Aggrieved journalists 'could use inquiry to get revenge'

 

Journalists should not be allowed to give evidence anonymously to Lord Leveson, the publisher of the Daily Mail is arguing.

Jonathan Caplan QC, the counsel for Associated Newspapers at the Leveson judicial inquiry into media practice and ethics, yesterday expressed his "profound concern" that some journalists wanting to give testimony anonymously may be motivated by dissatisfaction with their employers.

His concerns are thought to centre on aggrieved journalists who have fallen out of favour with their employers, using the inquiry to get even; or attacks on rival publications that are commercially motivated.

Although Lord Leveson and the inquiry's counsel, Robert Jay QC, have been working on a draft protocol for how anonymous evidence might be heard – the argument in favour is that journalists could speak freely without fear of retribution from their employer – Mr Caplan said that if anyone had important evidence, it should be given as openly as possible so it could "be tested against the substantial body of evidence that the inquiry is receiving".

Associated is understood not to be alone in having concerns about anonymous evidence. But Mr Caplan's challenge to Lord Leveson on the issue is the first public dissent.

Mr Caplan added that his client had nothing to hide and welcomed complete transparency.

The hearing was told that Associated journalists had not indulged in phone hacking but had used the services of Steve Whittamore, the private investigator who was at the heart of an investigation by the Government's privacy watchdog into illegal newsgathering. But Mr Caplan said there was no evidence that Associated titles had asked Mr Whittamore to do anything illegal.

The Daily Mail has been named as the largest single user of Mr Whittamore.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map