Leveson Effect: Can You See What It Is Yet?


Over the last few weeks the police Operation Yewtree has questioned a number of celebrities over allegations of sex crimes. Each time the papers have known the names of those arrested or questioned, each time the first the public knew about it was when this blog broke the story.

We scooped the press on the arrests of Max Clifford and Jim Davidson. Today we can report that Rolf Harris has also been questioned under caution by police from Operation Yewtree. This has been an open secret in media circles for weeks, journalists and newspaper editors alike have known about the story – yet none has published the news. Why?

No judge has ordered reporting restrictions in relation to Rolf Harris, no super-injunctions prevent the reporting of news concerning him, instead his lawyers Harbottle and Lewis are citing the Leveson Inquiry’s report in letters to editors of newspapers – cowing them into silence. The Leveson effect is real and curtailing the freedom of the press through fear.

In the case of Max Clifford a popular media commentator was our source, with Jim Davidson an ex-copper tipped us off and a local journalist gave us confirmation. This blog is nimble and prepared to take risks, so we are beating all the other news organisations who post-Leveson prefer to await for official police confirmation. This blog is in the news business, we want to beat the competition, we want to be first, we’re proud of breaking stories. We want our readers to be the first to know what is going on.

When the Leveson Inquiry began Guido upset the judge by publishing Alistair Campbell’s evidence before he gave it. Leveson responded by placing a restriction order on this blog. Neatly illustrating by example that the Leveson Inquiry could bring in an era of judicial censorship. It is more subtle than that currently, the chilling effect is that editors fear the prospect of a law rather than any actual new law.

This blog likes being the first to report the news, we would also like to win in a fair fight. The press has its hands tied. A free press ensures that the police do not go about their business in secret. A secret police is a dangerous thing, reporting the arrest of suspects is an important safeguard in a free society – for them and us. We are in danger of losing that safeguard.

See also: Post Leveson British Press Won’t Publish Naked Harry Pictures

It Ain't Over

The Crown Court at Reading

Daily List for Friday 4 January 2013 at

Court 6 – sitting at 10:00 am

Not Before 12:00 pm
For Hearing
U20120475 PRICE Vasiliki & HUNHE Christopher T20127076 SOUTHWARK CROWN COURT CASE


Mitchell CCTV: Cop Conspiracy

Crick recently ousted from the beleaguered Newsnight will probably win awards for this report…

Clifford Lawyers Up

Max Clifford’s has hired Mishcon de Reya/Hacked Off’s Charlotte Harris. She says he will assist the police “as best he can with their inquiries” following his arrest. Regular readers will remember Charlotte from other high profile cases. Such as Chris Huhne.

Guardian Published McAlpine Name During Twitch-hunt

The Guardian website published George Monboit’s deleted Tweets revealing Lord McAlpine as the Newsnight paedophile suspect. Monbiot deleted the offending tweets and grovelled as soon as McAlpine declared he was going to sue the entire internet. However Guido can now reveal that they appeared on the Guardian website during the height of the Twitter witch-hunt at the beginning of the month and, as of 1300 Monday, are still there:

As many re-tweeters are about to find out, re-publication is just as serious as publication. Indeed, far more people will have seen this on the Guardian’s high-traffic pages than on Monbiot’s somewhat niche Twitter feed. The Guardian are not paying any of Monbiot’s legal fees as apparently he was  publishing in a ‘personal capacity’. The liability here is direct…

Privileged MacShane Evidence Now Available to the Police New Police Complaint Made

A source close to the Standards and Privileges Committee pointed out to Guido that the police could not use the evidence gathered by the Committee during their investigation because it was subject to parliamentary privilege. Now that it has been published however it is no longer privileged and can be used by the forces of the law.

Guido has spoken to m’learned counsel and they have confirmed this is the case. He has therefore just put in a new complaint to the Met:

This ain’t over…

“Philandering” Politician’s Love Child Awarded £15,000

The High Court have banned Associated News papers from naming a “philandering” politician again and more specifically, his love child. Associated have also been ordered to pay £15,000 in damages for publishing photographs of the child – named only as AAA – and any further reference or photos are prohibited.

The court heard that the politician was married at the time of the affair and has had a string of extra-marital liaisons in the past, including getting a previous mistress pregnant. The elected politician, still serving in office, was described as “reckless, philandering, adulterous and has betrayed his wife. He has achieved a level of notoriety as a result of extramarital adulterous liaisons”. Apparently photographing the child pointed to who their distinctive looking father is. Who could it possibly be?

Ken's Crony Crow Sues and Loses

PA is reporting that Bob Crow has lost his libel action against Boris:

“The general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) had complained about leaflets produced for Mr Johnson’s campaign for re-election in May. He said they meant that his policies, leadership of the RMT and association with Mr Johnson’s predecessor, Ken Livingstone, seriously damaged Mr Livingstone’s electoral prospects and caused grave harm to Londoners’ interests.

Mr Crow also claimed they meant that he was part of and supported a culture of political immorality involving broken promises, cronyism, scandals and waste. But Mr Justice Tugendhat, at the High Court, ruled today that the words complained of were not capable of being defamatory of the union leader.”


Exclusive: Gordon Disputes Times's Story Claims Son's Cystic Fibrosis Was Not Known

The Times is reporting that News International has written to the Leveson Inquiry asking them to seek further evidence from Gordon Brown over his claim that they illegally accessed his son’s medical records. The move comes after the Dundee-based Sunday Post revealed that they had got a story about his son a few weeks earlier but decided not to run it after contacting Brown. […]


In the Thick of It Loop II

Much excitement today about snippets of gossip from Armando Iannucci’s visit to Parliament last night, where he was previewing his American series Veep. Spilling the beans on what to expect from the next season of the Thick of It, Iannucci coughed that the series would be overshadowed by a judge led inquiry.[…]


Happy Fathers Day: Gay Marriage and Divorce

The progressive chattering classes and David Cameron have got themselves worked up about gay marriage – though as many gays point out, they have already got the same rights via civil partnerships. The Equal Love Campaign says the combination of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004 creates a system that segregates couples into two separate legal institutions, with different names but identical rights and responsibilities.[…]


Ed's Evidence Points to Brown's Perjury

Ed Miliband wasted no time in dumping his old boss in it at Leveson. When asked yesterday whether any of his advisers had briefed against colleagues, Gordon Brown insisted:

“I would hope not, I have no evidence for that.”

Yet Ed says that’s not the case.[…]


Mr Jay's Miliband Conflict

As Guido reported in the Daily Star Sunday at the weekend, there’s a bit of a conflict of interest coming up at Leveson this afternoon:

“The inquiry’s chief inquisitor Mr Robert Jay QC might have to miss out on two of the biggest names though.



He Lied and Lied and Lied



Huhne in the Dock

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce are up at Southwark Crown Court at 9.30. A full trial is expected to take place in the autumn. Huhne has consistently denied the allegations, but were his ex-wife to plead guilty, he could be in extremely sticky situation.[…]


Leveson Headliners Take to Stage

Next’s week witness list for Leveson is a fiery one. Blair is is all day Monday and Hunt all day Thursday. Cable, Gove, May and Ken Clarke will also face a grilling. If this is the calibre of witnesses this week, expect the PM and Brown to be called in the first week of June.[…]


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