Photo: The Times of London
Cherie Blair, the wife of Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair, has issued a phone hacking claim understood to be against News Group Newspapers, the UK Press Association reported. Blair launched her claim on Tuesday, her lawyers told BBC News.
“I can confirm that we have issued a claim on behalf of Cherie Blair in relation to the unlawful interception of her voicemails,” Graham Atkins, of Atkins Thomson, told reporters.
A News International spokeswoman declined to comment, BBC reported.
Blair’s lawsuit comes as News Corp. prepares for the first civil trial over the phone hacking scandal, which begins February 27 in London, Bloomberg reported. The company has already settled phone-hacking claims by Blair’s former press chief, Alastair Campbell, and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
In November, Campbell said he believed a story the Daily Mirror published about Blair’s pregnancy in 1999 had originated from the hacking of her phone.
“During various periods of the time that we were in government, we were very, very concerned about how many stories about Cherie and Carole Caplin were getting out to different parts of the media,” Campbell told the inquiry into press standards, the Press Association reported. “I had no idea how they were getting out. In relation to not just Carole, and not just Cherie, but all of us who were involved in the government at that time, […] there were all sorts of stories where you would just sit there scratching your head thinking, ‘how the hell did that get out?'”
Cherie Blair’s legal move may be influenced by Campbell’s comments, according to BBC correspondent Danny Shaw.
Blair, who still works as a lawyer, also campaigns for prison reform. She recently made an appearance at the first meeting of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership in Washington in January, alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, BBC reported.
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