MPs to grill Colin Myler about Max Mosley 'orgy' story

News of the World editor Colin Myler will face a grilling from MPs next week about press standards and the Max Mosley sex story that cost his paper £60,000 in privacy damages.

Myler has been called to appear before the Commons culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday morning, where he will be accompanied by News Group Newspapers legal manager Tom Crone.

His appearance comes after the Sunday tabloid was ordered to pay £60,000 in compensation to Mosley last July following its decision to publish photos and a video of what it claimed was a “sick Nazi orgy” with five women.

High court judge Mr Justice Eady said the motorsport boss had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” and said there was no evidence of a Nazi element. Mosley is now suing the News of the World for libel.

Giving evidence to the committee last month, Mosley criticised the work of the Press Complaints Commission, saying: “It is absurd to have a body which is run by the journalists themselves. It’s like putting the mafia in charge of the local police station.”

Next week’s appearance in parliament will also give Myler an opportunity to respond to Mosley’s claims that the News of the World was a “purveyor of soft porn”, and that “it is the most terrible thing what they do”.

The Commons media select committee is looking into the effectiveness of press self-regulation and the future of contempt of court, privacy and libel law – including the controversial “no-win, no-fee” CFA system.

The cross-party group of MPs has also announced it will take evidence next Tuesday from Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and Private Eye editor Ian Hislop.

Rusbridger called for a reform of British libel laws in a piece for the New York Review of Books in December.

He said Britain’s “dubious reputation” as the libel capital of the world – and the costs associated with defending a claim – could lead to news groups shying away from important public-interest stories.

The Guardian settled a libel action in September with Tesco, which had sued the paper for printing incorrect allegations about its use of tax avoidance schemes.

Private Eye stepped into the spat between Guardian and Tesco when it published further details of the complex system of offshore operations used by the supermarket giant.

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