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

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26  

General Election 2015: It's time we forgot what school we all went to

Stefano Hatfield
 

In Sickness and in Health: A night out to show I’m still Rebecca as well as a carer

Rebecca Armstrong
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions