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Hugh Grant condemns Secrets Act use

Hollywood star Hugh Grant has condemned police efforts to force journalists to disclose confidential sources.

The British actor said Scotland Yard's decision to use the Official Secrets Act against the Guardian was "worrying and deeply mysterious".

Grant, who has been a high-profile critic of invasions of privacy by the press, also suggested that the Tories might be using the Leveson Inquiry into media standards to "bash the BBC".

The comments came in a press conference at the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham. Flanked by representatives from the Hacked Off campaign, Grant was asked about the controversial bid by new Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe to obtain details of sources for phone-hacking stories.

"It is a very worrying, upsetting development," he said. "Generally speaking in this I had come to the view, a lot of us victims had come to the view, that this new police investigation Weeting... were good cops. So for them to suddenly turn on their fellow 'goodies' in this battle is worrying and deeply mysterious."

Grant said he would be meeting Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg later and was also planning to attend similar events at the Conservative and Labour conferences.

He said politicians appeared to have "grown balls" over phone-hacking and other abuses back in July, and he wanted to see who had kept them.

He praised Labour MP Tom Watson's cross-examination of Rupert and James Murdoch and other News International figures, but expressed "slight disappointment" with the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee's performance in general.

Grant also questioned why broadcasters had been included in the terms of reference for the Leveson Inquiry, saying it seemed to be a "Tory plot against the BBC".

He added: "The inquiry already has an awful lot to do and I do not see egregious breaches in the broadcast media... The rumour I heard was it was a Tory thing to bash the BBC."

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