Will Hackergate Become Murdoch's Watergate?

One day after Rupert Murdoch's News Corp shut down the 168-year-old News of the World, its most profitable newspaper, following allegations of illegal snooping by a private detective and reporters working for it, it appeared that the company had not shut down the scandal. Indeed, Prime Minister David Cameron said today (Friday) that police were likely to question Murdoch's son James, News Corp's deputy COO, and Rebekah Brooks, the head of News International, the umbrella group for Murdoch's U.K. news operations. Scotland Yard, he indicated, would want to ask them about their role, if any, in the spying, which mostly involved accessing the voicemail of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of British citizens, many of them prominent celebrities and politicians, but also other ordinary citizens, including a murdered child and soldiers slain in Iraq. "It won't be a question of whether they have jobs or whether they are going to resign from those jobs, it's a question of whether they are going to be prosecuted, whether they are going to be convicted, whether they are going to be punished. That is what is going to happen," he said. In what is likely to be the first of many mea culpas, the prime minister conceded that he may have promoted a close relationship between himself and the two Murdochs. "The regret I have -- the problem we are all now identifying is that leading politicians feel so strongly about wanting that relationship -- not just with the Murdochs but with every broadcasting organization, we don't actually stop and spend enough time asking -- 'is this organization behaving properly?'" Cameron has come under fire for defending his former press secretary, Andy Coulson, who was editor of News of the World at the time much of the voicemail hacking was being conducted. Although he resigned from his government job in January, Coulson has consistently denied that he knew anything at all about the hacking -- something disputed by several former News of the World reporters who worked for him. This morning, Coulson was arrested on charges of conspiring to intercept communications and on making "inappropriate payments to police." In his statement announcing the shutdown of News of the World , James Murdoch appeared to acknowledge that he had approved making millions of dollars in settlements to victims of the phone hackings in order to thwart a criminal investigation. "The company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret." But Labor MP Tom Watson, one of the most prominent voices in Parliament to condemn the hacking, said today, "News International has entered the criminal underworld... James Murdoch should be suspended from office while the police now investigate what I believe was his personal authorization to plan a cover-up of this scandal."



Tags: David Cameron - Tom Watson - Underworld


More David Cameron

David Cameron Announces Age Classification for Music Videos

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that online music videos will carry and age classification from October. Videos on YouTube and Vevo will carry the...

Gary Barlow's Charity Work Enough to Retain OBE, Insists David Cameron

David Cameron isn’t doing much to shake his ‘help the rich, ignore the poor’ reputation. The British Prime Minister has insisted that Gary Barlow –...

David Cameron Making World War I Album With Danny Dyer. Yep.

Prime Minister David Cameron has teamed up with Eastenders star Danny Dyer to record an official World War I centenary album of spoken words and...

World Of Cinema Mourns The Death Of Academy President Tom Sherak

Today the world of cinema mourns the death of Tom Sherak, studio executive and former Academy president. On Tuesday it was announced that Sherak had...


What Does Russell Brand Think of David Cameron? Have a Guess

While Russell Brand’s thoughts on British Prime Minister are pretty easy to predict, it’s funny to actually hear them. The 38-year-old comedian was forthright with...

Pride Of Britain Awards 2013: A Glamorous Affair As UK Unsung Heroes Honoured [Pictures]

This year's Pride of Britain Awards were a bigger and brighter event than ever, as 2013 showed that there are more an more reasons to...

Jeremy Paxman Scolds David Cameron For Celebrating Catastrophic WWI

Jeremy Paxman has criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for comments he made about Britain celebrating the centenary of World War I. In a speech in...

Worst Endorsement Ever? David Cameron Gives Benedict Cumberbatch the Thumbs Up For 'The Fifth Estate'

Oh, the humility. It’s like a posh uncle defending the indefensible. While the critics have essentially blasted Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Fifth Estate, which tells the...



David Cameron Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on David Cameron

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All