British M.p. Charges Hacking Scandal Is Being Covered Up
Tom Watson, a Labor Party member of Parliament, charged on Wednesday that Scotland Yard was attempting to limit its investigation of illegal hacking of voicemails conducted by Rupert Murdoch's London tabloid News of the World . Speaking in the House of Commons, Watson charged that former Prime Minister Tony Blair was among numerous politicians and celebrities targeted by private investigator Jonathan Rees, who allegedly received £150,000 (about $250,000) a year under a contract with the tabloid to provide information, sometimes obtained illegally, about public figures. Britain's Guardian newspaper alleged today (Thursday) that Rees's additional suspected targets included Kate Middleton, Prince Edward, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and George Michael, among others. The newspaper indicated that police had seized "boxloads" of paperwork from Rees but have failed to inspect them. However, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told the BBC today that officers are assessing the "considerable information in their possession to see whether the available evidence would support further criminal investigations." Addressing Prime Minister David Cameron, Watson said on Wednesday, "Prime minister, I believe powerful forces are attempting a cover-up. Please tell me what you intend to do to make sure this doesn't happen." Cameron assured him that Scotland Yard is free to "look at any evidence and all evidence they can find." In a statement, News International, the umbrella group for News Corp's news operations in the U.K., called Watson's allegations "wholly inaccurate" and said that police "have not asked us for any information regarding Jonathan Rees." Rees was recently acquitted of the murder of his business partner, Daniel Morgan, who reportedly was about to expose police corruption at the time he was slain.