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Do you welcome new phone-hacking probe?

15:29 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

MPs have backed calls for a fresh parliamentary investigation into allegations of phone hacking by journalists. Is there a need for the new investigation?

At the end of a debate on the issue, MPs agreed that the Standards and Privileges Committee should hold an inquiry into the matter.

Earlier in the week, the home secretary, Theresa May, said the police must be allowed to deal with new allegations about phone hacking at the News of the World.

The former editor of the paper, Andy Coulson, has rejected claims that he knew his reporters were involved in hacking into people's voicemails.

Do you think the new probe will be beneficial or that the original investigation should stand? Do you think the row has been overtaken by politics?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    If there's new evidence of course it should.

  • Comment number 2.

    I can't remember the original case but if more evidence has been found, then yes it should be reinvestigated.

  • Comment number 3.

    After being featued on the BBC's own Newswipe i thought it was well known that newspapers - with the aid of telephone engineers i might add - tap the phones of celbrities/ other prominent figures

  • Comment number 4.

    Andy Coulson has now become the 'story', a very big story.

    This story is just going to run and run and whether Coulson is guilty or not, he needs to go now. The government’s task is difficult enough already without being saddled with this totally unnecessary distraction.

    Further, it was idiotic of Cameron to employ this 'walking story' in the first place. Cameron needs to stop looking so pleased with himself and up his game, and he needs to do this quickly.

  • Comment number 5.

    How is it that just because he's Sir J Prescott he can demand a judicial review? I'd like to see anyone on these boards get a judicial review on any subject no matter how important.
    I'd like to have a judicial review on the legal right to religious belief, i've got about as much chance as a chocolate fireguard has of stopping a forest fire.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes of course it should, not a witch hunt or a coverup. Just the truth, but I can't help thinking 'Watergate'

  • Comment number 9.

    There's new evidence and new people come forward, so of course it should. Alan Duncan's attempts to spin this as some spat between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are just that, a puerile bit of spin. In fact it seems some of the most researched reporting about matters in UK these days comes from the New York Times, and they should keep at it.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    I wonder when David Davis is going to resign and cause a by-election over this issue?
    Hell will freeze over before Cameron orders an enquiry into Coulson's alleged involvement.
    Open politics - yeah, right.

  • Comment number 12.

    As Ms May said, let the police reopen the investigation if there are grounds for so doing. She should not do anything herself yet, as that would be political interference in a police investigation.

    She should also as the police whether they think they should look into what the previous home secretary did, as he must have been reassured that no other evidence was available.

    I'd also like her get them to reopen the "cash for questions" file, and see if we can get to the bottom of that criminal affair. Also, the Lords' expenses files, as I felt that some of them managed to evade prosecution.

    I'd also like the police to investigate the destruction of Tony Blair's expenses records.

  • Comment number 13.

    Sean Hoare has made some very serious allegations against Andy Coulson and yes these should be investigated fully.

    Sean Hoare has also admitted to a crime and for that he should be arrested and if necessary prosecuted too along with anyone else found to have broken the law.

    As long as the British people buy into the tripe that is dished up by the likes of Murdoch and the other Gutter Press Barons they will continue to provide such drivel.

    The honeymoon is now over for Cameron and normal politics have been resumed.

  • Comment number 14.

    Are Nick Robinson's comments evidence - or merely 'journalism' - that he still has strong conservative sympathies?

  • Comment number 15.

    If he did not know he was too stupit to be editor.. If he did know then he liar..

  • Comment number 16.

    Npd McNpd wrote:
    There's new evidence and new people come forward, so of course it should. Alan Duncan's attempts to spin this as some spat between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are just that, a puerile bit of spin. In fact it seems some of the most researched reporting about matters in UK these days comes from the New York Times, and they should keep at it.

    It's interesting that mr Duncan should raise the issue of the 'SPAT' between the NYT and WSJ, the later being the property of one mr R Murdoch, who was also the boss of mr Coulson whilst editor of the NoW.

    Could it be that Mr Duncan is trying to protect the 'once again!' tory supporting mr Murdoch.

