Irvine to ban witness payments

Lord Irvine has pledged to introduce legislation to prohibit such chequebook journalism as soon as parliamentary time can be found for it.

He cited the case of pop star Gary Glitter who was found not guilty of sexual abuse charges after it emerged that the main prosecution witness, Allison Brown stood to be paid £25,000 by the News of the World if Glitter was convicted.

There was a "real risk