Hugh Grant: Leveson's report will spark a 'war'
The actor Hugh Grant is predicting that the publication of Lord Justice Leveson's report on the future of the press will start a "war" which will divide Britain.
The film star foresees a "battlefield" in which tabloid newspapers and their supporters, including upmarket titles such as The Times and the Daily Telegraph, will oppose the introduction of an independent press regulator – the proposal he expects Lord Leveson to advocate.
In his introduction to Everybody's Hacked Off, a new book on the Leveson inquiry written by Brian Cathcart, a professor of journalism at Kingston University, Grant writes: "I believe that Lord Justice Leveson will recommend a new regulator and that the battle that follows will be massively uneven."
Grant claims that the reformers include The Independent and The Guardian newspapers and a small group of MPs, lawyers and campaign groups including Hacked Off, of which he is a director.
The actor, who was among the witnesses at the inquiry, argues that the judge has been presented with evidence that makes a clear case for regulatory reform.
"He's heard about a nightmarish pattern of mistreatment of innocent people, of the cynical covering up of wrongdoing, of the industrial-scale quarrying of personal information from confidential databases, of the corruption of public officials and the intimidation of politicians – all of it in pursuit, not of news that might serve the public interest, but of corporate profit," he writes.
But he says powerful media companies will resist change to the current system of self-regulation.
"Their power is daunting. They have the front pages, editorials and opinion pieces, the hatchet jobs and the editorialised news reporting.
"They have people of influence who owe them favours or are paid by them, or might in the future (if they toe the line) be paid by them," he says.
In the middle of Grant's "battlefield" are the politicians who "could go either way", he says, referring to a change in behaviour following the announcement in July 2011 that the News of the World had hacked the voicemails of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
"After the Dowler revelations, these politicians all talked a good game, but last June, pre-Dowler, a lot of them were sipping champagne on Rupert Murdoch's lawn."
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
David Cameron explains selfie with Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Mandela Memorial
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 John McAfee's $100 'anti-NSA' device: 'this is coming and cannot be stopped'
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: This company delivers display ad...
£21000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: We're looking for t...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + excellent benefits : PCR Recruitment Limited: CRM ...
£23000 - £27000 per annum + £18K & Uncapped Commission & Benefits: Flight Cent...