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Four UK newspaper editors named in Prince Harry’s case against Daily Mail publisher

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Four national newspaper editors have been named in court documents filed by Prince Harry’s lawyers in his legal case against the publisher of the Daily Mail.
The Duke of Sussex, Elton John, Doreen Lawrence, David Furnish, Sadie Frost, Liz Hurley and Simon Hughes have brought legal action against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over multiple allegations of unlawful information gathering and “gross breaches of privacy”.
In documents filed at the high court in London, Harry and others have named about 70 current and former Associated Newspapers journalists they accuse of unlawful information gathering including voicemail interception, known as phone hacking.

The allegations were dismissed as “preposterous” by Associated Newspapers in its written defence, which was made public on Wednesday, enabling the naming of the journalists referred to in the Duke of Sussex’s claim.
Andrew Caldecott KC and Adrian Beltrami KC, acting for the publisher, said the case against it “is without foundation and is an affront to the hard-working professional journalists whose reputations and integrity, as well as that of Associated itself, are wrongly traduced”.
Among those named are Victoria Newton, the editor of the Murdoch-owned Sun who was the Daily Mail’s showbiz editor in the early 2000s, and Tony Gallagher, who was the editor of the Daily Telegraph, joint deputy editor of the Daily Mail, and editor of the Sun before being appointed editor of the Times in 2022. Newton has also been named in a separate legal case against the publisher of the Sun and the now defunct News of the World.

The editor of the Sunday Times, Ben Taylor, and the Mail on Sunday’s editor, David Dillon, are also named in the documents.
Harry and others have accused the Daily Mail’s publisher of planting bugging devices in cars, listening to private phone calls, burglary and obtaining medical and financial information by dishonest means. ANL has denied the allegations.
David Sherborne, Harry’s barrister, said in the written claim that the claimants would argue “that the information obtained by […] private investigators on behalf of Associated and its journalists was unlawfully or illegally obtained” and that employees were aware of the actions private investigators were taking.

A spokesperson for ANL said: “In papers submitted to the high court, the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Mail On Sunday denied under oath that its journalists had commissioned or obtained information derived from phone hacking, phone tapping, bugging, computer or email hacking or burglary to order.
“The stories concerned, many of which were published 20 or more years ago, and not subject to any complaint at the time, were the product of responsible journalism based on legitimate sources.”
The case is still in its preliminary stages, with a case management hearing scheduled for the end of the month. A trial is expected next year at the earliest.
Spokespeople on behalf of the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times declined to comment when approached by the PA Media news agency.

The Guardian broke the UK’s phone-hacking scandal more than a decade ago, which led to the closure of the tabloid newspaper the News of the World in 2011, a public inquiry into the ethics of the press and several criminal trials.
The duke has been a vocal critic of the UK’s tabloid press, citing tabloid hostility towards his family, including his wife, Meghan, as a factor in his decision to step back from the royal family and their move to California in 2020.
Harry has brought several lawsuits against tabloid publishers as part of his “mission”, including a case against the publisher of the Sun.
In a case management hearing in March, ahead of a full trial scheduled for January next year, his lawyers alleged that billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch “turned a blind eye” to an extensive cover-up of wrongdoing.

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