Martin Hickman: Private grief, celebrity and a network of corruption

 

Share
Related Topics

After six months and millions of words, the Leveson Inquiry has shone an unflattering light on journalism and the connections and corruption that entwined the Metropolitan Police and News International. The next module, into newspapers and politicians, begins next month.

First, journalism. Many of the allegations dated as far back as the 1980s, but they were often devastating. From the News of the World's intrusive photographing of the Dowlers as they retraced their daughter's last steps, to the Daily Express's smears on Kate and Gerry McCann, to the chronicling of the mental distress of Charlotte Church's mother (News of the World again), the inquiry's first weeks were a parade of invasions of privacy and breaches of normal standards.

After the departure of the stars and the grieving, the journalists, news editors and editors were called to account. Their evidence suggested ethics were often lost in the hurly-burly, deadlines and hierarchies of the news business: the reporters who spun their stories, but then watched as news editors and headline-writers added top-spin; the editors who didn't know their reporters were hacking phones, or bribing, or blackmailing. There was always someone else to blame.

Module two was less glamorous, but shone a light on the cosiness between Scotland Yard and News International. Some of the small details stood out: the eight lunches, dinners and drinks sessions between the now-resigned Assistant Commissioner John Yates and the News of the World's former deputy editor Neil Wallis in 2009 and 2010; the filing of a story by Lucy Panton, the News of the World's crime editor, from the computer of the Yard's now-resigned director of public affairs, Dick Fedorcio; the loan of the police horse Raisa to Rebekah Brooks, then editor of The Sun, after a lunch with the Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair. All circumstantial, all potentially signifying nothing more than mere friendliness.

But then came the hard evidence of Wapping's power: Sue Akers' extraordinary testimony about The Sun running a "network of corrupted officials" across public life.

Why did the Met's original investigation go so badly wrong in 2006? Clues come in the information about the inquiry "the cops" gave to Brooks in September 2006 and the evidence of David Perry, QC, yesterday that Scotland Yard officers, when asked whether any more journalists were involved in phone hacking, said: "No."

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: A widow’s tale with an unexpected twist

John Rentoul
 

For all his faults, Russell Brand is utterly sincere, something politicians should emulate

Janet Street-Porter
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing