Motorman files 'as big as phone hacking scandal'


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Lord Justice Leveson yesterday agreed to consider releasing files that detail how illegal news-gathering techniques were used across Fleet Street.

The judge said that he would hear arguments for the publication of data gathered by Operation Motorman, the 2003 investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) which uncovered how a private investigator, Steve Whittamore, obtained personal information on thousands of individuals.

Campaigners believe that because Whittamore worked for nearly every national newspaper and accessed a wide array of illegal or confidential information, the Motorman files are potentially as significant as the phone-hacking scandal, which has thus far been restricted to the defunct News of the World.

The Hacked Off campaign wrote to Lord Justice Leveson yesterday asking for the files, which have been seen by his inquiry team, to be released in a redacted form to anonymise victims but reveal the identities of the 305 journalists known to have commissioned Whittamore.

EastEnders actor wins libel damages

Steve McFadden – best known for playing Phil Mitchell in EastEnders – accepted undisclosed libel damages in the High Court yesterday after the News of the World wrongly suggested that he may have been guilty of harassing an ex-girlfriend. McFadden, 52, told reporters: "I'm glad it's all over."