hipwell claims that Piers Morgan was as much involved in the scam as Hipwell himself.

The credibility of James Hipwell is raised by counsel for The Daily Mirror.

David Pilditch gives evidence about covering the Maddie McCann story for The Daily Express. Difficult to cover for a British journalist because the Portuguese police cannot speak to the Press. Pilditch claims not to have read defamatory stories which carried his byline.

Padraic Flanagan, another  tabloidist with The Daily Express claims to have had up to sixty contacts who gave him information on the McCanns. As it is expensive to send journalists abroad (in this case Portugal) editors expect a good story.

Nick Fagge, formerly of The Daily Express gives evidence that the Madeline McCann story was an obsession of the Editor, who believed it sold papers.

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