The Press Complaints Commission, its chairman Baroness Peta Buscombe and the Metropolitan Police are being sued by a lawyer over allegations made in the wake of investigations into phone-hacking at the News of the World.
Solicitor Mark Lewis is suing the PCC and Baroness Buscombe over a speech she made at the Society of Editors conference, in November last year.
In the speech, Buscombe said Maberly had been wrongly quoted by Lewis, and that the Metropolitan Police had said the correct figure on the number of phones hacked – only a handful – was given to the Select Committee by Assistant Commissioner John Yates and Detective Chief Superintendent Philip Williams.
According to the claim form for the action, Lewis is also suing over a statement Baroness Buscombe then made to a Media Guardian reporter, when she told him: “Maberly has been wrongly quoted in saying that 6,000 people were involved. He didn’t say it. He is said to have said it.”
Lewis claims that these statements amount to allegations that he lied to the Select Committee about what Maberly told him.
The PCC subsequently published similar statements, re-published elsewhere, and thus also defamed him, he alleges.
The PCC said it had received the legal papers, but refused to comment further.