Archive for September 3rd, 2010
From The Guardian
Andy Coulson, the No 10 communications chief, found himself in the direct line of fire in the News of the World phone hacking scandal tonight when a former colleague alleged that he issued direct orders to journalists to carry out the illegal practice.
As former home secretary Alan Johnson demanded the right to be able to review government papers relating to the police investigation, Coulson stood accused of presiding over a “culture of dark arts” which encouraged phone hacking.
The hacking scandal blew up again this week after the New York Times published a lengthy article including the claim that Coulson freely discussed the use of unlawful news-gathering techniques during his time as editor of the tabloid. Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World after its royal reporter and a private investigator were jailed. He denies any knowledge of phone hacking.
But a former News of the World journalist quoted by the New York Times repeated his claim tonight that he had been ordered by the former editor to tap phones. Sean Hoare told BBC Radio 4′s PM: “There is an expression called the culture of dark arts. You were given a remit: just get the story. Phone tapping hadn’t just existed on the News of the World. It was endemic within the whole industry. I have gone on the record in the New York Times and said I have stood by Andy and been requested to tap phones, OK, or hack into them. He was well aware the practice existed. To deny it is simply a lie…”
From The Guardian
The government tonight came under pressure to set up a judicial inquiry into the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World after the paper confirmed that it has suspended a journalist while it investigates new allegations of the unlawful interception of voicemail.
The prime minister’s media adviser, Andy Coulson, has denied a report in the New York Times which claimed he freely discussed the use of unlawful news-gathering techniques when he was editing the paper and “actively encouraged” a named reporter to engage in illegal interception of voicemail messages. Coulson has always denied knowing of any illegal activity by his journalists.
Scotland Yard, too, found itself in the firing line after the New York Times quoted unnamed detectives alleging they had cut short their investigation because of their close relationship with the News of the World. A group of four public figures, including former deputy prime minister John Prescott, is poised to sue police over a failure to warn them they had been targeted by the private investigator at the centre of the scandal, Glenn Mulcaire.
The Guardian has learned that the Metropolitan police commissioner at the time of the original investigation, Sir Ian Blair, was among those whose names were found in material seized from Mulcaire, raising questions about whether officers who were directly involved in the investigation had discovered that they, too, had been targets of the newspaper. It is understood Blair was assured at the time that his phone had not been hacked.