    It has been suggested that Coulson’s resignation in effect prevented a thorough investigation of the Goodman affair by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), and ensured mr Murdoch would not have to answer difficult questions about the activities of his British newspapers, at a time when he was under intense scrutiny in the US.

  • Comment number 17.

    People should read the NYT article about this, its an excellent piece.

  • Comment number 18.

    If new evidence comes to light then yes open the investigation.
    It won't and the Condems won't because they are too scared to admit that mr C might have made a big mistake that could come and bite him on the bum.

  • Comment number 19.

    Don't understand the question. What do you mean by 'should the police be allowed' to investigate a crime'. Is that not their duty?

  • Comment number 20.

    Why was it when Labour were in government, they passed legislation to allow the police and other authorities to have the power to track and monitor individuals? Seems strange that Labour MP's are up in arms because their own mobile phones have been allegedly hacked in to. Sounds a bit like the kettle calling the pot black.

  • Comment number 21.

    Of course they should -after all we live in a country that is full of people that demand an inquiry into everything under the sun. I think a public inquiry at the very least!

    Maybe we should just accept that politicians associate with journalists who think that telephone bugging is a normal run of the mill activity that is above the law and that the law agrees with this view. Nah! lets have an inquiry!

  • Comment number 22.

    Of course it should. Several thousand public figures illegally spied on, the Met refuses to take any further a number of requests for information, the Met fails to even talk to a major suspect, £100,000s paid to people at the paper, the guy in charge says he didn't know of any of it and now is the Tories' High Command. It takes a foreign newspaper to get anywhere as the UK press is in bed with the Conservatives as usual. COME ON ! Smells of some very large rodents.
    and hope justice is served.
    Four months in and an absolute STENCH around the Tories, yet again.
    And some very sinister implications about the UK establishment.

  • Comment number 23.

    Not if my tax money is being wasted on it. Clearly the Labour party has already decided who the new leader is, judging by the amount of time they spend on spinning trivial gossip about the government.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    (Yawn) Who on earth can get excited about this? We don't know who knew what, whether anyone is likely to find out, or what's likely to happen if they do. Surely there are more interesting things going on?

  • Comment number 26.

    Of course the government is right; if there is new evidence the case should be reopened and investigated.

  • Comment number 27.

    This has become almost accepted as the 'norm' nowadays. In many cases it is neccessary EG: for terrorism & criminal reasons. It is therefore not really surprising that this 'tool' is used for other purposes. As far as I'm concerned - since I have nothinbg to hide - it does not worry me.
    Perhaps those that act in a more nefarious way should rethink their behaviour - rather than worrry that they have been 'found out'...

  • Comment number 28.

    If a crime has been committed, then the police have a duty to appropriately investigate it. It is as simple as that. I don't quite see what the problem is.

  • Comment number 29.

    20. At 9:01pm on 06 Sep 2010, C Beaven wrote:
    Why was it when Labour were in government, they passed legislation to allow the police and other authorities to have the power to track and monitor individuals? Seems strange that Labour MP's are up in arms because their own mobile phones have been allegedly hacked in to. Sounds a bit like the kettle calling the pot black.

    ======================================

    Not really.

    The police "and other authorities" may have a LEGAL reason to tap a phone, but a poor-quality, borderline tabloid newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch does not. One is for investigation the other is for smear campaigns and monetary gain.

    Hardly kettle calling the pot black.

  • Comment number 30.

    I couldn't care less unless issues relating to our country were put at risk in which case the government and its operatives should have at least been operating under stricter rules, particularly when it came to phoning their bits on the side.

  • Comment number 31.

    Theresa May is right! There is no new evidence so there is no need for an inquiry. A single maverick employee of The News of the World acted alone and he has been punished for his indescretions.

    The problem is that NuLabour judge everyone else by their own filth ravaged activities. The Conservative Party and News International just don't work that way, and The Metropolitan Police have confirmed this.

    Next story please!

  • Comment number 32.

    I think former employees of any international media organisation ought not to be able to get jobs with political parties for at least a year after leaving the media company. The same rule should apply to former police officers who leave to take up jobs with media organisations.

    I'm with the Labour party on this one issue. There is something very fishy about the way things have been done, and questions need to be answered.

  • Comment number 33.

