Guardian apology to Sun over Leveson doorstep claims

The Guardian has apologised to News International after claiming on its front page today that a reporter from The Sun was sent to doorstep a barrister involved in the Leveson Inquiry.

The claims relating to junior counsel to the Leveson Inquiry Carine Patry Hoskins – dubbed the 'woman on the left'on Twitter following her appearance on a live video stream during Hugh Grant's testimony – were made in a sketch by Guardian columnist Marina Hyde.

She also said doorstepping was a routine practice for the paper but that 'others might deem it the equivalent of blowing a giant raspberry at Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry, or perhaps casually defecating on his lordship's desk while doing a thumbs-up sign".

This morning News International QC Rhodri Davies denied Hyde's claims and told the inquiry his client was taking the claims 'extremely seriously".

The Guardian's director of editorial legal services Gill Phillips confirmed the paper had received a 'strongly worded complaint'from The Sun which it had investigated this morning.

She told Lord Justice Leveson: 'My instructions are that the story about The Sun is incorrect and we will publishing an appropriate correction and apology which will go up on the rolling online corrections columns as soon as agreed and will be lead correction in print tomorrow.

'We will also remove the offending two paragraph in the sketch from the online version."

She added: 'We would also like to apologise to the inquiry for this having had to take up their time this morning."

The Guardian's apology reads: 'In a piece sketching the Leveson inquiry we incorrectly stated that the Sun newspaper sent a reporter to the home of a junior counsel to the Inquiry.

'The Sun did not send a reporter to the barrister's home. We apologise for the error and any suggestion that there was an intention by the Sun to show a lack of respect to the Inquiry or Lord Justice Leveson."

This is the second time the Guardian has apologised to The Sun over its coverage of issues arising from the hacking scandal.

In July it apologised to the paper for a front-page report which stated The Sun had accessed the medical records of the infant son of former prime minister Gordon Brown.

In a correction The Guardian admitted it had made a mistake and apologised for the error. The Sun said that it had in fact it got the information from a source unconnected with the hospital.

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