Sunday, 6 December 2009

Phone hacking: The story that just won't die

The Government has been asked to confirm that the voicemail messages of a cabinet minister were the subject of attempts at illegal hacking, the Independent on Sunday reports today.
It says Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne has tabled a question in the House of Commons asking the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to admit that an investigator working for the News of the World eavesdropped on messages left on the mobile phone of Tessa Jowell when she was Secretary of State at the DCMS.
In January 2007, Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, and Clive Goodman, the News of the World's former royal reporter, were convicted of hacking into the voicemails of Princes William and Harry.
Huhne's question asks Ben Bradshaw, the current incumbent at the DCMS, "what discussions [his] predecessor had in 2006 with the Metropolitan Police regarding their inquiry into the hacking of her mobile telephone by Glenn Mulcaire on behalf of the News of the World newspaper, and to inquire what assistance, if any, was given".
Speaking to the Independent on Sunday, Huhne said: "I believe there has been much more hacking of phones beyond the hacking of royal mobiles, for which Goodman and Mulcaire were convicted. Ministers should come forward if they have been told that it is likely their phones have been hacked. The NoW has always said this was a bad apple in the newsroom, but if hacking is proved to have extended to such a senior victim, it would suggest this must have been known at the highest level of the newspaper."
The IoS article also says that footballer Sol Campbell has instructed his solicitor to contact the police in connection with possible hacking of his voicemails and a spokesman for the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has confirmed suggestions he was contacted by police – when he was an MP and shadow minister – and was told they had reason to believe his phone might have been hacked.

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