2020 Incoming – The ten criminal conspiracies we will expose at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday

IN THE SIXTH PART OF OUR DEEP INVESTIGATION INTO CRIME AND MALPRACTICE AT THE DAILY MAIL AND MAIL ON SUNDAY, WE LOOK AHEAD TO FUTURE INSTALMENTS, IN WHICH WE WILL TELL HOW:

  • AT LEAST 10 senior journalists, working beneath controversial Editor-in-Chief Paul Dacre, have links to serious criminal newsgathering
  • PHONE hacking, medical records blagging, and mobile phone data theft, went on at Mr Dacre’s Associated Newspapers for up to 20 years
  • IN 50 further stories, we will publish forensic details of the industrial-scale illegality at Britain’s most powerful mid-market titles
  • THEY include allegations of ‘live’ phone tapping, damaging email chains, and financial trails, and the;
  • CRIMINAL truth behind the Hugh Grant story that Paul Dacre swore under oath was completely legal
2020 vision: Six  Mail  group journalists who Byline Investigates will be writing about
2020 vision: Six Mail group journalists who Byline Investigates will be writing about

By Graham Johnson

Editor, Byline Investigates


BYLINE Investigates is ready to publish 50 stories in 2020 exposing criminality at Britain’s favourite ‘law and order’ newspapers.

The Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday have founded their reputations – and profits – on being the voice of law-abiding Middle England.

Yet, this year, Byline Investigates will tell how these tabloids spent more than a million pounds on illegal private investigators – among much more shadowy activity.

Headquarters: General view of the  Daily Mail  and  Mail on Sunday  offices at Northcliffe House, Derry Street, London, in 2008. (c) Wikimedia Commons/ Alex Muller
Headquarters: General view of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday offices at Northcliffe House, Derry Street, London, in 2008. (c) Wikimedia Commons/ Alex Muller

Our investigative reporters will publish facts, evidence, statistics, and whistle-blower testimonies that we believe will stand the tests of any civil or criminal courtroom in England and Wales.

We have identified at least TEN separate criminal conspiracies to commit widespread unlawful activity across more than a decade – and possibly for as long as 20 years.

In one example, we will reveal documentary proof that the Daily Mail employed Britain’s most notorious illegal medical records blagger – and were in fact the first paper on Fleet Street to do so.

Clear denials: Paul Dacre, editor in chief of Associated Newspapers, issuing strident denials of phone hacking at his papers under oath at the Leveson Inquiry into Press ethics in 2011
Clear denials: Paul Dacre, editor in chief of Associated Newspapers, issuing strident denials of phone hacking at his papers under oath at the Leveson Inquiry into Press ethics in 2011

In another, we will set out allegations of live tapping – the eavesdropping on, and recording of, private landline phone conversations – linked to a powerful Mail on Sunday news executive.

And we will reveal the email and financial trails that capture the hacking of a serving MP.

In the first five parts of our MailBOMB series, Byline Investigates has already exposed the illegal intrusions carried-out by Katie Nicholl, a prominent Associated News writer.

We detailed the products of unlawful information gathering in many of her stories – and proved her links to notorious convicted private investigator Steve Whittamore.

Allegation: Hugh Grant told the Leveson Inquiry that he believed a story in the  Daily Mail  about him had been derived from phone hacking
Allegation: Hugh Grant told the Leveson Inquiry that he believed a story in the Daily Mail about him had been derived from phone hacking

In the next THREE parts of our MailBOMB series, we will reveal the truth behind her most controversial story – the fallout of which made headlines around the world.

Questioning of Ms Nicholl’s so-called “Plummygate” exclusive – which its subject, the actor Hugh Grant, told the Leveson Inquiry must have been phone hacked – provoked the Daily Mail’s then editor Paul Dacre to accuse the Press standards campaigner of ‘mendacious smears’, amid threats to sue.

Defensive: Paul Dacre’s  Daily Mail  devoted pages of column inches to denying Hugh Grant’s allegation
Defensive: Paul Dacre’s Daily Mail devoted pages of column inches to denying Hugh Grant’s allegation

Just last week, Byline Investigates related our own experiences with Mr Dacre, after he threatened to sue when in 2017 we made similar claims of wrongdoing. As with Mr Grant, Mr Dacre’s threatened legal action never materialised.

Now, we will reveal that Ms Nicholl is no “rogue reporter” – many more of her former newspaper’s journalists relied heavily on unlawful information gathering.

Among journalists who have gone on to become household names and heavyweight writers on upmarket papers are many who committed crime at the Daily Mail.

Our work has identified crime reporters, who used illegal private investigators to intrude on the privacy of victims of crime.

We will name the campaigning journalists – who publicly crusaded for truth and justice – who secretly used unlawfully-obtained phone billing data.

In 2020, our readers will learn their real names – and of the damage inflicted on their targets.

Byline Investigates has found the Daily Mail went after people it deemed to be of interest while they were undergoing treatment for addictions and mental illness in hospital.

Others were left suffering anxiety and depression after their personal lives were repeatedly invaded for stories the Daily Mail told in its trademark waspish and often highly moralistic style.

A spokesman for Associated Newspapers said: “As we have told you before, the fact that the Mail, in common with many other news organisations, once used the services of Steve Whittamore has been public knowledge for 15 years and both Paul Dacre and Peter Wright freely gave extensive evidence on it to the Leveson Inquiry.”

  • Stay tuned for part seven of MailBOMB next week

More articles filed under Hugh Grant

Sir Paul McCartney and Hugh Grant were repeatedly illegally targeted by Daily Mail journalist Richard Simpson

Graham Johnson
HACKING

Hacking-linked reporter Katie Nicholl wrote second Hugh Grant story based on private phonecalls

Graham Johnson

Late night calls’… ‘phone switched-off’… ‘mobile data’… Unveiled: NINE suspicious references to private phone calls in one VERY controversial story

Graham Johnson