Phone-hack judicial review bid setback for John Prescott

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott and three other applicants have hit a legal setback in their judicial review challenge over the Met Police’s handling of allegations that the News of the World hacked their mobile phone messages.

Prescott is to battle on after a judge refused him permission to mount a High Court challenge over the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the matter.

It emerged today that Mr Justice Mitting has ruled the legal challenge “unarguable” after considering the issues in private.

The judge rejected applications to seek judicial review by Prescott and three other applicants, Labour MP Chris Bryant, former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick and journalist Brendan Montague, who also claim there were human rights breaches in the police handling of their cases.

The bid by all four to seek judicial review is now expected to go before a judge in open court.

Tamsin Allen, head of media and information law at law firm Bindmans LLP, said: “This is not the final decision.

“We think the judge, who considered the case on the papers in private, is plainly wrong and the application for permission will be renewed at an open court hearing.”

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