Leveson looks set to hear from sacked People reporter

The Leveson Inquiry looks set to hear evidence from sacked People reporter David Brown which could put Trinity Mirror on the frame.

According to The Times, Trinity Mirror has waived a confidentiality agreement signed by Brown to enable to him to testify to the inquiry.

Sky News last month reported on the details of a witness statement prepared by Brown for his 2006 unfair dismissal claim.

In it he said: ‘”A number of the methods used to pry into individuals’ lives were illegal and I have little doubt that if these people knew they had been spied upon, they would take legal action for breach of their right to privacy.”

He added: “I was sent to Sweden to doorstep and confront a British man living in Stockholm after being told he had been in mobile phone contact with the TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson on the basis of information being gleaned from her mobile phone. This was done by ‘screwing’ or tapping Ms Jonsson’s phone’s message bank.”

He also alleged that colleagues tapped the phone of David Beckham’s children’s nanny Abbie Gibson.

Brown also claimed that after the News of the World‘s royal editor Clive Goodman was arrested in 2006 a ‘senior human resources’figure contacted executives on Trinity’s national titles ‘to tell them that if they were asked by other newspapers or trade publications whether they had used information from ‘screwed’ mobile phones they should deny it”.

In response to the claims Trinity Mirror said: ‘These unsubstantiated allegations are taken from a draft statement that was never tested under cross examination, made by an aggrieved employee who had been dismissed.

‘As happens every day across the country, we decided in 2007 to settle the case for an amount that was less than it would have cost us to fight it and win.

‘We paid £20,000. The only way to settle such cases is through a compromise agreement which is also endorsed by the employees’ own lawyer. It is absolutely standard for a compromise agreement to contain a confidentiality clause.

‘All our journalists work within the criminal law and the PCC Code of Conduct and we have seen no evidence to suggest otherwise.”

According to The Times, Trinity Mirror has obtained written statements from 42 senior editors pledging that they have had no knowledge of or involvement in phone-hacking. According to The Times, those who failed to sign up to this document were under the impression that they would be dismissed.

Trinity Mirror carried out a review of editorial controls in July and August. Last month chief executive Sly Bailey told a Leveson Inquiry seminar that the company would be submitting the findings of its review to the Leveson Inquiry. Trinity Mirror has declined a request from Press Gazette to see the review.

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