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

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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: the paraphernalia of a practised burglar – screwdrivers, gloves, children

Guy Keleny
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits  

So who, really, is David Cameron, our re-elected ‘one nation’ Prime Minister?

Andrew Grice
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?