Exclusive: Leveson Loses It Over Mail on Sunday Front PageThreatened Special Hearing This Week Over Critical Story

Guido understands that a furious Leveson had to be talked down from calling a special hearing yesterday – despite the Inquiry being in recess – after the Mail on Sunday claimed he had threatened to quit over Michael Gove’s “chilling effect” speech. The Mail on Sunday reported that Leveson delivered the ultimatum after demanding Gove be gagged for suggesting that the Inquiry was having a dangerous impact on the free press. Leveson lost the plot when his implicit threat to quit the Inquiry was made public, and only decided against holding a hearing this week to summon the Mail on Sunday for a judicial bollocking after being convinced that the move would be seen as a major over-reaction. Instead, Guido has learnt that core participants have received a note from Brian inviting them to make submissions about the story by 4pm tomorrow. He seems to be encouraging third-parties to criticise the Mail on Sunday and do his dirty work for him…

Leveson’s attempts to make life difficult for journalists who criticise him comes as Downing Street has decided to caution ministers against commenting on the Inquiry lest Brian walks out. It seems the pattern of Brian’s responses to a critical free press is fury followed by threats. He’s losing it…


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Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

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