Editors involved in phone-hacking should be fired, says Lord Sugar

 

Editors and newspaper proprietors should face prison if their titles are found to have carried out phone hacking, the Labour peer and television personality Lord Sugar said yesterday.

The star of the BBC's The Apprentice said it was "ludicrous" to suggest that the editor of a national title did not know whether voicemail interception had been used to obtain stories.

His demand came amid renewed calls for a public inquiry into the phone hacking scandal and an announcement by Rupert Murdoch's News International that it has appointed a former High Court judge to preside over its compensation scheme for victims of eavesdropping by the News of the World.

Lord Sugar told the House of Lords: "In the past a journalist was actually given a custodial sentence for phone hacking. Isn't it the case that the editor is responsible for what goes in the newspaper and he also should be given a custodial sentence, and indeed the proprietor and the board of directors?"

Andy Coulson, editor of the NOTW from 2003 to 2007, resigned from his post in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal but has always denied having any knowledge of the practice under which Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective, obtained the confidential voicemail numbers of public figures.

One of those figures, actor Hugh Grant, revealed yesterday that he has to have his car swept for bugs because of the attention he gets from tabloid journalists. Asked about the measures he had to take to protect himself from intrusions into his privacy, Mr Grant told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: "You have to be careful how you arrange your mobile phone, who it's done through and who you give your number to, because they are on you all the time."

Operation Weeting, the third Scotland Yard investigation into hacking, is contacting large numbers of suspected victims of voicemail interception, including News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, to show them documentation seized from Mr Mulcaire.

Lord Fowler, the Conservative ex-Cabinet minister and former journalist on The Times, added to calls for an inquiry into illegal newsgathering and described phone hacking as a "massive conspiracy against the public".

In a move aimed at curtailing the civil phone-hacking cases against the NOTW, News International revealed details of its compensation scheme, including an offer to add an extra 10 per cent in damages to any settlement in return for avoiding the cost of court proceedings.

The company said Sir Charles Gray, a former High Court judge who once presided over the NOTW's match-fixing libel battle with the Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar, will act as the independent adjudicator for the scheme, assessing how much a court would have ordered in damages to each victim.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Julian Pike, the senior lawyer at Farrer & Co who was leading News International's defence, has gone on a three-month sabbatical "for personal reasons".

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives his annual televised question-and-answer session
peopleBizarre TV claim
Arts & Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'
tv
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
life
Life & Style
fashion
News
weird news
Sport
Pablo Larrazabal jumps into a pond in Kuala Lumpur to escape a swarm of hornets
videoSpain's Pablo Larrazabal's had a refreshing solution
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Sport
Jonathan Trott will take a second break from cricket after suffering a repeat of the stress-related illness that forced him out of the Ashes tour of Australia
sport
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit