Alastair Campbell among latest people to settle damage claims for phone-hacking
Former Labour Government communications supremo and journalist, Alastair Campbell, is among the latest people to have settled claims for damages over phone-hacking, the High Court heard yesterday.
Liberal Democrat deputy leader, Simon Hughes MP (£45,000), comedian Steve Coogan (£40,000) and former footballer Paul Gascoigne (£68,000) have also settled with News Group Newspapers (NGN), which published the now-defunct News of the World.
Campbell, who won undisclosed substantial damages plus costs, said his action had "not and never has been, about the money".
He added: "For me, this has been about people with a voice and a platform using them to change the media culture which, as I argued at the Leveson Inquiry, has become putrid in parts."
In an analysis article, Clive Coleman, the legal correspondent for BBC News, commented: “This latest round of settlements represents a continued waving of the white flag by News International in the civil cases for breach of privacy arising out of the phone hacking at the former News of the World.
“The vast majority of the original 60-odd cases have now been settled. And the more they settle, the more difficult it becomes for News International to defend one.
“The case brought by the singer Charlotte Church and her family is due for trial, as are five other cases. Whether any of them will actually get there seems doubtful.
“The settlement sums reflect the level of hacking, the period over which it took place and the number of articles that were written based upon the information hacked.
“But this is not even the beginning of the end. Waiting in the wings, are around 800 additional potential claimants, perhaps more. News International seems to be in for a very long and very costly act of surrender. “