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Galloway will have day in court over phone-hack claims

Galloway insists he will have his day in court and vows not to settle.

Former Respect MP George Galloway has set the scene for a dramatic legal showdown with the News of the World after pledging to have his day in court with the tabloid.

As exclusively revealed by Press Gazette, Galloway became the latest high-profile figure to sue the paper for breach of privacy in relation to allegations that his phone had been hacked in August.

In a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary broadcast last night, Galloway insisted that he planned to have his day in court - and that he would not settle the case, as other similar claimants have done.

He told Dispatches reporter Peter Oborne: "In other cases they [News International] have paid a king's ransome in out of court settlements with confidentiality clauses to make other cases go away.

"But by the grace of God I don't need money, I'm more interested in the truth and I intend to get it.

"Anyone lying under oath runs the risk that a paper-trail, an electronic paper-trail, or a reporter that just decides to come clean might step foward at some stage and unmask that lie and then the people involved will go to prison and probably for a long time."

News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed in February 2007 for hacking into the phone messages of various public figures.

The News of the World has maintained that Goodman was the only reporter on the paper involved in phone hacking.

In a High Court writ, Galloway claims Mulcaire carried out "voicemail interception on an industrial scale" and said that he believes Mulcaire supplied information to other employees of the paper, not only to Goodman.

The News of the World has so far paid out a reported total of £2m to settle privacy actions arising from allegations of phone-hacking to chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association Graham Taylor, his legal advisor Jo Armstrong, a second legal advisor and publicist Max Clifford.

This article originally appeared in the Press Gazette.

Dominic Ponsford is editor of Press Gazette

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Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.