Ex Met Police snapper to face Leveson Inquiry over cash offers to public officials

Lord Justice Leveson ; Pic courtesy Leveson Inquiry website

Update: There is a report today (wednesday) on the exaronews website (http://www.exaronews.com ) of today’s hearing where Matt Sprake  defends himself.

 Matt Sprake, the former Met Police forensic police photographer, has been summoned by Lord Leveson to appear  before his inquiry.

This follows the exposure by me on Exaro News website (http://www.exaronews.com)  and with Oliver Wright in the Independent last week.( http://ind.pn/M48suc ) which  revealed his http://newspics.co.uk  website was offering to pay thousands of pounds to police, prison and probation officers for tips on celebs having affairs. There is a new article on the site now.

Just to remind readers – as he has taken it down now – the wording included  the phrases:

Officials are told: “All sorts of people have been paid thousands of pounds by us for giving information that leads to a picture being sold or a story being written, are you a doorman, police worker, civil servant, probation officer, prison officer, nurse? Make some extra money without anyone ever knowing…”

The agency website has endorsements from the picture desk of The People, the red-top Sunday tabloid, OK magazine, the celebrity title, and the Press Association, the national news agency.

In a section headed “news exclusives”, the agency tempts public officials to provide details of “a scandal” or, “where a prominent person is living or what they get up to,” or, “a celebrity having an affair”.

“You can earn yourself good cash now by calling… 24 hours a day and remember, nobody ever needs to know it was you that told us!”

Mr Sprake’s forthcoming appearance was announced on the Leveson inquiry website this afternoon. Among those appearing on the same day – next Wednesday – will be Max Mosley.

Lawyers for the Levenson Inquiry had asked to see the articles on Exaro News and the Independent after they appeared. They have also examined his website.

So next Wednesday Mr Sprake will be able to explain in public exactly what is going on. He has also put a complaint into the Press Complaints Commission against the Independent  about  last week’s article. I look forward with interest to the next event.

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