When Hacked Off first launched in 2011, Hugh Grant was its lead spokesman — regularly appearing on shows such as Newsnight and Question Time to preach the importance of press regulation. While the Notting Hill actor donated the damages he received from News International over phone hacking to Hacked Off, the group were accused by the Register of being a ‘secretive pressure group of wealthy and powerful individuals and celebrities’.
So, Mr S was curious to learn of a gathering of wealthy, powerful individuals and celebrities over the weekend. Steerpike understands that Hacked Off’s joint executive director Dr Evan Harris threw Grant a special birthday party on Friday. Held at the House of Magic in London, the Hacked Off pals were joined by the likes of Brian Cox, Elizabeth Hurley and Evgeny Lebedev.
When Lebedev donated £20,000 to Hacked Off back in 2013 — through a charity he established — the media mogul insisted that the money would not be used for the group’s campaign for a tougher press watchdog, then led by Grant. Mr S is glad to see this stipulation didn’t harm their friendship.