    I would like to see all MPs communications tapped, recorded and made public by law so we might have some chance of ensuring they are not spending our money on duck houses, 5th homes or making dumb decisions costing the nation billions.

    Given Labours’ appalling record on hiding just about everything over the last 13 years and just feeding us a pre-filtered diet of pap via their comms office we should no longer allow them any 'privacy' at all.

  • Comment number 34.

    There must have been some kind of incentive for those who do the phone -hacking to do so.... who/what was behind that incentive I wonder???.

    Re: The Metropolitan police dragging their feet over this matter....
    NO great surprise to me because the News of the World have a number
    of staff who work in the Met on their (NOTW) payroll.
    Those who spy on other's will do anything not to be spied on themselves.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    Should the phone-hacking investigation be reopened? Yes.

  • Comment number 37.

    The press hold politicians to high standards so it seems perfectly reasonable that the press themselves should be held to the same high standards.

  • Comment number 38.

    I am so bored with this story already. But what annoys me more about it than anything is the BBCs obsession with the subject - why? As usual the BBC is propping up a story from the left wing Guardian newspaper. The bottom line is (again the reason for the BBC's over interest) that it's part of a Labour plan to get rid of Tory Comms Director Andy Coulson.

    I can't imagine anything more boring than having to listen in to John Prescott's voice mail. Apart from anything you'd need someone to interpret his rantings.

    Oh yawn yawn yawn yawn yawn

  • Comment number 39.

    Mr Tory Blobbie, a single maverick employee acted alone and thousands of public figures were hacked...I don't think so.
    It's a cover up and the filthy tories are up to their usual again.
    Appointing a communications chief who belongs in the gutter.
    Which of course is where alot of tories over the years belong, the list is very long.
    Didn't take them long to show their true colours.

  • Comment number 40.

    It is, of course, pure coincidence that this did not arise when Labour was in power and it has come to the fore when Labour is trying to elect a new leader and Blair has just published his memoirs. Distraction politics?

  • Comment number 41.

    20. At 9:01pm on 06 Sep 2010, C Beaven wrote:
    "Why was it when Labour were in government, they passed legislation to allow the police and other authorities to have the power to track and monitor individuals? Seems strange that Labour MP's are up in arms because their own mobile phones have been allegedly hacked in to. Sounds a bit like the kettle calling the pot black"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Aw come on. Think before you write. Isn't there the world of difference between the police having the power to investigate prima facie evidence of serious crime, and gutter newspapers muckraking people's private lives for sales and cash? Really.






  • Comment number 42.

    It stinks! One of Murdoch's marionettes/ Cameron's Team (all the same thing really) up to his armpits in sordid sleeze.........if this was Labour the press would be going bananas.

  • Comment number 43.

    Fancy the kettle calling the pot black.
    It is a bit much for Tom Watson MP saying that "The integrity of our democracy is under scrutiny... & the Home Secretary must not make it a laughing stock."
    It was Mr Watson and some of his fellow MPs who made a laughing stock of our democracy with their fanciful expenses claims. Has he forgotten the six figure expenses claims he had made? Was he not one of the MPs who claimed for his lavish apartment in London? Did he not claim for everything under the sun including the maximum allowed for food etc. etc.?
    How dare he speak of integrity?
    Mr Watson, I have one advice for you. Keep quiet, hang your head in shame and don't try to give anybody a lesson in morality.

  • Comment number 44.

    This story should not be at the top of the news, it is way too low priority. For instance, your local council and the gov. can spy on you on a whim, in case you might be planning on getting your kid in a good school for instance, or in case your dog poops in the wrong place. But when a few politicians and 'public figures' have a few miserable phone messages tapped oh my god call the police !!!!!. At best this is trivia, at worst it is a distraction story to take your minds off all the important stuff going on which they don't want you thinking about.

  • Comment number 45.

    Well how long have they been in power and already in trouble on more than one front.
    There has to be some substance to the story else it wouldn't have lasted this long let alone raised its ugly head again.

    I think the comment "I have full confidence in Mr Coulson" might come back to haunt Cameron.

    Oh dear!...

  • Comment number 46.

