Thursday, 7 July 2011

News of the World: Yesterday’s news

Here’s a round up of Wednesday's main developments:

• The prime minister has bowed to pressure to hold at least one inquiry into illegal phone hacking at the News of the World. But he and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg are wrangling over the membership and status of that inquiry and a possible separate investigation into the future of media regulation. Clegg has called for a judge to take charge but Downing Street disagrees.

• The scandal intensified with the revelation that the families of members of the armed forces killed in Afghanistan and Iraq may have been targeted by a private investigator who hacked mobile phones for the News of the World. Officers at Scotland Yard investigating the allegations have contacted relatives.

• Scotland Yard has told the chancellor, George Osborne, that his name and home phone number appeared on notes kept by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and former News of the World reporter Clive Goodman. A spokesman for the chancellor said there was no suggestion his phone had been hacked.

• Rupert Murdoch has said that Rebekah Brooks will stay as chief executive of News International. In a statement, he said that she will be in charge of the corporation's efforts to restore its reputation.

• London mayor Boris Johnson has said that he wants the Independent Police Complaints Commission to play a role in investigating the Metropolitan police's failure to conduct the first phone hacking inquiry properly.

• Labour MP Tom Watson has said that the police should investigate James Murdoch for trying to pervert the course of justice. In a parliamentary debate on the scandal, Watson said: "It is clear now that he personally and without board approval authorised money to be paid by his company to silence people who have been hacked and to cover up criminal behaviour within his organisation. This is nothing short of an attempt to pervert the course of justice."

• Shares in News Corp and BSkyB fell as the phone-hacking scandal put Murdoch and his bid to take control of the broadcaster under scrutiny. News Corp shares fell by 5% at one stage on Wall Street, to $17.17. BSkyB shares in London closed 2.1% lower at 827p.

• Procter & Gamble, Britain's biggest advertiser, plus O2, Vauxhall, Butlins and Virgin Holidays joined Ford in pulling ads from this weekend's News of the World.

"Recent allegations of phone hacking and making payments to police with respect to the News of the World are deplorable and unacceptable. I have made clear that our company must fully and proactively cooperate with the police in all investigations and that is exactly what News International has been doing and will continue to do under Rebekah Brooks' leadership. We are committed to addressing these issues fully and have taken a number of important steps to prevent them from happening again."

The Guardian