Political blogger Guido Fawkes makes series of allegations at Leveson Inquiry

Posted: February 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm

A political blogger has made a series of allegations against politicians, journalists and editors this afternoon.

Paul Staines, also known as Guido Fawkes, gave alleged examples of dubious press practices when giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.

Staines said he sold a series of photographs of Foreign Secretary William Hague’s special advisor Chris Myers in a gay bar to the News of the World, after publishing a story on Hague sharing a hotel room with his advisor Myers in 2010.

He said the pictures, which were never published, were bought by the paper for £20,000.

Staines implied the pictures had been bought up to take them off the market, linking the purchase to Andy Coulson, who was appointed as director of communications for the government by David Cameron that year.

When David Barr, junior inquiry counsel, suggested the pictures were not published was because Hague issued a public statement denying the allegations, Staines pointed out they had been purchased after the statement was issued.

The blogger went on to accuse Telegraph journalist Gordon Rayner of using private investigator Steve Whittamore, saying his name appeared in Operation Motorman files 335 times, out of 185 were in relation to alleged illegal transactions.

Staines alleges Rayner tracked down his address, and claimed to have done so using the land registry. The blogger said it was impossible to search the registry without an address and pointed out his personal details were not readily available in the public domain. 

Staines told Lord Justice Leveson victims of press intrusion identified by Motorman files should be informed so the journalists responsible can be prosecuted.

He added: “If you don’t inform the alleged or possible victims that their names are on these records that arose from Operation Motorman then we’re not going to get that tested in court.”

He also said two journalists had told him Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, authorised staff to “spin” phones, a phrase referring to phone hacking, but that information published on his blog about Piers Morgan was derived from the former editor’s writing. 

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