Murdoch's Top Political Hitman 'Outed' MP With Stolen Phone Records, Court Hears

13 October 2017

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Mr Sherborne said: “At about the same time, Mr Mulcaire and journalists from the News of the World had also been involved in extensive blagging and voicemail interception of messages left for and by Mr Hughes.”

Meanwhile, at The Sun, their private detective ELI had obtained call data. ELI relayed the call data, which included a list of phone numbers called from Mr Hughes’ landline, to The Sun News Desk, which then passed it up the line to Sun bosses.

The information was sent first to News Desk Executive James Clothier, who in turn informed his line manager, Head of News Chris Pharo.

Some of the data was private and potentially embarrassing for Mr Hughes.

This data eventually found its way to Kavanagh who used it as leverage to get Mr Hughes to confess to being gay, a fact which may have weakened his bid for the Lib Dem leadership.

“…a further example of senior NGN Employees being involved in, knowing about, or approving illegal activities,” ~ David Sherborne

Mr Sherborne added: “On the following morning, 25 January 2006, Chris Pharo, head of the News Department at The Sun, emailed this confidential call data to the Managing Editor Graham Dudman.

“Later that day Political Editor Trevor Kavanagh confronted Mr Hughes with the call data, stating that The Sun had evidence about his private sex life, and offering him an opportunity to co-operate in a story about his sexuality, under threat of the newspaper ‘outing’ him through the publication of this highly private information.

“On the following day, 26 January 2006, The Sun published a front-page article about Mr Hughes entitled ‘I’m Gay Too’.

“This unlawful activity is pleaded by the claimants… as a further example of senior NGN Employees being involved in, knowing about, or approving illegal activities.”

Lawyers for News Group Newspapers are denying that any illegal activity took place.