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Hacking: Grant wins access to police records, as royals dragged into Coulson row

Hugh Grant and Jemima Khan win access to police records, as it emerges Buckingham Palace warned of hiring Andy Coulson.

Hugh Grant and his then-girlfriend Jemima Khan had their voicemails hacked by the News of the World, and are suing police over their failure to investigate.
Hugh Grant and his then-girlfriend Jemima Khan had their voicemails hacked by the News of the World, and are suing police over their failure to investigate.
Image: PA Wire

CELEBRITIES HUGH GRANT and Jemima Khan have been granted access to police records of the phone-hacking affair – in a move that could well expose exactly how much police knew about the News of the World’s practices.

BBC News reports that the court ordered the Metropolitan Police to make the information available to the Hollywood actor and Khan, his former girlfriend, who is now an associate editor at The Independent newspaper.

The order comes as part of the pair’s attempts to sue the police force for its failure to act on evidence it received in 2007, as part of the investigations that led to the convictions of the NotW’s former royal correspondent Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

Neither Grant or Khan were present at the 20-minute hearing.

The court’s decision came as it emerged that senior royal staff had expressed “grave concerns” at David Cameron’s decision to hire the NotW’s former editor, Andy Coulson, as a press advisor in 2007.

Coulson had resigned as the newspaper’s editor in the wake of Goodman’s conviction, though he claimed not to have known about Goodman’s actions.

Sky News cited sources who said royal staff were “gobsmacked” over Coulson’s appointment, which came just weeks after he left the newspaper.

The claims were furthered by Labour MP Chris Bryant, who said “senior members of the Royal family” were “very troubled” at Coulson’s hiring – and the fact that he was then taken onto the public payroll when he moved to Downing Street after Cameron’s election last year.

Buckingham Palace has insisted, however, that no member of the Royal family or its staff tried to warn Cameron against hiring Coulson. Downing Street has also dismissed the reports.

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Gavan Reilly

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