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Anorak | Phone Hacking Latest News: Rebekah Brooks In Bed With David Cameron And The Police

Phone Hacking Latest News: Rebekah Brooks In Bed With David Cameron And The Police

by | 6th, July 2011

THE phone hacking scandal: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the story of Rebekah Brooks and illegality at Rupert Murdoch’s News of The World: Today we wonder if the paper spied on the familes of two young girls murdered by Ian Huntley in Soham.

Daily Star (front page): “Holly & Jessica linked to Hacking scandal”

Daily Mail (front page): “News of the world hackers ‘targeted’ the parents of Holly & Jessica”

Daily Mirror (front page): “Soham families hijacked”

Independent (front page): “Brooks contacted Dowler private detective herself”

Telegraph (front page): Hackers snooped on Soham families”

The Guardian (front page): “Police review child murders as hacking outcry escalates”

Daily Express (front page): “New outrage as Soham parents are dragged into hacking scandal”

Who else might have been spied on?

The families of victims of the 7/7 bombings have been warned that they may have been the targets of phone hacking by News of the World journalists.

The Mail is guessing. But given that Milly Dowler’s phone and those of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman’s parents might have been spied on, the idea of the NoTW snooping on the victims and relatives of those murdered on 7/7 is all too believable.

And:

There was intense speculation that the newspaper might also have eavesdropped on Sara Payne, mother of eight-year-old Sarah, whose murder in 2000 prompted then editor Rebekah Brooks’s controversial campaign for the right to know if a paedophile is living locally…

The murder of a child was hijacked to sell newspapers? This is the NoTW, sister paper to the Sun, which made a land grab for Baby P’s grave and branded Jo Yeates with its logo. It’s been going on for years.

What will hurt the paper is losing money:

A spokesman for T-Mobile says:

“We’re currently reviewing our advertising position with News of the World, following the recent allegations, and await the outcome of the ongoing police investigation.”

Other advertisers are leaving. People are keen to distnace themselves from the stench. Prime Minister David Cameron lives near Rebekah Brooks. As he told us, Brooks is “married to a very old friend of mine“. He’s called Charlie Brooks. Like Cameron, he went to Eton.

Says Cameron:

“On the question about the really appalling allegations about the telephone of Milly Dowler, if they are true, this is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation. What I have read in the papers is quite, quite shocking – that someone could do this, knowing the police were trying to find this person and trying to find out what had happened.”

Indeed it is. The matter is to debated in the Commons. Labour will seek political gain. But they should tread carefully. Although Cameron did hire Andy Coulson to be his spin doctor. That is Coulson who edited the… News of The World. The Mail notes:

Operation Weeting is mainly focused on the News of the World’s activity during 2005 and 2006, by which time Rebekah Brooks had left the paper for the Sun. But the Dowler episode, in March 2002, happened while she was editor.

That’s when Labour leader Tony Blair – supported by the Sun and the NoTW – was Prime Minister.

So much for journalists talking truth to power.

Who else might have been targeted?

The case of Madeleine McCann is expected to be one of the first to be re-examined by detectives from Scotland Yard’s new inquiry into the phone hacking, Operation Weeting. Clarence Mitchell, Kate and Gerry McCann’s spokesman, said he has been interviewed by officers from the hacking inquiry Operation Weeting, and is due to be interviewed a second time in the near future. Other cases likely to be re-examined include 15-year-old Danielle Jones, who was abducted and murdered in East Tilbury, Essex, in 2001 by her uncle, Stuart Campbell.

Scotland Yard has seized files from Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working for the Sunday newspaper. Might there be revelations in those files about the police? Says Mulcaire:

“I want to apologise to anybody who was hurt or upset by what I have done… Much has been published in the media about me. Up to now, I have not responded publicly in any way to all the stories but in the light of the publicity over the last 24 hours, I feel I must break my silence. I want to apologise to anybody who was hurt or upset by what I have done. I’ve been to court. I’ve pleaded guilty. And I’ve gone to prison and been punished. I still face the possibility of further criminal prosecution.

“Working for the News of the World was never easy. There was relentless pressure. There was a constant demand for results. I knew what we did pushed the limits ethically. But, at the time, I didn’t understand that I had broken the law at all. A lot of information I obtained was simply tittle-tattle, of no great importance to anyone, but sometimes what I did was for what I thought was the greater good, to carry out investigative journalism.I never had any intention of interfering with any police inquiry into any crime. I know I have brought the vilification I am experiencing upon myself, but I do ask the media to leave my family and my children, who are all blameless, alone.”

Says Rebekah Brooks:

“It is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations. I am aware of the speculation about my position. Therefore it is important you all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues.”

Inconceivable that the woman in charge knew what was going on? She was doing her best, right? She was doing her best in a testing world – much like Sharon Shoesmith was doing her best when Brook’s Sun demanded that she be sacked. You see, the Sun – under Brooks – reasoned that the buck stopped with the boss.

One former News of the World journalist, Paul McMullan, alleges his editor knew of the phone hacking. Did Brooks know? Says McMullan:

“Of course she did.”

Brooks adds:

“I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened. Not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time, but if the accusations are true, the devastating effect on Milly Dowler’s family is unforgivable.”

All those investigative hacks looking for scoops and the paper employing them still doesn’t know what happened?

Brooks goes on:

“This morning, in our regular Operation Weeting meeting, we have offered the MPS our full co-operation to establish the veracity of these fresh allegations.”

The MPS is the Metropolitan Police Service. In April 2011, the BBC reported:

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) told a Commons committee in 2003 journalists “had paid police for information in the past”. Last week Mrs Brooks denied she had any “knowledge of any specific cases”.

Anyone wondering if the MPS might find a rat in their own ranks. Did the police – and this is an “inconceivable” flight of fancy – use the paper to help crack cases? Was information leaked and sold to the papers to apply pressure to a suspect?

One final point: had the NoTW used illegal means to find out what happened to Madeleine McCann, David Kelly or Holly Greig would we be talking of Brooks as a hero..?

 



Posted: 6th, July 2011 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink