Trinity Mirror was hit by more phone-hacking allegations over the weekend – including claims that up to four civil cases will be filed at the High Court in coming weeks.
Lawyer Mark Lewis, who is representing a number of claimants suing the News of the World, told The Sunday Times that there are ‘about three or four cases which will start within the next few weeks”, one of which is reported to be brought by former Liberal Democrat MP Paul Marsden.
Earlier this year Marsden said he believed his phone had been hacked in 2003 when stories appeared about him in the Sunday Mirror, which included details of his alleged affairs, and he said that he had spent 18 months researching his claim.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Over those 18 months we have put together evidence which brings the only reasonable conclusion now that my phone was indeed hacked. That evidence comes from witnesses who can verify it. It also comes from the phone records.”
A spokesman for Trinity Mirror said: ‘We have had one letter from Paul Marsden’s lawyer. That was as long ago as last October. Despite numerous requests from our lawyers for him to substantiate his claims, Mr Marsden has failed to produce a single shred of evidence to back up his unfounded allegations.
‘Our position is clear: all our journalists work within the criminal law and the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct.”
The news comes after Trinity said it was conducting a review of its editorial controls and procedures in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, which will look at both its regional newspaper division and its national newspapers.
Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph has reported that Trinity is set to increase its cost savings target from £15m to around £25m this year – in a move likely to trigger more job losses at the company.
The Telegraph claimed that a large number of those likely to go would be journalists, although a source told the paper that ‘synergies such as outsourcing were also being explored and job cuts were not the only solution”.
Trinity Mirror was unable to comment on the claims.
The company has announced a spate of redundancies across the UK this year. Last month it said that up to 22 editorial jobs could go in Wales, and in June it announced that 90 jobs were under threat in Scotland.
Last summer Trinity Mirror cut around 200 journalists from its national newspapers division.