Cameron Calls for Tabloid Phone Hacking Inquiry
David Cameron, the British prime minister, has vowed that an inquiry will be conducted into the phone hacking at newspaper News of the World, as well as into why police didn’t investigate it. This comes as more allegations were published in the media on Wednesday that the News Corporation-owned paper recorded murder victims’ voicemails, as well as those belonging to their families. They are also said to have paid police for stories.
The phone hacking scandal was widely revealed on Monday, when the Guardian reported that a private detective working for the newspaper deleted messages from Milly Dowler’s voicemail. This was a schoolgirl who was murdered in 2002, and now detectives are said to have contacted the parents of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells - 2 other girls who were murdered the same year. The families of the July 7, 2005 victims have also been notified as phone hacking targets.
On Wednesday, Cameron spoke to lawmakers in Parliament, saying that an inquiry needs to be carried out to possibly find out what happened. This is ‘absolutely disgusting’ that murder victims have been targeted by phone hacking, and he’s sure everybody will be revolted.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has condemned the actions of News of the World as well. He calls for News International chief executive and former editor Rebekah Brooks to resign. News International is the unit of News Corporation that publishes the paper. Miliband told lawmakers that this shows an abuse of the system and the exercise of power without responsibility. He has also demanded that New Corporation’s bid to takeover British Sky Broadcasting Group (BskyB) be referred to the Competition Commission.
News Corporation already owns 4 of the biggest newspapers in the UK. The government is currently reviewing its £7.8 billion bid for the last 61% of BskyB. Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to finish a consultation on the bid this week.