Press release: Steve Coogan settles hacking claim with Trinity Mirror Group: “the way they have behaved is a disgrace to the record of what was a fine newspaper… the Second Part of the Leveson Inquiry must find out who was hacked, who knew about it, and who covered it up”



In a statement today on the steps of court, actor and writer Steve Coogan has stated that the second part of the Leveson Inquiry must proceed in the wake of the regret expressed by Trinity Mirror that “he and other victims should not have been denied the truth for so long”.  Mr Coogan received a substantial settlement from Trinity Mirror Group (TMG) newspapers over his hacking claims against the group.

Mr Coogan named some of the Mirror editors, including Piers Morgan, Richard Wallace and Tina Weaver, who presided over the newspapers when hacking took place and asked why it had been allowed to carry on for so long and how it was that they denied knowledge of it to the Leveson Inquiry.

Mr Coogan also referred to the countless victims of voicemail interception and other intrusions who do not have the same resources to bring claims.

Mr Coogan said,

“Journalists at all three [TMG] papers – The Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the People – under successive editors hacked the phones of thousands of people – not just celebrities and public figures but their families and people who just happened to be in the news.

“The way they behaved is a disgrace to the record of what was a fine newspaper publisher and an insult to the memory of Hugh Cudlipp.  Covering-up the wrong-doing to stop the truth coming out is even worse.”

Naming former editors and executives at TMG, Mr Coogan added,

“It is my view that editors and executives such as Sly Bailey, Piers Morgan, Paul Vickers, Tina Weaver and Richard Wallace have not yet been subjected to proper scrutiny.

“The second party of the Leveson Inquiry must find out who was hacked, who knew about it, and who covered it up or turned a blind eye.  The Leveson Inquiry must be completed now as the Government has promised.”

Commenting, Hacked Off Joint Executive Director Dr Evan Harris said,

“We know that hacking at Mirror newspapers took place on an industrial scale as a matter of course for any individual – including countless non-celebrities – who was in the news throughout the noughties, and yet, no Mirror editor has ever faced sanction for the illegality committed under their leadership.  It is essential that the second half of the Leveson Inquiry proceeds immediately to discover how far up knowledge of hacking and the cover up went at Mirror Group newspapers.”

“Piers Morgan was either incompetent and ignorant as to the illegality behind hundreds of paper’s stories or he was involved in it – or both. The public should be told which it is.”



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