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Guido Fawkes to address Leveson inquiry on Thursday, says judge

At today’s hearing, Charlotte Church said media coverage destroyed her credibility, while TV presenter Anne Diamond said reporters arrived on her door within an hour of her discovering her son’s cot death.

Judge Brian Leveson, who is heading the media ethics inquiry.
Judge Brian Leveson, who is heading the media ethics inquiry.
Image: AP Photo/Sean Dempsey, pool

IRELAND-BASED blogger ‘Guido Fawkes’ has been called to appear before the Leveson inquiry after he published documents outlining what Alastair Campbell would discuss during his evidence on Wednesday.

Addressing the issue today, Judge Brian Leveson said that Campbell’s statement was changed after the draft that has appeared on the blogger’s website.

Today, the judge issued an order calling for Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) to remove the documents and said he will not release Campbell’s final submitted statement until Wednesday. He also said that the blogger is now expected to respond to the inquiry by Wednesday afternoon and that he has been called to give evidence on Thursday.

‘Credibility destroyed’

Earlier today, singer Charlotte Church spoke of the toll press coverage of her life took on her family and career, saying that press intrusion had effectively destroyed her credibility.

Church also said that her mother was particularly affected by media intrusion and she had tried to take her own life after she realised a newspaper would publish details of her husband’s affair.

The singer also said media coverage of her private life, which it later transpired were sourced through phone hacking, had led her to cut people out of her life in an effort to reduce the number of those who could potentially leak information about her. Outlining one particularly story about how she had serenaded her partner in a pub she said that “not one shred” was true and that the photo used to accompany the article had been taken on a completely different date.

Church spoke of how her friends became exasperated with coverage of their nights out together as teenagers and their first holiday together when she was 18, and how tabloid coverage of her life has ruined her credibility:

I’ve been made a caricature for so long, and this person portrayed in the tabloids really isn’t me. It’s not the person I am, and it’s had a massive impact on my career. As an artist, I find it hard to be taken seriously because my credibility has been blown to bits.

‘Emotional blackmail’

Journalist and TV presenter Anne Diamond said that the popular press “can be a terrific force for good” and that she had gone into journalism herself in the belief that campaigns could make a difference to people’s lives.

However, Diamond also spoke of how she felt emotionally blackmailed into participating in a tabloid campaign on cot death after her own son died suddenly of cot death.

On the day he died, she said, reporters had arrived at the door and were trying to force their way in before she had even contacted the police to inform them of the sudden death.

She told the inquiry that she remembers going to her infant son’s funeral and seeing a photographer standing on the road with a long lens taking pictures of her and her family, despite their direct appeal to newspaper editors to stay away and respect their privacy that day.

Christopher Jefferies, the man wrongly accused of the murder of architect Joanna Yeates, told the inquiry that negative coverage of him was so widespread he believes that people think he is a weird character that should be avoided.

He said he too felt that press coverage had ruined his reputation and that he could not go out in public because of the allegations made against him.


(Video uploaded by itnnews)

Tomorrow, investigative journalist Nick Davies, former NOTW deputy features editor Paul McMullan and ex-Daily Star reporter Richard Peppiatt are due to give evidence.

Read more: Blogger ‘Guido Fawkes’ called to give evidence at Leveson inquiry >

Read: “They have no human feeling at all”: Max Mosley speaks at Leveson inquiry

- Additional reporting by the AP

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