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BBC: Nurse accused of saline contamination in PR bid to clear name after release

September 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

The BBC reports today that Rebecca Leighton, the nurse who was arrested in relation to the alleged contamination of saline at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, has asked publicist Max Clifford to help repair her reputation after she was released last week with the charges against her dropped.

Clifford told the BBC she felt she had been “poisoned by sections of the media” and wanted help to clear her name.

She has been very badly criticised and written about by the media so I suppose it’s natural that you would go to someone who understands the media to get that put right.

All she said to me is I suppose it boils down to I’ve been poisoned by sections of the media and I hope that you can provide the antidote to get rid of all that poison because you know, mud sticks and a lot of the things that have been written have been absolutely awful.

Read more here.

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Channel 4 News: Phone hacking claims made against new newspaper

May 13th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Legal, Newspapers

Channel 4 News is reporting this afternoon that legal action is being taken against an unnamed newspaper, although said to not be the News of the World, for allegations of phone-hacking.

James Hewitt, the ex-lover of Princess Diana, and actress Koo Stark started legal action against the paper this week, their publicist Max Clifford told Channel 4 News.

Clifford did not identify the newspaper in question. This follows reports this week that Lord Prescott and three other individuals, including Labour MP Chris Bryant, who also allege that the News of the World hacked their phones, have again applied to the High Court for a judicial review into the police inquiry of the matter.

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Inforrm: Mulcaire ordered to identify journalists involved in phone hacking

November 18th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal, Newspapers

Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire has been ordered to provide information identifying News of the World journalists who had asked him to hack voicemail messages, the Guardian’s Nick Davies reported yesterday.

The judgment opens the door to the eventual disclosure of evidence that could have a powerful effect on News International, Scotland Yard, the Press Complaints Commission and the prime minister’s media adviser, Andy Coulson, all of whom have claimed that Mulcaire acted without any official sanction from the News of the World.

This morning, the Inforrm blog reports on the judgement issued by Mr Justice Mann.

The judgement, handed down yesterday in the case of Phillips v News Group Newspapers, orders Mulcaire to provide information “relevant to the claim being brought by Nicola Phillips, a former employee of publicist Max Clifford’s company” against the News of the World in relation to allegations of phone hacking, Inforrm reports.

Mr Mulcaire sought to resist providing answers on the basis of the “privilege against self-incrimination”.  Mr Justice Mann agreed that the privilege was applicable but held that the evidence would be covered by section 72 of the Senior Courts Act, which removes the privilege in  inter alia, “proceedings for infringement of rights pertaining to any intellectual property or for passing off”.  As a result, the judge ordered that Mr Mulcaire should provide the information.

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MediaGuardian: Clifford drops phone hacking case following £1m deal

News International is to pay out around £1 million in legal costs and personal payments in the latest phone hacking case, the Guardian reports. Publicist Max Clifford will now drop his legal action concerning the alleged interception of his voicemail.

The settlement means that there will now be no disclosure of court-ordered evidence which threatened to expose the involvement of the newspaper’s journalists in a range of illegal information-gathering by private investigators.

Full story at this link…

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PCC’s credibility under attack

The Press Complaints Commission is once again under attack for its structure and effectiveness as a self-regulatory body.

Last night the Guardian reported how Sir Ken Macdonald, ­visiting professor of law at the LSE and the former director of public prosecutions, had called for “all credible media organisations” to withdraw from the “farcical” Press ­Complaints Commission (a plea which was made by Geoffrey Robertson QC last year).

The event for editors and lawyers also featured Max Clifford, former Formula 1 chief Max Mosley, former TV presenter Anna Ford, the editors of the Guardian and the Financial Times, and the deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph. The Guardian also reported:

Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor, said the credibility of the PCC was “clinging by its fingertips” and that recent investigations had been “embarrassing”. The PCC’s current review should work out whether it has the capacity to be a regulator or a mediator, he said.

It’s timely then, to compare Rusbridger’s quotes from last night, with Stephen Abell’s comments this week, in his first media interview since becoming director of the PCC:

Abell told Journalism.co.uk that he didn’t believe Rusbridger’s resignation from the PCC code committee Editors’ Code of Practice Committee weakened the body at all:

Alan Rusbridger has said it [the code committee] does a good job (…) I think these arguments happens within industries but I think it’s perfectly acceptable to move on from that. I don’t think it weakens the PCC in any way that Alan is leaving an industry body that he was a member of for a while. You don’t have every editor on the code committee anyway (…) I think it’s tremendous merit that Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian was on the code committee for as long as he was.

Journalism.co.uk’s interview with Stephen Abell (who took over as PCC director in December 2009):

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Media Guardian: NOTW ordered to hand over phone hacking evidence to Max Clifford

February 4th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism, Newspapers

A high court judge yesterday ordered the News of the World to hand over secret evidence to Max Clifford, the celebrity publicist who claims his phone messages were intercepted by reporters at the title.

Under the ruling the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire has been instructed to disclose the names of everyone who instructed him to target Clifford.

Full story at this link…

More on the phone hacking allegations against the News of the World at this link.

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MediaGuardian: Max Clifford plans legal action over NOTW phone hacking

July 14th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

Another update on the News of the World ‘phone hacking’ story – celebrity publicist is to launching legal action against the paper to expose any actions taken to intercept messages left on his mobile phone, reports Nick Davies.

Full story at this link…

See Journalism.co.uk’s coverage of the phone hacking allegations at this link.

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