Leveson Inquiry: Neville Thurlbeck To Give Evidence On Phone Hacking

Neville Thurlbeck

First Posted: 12/12/11 06:30 Updated: 12/12/11 06:35   PA

Former News of the World (NotW) chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck will give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

Mr Thurlbeck was fired by News International in September after being arrested in April on suspicion of hacking phones while working at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.

His alleged role in the scandal has been closely scrutinised since details emerged of a June 2005 email headed "for Neville" which contained transcripts of illegally intercepted voicemail messages.

The email, which surfaced in April 2008, appeared to contradict News International's previous stance that phone hacking at the NotW was confined to a single "rogue reporter".

Sunderland-born Mr Thurlbeck has insisted he played "no part" in the matter that led to his dismissal and has lodged employment tribunal papers against News International.

In a letter to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee released last week, the journalist accused NotW executives of "withholding information" about the scale of phone hacking at the paper from MPs and News International's top management.

Mr Thurlbeck is among a series of reporters, executives and lawyers linked to News International who have been called before the inquiry this week.

The first witness will be Mazher Mahmood, the NotW's former investigations editor, who is known for disguising himself as a "fake sheikh" to carry out undercover reporting. He now works for the Sunday Times.

Also giving evidence on Monday is Neil Wallis, the NotW's former executive editor, who was arrested in July by the Metropolitan Police's phone hacking investigation team, known as Operation Weeting. It subsequently emerged that Mr Wallis had been paid £24,000 by Scotland Yard to work as a two-day-a-month public relations consultant. His contract was cancelled less than six months before Operation Weeting was launched.

Both Mr Wallis and Mr Thurlbeck are currently on police bail and neither man has been charged.

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Filed by Ned Simons  |