The jury in the trial of The Sun newspaper’s Westminster correspondent Clodagh Hartley was today shown a series of articles from the newspaper containing information, the prosecution say, was illegally obtained from a civil servant.
The series of eighteen stories read to the jury included one about the March 2010 budget which, lead prosecution barrister Zoe Johnson said, showed that confidential information about the chancellor’s proposals had been leaked to The Sun.
The Crown allege that the 2010 budget rise in fuel duty was leaked by an HMRC press officer Jonathan Hall in return for a £750 payment. The Sun ran the story on the morning of the budget itself leading to newspaper readers finding out about the tax rise before Parliament had been informed.
Other articles written by the defendant reveal details of ‘wasteful” government spending, complaints about taxpayer funded events for treasury staff and the then incoming coalition government’s plans to cut the deficit.
Also on trial is Hall’s partner Marta Bukarewicz who the prosecution say helped conceal payments from the Sun by having the routed via her bank account. Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
As there were no questions from the defence court adjourned for the day. The case then adjourned until 11am on Tuesday 4 November.
Both of the defendants deny the charge, the trial continues.