By Jean Morgan
Two editors who rarely give interviews will
face each other in open court later this month in a battle over
columnist Richard Littlejohn.
Sun editor Rebekah Wade and News
International where Littlejohn is working out his contract until
February, will subpoena Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre who wants
Littlejohn to join his paper as soon as possible.
Littlejohn has stopped filing for the Sun as the dispute over h7is defection has escalated.
Sun is said to have email and telephone evidence and will claim that
Dacre acted as “the puppeteer” in suggesting tactics Littlejohn could
use to get out of his contract early.
Dacre needs Littlejohn quickly because his own columnist Simon Heffer has opted to join the Daily Telegraph.
up to give evidence at the High Court from 20 October in this battle of
the media titans will be Les Hinton, executive chairman of news
international, Fergus Shanahan, deputy sun editor, and Chris Stevens,
Sun assistant editor.
Littlejohn is said to be claiming irretrievable breakdown” in his relations with Sun executives.
staffers say they believed Littlejohn and Sun executives, particularly
Stevens, who handled his page, were on “fantastically friendly terms.”
Stevens, they say, once logged 11 telephone calls from Littlejohn on one of his column days.
Daily Mail has indicated it will resist the Sun’s injunction to stop
Littlejohn writing for the Mail before his N.I. contract ends.