Ian Burrell: So much for the theory of a 'rogue reporter'

Share
Related Topics

With its dismissal of Ian Edmondson, News International abandoned the mantra it has chanted for four years: that phone hacking carried out by the News of the World was the work of a "rogue reporter". That was the line from January 2007, when the paper's royal editor, Clive Goodman, was jailed for illegally intercepting the royal household's messages.

Andy Coulson, the paper's editor, agreed to resign while denying any knowledge of illegal activities. He didn't go straight away – when Goodman was jailed, Coulson simply promised to make a donation to a charity chosen by the royal princes. Four years later, dozens of alleged victims of the hacking – almost all high-profile figures – have lodged legal actions against Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire in the High Court.

The rogue reporter theory is in tatters. Goodman did not act alone. His co-defendant, Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, contributed to 609 calls made to the phones of royal staff. But Mulcaire's £105,000-a-year contract was not authorised by the rogue reporter but by Greg Miskiw. Mr Miskiw would argue that he knew nothing of Mulcaire's methods, just as Mr Edmondson, who succeeded Mr Miskiw as head of the newsroom in late 2005, has maintained he is innocent of any involvement in phone hacking. But News International decided yesterday to fire Mr Edmondson, who was suspended from his role as assistant editor (news) in December.

Scotland Yard, which reopened its investigation yesterday, will examine fresh information along with documentation that includes Mulcaire's notes marked "For Clive", "For Ian" and "For Greg".

In December, the Crown Prosecution Service abandoned an investigation into allegations that Mr Coulson was personally involved in phone hacking as editor of the News of the World. But the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, announced this month that the CPS was conducting "a comprehensive assessment of the material in the possession of the Met... following developments in the civil courts".

Last week Mr Coulson resigned as director of communications for the Prime Minister. He still denied involvement in phone hacking.

News International's position has changed. One reporter, Dan Evans, was suspended last year on allegations of fresh phone hacking. He remains suspended. Yesterday the company concluded its inquiry into Mr Edmondson by sacking him. "News International reiterates that it will take swift and decisive action when we have proof of wrongdoing," it stated. The rogue reporter theory no longer holds water.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The power of anonymity lies in the freedom it grants

Boyd Tonkin
Rebel fighters walk in front of damaged buildings in Karam al-Jabal neighbourhood of Aleppo on August 26, 2014.  

The Isis threat must be confronted with clarity and determination

Ed Miliband
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone