British Queen celebrates


A political blogger has been summoned to appear before the Leveson Inquiry into press standards after evidence from former Number 10 communications chief Alastair Campbell was leaked online.

Mr Campbell submitted papers containing a string of potentially-damaging claims to lawyers ahead of his appearance before Lord Justice Leveson next week.

But a link to the 16-page document today appeared on the Order-order website run by Paul Staines, under the name Guido Fawkes. Writing on his blog, Mr Staines highlights contentious elements in Campbell's evidence and claims to have obtained the papers legally.

A statement issued by the Leveson Inquiry read: "Lord Justice Leveson was extremely concerned to hear that, on November 27 2011, a copy of the evidence that Mr Alastair Campbell intended to provide to the inquiry was published on the 'Guido Fawkes' website.

"The website asserts that this statement was obtained by 'legal means' but Lord Justice Leveson will be enquiring further into this claim and Mr Paul Staines will be required to give evidence."

Mr Campbell, a former Daily Mirror journalist and spin doctor to Tony Blair, said he was "genuinely shocked" to see his evidence in the public domain.

His statement will now be published on the inquiry website on Monday, rather than on Wednesday following his appearance as would be the norm.


Raising questions over practices at the Daily Mirror, Campbell said he believed a story about Cherie Blair's pregnancy printed by the tabloid in 1999 could have been obtained by phone hacking.

While he admits to having "no evidence" to suggest the voicemails of either Mrs Blair or her husband's lifestyle consultant Carole Caplin, were intercepted, he queried the origins of a number of articles about the then premier's wife. "I do not know if her (Ms Caplin's) phone was hacked, or if Cherie's was, but knowing what we do now about hacking and the extent of it, I think it is at least possible this is how the stories got out," he states.

A spokesman for Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Daily Mirror and more than 160 regional newspapers, said the company stood by an earlier statement which read: "All our journalists work within the criminal law and the Press Complaints Commission's code of conduct."


Pres Association, photo by jacksiddons