Anorak | Leveson Inquiry: The Guardian and Daily Mail have different versions of the Steve Whittamore story

Leveson Inquiry: The Guardian and Daily Mail have different versions of the Steve Whittamore story

by | 12th, January 2012

THE Mail on Sunday’s editor Peter Wright told the Leveson Inquiry into media standards that reporters from his newspaper continued using convicted private investigator  Steve Whittamore after his March 2003 arrest on suspicion of trading illegally obtained information with the press and magazines. Whittamore was investigated as part of an Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into the illegal purchase of confidential information named Operation Motorman.

Lord Justice Leveson said:

“Mr Whittamore had collected together a vast amount of personal data.The documents identify the names of titles, specify journalists at the titles apparently or inferentially making the requests. It identifies the names of people from a wide range of public life and in the public eye, and provides addresses, telephone numbers, mobile telephone numbers and charging details for that information.”

The Mail and MoS continued using Whittamore until September 2004. In 2005, Whittamore was was convicted of illegally accessing data and passing it to journalists.

The Press Gazette r eports:

In April 2005 Whittamore was given a two-year conditional discharge after he was found guilty of obtaining and disclosing information under the Data Protection Act and received a conditional discharge, though no journalists were ever prosecuted…

In September 2004 [Mail titles] they eventually banned journalists from using him altogether – though two subsequent payments were made after this date which Wright said “no one can quite explain”.

On page 8 of the Mail , the paper explains:

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Posted: 12th, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink