James Blunt has hit out at Shadow Culture Minister Chris Bryant, calling him a ''classist gimp''.
James Blunt has called a prominent British politician a ''classist gimp''.
The 40-year-old musician was among the stars cited by Shadow Culture Minister Chris Bryant as an example of performers from privileged backgrounds dominating the arts in Britain.
However, James - who attended the prestigious Harrow School - has hit back, writing: ''Dear Chris Bryant MP, You classist gimp. I happened to go to a boarding school. No one helped me at boarding school to get into the music business.
Continue reading: James Blunt Blasts British Politician
James Blunt has gone on the offensive on Twitter.
James Blunt, the Harrow-educated creator of some of the world's dreariest pop songs, has accused the shadow culture minister Chris Bryant of being a "classist gimp" after the MP cited him as an example of performers coming from a privileged background.
James Blunt has called Christ Bryant MP a "classist gimp"
Blunt, 40, has written a latter arguing that his private education and background has actually hindered his success in the British music industry.
Continue reading: James Blunt Calls MP Chris Bryant "Classist Gimp" Over 'Posh' Remark
ritish MP Chris Bryant, who himself became the victim of voicemail hacking by reporters for Rupert Murdoch's now defunct Sunday tabloid News of the World, has urged the FBI to launch an investigation into the possibility that Murdoch may have violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars American companies from bribing foreign officials. Bryant, who won a sizable settlement from News Corp in the hacking scandal, was joined by colleague Tom Watson, who said that he has asked West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, to ensure that the FBI's investigations are not inhibited in going to the very top. On Thursday it was disclosed that Murdoch, during a meeting with a group of 24 journalists working for his London newspaper The Sun, appeared to admit that he was aware that it was accepted practice -- albeit illegal -- for journalists to pay police and other officials for information. During the meeting with the journalists, all of whom have been arrested on charges of bribing officers, one of them suggested that the company had been completely oblivious to the fact that the long-term practice of this company to pay public officials was illegal and had made the practice part of his job description Murdoch responded, Yeah. And one of these high-priced lawyers would say it's our fault, but that situation existed at every newspaper in Fleet Street [the onetime newspaper district of London]. When another reporter suggested that payments to police had been sanctioned by the paper before they had been hired, Murdoch replied, We're talking about payments for news tips from cops. That's been going on a hundred years, absolutely. Should any top-level official of News Corp be convicted of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the company could face revocation of all of its 27 U.S. television licenses. Indeed, there was relatively recent precedent for such action. In 1987, the FCC revoked the licenses of stations owned by RKO General after company officials were convicted of bribing foreign officials.
Last April, Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London and the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority (Scotland Yard), met with the then police commissioner -- equivalent to the chief of police -- and urged him to downsize his investigation into alleged voicemail hacking by reporters working for News of the World , the now-defunct tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Recalling the conversation, the former commissioner, Paul Stephenson, told the Leveson inquiry looking into the scandal that Malthouse "expressed a view that we should not be devoting this level of resources to the phone-hacking inquiry as a consequence of a largely political and media-driven 'level of hysteria.'" Stephenson said that he had no choice but to proceed given the revelations of wrongdoing that were likely to be unearthed in the civil cases filed against the newspaper. Stephenson's testimony triggered a demand by Labor MP Chris Bryant for Malthouse to resign. Bryant, himself a victim of the voicemail hackings, said, "This amounts to a clear political intervention designed to intimidate the Met into dropping an investigation."
Continue reading: Did Deputy Mayor Of London Try To Stymie Hacking Probe?
A day after News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch lifted the suspensions of ten arrested senior journalists working for his daily tabloid The Sun, he sent an email to the staff of the newspaper warning that he will not "protect people who have paid public officials." Underlining that resolve, he said, "We will obey the law. Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated at any of our publications." Inasmuch as the arrests of the Sun journalists had purportedly stemmed from evidence uncovered by an internal investigation by a News International panel, questions immediately arose as to whether Murdoch had been briefed on that evidence, and, if so, whether he had found it to be insufficient to warrant the continued suspension of the arrested journalists. Labor MP Chris Bryant, himself a victim of phone hacking by reporters for Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World , called the decision to lift the suspensions hypocritical and "massively premature." He noted that Murdoch's newspapers had "tirelessly campaigned" to have public officials charged with wrongdoing suspended from office. But human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson told Britain's Guardian newspaper on Saturday that News Corp has no obligation to turn over incriminating evidence to police and that doing so places reporters' confidential sources in jeopardy. "[He] is handing over journalists without ever asking them, or their Editors, or their executives who must have signed off on the payments, what they were doing and whether they were genuinely pursuing a public interest story. Any significant payment must have been approved by executives, and News Corp does not appear to have turned them over," Robertson said. Murdoch, who has flown to the U.K. to take charge of the ever-growing scandal and who said in his email to staff that he will remain there "for the next several weeks to give you my unwavering support," visited the editorial offices of The Sun on Saturday, chatted briefly with a few reporters, but made no formal statement. He was accompanied by his son Lachlan, something that in itself raised the additional question, where was son James, the chairman of News International, the umbrella group for Murdoch's London newspapers?
Continue reading: Murdoch Illegal Activities Will Not Be Tolderated
Did executives at the very top level of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp know about the illegal voicemail hacking that was taking place at the company's London tabloid News of the World ? Perhaps Murdoch himself? A judge hearing a number of test invasion-of-privacy cases has said that he will take evidence of possible senior-executive knowledge of the admitted hacking in deciding damages in those cases. His announcement during a pre-trial hearing came after an attorney representing actor Jude Law indicated that he intends to present evidence that a "very senior News of the World executive" was involved in the voicemail hacking. The judge, Geoffrey Vos, indicated that he intends to look into evidence gathered by a handful of plaintiffs and by Scotland Yard that persons at "the highest level" of News Corp may have encouraged the illegal activity. "It is one thing for a journalist to say, 'I am desperate to get a story' and another for a chief executive to say, 'I want to get greater profits by obtaining stories by using illegal means.'" Senior executives throughout Murdoch's media empire, including Murdoch himself, have continued to deny that they had any knowledge of the hacking and initially insisted that the activity was carried out by one "rogue" reporter, working with a private detective. Besides Law, the other test cases involve soccer commentator Andy Gray; Kelly Hoppen, a celebrity interior designer and the stepmother of actress Sienna Miller, who recently settled her claim against the tabloid for £100,000 (about $160,000); Sky Andrew, a sports agent whose clients include Hoppen's former boyfriend, Sol Campbell; and former Labor Party minister Chris Bryant.
Continue reading: Judge Wants To Know If Top News Corp Execs Knew About Hacking
Rupert Murdoch and his legal advisers may have hit upon a legal scheme that could contain the growing scandal over telephone hacking by his London newspapers -- in particular, his Sunday tabloid News of the World . Writing in today's (Wednesday) London Evening Standard , Roy Greenslade, a professor of journalism at City University London, notes that by making generous settlement offers to the alleged victims of the phone hacking, Murdoch's News International -- the umbrella group for his U.K. news operations -- could head off at the pass those litigants aiming to Expose a paper trail of evidence that could implicate higher-ups in the News Corp hierarchy. Greenslade writes that "legal eagles" have told him that if the litigants reject the settlement, "they could be declared to be vexatious litigants and even face accusations of abuse of process." But more importantly, they could also be blocked by "the Part 36 regime of the Civil Procedure Rules." That rule states that if a claimant receives less from the court than he is offered to settle the case, the claimant becomes liable for trial costs plus interest. One lawyer told Greenslade "The costs consequences of going to trial after a defendant has made a more than generous offer." Meanwhile, Chris Bryant, a Labor member of Parliament and a vocal critic of News International's handling of the hacking allegations, has himself filed suit against the news organization, claiming that he has evidence that the hacking of his phones began as early as 2003. Bryant told the London Independent, "I have been shown evidence which contains material relating to friends, my family and political colleagues."
Continue reading: Could Murdoch Keep A Lid On Growing Hacking Scandal?
News International CEO Rebekah Brooks maintains that her testimony to a committee of Parliament in 2003, when she was the editor of the London Sun , that police had been paid for information was misinterpreted. In a letter to the Home Affairs committee, which had asked her to provide details about such payments, Brooks said that she was merely commenting "generally on the widely held belief that payments had been made in the past to police officers. If, in doing so, I gave the impression that I had knowledge of any specific cases, I can assure you that this was not my intention." Published reports, however, noted that at the original hearing, Brooks, when asked whether such payments would continue, replied, "It depends." On Monday night, Chris Bryant, the Labor MP who questioned Brooks in 2003, told the London Independent , "We were gobsmacked [flabbergasted] at the time by how direct Rebekah Brooks had been. Now I am completely gobsmacked again."
Continue reading: News Corp Exec Backs Off From Earlier Claim
Former U.K. Labor minister Chris Bryant, who has claimed that his voicemails were hacked by Rupert Murdoch's London tabloid News of the World , faced down Scotland Yard's acting deputy commissioner John Yates during a Parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday, chastising Yates for lunching with the paper's former deputy editor, Neil Wallace in February shortly after the Yard said that it would reopen its investigation of alleged voicemail hacking by the NoW. Bryant, who is suing the tabloid, told Yates that such a meeting would likely give rise to the perception that the Yard was in collusion with the newspaper. Bryant had previously charged that the police agency had failed to follow evidence indicating that hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of voicemails of celebrities and politicians had been hacked by the newspaper. "The Met police have not helped themselves by having regular meals with senior executives at the News of the World , at the same time as they are meant to be investigating the News of the World . I think, to be honest, that is a conflict of interest," Bryant said.
Continue reading: U.k. Police Official Rapped For Lunching With Tabloid Editor
According to Cornelia Crisan, a Romanian singer who went public with an account of her two-year affair with actor Ralph Fiennes, the story was stolen by the London Sunday tabloid News of the World when it illegally hacked the voice mail messages of her publicist, Nicola Philips. Today's New York Times has published details of Crisan's lawsuit against the tabloid as apparent efforts to keep a lid on the growing Hackergate scandal by NoW 's owners, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, appear to be coming undone. In reporting on the lawsuit, the Times observed that it sheds "a stark and unflattering light on the newspaper's reliance on phone hacking as a standard reporting method" and further reveals "how in Britain's dog-eat-dog tabloid world, ethical reporters buy stories, but unethical ones steal them." And with predictions of additional lawsuits like Crisan's about to be filed, Labor MP Chris Bryant told the newspaper, "I think there's a massive scandal still to unfold."
Continue reading: New Lawsuit Filed In U.k.'S Hackergate Scandal