    38. At 9:55pm on 06 Sep 2010, RicharddeLionheart wrote:

    I am so bored with this story already. But what annoys me more about it than anything is the BBCs obsession with the subject - why? As usual the BBC is propping up a story from the left wing Guardian newspaper. The bottom line is (again the reason for the BBC's over interest) that it's part of a Labour plan to get rid of Tory Comms Director Andy Coulson.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Why do tories have such short attention spans when their party is under the spotlight? And why do they feel so hard done by when it comes to media reporting - are they seriously suggesting that if Campbell or Mandleson had been implicated in a similar situation that the right wing attack pack, masquerading as press, would not have been engaged in a full on witch hunt?
    What really annoys me is when offshore billionaires can prevent the BBC from screening programmes - you'd think the tories had something to hide....

  • Comment number 47.

    New labour got rid of it`s socialist roots and now after getting rid of brown with A leadership contest that the public is`nt interseted in.We get no policies from labour ,only dirty tricks.We have heard this before and if there is new evidence then it`s a police matter.
    Considering the secret service hold files on mp`s and gchq can read all blackberries i would`nt worry.We all know mp`s lie because their lips move.It was a labour lie that created the story of lib dem mp`s defecting to labour.The dirty scum bag or slime ball that wrote about wiiliam hague shows that labour lacks policies.They dumped their cnd membership and clause 4.They removed defence of the country and turned us into invaders of other countries and other peoples homes.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 50.

    In all honesty, Andy Coulson has to go. Whatever happens with the Met, few people will find it possible to believe that the man was Editor of the News Of The World while this illegal activity was taking place but didn't either know about it or deliberately take steps not to know about it. Fair or not, a smell will linger wherever he goes.

    When someone in his position becomes the story, it's time to walk.

  • Comment number 51.

    Scottygreenwich @39

    It is true Mr Coulsden was drawn from the same background as Alistair Campbell, that however does not mean his standards are as low. I have many doubts about Mr Cameron but his decision to appoint a former editor of the NOTW is not one of them. Besides which, except for the demands from Mr Murdoch's enemies overseas, his foes here, in The Telegraph, The Express and The Mail have hardly expressed outrage. It is only NuLab, The Guardian and The BBC who are offended! Each of which is an irrelevant organisation!

  • Comment number 52.

    33. At 9:31pm on 06 Sep 2010, Paul J Weighell wrote:
    I would like to see all MPs communications tapped, recorded and made public by law so we might have some chance of ensuring they are not spending our money on duck houses, 5th homes or making dumb decisions costing the nation billions.

    Given Labours’ appalling record on hiding just about everything over the last 13 years and just feeding us a pre-filtered diet of pap via their comms office we should no longer allow them any 'privacy' at all.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Do try to think before you write. All MP's communications? Including all the private and personal enquiries of their constituents? Including all the personal communications with their wives and husbands? Including all the communications they receive about troop deployments in Afghanistan?

    If we accept the principle that some people, by virtue of their position, have no right to privacy then we will have crossed a line that divides us from totalitarianism

  • Comment number 53.

    Andy Coulson was the NOTW editor at the time, there has long been a suspicion that more than just the royals were being phone tapped, and it is beyond belief really that the editor did not know how his journalists were gaining information.

    If it is proven that he did know then he has also lied to a parliamentary committee.

    So it does matter.

  • Comment number 54.

    MrBlobbie #31.

    "There is no new evidence so there is no need for an inquiry."

    Channel4 News reports that at least one former NOTW employee has come forward, willing to give evidence against Mr Coulson.

    "A single maverick employee of The News of the World acted alone and he has been punished for his indescretions."

    just like Saddam Hussein single-handedly forced the US/UK to attack Iraq? LOL

    "The Conservative Party and News International just don't work that way, and The Metropolitan Police have confirmed this."

    that's what they said about Roman Catholic priests when the first allegations of child abuse were aired.

  • Comment number 55.

    If there is evidence yes but its amazing how when in power labour were quiet about it and now feign outrage in opposition......this will just cost tax payers even more money to end up as a nothing story....

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Justice should be seen to be done - and that means justice for all involved be they the guilty or the offended against, not just the fall guys and the top dogs.

