Wednesday 5 October 2011

Hugh Grant: PM and Murdoch 'sinisterly cosy'

Actor Hugh Grant has made more allegations about the close relationship between the tabloid press and the police and alleged there was a "sinisterly cosy" relationship btween the Prime Minister and the Murdoch organisation.

Grant, who is taking part in a seminar being organised by the Leveson inquiry tomorrow, claims in an interview in the Independent today that corrupt policemen tipped off journalists about celebrity victims of crime before other officers had time to respond to their calls for assistance.

He says: "You knew if you ever called the police for burglary or mugging or whatever the first person to come round was not a policeman but a journalist. For years you would think very much twice about calling the police over anything. I want Leveson to uncover the full extent of the relationship between tabloid papers and the police because I think we have only scratched the surface of that."

Grant also claims: "The more that comes out about all this the more we will learn about the true nature of the Prime Minister's relationship with the Murdoch organisation. What I hear on the Cotswold grapevine is that the relationship was sinisterly cosy to a deeply unhealthy and unattractive degree."

He adds that he hopes the Leveson inquiry will establish that phone hacking practices extended beyond the News of the World.

"I'm dying for him to reveal it wasn't just phone hacking it was all these other methods. It was not just the News of the World, a huge number of newspapers were up to these dirty tricks. I want him to establish that the intimidation of those elements of the popular press over politicians – by keeping dossiers on their private lives – was effectively blackmail."

  • Grant is also interviewed in the Guardian today and says of his meeting with the Prime Minister: "He did make the right noises but I expected him to make the right noises. [I asked him] Are you going to still be walking the walk that you walked back in July? The prime minister's answer was that he felt that as long as Leveson's recommendations were not barking he would be up for it. Nice man but we'll see."

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