Daily Mail asked for evidence over Hugh Grant lies claim

The Daily Mail has been asked to produce evidence to back up its assertion that actor Hugh Grant lied to the Leveson Inquiry.

In his evidence to the inquiry on 21 November, Grant accused the Mail on Sunday of hacking his phone and the Daily Mail of accessing medical information from a hospital about the mother of his child. Both assertions were robustly denied by publisher Associated Newspapers which also provided evidence to the contrary.

Associated also released a statement the same day, repeated in a Daily Mail leader column the following day, which said: ‘Mr Grant’s allegations are mendacious smears driven by his hatred of the media.”

Yesterday the counsel for the phone-hacking victims, David Sherborne, asked Lord Justice Leveson what action is going to be taken over the Daily Mail’s attack on Grant.

He noted that Associated Newspapers was ‘going to come back with an explanation as to why they accused Mr Grant of lying”, adding later: ‘The mendacious smears line goes well beyond saying Mr Grant was mistaken or wrong.”

Leveson said: ‘I’m expecting some evidence to be served by Associated Newspapers in due course..It probably is a matter that will require evidence. It would be sensible if that were sooner rather than later.”

Leveson said he believed that the contentoius line has since been removed from the online version of the Daily Mail article – but at time of writing it does appear to be still online.

Before the lunchtime recess of the inquiry he told Associated Newspapers lawyer Jonathan Caplan QC: “I believed the sentence had been removed, if it hasn’t been removed this is an urgent matter.”

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