  • Comment number 58.

    Well !

    If you are allocated a Voicemail Box, then at least change the default password from 12345 or 4444 to something else.

    I believe the 'hacked' boxes were just left on 'default' by the users so what did they expect ? Technology is great if you are clever enough to know how to operate it. These numpties obviously were not.

    Anyone can do this on ANY Voicemail System ..... Right now !!!!!

    All the defaults for all manufacturers' systems are publically available on the Internet. The only clever bit is knowing what the Voicemail Phone number is, and that is known to everyone who has a Voicemail Box.

    A company or organisation does NOT sign the Official Secrets Act when they install Voicemail, so, I believe that technically, they can do what they want with your messages.

    Hardly what I would call hacking by any stretch.

    People really ought to learn a bit about phones.

  • Comment number 59.

    Nothing more than the usual political muck racking. If there's evidence then by all means have it investigated if on the other more likely scenario it's the labour party trying to make something out of one persons accusations then they should just shut up and actually get themselves a new leader and perhaps focus on policy rather than scandal (although granted this would be rather radical thinking in the eyes of most politicians especially labour).

    I would also point out that there is such a thing as innocent until proven guilty and if accusations where enough then the house of commons would be a very empty house.

  • Comment number 60.

    Some people are never happy.

    How many people were demanding the de-politicising of the Police's activities? And now we finally have a Government who think that allowing the Police get on with their job without political meddling is a good idea, they are criticised for having no backbone!

    Unbelievable!!

    The case is a criminal matter, so let the Police (the public service dedicated to preventing criminal activity and enforcing the law) decide whether or not the matter needs to be re-examined.

    If the Government bows to public pressure, makes the Police re-open this only for there to be insufficient evidence to bring a criminal charge, then they will be criticised for wasting resources and money.

    Let the people trusted with a job get on with it.

  • Comment number 61.

    Right about now David Cameron is learning that it is much easier to be in opposition than to be in charge. The signs of the ConDem pact in the throes of irretrievable breakdown are now beginning to show, and this without the mention of cuts to be announced in October, possibly the big casino in this hastily cobbled together coalition. Gossip about backtracking on Bank reform (the times), Tory Stalwarts in the City now expressing fear that George Osborne's savage cuts are going to plunge us back into recession, threats of civil unrest to come by workers who see bankers getting their bonuses, and now the Tory endorsing Murdoch media being exposed by the quality New York Times Newspaper for hacking into personal communications. Yes it's going to be interesting watching all these sub plots fizz around UK politics, and for once it will be interesting to see who else's door (other than the last Labour Govt) they can lay the blame. God bless the disabled and the poor.

  • Comment number 62.

    Of course it should be investigated, it was under Labour and no problem was found. Well they were in power!
    Now, there not, so their must be a problem according to all Labour MP's. If proof is found, how will Labour explain it wasn't found under their watch? We were looking for WMD's and we found them they were called Tony Blair, Lord Punchy Prescott and Gordon Ostrich Brown.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    I do not know if there was wrongdoing, but it must be investigated so that if need be justice can be done, or otherwise the matter can be firmly laid to rest and normality may resume.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    The most alarming thing about this case is not that the red top press use illegal methods to collect the title tattle that they feed to their brain dead readers. The depravity of their known methods is so bad, that it is not at all surprising that illegal methods are being used.

    It appears that they were able to persuade the police and the public prosecutor to limit the investigation and even not inform those who may have been targeted. It is a sad state of affairs, when we have to rely on an American newspaper to investigate law breaking in the UK.

    Of course the phone hacking should be further investigated. There should also be an independent investigation into the reasons for the limitations imposed on the original investigation. Surely Scotland Yard cannot be so hard up, that it could not afford to write letters informing those people whose phones might have been tapped.

  • Comment number 68.

    Any substantial organisation which claims to report the news should have very high standards expected of it by the law. Newspapers, both tabloid and traditional broadsheet, seem to be in competition to see who can print the most inaccurate or misleading filth. There should be no question of anyone previously involved in producing this sort of material becoming involved in the running of our government unless they have very clearly reformed and un-reservedly condemened their previous work.

  • Comment number 69.

