Thursday, 9 February 2012

Leveson Inquiry: Guido Fawkes Vs William Hague & Christopher Myers

'Guido Fawkes broke a story about William Hague sharing a room on a trip with his political adviser [Christopher Myers]. Staines says he had pictures of the adviser in a gay bar that he sold to the News of the World for £20,000 but the paper never published them.
"They chose to buy up those photos and take them off the market," he says.
"It's clear to me the News of the World was in regular contact with Downing Street and perhaps to curry favour they chose to buy up those pictures and took them off the market." Staines links this to former NoW editor Andy Coulson, who left to work for No 10.
'Barr suggests the paper did not run the story because Hague issued a statement denying the "malicious allegations".
'Staines replies: "They bought them after the public statement."

Paul Staines aka right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes talking at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday.
Seems ironic this comes out (and Myers is seemingly outed?) in the Leveson Inquiry, presumably it's covered by courtroom privilege...
If true, it is most noble of the News of the World to stop a leading Tory being mixed up in some potentially embarrassing gay story.
Good for them!

Update: 'News International, the owners of the defunct tabloid, declined to comment on the allegations, saying they were not prepared to disclose details of payments made.
'But two former executives at the paper confirmed the deal, on condition of anonymity. They said the purchase was negotiated via the paper's political staff, and authorised by the editor, Colin Myler.
'One source claimed Myler bought the picture in order to "keep it off the market for a week" because he was planning to expose allegations of spot-fixing at Pakistan cricket matches, and wanted it to dominate the headlines that week.
'But, according to Staines's testimony, he sold the photograph the week after the cricket story, which ran on Sunday 29 August 2010, along with printouts of on-line chat from a website.
'The following week, after a statement by Hague describing his happy marriage and denying any gay relationships, every Sunday paper bar one carried news stories about the issue, with speculation about the foreign secretary's future. The sole exception was the News of the World.'

The Guardian - Online version only.
The last three paragraphs do not appear in the print version.

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