'People' denies bugging Mellor conversations: The newspaper which linked David Mellor to an actress, finds itself in the spotlight. Andrew Gliniecki reports
Monday 20 July 1992
The People, using extensive quotes, apparently from Mr Mellor himself, from what appear to be private conversations with Antonia de Sancha, was described as 'sneaky' by Geoffrey Dickens, the Tory MP. There was also speculation about whether bugging devices were used.
Bill Hagerty, the editor of the People, said: 'The story involving Mr Mellor has been obtained legitimately. This newspaper has tapped no phones. If a Cabinet minister has a relationship which even he admits is interfering with his function as a Cabinet minister . . . it is a matter of public interest.' He denied that the story was a 'kiss-and-tell buy-up'.
Today, the People's sister paper, the Daily Mirror, reports that tape recordings of telephone conversations between Ms de Sancha and Mr Mellor were made without their knowledge. It also reports that Mr Mellor used to meet Ms de Sancha at a flat belonging to Nick Philp, a friend of the actress, who is an electronic alarms expert.
Yesterday, the People said it tracked Mr Mellor to a flat in Chelsea, west London, where he met Ms de Sancha on 6 July. It was reported that he arrived at 10.58pm and left at 7.55 the next morning. A quote from Mr Mellor to Ms de Sancha in the report says: 'You have absolutely exhausted me. I feel seriously knackered. I had a wonderful time with you last night and I've felt really positive all day . . . I've got two big speeches to do tomorrow, neither of which I have prepared.'
But, if the People is to be believed, it was aware that the story would have to be highly detailed and expansive to take on a senior politician who knows how to deal with the press.
One portion of the report contains an alleged account of how Mr Mellor tutored Ms de Sancha on coping with the press. He apparently said: 'You see, what we choose to do when we're alone is a matter for us and people can only blow us away if one of us betrays the situation or if we are caught in a situation so obvious and flagrant that no denial is possible.'
Other alleged advice included: 'Now remember the golden rule is nobody needs to have a conversation with a journalist. All you have to say is, 'I'm amazed you've had the cheek to call me' or 'I don't know what you're talking about, I'm not participating in this conversation'. Bang] Put the phone down.'
Mr Mellor is also alleged to have consulted with the investigative journalist Paul Halloran on whether anything linking him with the actress would be published.
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
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
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
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 in Soweto
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: 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 in Soweto
- 2 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: English te...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN English Teacher required to sta...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education has been asked e...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: English Teacher needed for a Januar...