Dacre ordered to reappear in front of Leveson inquiry

  • @indyvoices

Paul Dacre, the editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, has been given a "not negotiable" order to reappear before the Leveson Inquiry this Thursday. In a direction laced with controlled anger, Lord Justice Leveson said his review would not fit its business around Mr Dacre's schedule. He declined an appeal by Mr Dacre's lawyer, Jonathan Caplan QC, to answer questions in writing.

The Mail has accused Hugh Grant of spreading "mendacious smears" in his evidence to the inquiry. Lord Justice Leveson granted time for Mr Dacre to be cross-examined on Associated's response to Mr Grant's claim, made on the opening day of the inquiry last November, that a story about him which appeared in the Mail in 2007 could only have been obtained by illegally hacking his phone. On Tuesday Mr Dacre claimed that the actor's hacking allegation was "damaging his newspaper". The inquiry chairman told Mr Caplan twice that the inquiry had "fitted around" the schedule of the Mail boss, allowing him to appear outside the group of editors who gave evidence last month. He said that such preferential treatment was not going to happen again.

* The former chair of the Press Complaints Commission claimed yesterday that it was being made a "scapegoat" for reporters' law-breaking. Baroness Buscombe also prompted immediate denials from three papers, the Financial Times, The Guardian and the Mirror Group that they had threatened to leave the PCC after adverse adjudications. Lady Buscombe headed the PCC when it reported in 2009 on phone hacking. She told the inquiry she had "been misled" by News International and the Metropolitan Police.