Category Archives: Met Police

Nick Davies on phone hacking and the police – video

The Guardian’s Nick Davies, who has reported extensively on the phone-hacking scandal, gives his views on the Met’s evidence at the home affairs select committee

http://www.guardian.co.uk/video/embed

Fresh allegations in phone hacking case: will the Met now widen its remit?

“News Corporation has shaped global media by ensuring the public’s needs are met and that our offerings are of the highest calibre. Today, hundreds of millions of people around the world trust us for the best quality and choice in news, sports and entertainment. This public trust is our Company’s most valuable asset: one earned every day through our scrupulous adherence to the principles of integrity and fair dealing.” 

Extract from Rupert Murdoch’s letter to News Corp staff introducing the company’s ‘Standards of Business Conduct’.

Yesterday in the House of Commons, during Prime Minister’s Questions, Tom Watson used Parliamentary Privilege to reveal further allegations, adding to a growing mountain, in the increasingly widely publicised phone-hacking case.

A BBC recording of his question and David Cameron’s reply can be found here.

Clegg, Cameron, Osborne listening to Tom Watson’s question at PMQs

Press reports written following Tom Watson’s allegations yesterday are here:




And:


On the BBC Radio 4’s World at One with Martha Kearney, the latest developments in the case can be heard in an IPlayer recording at approximately 16minutes 16 seconds  here.
An article on the Sky News website mentions the new allegations by Tom Watson and has a video clip, here. 
Most of these sources report that News Corp have denied there is any truth in what was revealed by Tom Watson yesterday in the House of Commons:

“A spokesman for News International, the News of the World’s parent company, said: “It is well documented that Jonathan Rees and Southern Investigations worked for a whole variety of newspaper groups. “With regards to Tom Watson’s specific allegations, we believe these are wholly inaccurate. The Met Police, with whom we are co-operating fully in Operation Weeting, have not asked us for any information regarding Jonathan Rees.
“Tom Watson MP made these allegations under parliamentary privilege.”- Telegraph.

The Metropolitan Police spokesman said yesterday, as reported in the Guardian:

“[We] can confirm that since January 2011 the MPS [Metropolitan police service] has received a number of allegations regarding breach of privacy which fall outside the remit of Operation Weeting. These allegations are currently being considered.”

As these new allegations and slivers of information emerge, it becomes increasingly obvious that phone-hacking and the News of the World may be the tip of an enormous iceberg, involving many more journalists, criminals, newspapers and methods of intercepting information. 

We are watching, perhaps, the denouement of a murky plot with far-reaching and dramatic consequences. 


Will we eventually witness the disappearance of not only criminal methods of news gathering but of the equally harmful character assassinations in the name of the ‘public interest’ such as this, reported today?:

Sun apology and damages to Baby P social worker

A social worker targeted by The Sun in its Justice for Baby P campaign has received an apology and substantial damages.

Full story here.

Yet another apology wrung from the News Corp stable of titles, this time by the Press Complaints Commission.

Many, many more links and lots of information regarding the phone-hacking saga and Rupert Murdoch and those close to him can be found if you click the relevant tab above this blogpost. 

Many, many more will, no doubt, be added in the future..!

Updated – 9th June 2011:

Tonight, writing in the Guardian, Tom Watson has made an impassioned plea for those Labour MPs, Shadow Ministers, who were also victims of the News of the World hackers to come forward and ‘speak out’.

He writes:

“Yet it’s not just the Conservative prime minister who could do with a spine replacement. It’s the former Labour ministers who were allegedly hacked by News International’s private investigators who have made secret, out of court settlements with the company. I want to be clear to my parliamentary colleagues (in the Lords and Commons): if you were the target of a News International private investigator you have a democratic duty to speak out. You owe it to yourselves to put an end to a toxic media culture that allows journalists to think it acceptable to hack the phones of the families of murder victims.”

If these people were to publicly denounce the practices employed by the editors, journalists, hackers, newspaper proprietors etc, they would not only be helping those mentioned by Tom Watson in his article, – they would be helping to restore to health the democracy of this country. 

They owe it to us, the ordinary people, who need honest, principled reporting and unmanipulated facts to enable us to make decisions as to who represent us in Parliament. 
 
I add my plea to that of Tom Watson.

The Met, The Media & Bereaved Families…

I would hope that you will join me in being absolutely outraged by the actions considered to have been possibly undertaken by newspapers who appear to have essentially arranged the hacking of phones of bereaved parents of girls who were abducted and murdered.  http://is.gd/yr9cCH  and  http://is.gd/A1JiOF.

Following months and years of allegations, rumours, challenges, sniggers, sneers, procrastinations and denials we are now seeing that further questions merely bring about further questions ! This whole saga is becoming murkier and murkier…  who would want to touch it ?  But at what cost do we not touch it…. ?

This saga began with a few people concerned that their phones had been hacked realising that stories printed could only have been ascertained via their mobiles. Since those days the story has grown to such an extent that we are now questioning the actions and motives of all those involved from journalists, private investigators, newspaper editors, owners of big media organisations, The Met, latterly the Director of Public Prosecutions and even the PM has been brought into it !  The British Prime Minister !! Excuse me..  but whatever political party we may or may not belong to the Office of the Prime Minister has been brought into question. Private dinners, inviting Murdoch through the back door not the front door of No 10. What does that say ?  And let’s not forget Coulson…  he was there at the beginning of this tale – will he be there when we get to the end ?  When the DPP & a Senior Officer of the Met start throwing accusations at each other, as alleged, then there are serious questions…  we need the answers !

I believe this has become very serious. In fact I would go so far as to say there is an odour… an odour of corruption about this whole affair.  I thought this a while ago but the latest headlines, where innocent, distressed, bereaved families have been targeted, just takes it to a different level.  Before this, I feel there may have been a question mark amongst the public, ordinary people who go about their daily lives never questioning that they could be targeted, believing such happenings were the territory of the rich and famous.  But how wrong can an assumption be…   I feel people will now start to sit up and take notice.  I hope so because there are far-reaching implications.

But what can we do about it?  Write to every newspaper editor,write to the DPP, petition the PM, contact the police… ?  But hang on – these are the people/organisations who are involved in this scandal !  Get my point ?

No, we support those who are trying to get to the bottom of this whole sordid, pernicious affair.  We show our support for Tom Watson and Chris Bryant !  They are our representatives on this.  And whilst pursuing, their lives might not be so easy…  they deserve our support ! They, along with those who are taking legal action, rather than accepting pay-offs, are the one’s who will lead us to the truth… and importantly, by doing so, hopefully restore our faith in our long trusted institutions…  

Finally, I cannot say how sick I feel that these parents may have been targeted…