The Sun’s publisher has paid Sir Simon Hughes’s phone-hacking damages

The Sun’s publisher has paid Sir Simon Hughes’s phone-hacking damages

Hughes claimed “he had been the victim of unlawful information gathering by various journalists and executives at the Sun” who were intent on publishing details of his past relationships with men.

The publisher of the Sun has paid a substantial sum to settle a phone-hacking claim brought by the former Liberal Democrat MP Sir Simon Hughes, who claimed he was illegally targeted by reporters wanting to out his sexuality.

The story eventually ran on the front page of the Sun in 2006 under the headline: “A second Limp-Dem confesses: I’m Gay Too.”

Rupert Murdoch’s News UK has never accepted claims that illegal news gathering took place at the Sun and has always insisted the wrongdoing was confined to the News of the World, the Sunday newspaper that was closed down 10 years ago.

Hughes’s case is unusual because he had already won damages relating to illegal information gathering at the News of the World. His decision to bring a second case against the publisher, in which he directly alleged that it was the Sun which had broken the law, raised questions about the historic activities of the still-publishing daily tabloid.

Rather than fight the claims against the Sun in court, when they would have been set out in more detail in front of a judge, Murdoch’s company has instead agreed to pay substantial damages to settle the case. It also covered his legal fees on the condition that the Sun does not make an admission of any wrongdoing.

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