UK blogger Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes, was called to appear at the UK Leveson Inquiry after he published leaked information about the hearing, the Guardian reported. The inquiry is looking into “the culture, practices and ethics of the press” in the U.K. following the continued accusations of phone hacking against U.K. newspapers. The inquiry was established this summer after the Guardian reported that an employee of the now-closed News of the World hacked murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s cell phone.
Staines blogs about political issues on the website Order-Order.
Staines published former UK prime minister Tony Blair‘s former communications adviser Alastair Campbell’s witness statement Nov. 27 even though Campbell won’t appear at the hearing until Nov. 30.
According to the Guardian, “It is understood that the evidence published may be an early draft which differs from what Campbell finally submitted to the inquiry.” The inquiry noted on its website that the version published on Order-Order is “slightly” different from Campbell’s official version.
In response, Campbell’s full statement was published on the Leveson Inquiry website Nov. 28, the Guardian noted.
Leveson also issued a statement on his website (here) noting that he is “extremely concerned” about the leaked publication. According to Leveson’s statement, Staines says he got the statement legally, but Leveson still wants to look into it.
“Witness statements are disclosed under strict confidentiality agreements in order that participants can prepare for the evidence; that confidentiality must be observed to maintain the integrity of the Inquiry,” according to Leveson’s statement.
According to Sky News, Leveson also expressed concern about ” the security of the computer system holding confidential witness statements.”
Journalism.co.uk noted that Campbell’s statement also apparently was publishedon Parliament member Tom Watson’s website but “was quickly removed.” However, according to Journalism.co.uk, “A cached page remains available online.”
Fawkes published a screenshot of Watson’s post here.
Campbell tweeted about the leak, noting he was “genuinely shocked” about it. He added “less surprised that Guido Fawkes headline misrepresents it.” Fawkes’ Nov. 27 post is titled “Exclusive: Alastair Campbell Evidence to Leveson Claims Morgan’s Mirror Hacked Cherie Blair’s Voicemail.”
UPDATE: 11/29/2011 11:25 AM EST: Added info about Leveson Inquiry
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