    Of course. All phone-tapping/hacking by govt./police/papers should be investigated.

  • Comment number 70.

    People should look up "BT" and "Phorm". The police were provided with evidence that BT broke the law in 10s of 1000s of cases during an illegal trial of Phorm. Even the EU demanded that it be investigated as it was clearly illegal.

    The police response?

    "An offence appears to have been committed, but we don't think it's in the public interest to continue." Since when did public mean big business?

    Anyway, I thought it was the job of the CPS to determine whether a prosecution is in the public interest.

    The police should investigate these allegations and pass their evidence to the CPU.
    It's their job.

  • Comment number 71.

    If there is frsh and reliable evidence, yes. As I understand it, these are former journalists coming forward. I would first look into the reason for them not currently being journalists.

    If Sean Hoare is so squeaky clean why did he wait until now to speak? Jealousy not coming into this by any chance? Surely going to the police at the time would have been the right thing to do.

    Theresa May is correct in that it is for the police to decide what to do. It is not for MPs to tell the police which matters to follow up.

  • Comment number 72.

    It happens all the time but we are unaware, I guess. The only ones worried are those with something to hide. In the end it's only to sell papers and there is so much tripe in them these days who gives a dam. You are fed what they want you to believe and when there is something they want to cover up, some release will come out to draw us away from the big issue.

  • Comment number 73.

    Is the News Of The World's hacking into electronic communications really any different to that conducted by our Government, on an absolutely enormous scale?
    We are the most surveilled people on this planet, and because we are such an apathetic and politically-inert citizenry, we tolerate this outrageous intrusion into our private affairs.
    So - no bleating about the electronic mote in my eye, put there by the News Of The World, whilst thy Government shines a great big beam, into thine own.

  • Comment number 74.

    I thik the question is...is Sean Hoare going to be arrested?
    I mean didnt he admit to breaking the law? In which case the police should investigate, arrest and prosocute him.

    If the trail leads elsewhere and there is sufficent evidence then the police should deal with that in the same way.

    But whatever happens lets leave it up to the profesionals to deal with, you know the police, the ones we pay to deal with criminals and not the politicans.

  • Comment number 75.

    Is there any evidence that criminal offences may have been committed? In which case, it's a police matter - although I'm sure they have many more serious cases on which to spend their limited resources on investigating.

    How much of this is pure political point-scoring of the sort that suggests that politicians do not put the good of the citizens they are elected to serve beyond the good of self or party?

  • Comment number 76.

    Perhaps if we weren't obsessed in this country with personality then this sort of journalism would be unnecessary.
    Having said that, telephone tapping is illegal and anyone involved needs to be brought to book.
    Like Alistair Campbell in his time, David Cameron's Head of Propa*, er Publicity Andy Coulson is now in the public spotlight.
    If he is clever enough he will be able to show he was in the clear as did Mr Campbell.
    The only question is, 'What sort of editor is totally unaware of the methods used by his reporters in gaining information?'
    If he did know he shouldn't be working for the Prime Minister. If he didn't know is he capable of working for the Prime Minister?
    Between a rock and a hard place and perhaps time to say goodbye.

  • Comment number 77.

    The stench under Tory noses is appropriate. It simply demonstrates what an unpleasant bunch we have running things in the UK. When politicians have not been honest, open, accessible, and fair for years, is it any surprise the things they get up to?

    Get rid of them all, now. Fumigate Westminster. Ban Tory, New Labour and Lib Dems parties and start over.

  • Comment number 78.

    There does seem to be a bit of “get Cameron and the Tories at any cost” over this affair. It seems to me that the story is being driven by certain media groups aided and abetted by Labour who have sniffed a way of possibly damaging Cameron and the Murdock media empire which happened to be involved in the original case.
    If there is new evidence then of course this should be investigated but the bad grace of Labour and its media pals is not the way to push for an investigation if there is no evidence.
    I notice that the New York Times and other media companies are also in for the kill maybe because they have vested reasons to detest Rupert Murdock and his media empire whose journalists were involved in the original case.
    If a story smells of fish, then it usually is fishy and I think this is an attempted anti Tory and anti Murdock staged scalp raiding party.

