MP threatens to lift lid on 'enormous issues' in phone-hacking case

Martin Hickman
Monday 07 March 2011 01:00

A Labour MP will make new claims this week about the extent of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal during a House of Commons debate which threatens to deepen the controversy engulfing Rupert Murdoch's News International.

Chris Bryant, a shadow minister who is taking legal action over an alleged failure by Scotland Yard properly to investigate the illegal eavesdropping of voicemails, said the true nature of the scandal remained unclear and raised important questions about democracy in Britain.

Mr Bryant has secured a 30-minute Commons debate on Thursday which will include a formal government response. He said: "It has become apparent that the extent of phone hacking is greater than either News Corporation or the News of the World have admitted to. Indeed, it would seem it was far more substantial than that found by the original investigation that the Metropolitan Police could be bothered to mount." The Rhondda MP said "enormous issues" had been raised by the scandal, which led to the jailing in 2007 of the private detective Glenn Mulcaire and NOTW's royal editor Clive Goodman.

A team of 45 Metropolitan Police detectives is leading a fresh investigation to determine whether Mulcaire was eavesdropping on individuals beyond the eight people he has already admitted to targeting. Mr Bryant is one of four people, along with the former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, seeking a judicial review of the failure of the Yard to inform them that they were likely victims of Mulcaire.

"There is also the political aspect of all this," Mr Bryant added. "What was the purpose behind all this phone hacking? Ultimately, I think its purpose was murky and nefarious. It raises questions of just who runs Britain."

Last week Tom Watson, a defence minister in the last government, told the Commons he believed evidence existed implicating journalists working for The Times and The Sunday Times and said he believed The Sun printed a story that may have been based on hacked conversations. News International said it did not believe Mr Watson had evidence to support the claims.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in