Chancellor Sajid Javid has criticised Hugh Grant after the actor refused to shake his hand at a film premiere because he did not support Hacked Off when serving as culture secretary.
The politician, 49, said Grant, 59, had been “incredibly rude” at a glitzy event for Martin Scorsese’s new film The Irishman.
He told ES Magazine: “I recognised him and put my hand out and said: ‘Lovely to meet you,’ and you know what he does? He refuses to shake my hand.
“He says, ‘I am not shaking your hand’. I am completely shocked.
“He said, ‘When you were culture secretary you didn’t support my friends in (media reform campaigners) Hacked Off.’
“I think that is incredibly rude. I wonder if people like Hugh Grant think they are part of the elite and they look down on working class people no matter what station they reach in life.”
But a spokesperson for the actor told PA that Grant had a different version of events.
When offered a handshake, “Grant’s words were: ‘If you don’t mind, I won’t shake your hand because you were rude and dismissive to the victims or press abuse when you met them as culture secretary.’
“Hugh would like to point out that the victims in question were not celebrities. They were people with personal family tragedies who had been abused by sections of the press,” the spokesperson said.
He said Grant was referring to a meeting between Javid and “the victims of press abuse… (who) reported back that his attitude in the meeting was ‘borderline contemptuous’.”
In February Grant settled a phone-hacking claim against Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the Mirror titles. MGN apologised for the illegal actions taken against Grant which it said “should never have happened”.
Grant has called for the second part of the Leveson Inquiry to go ahead, despite Theresa May’s Government having ruled it out.
Picture: PA/PA Wire