Campbell thought Carole Caplin was responsible for No 10 leaks


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The Independent Online

Alastair Campbell told the Leveson Inquiry yesterday that he believed Cherie Blair's former style guru, Carole Caplin, was the source of leaks that revealed some of the inside secrets of the Blairs' life inside No 10. However Tony Blair's former spinner-in-chief revealed that Ms Caplin was recently been told by Scotland Yard that her mobile was targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, the jailed private detective commissioned by the News of the World.

In further revelations Mr Campbell said he had been visited by detectives from both Operations Weeting and Tuleta, the two specialist investigations looking at phone and computer hacking. He said that police had told him about invoices that had been found which suggested the newspaper where he had once been the political editor, the Daily Mirror, had paid a private investigator to look at him, his family and the former Labour Cabinet minister, Peter Mandelson.

In an exposition of press ethics, which avoided difficult questioning on his relationship with the media during the Blair years, he claimed much of the British press were in the "last, last, last chance saloon" and those resisting reform and regulation were those who had thrived in the current culture of "relentless negativity".

The solicitor behind much of the legal action that helped expose phone hacking at the News of the World, also gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry yesterday, and told how he believed Rupert Murdoch's UK empire "sought to destroy my life and very nearly did".

Mark Lewis, who represented the professional footballers union boss, Gordon Taylor, obtaining a £725,000 out-of-court settlement from News International, the parent company of the NOTW, described how the Murdoch company had ordered surveillance of him and his family. He said he had recently been shown a video of his 14-year-old daughter who had been followed in surveillance ordered by NI.

The inquiry was also told of a dossier that had been compiled by Julian Pike, a solicitor from the firm Farrar, who then had NI as a client. The 2010 dossier contained information about the relationship between Mr Lewis and another solicitor involved in the Taylor case, Charlotte Harris.

He said Mr Pike, and NI's former legal manager, Tom Crone, "had set out to destroy my life" because of his role in representing clients that challenged the Murdoch-owned papers.