Mail fails in fight against anonymity at Leveson Inquiry

 

Journalists who fear their testimony could end their careers will be able to remain anonymous if they appear at the Leveson Inquiry.

Three High Court judges yesterday dismissed an application by Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, to block anonymous evidence. The Mail group claimed that if journalists were allowed to withhold their names, untested evidence which tarnished the reputation of the Daily Mail could be heard.

Lord Justice Toulson, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mrs Justice Sharp ruled that it was not for the court to "micro-manage the conduct" of the inquiry into press ethics and practices, being chaired by Lord Justice Leveson.

Lawyers representing the National Union of Journalists, and counsel for some of the victims, opposed the attempt to block anonymous evidence.

Associated were seeking a judicial review of the decision, given by Lord Justice Leveson early in his review.

At the beginning of the first public phase of his inquiry, he announced that he had been approached by newspaper journalists who indicated the descriptions they intended to paint of their industry were "not entirely consistent with the picture that editors and proprietors have painted".

He said some journalists feared they might lose their jobs if they offered critical evidence.

During the review hearing last week, counsel for the Mail argued that the press were "on trial" at the Leveson Inquiry and that Associated Newspapers were particularly threatened. The inquiry's leading counsel, Robert Jay QC, described the Mail's application as "premature" and said the inquiry had to decide between "hearing evidence from anonymous witnesses and not hearing it all".

Next week, Mazher Mahmood, the former News of the World star reporter also known as the "Fake Sheikh", will return to the witness stand on Wednesday.

Monday's witness list is dominated by leading figures from British television including, Jim Gray, the editor of Channel Four News and Mark Thompson, the BBC's director-general.

MPs put Dowler police report on hold

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past