  • Comment number 79.

    4. At 7:20pm on 06 Sep 2010, John_Bull wrote:

    Andy Coulson has now become the 'story', a very big story.

    This story is just going to run and run and whether Coulson is guilty or not, he needs to go now. The government’s task is difficult enough already without being saddled with this totally unnecessary distraction.

    Further, it was idiotic of Cameron to employ this 'walking story' in the first place. Cameron needs to stop looking so pleased with himself and up his game, and he needs to do this quickly.

    >>>

    Completely agree with Mr Bull.

    I don't think that anyone except the BBC is bothering to use "alleged" in their reporting of this. And only a dimwit would consider that Coulson might not have known that it was going on. He might not have sanctioned these crimes, but he must have known, otherwise he is incompetent.

    Incompetent or criminal?

    Doesn't really matter. He has to go.

    Cameron has made several faux pas recently. While the country will tolerate this in the early months, it must be remembered that we are shortly to face the implementation of the most savage cuts in living memory. Cameron is going to become intensely unpopular in a very short time and the last thing he needs is half a dozen Damocleasean swords hanging around.

    If Cameron has any sense of propriety, he should chop this embarrassment immediately.

  • Comment number 80.

    67. At 01:35am on 07 Sep 2010, stanblogger wrote:
    The most alarming thing about this case is not that the red top press use illegal methods to collect the title tattle that they feed to their brain dead readers. The depravity of their known methods is so bad, that it is not at all surprising that illegal methods are being used.

    It appears that they were able to persuade the police and the public prosecutor to limit the investigation and even not inform those who may have been targeted. It is a sad state of affairs, when we have to rely on an American newspaper to investigate law breaking in the UK.



    ----

    Absolutely spot on.

    Coulson , and even Rupert Murdoch are red herrings.

    The really big story is whether or not the metropolitan police have allowed themselves to be influenced by outside agencies in the handling of this case.

    Their refusal to confirm or deny the evidence to those individuals who may have been 'tapped' would seem to imply that they have.

    This isn't about politics, its about whether the law in Britain is applied equally to all, or whether certain individuals or organisations are actually above the law.

  • Comment number 81.

    Of course it should be investigated as a possible crime has been committed, should we ignore crime just because the government employ the criminals?

  • Comment number 82.

    MrBlobbie wrote:
    It is true Mr Coulsden was drawn from the same background as Alistair Campbell, that however does not mean his standards are as low.

    AND

    The problem is that NuLabour judge everyone else by their own filth ravaged activities. The Conservative Party and News International just don't work that way, and The Metropolitan Police have confirmed this.


    Just another Anti Labour rant by an Arch Tory

  • Comment number 83.

    Yes it should to ensure and it should be an open and transparent enquiry lead by a high court Judge.

    At the same time an independent enquiry is needed into why the police were unable to get the information that the New York Times did and action this matter in the past.

    Does the UK as a society now have to rely on US newspapers to do what we pay the police very good money to do? The Met Police had better start looking to their performance if they canot deliver maybe some people there need sacking for incompetence.

  • Comment number 84.

    As ever, this is just a minor play in the ongoing battle to maintain the balance of power between the media and the government. If the law was broken, yes, evidence should be brought and the guilty trialled. But, it's all part of a bigger game. So long as the power of the media and the power of the government are in roughly equal balance then fine, heaven help us all if either gains total ascendancy over the other.

  • Comment number 85.

    Yes...but it's up to the Police not windbag politicians scoring points off each other.

    More to the point they should be spending their time on the disgraceful income tax errors rather than this. Someone should have sense checked the comnputers and they didn't, so they and the politicians responsible are far more in my sights than Coulson.

  • Comment number 86.

    Funny how this wasn't such a big issue when Labour were in power.

  • Comment number 87.

    What new evidance has appeared?

    Mobile phone message hacking envolves ringing the phone. Calling a mobile phone logs the incoming phone number, the duration of the call, weather the call accessed the answer phone system etc

    Given how the "hack" works it is very easy to identify when a hack as probably occoured and given the logs even if the hacking call is from a pay as you go mibile its approx location is logged.

    All this data was availabe at the time of the original investigation.

