How Prescott became a key figure in long battle for truth

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The Independent Online

John Prescott has long condemned Scotland Yard's handling of the original investigation into hacking carried out by a private investigator working for the News of the World.

When police raided Glenn Mulcaire's home in Surrey in 2006, they found a piece of paper with the words "John Prescott" and "Hull", and two self-billing invoices for £250 from News International Supply Company to Mulcaire's company Nine Consultancy. These were marked "Story: Other Prescott Assist-TXT" and "Story: Other Prescott Assist-TXT Urgent".

Despite the seemingly pertinent evidence, the police did not contact the former deputy prime minister to warn him he may have been targeted by Mulcaire. He was alerted only by a newspaper report in July 2009 suggesting that he had been a victim of phone hacking. After repeatedly asking the police to divulge the Mulcaire evidence, officers did so only in December 2009.

Since then, Mr Prescott has been pursuing a judicial review of Scotland Yard's handling of the inquiry, along with three other similarly aggrieved parties: former Met Commander Brian Paddick, Labour MP Chris Bryant and Brendan Montague, a freelance journalist.

In a recent judgment, Justice Mitting rejected their argument that the police had breached their human rights by failing to investigate properly. Their lawyer, Tamsin Allen, of Bindmans, intends to put a fresh application before a judge sitting in open court.

Mr Prescott wrote last year: "It has always been my intention to discover the truth behind this case and whether the Metropolitan Police fulfilled its duty to follow all the lines of evidence.

"It is my belief they didn't and I hope the judicial review will finally reveal why justice not only was not done but was not seen to be done."