The Media Standards Trust has today given its full support to calls for a judicial inquiry into the allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World.
It said in a statement: "Tom Watson MP, a member of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, yesterday wrote to Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Mr Watson argued that the allegations published by the New York Times – that ‘one of the country’s most powerful newspapers was routinely listening in on its citizens’ contrary to evidence given to the CMS select committee by Andy Coulson and Les Hinton, and that the police colluded with News International – constitute ‘clear grounds for a judicial enquiry’. The MST wholeheartedly agrees.
"Mr Watson also calls for the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate the ‘serious allegation’ of collusion. The MST agrees."
The MST added: "We believe strongly in the principle of a self-regulated press, but given the new allegations made by the New York Times and the failure of the press to confront the issue of phone-hacking, we believe that only an independent judicial inquiry with full subpoena powers can now bring all the facts to light."
Sir David Bell, chair of the MST, said: “We believe strongly that it is critical for all the facts surrounding this issue to be made public. In view of what has happened we believe that a judicial inquiry must be the right way forward and that it should begin at once.”