    What is in my mind a bigger scandle is why are members of the cabinate allowed "hackable" mobiles!

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    The fact that a newspaper was even attempting to get information and dirt on politicians or anyone is why the press is not trusted. What the press survives on is that politicians feed off the headlines created by newsprint-its an uneasy relationship.If it was up to the people of this country only facts would be reported not created news.The press think they are above the law and behave accordingly.The disturbing fact that an ex editor of a smut newspaper is an advisor to Number 10 shows what lenghts the murky world of the press influence will go to.Sack him and anyone who is associated with newsprint from working in areas of influence.

  • Comment number 91.

    There is a lot of lying going on. The question is, by whom? It has to be one lot or the other: those who say the their phones were tapped by the NoW, the Guardian in its investigations, the NY Times in its, the NoW journalists who say everyone knew, it was part of the culture?

    Or the honourable Coulson, of the honourable News of the World, of the honourable foreign billionaire Murdoch's stable?

    By the way, it's very interesting to see the wonderfully objective news values of the British media at work: just see what the (Murdoch, of course) Sun and Sky have to say about this, and how they say it.

    As for allegations that the Met have allowed themselves to be influenced in the handling of this case - when did they ever not?

  • Comment number 92.

    icewombat #87.

    "All this data was availabe at the time of the original investigation."

    the police however did not investigate all 3,000 or so cases and did not even notify all of the victims!! I'd like to know why the police behaved so unprofessional.

  • Comment number 93.

    Coulson's involvement has now made him a liability to the new Coalition government, culpable or not. He must step down and allow an investigation to exonerate him, or vice versa. Cameron does not need this cloud hanging over him. The Coalition have made a great start, in their first 3 months, regardless of all the doom-mongers. I have been impressed by their strength in implementing unpopular, but necessary, measures. Coulson should not be a blott on their copybook.

  • Comment number 94.

    It says a lot about David Cameron and the type of government he intends to run that he hired a guy who was Editor of the news of the world.
    If Coulson knew what was going on he should be fired (and face criminal charges). If he didnt know he should be fired because he is completly incompetent.
    I strongly suspect he knew exactly what was going on but no-one who wants to keep their job will speak out against him.

  • Comment number 95.

    60. At 11:34pm on 06 Sep 2010, The New Doctor wrote:
    "Let the people trusted with a job get on with it."

    So the government is above the law is it?

    If there is any doubt of course the investigation should be re-opened. Admirable support for Coulson from his fellow Tories (of course I expect them all to apologise profusely should he be found guilty)

    As many others have said before, if he didn't know what was going on he is a useless piece of work, if he did know what was going on he's a nasty piece of work. Either way, not a great person to have as Comms Director.

  • Comment number 96.

    If there wasnt some truth in it then you wouldnt have well known journalists saying it was rife and Coulson was a major part, otherwise Coulson would be suing for defamation of character! looks like we have one mad corrupt government for another! time for a revolution, and not a right wing neo nazi one! tony blair went in to office for the people and then arrogantly on television said he changed and did what he thought was right and not the people! hows that democracy! Coulson should not step down but answer to charges in front of the courts! why oh why is it these people are free from prosecution! the expenses, brazilian electrician murder, illegal wars, etc etc?

  • Comment number 97.

    Although our legal system is based on the presumption of innocence until guilt is proved, in the case of most so-called newspapers their appalling reputation (almost a mission statement in some cases) would make it very difficult to establish even the ghost of an assumption of innocence - a quality almost entirely absent from their pages.

  • Comment number 98.

    31. At 9:25pm on 06 Sep 2010, MrBlobbie wrote:
    A single maverick employee of The News of the World acted alone and he has been punished for his indescretions.
    The problem is that NuLabour judge everyone else by their own filth ravaged activities. The Conservative Party and News International just don't work that way
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your naivety is almost touching. Wanna buy a bridge ?


  • Comment number 99.

    If more evidence comes to light that is relevant but it does seem a waste of our taxes. There are far more important issues. It has obvious advantages for Labour.

  • Comment number 100.

    What do the police do? theres a crime so go investigate! jeez! why on earth do we pay these protester murdering hemlers!

 

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