Chris Bryant joins Labour Party’s silent chorus on Mirror Group phone hacking crimes
The Mirror Group titles have been found guilty of phone hacking. We’ve been listening out for what Labour MP Chris Bryant has to say about it. When Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was found guilty of the same, Bryant, a phone-hacking victim, was verbose and demanding:
“They argued for a long time that there were very few victims – that there was just one rogue reporter – that they had done a full investigation and all that proves to be untrue. One of my anxieties is the police didn’t do a full investigation in 2006, 2009 and 2010 when lots of people were calling for a full investigation. Consequently we still don’t know the full level of the criminality that went on at the News of the World and in fact many of the victims themselves don’t know they were involved.I think this is just the beginning of the story. I’m seeking a judicial review of the Metropolitan Police’s activity. I have a big anxiety about why the Metropolitan Police didn’t do a proper investigation themselves.”
“The next thing is, I’m writing to all the non-executive directors, including the former Spanish Prime Minister Mr Aznar and others of News Corp, to ask them what they knew, when they knew it, what actions they took to ensure that their newspaper was complying with police investigations,” Bryant told Reuters yesterday. “What did the directors do to check on what Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson said about phone hacking back in 2003, and did they know about hush money that was paid? This company has shown itself completely unable to act within the law, and if it’s not able to do that, if it’s true as the police said on Tuesday that they had deliberately thwarted the police investigation, then I think they shouldn’t have any share in a British media organisation.”
“Leave aside the original criminality of hacking people’s phones – including the victims of crime who never asked to be brought into the public domain at all – it’s the cover-up, the lies. ‘This was just one reporter,’ ‘This was just one newspaper,’ when actually we know it was endemic in the whole of News International.”
They were “drunk on power”:
“There was a major cover-up at News International which stretched right up to the very highest levels of the company, as we know even up to James Murdoch.And that, in the end, I suspect, will prove to have been the biggest crime.”
He knew where the buck stopped:
“This is designed to try and protect Rebekah Brooks, and I believe that if she had a shred of decency after what we have heard about Milly Dowler’s phone being hacked, which happened on her watch as editor, she should have resigned by now. Everything that’s been announced today just goes to show that there’s been a cover-up, that Parliament has been misled, that police have been corrupted, that police investigations were undermined. This strategy of chucking first journalists, then executives and now a whole newspaper overboard isn’t going to protect the person at the helm of the ship.”
Chris Bryant has been far less vocal about the Labour-supporting Mirror’s crimes.
If they have it their way, our MPs will control the free press.