The Guardian has agreed to a request from Sun managing editor Richard Caseby that it correct all the articles it has published since July this year which repeat the claim that the News of the World deleted Milly Dowler’s voicemail’s creating false hope for her parents that she was alive.
The Met Police revealed last week that they now believe the messages may have been automatically deleted in the days after Milly’s disappearance in 2002 and that they do not believe News of the World journalists were responsible. News International still accepts that it was responsible for hacking the messages of the missing schoolgirl.
Today The Guardian repeated a correction first published on 13 December referring to the false-hope claim.
It has also added a footnote to 37 stories online which ‘contain either the error or a reference to it”.
The full story list is contained in the online version of the correction which runs to more than 700 words.
Meanwhile, Private Eye today sheds more light on the row which led Guardian journalist Nick Davies to refuse to appear on a Newnight panel with Caseby to discuss the mistake in his original Milly Dowler story phone-hacking story.
Private Eye reports (and Press Gazette understands this is true) that last month Caseby posted Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger a toilet roll along with the note: ‘I hear Marina Hyde’s turd landed on your desk. Well you can use this to wipe her arse.”
This followed Hyde falsely reporting on The Guardian front page that a Sun journalist had doorstepped a Leveson Inquiry lawyer. She said this was tantamount to ‘casually defecating on his lordship’s desk while doing a thumbs-up sign”. The Guardian later published an apology.
According to Private Eye it was this incident which prompted Rusbridger to decline to let Davies appear opposite Caseby.
Press Gazette asked The Guardian earlier this week why Nick Davies had refused to appear on the same Newsnight panel as Caseby. A spokesman said: ‘Nick appeared on Newsnight under terms agreed with the BBC.”