Leading article: Anyone upwardly mobile has more than one phone


As the Leveson Inquiry into media standards draws towards its final phase, revelations that James Murdoch and other News International executives had second phones – and questions about the messages that may have been on them – are disturbing MPs.

Excitement has been heightened by reports that the bill for the "secret" phones came to thousands of pounds a month, and that the bills went up sharply after the Prime Minister announced the Leveson Inquiry last July. At least one MP has asked News International to explain why its executives needed two phones.

Aren't MPs, not to put too fine a point, revealing their age in sounding so shocked by the whole second-phone business? Owning several mobile phones is hardly the prerogative of Gulf monarchs these days, and one might have thought it was obvious that Mr Murdoch had more than just a BlackBerry.