LORD Leveson is guilty of the worst kind of gutter judicial inquiry, it was claimed last night.
Britain’s most respected tabloid newspaper editors accused the inquiry of ‘turning them over’ and claimed it was a ‘grotesque invasion of privacy for the sake of a cheap headline’.
Dominic Mohan, editor of The Sun, said: “People like Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan and the McCanns encounter a well-known newspaper and then go running off to the nearest inquiry with their salacious gossip.
“And that inquiry is only too happy to make all of this public without so much as a thought for the ruined lives that are left in its wake.”
He added: “Tabloid journalists are real people with real feelings. What am I supposed to tell my children?
“And it’s not as if a correction is going to do any good. It’s like closing the stable door after the genie has bolted. The horse is out of the bottle.”
Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail said: “They use the most disgusting, underhand tactics. They take people to a five-star courtroom, give them a fancy jug of water and then ask questions that they know are going to make tabloid newspapers look bad. I suspect that most of these ‘witnesses’ have no idea the whole thing is being recorded.
“Judicial inquiries into press ethics are like the Mafia. To them it’s just ‘business’.”
Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, said: “I feel as if I’ve been mentally raped.”
The inquiry stressed that tabloid newspapers were happy to court publicity when it served the interests of their bingo websites and insisted that an anti-inquiry law would prevent obvious conclusions being reached far too quickly.
But Paul Dacre added: “The most frustrating thing is we can’t challenge it because we’re all too scared of the consequences.
“That said, we are going to wait a few months and then make these fuckers wish they had never been born.”