Hugh Grant at the Leveson Inquiry: The full evidence

The actor on press intimidation and intrusion.

Hugh Grant has expanded on claims that reporters subjected the mother of his child to 'harassing and frightening" behaviour in the days after the baby's birth.

The actor's full testimony to the Leveson inquiry into press standards has been published on its website, and can be downloaded in PDF form (parts one, two and supplementary evidence here).

In it, the actor claims that reporters obtained the mobile phone number of his American publicist - "a number she keeps famously private" as well as that of Tinglan Hong, the mother of his child. "In the end the calls and texts. . . became so persistent and disturbing, especially to a woman recovering from childbirth, that she was forced to change her number."

Grant added that several newspapers tried to find "dirt" on Tinglan Hong. "Articles appeared making snide remarks about her being an 'actress'. . . a mistake made by one of the papers early on, who confused her with a Chinese actress I had once met for about five minutes a year ago in China. But all the papers copied the mistake out faithfully as fact, and used it to imply that she was either a failed actress because the internet showed no credits for her, that she had false pretensions, or that the term was a gloss for something worse."

After setting out "ten myths of journalism", the actor also reflected on his treatment by the tabloid press after he wrote about hacking in the New Statesman in April.

Of one piece by Mail columnist Amanda Platell, he wrote: "in the space of one 1,300 word piece . . . she accused me of being lonely, bitter, oleaginous, misogynistic, self-obsessed, irresponsible, insensitive, uncaring and in 'tawdry, inexorable decline'".

In the course of his evidence, the actor focused several times on the behaviour of the Mail and Mail on Sunday, forcing both papers to issue denials of his claims -- first, that the Mail on Sunday could have used phone hacking for a story in 2007, and second that the Mail obtained the hospital records of Tinglan Hong.

Grant began his evidence by writing: "Growing up, if my brother or I happened to have bought a copy of the News of the World my mother would say, "How can you bring that filth into this house?" Then, after a pause: "After you with it." And I suppose that was my attitude to papers like the News of the World for the first 33 years of my life. It's probably the attitude of most people. (Or was, until July.) That they were a bit of largely harmless fun."

He concluded: "The tabloids talk a lot these days about freedom of expression. But criticism of themselves has never been allowed. That is why they have had so little of it for so long."

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Andy Burnham's full speech on attack: "Manchester is waking up to the most difficult of dawns"

"We are grieving today, but we are strong."

Following Monday night's terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, newly elected mayor of the city Andy Burnham, gave a speech outside Manchester Town Hall on Tuesday morning, the full text of which is below: 

After our darkest of nights, Manchester is today waking up to the most difficult of dawns. 

It’s hard to believe what has happened here in the last few hours and to put into words the shock, anger and hurt that we feel today.

These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorise and kill.

This was an evil act. Our first thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured. And we will do whatever we can to support them.

We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual as far as possible in our great city.

I want to thank the hundreds of police, fire and ambulance staff who worked throughout the night in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

We have had messages of support from cities around the country and across the world, and we want to thank them for that.

But lastly I wanted to thank the people of Manchester. Even in the minute after the attack, they opened their doors to strangers and drove them away from danger.

They gave the best possible immediate response to those who seek to divide us and it will be that spirit of Manchester that will prevail and hold us together.

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