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News International says sorry for phone hacking

Robert Peston | 15:00 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011

News International is to admit liability in a number of cases brought against it for alleged phone hacking by the News of the World, its Sunday newspaper.


Sienna Miller

 

The UK arm of Rupert Murdoch's News International has put out a statement saying that it "has decided to approach some civil litigants with an unreserved apology and an admission of liability in cases meeting specific criteria".

It will also establish a compensation fund, with a view to "dealing with justifiable claims fairly and efficiently".

News International believes most claims will be settled for less than £100,000 each, rather than the settlement of several hundred thousand pounds that was awarded to Gordon Taylor, the chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.

I understand the company's hope would be that in total it will pay out less than £20m.

News International is making the announcement today because it has approached Mr Justice Vos who is hearing the cases against News International, with a proposal for a group litigation order, which is a way of settling all the cases as a group.

Mr Justice Vos is planning to hold a case conference for all the active cases next Friday, and has asked for proposals from the litigants and the defendant.

There are 24 active cases in all. They include claims of breach of privacy brought by the film star Sienna Miller, the former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, the football commentator Andy Gray, and the designer Kelly Hoppen.


Tessa Jowell

 

News International may disclose later today which cases it will settle.

The company, which also owns the Times and Sun newspapers, said: "Past behaviour at the News of the World in relation to voicemail interception is a matter of genuine regret. It is now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to incover important evidence and we acknowledge our actions were not sufficiently robust".

News International said it will continue to cooperate with the Metropolitan Police enquiry. It is not clear whether it will dismiss further members of staff, following the recent departure of the news editor of the News of the World, Ian Edmondson.

Last week Mr Edmondson and the News of the World's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, were arrested.

In January I disclosed that News International was to deploy the BP strategy of uncovering what went wrong and establishing a compensation scheme.

Update 16:00:

At this stage, I understand that News International is offering to settle with the following prominent individuals who claim their mobile phones were hacked:

1) Sienna Miller, the actor
2) Tessa Jowell, the former Labour culture secretary
3) David Mills, the lawyer and Ms Jowell's estranged husband
4) Kelly Hoppen, the designer, in respect of phone hacking in 2004-6, but not in relation to her later claim
5) Andy Gray, the former footballer and current commentator for Talk Sport radio (who left Sky Sports in embarrassing circumstances)
6) Joan Hammell, a former aide to John Prescott (though not Mr Prescott himself)
7) Ms Nicola Phillips, the assistant to the celebrity publicist, Max Clifford
8) Sky Andrew, the former Olympian and talent agent.

By the way, it is a matter of some significance that News International has conceded that its "previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence" and that it acknowledges that its actions "were not sufficiently robust".

What this implies is that significant numbers of people at the News of the World knew about the phone hacking at the time. But News International is insisting that its senior executives were ignorant of what was going on.

This is certainly humiliating for the company. It implies that its management controls were woeful. But it is certainly less damaging than an admission that the hacking was somehow authorised from the top.

News International's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks - who is extremely close to Rupert Murdoch - is trying to demonstrate with today's actions that she is cleaning out the stables, and instituting much tougher management controls.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Any news on the former editors being hung out to dry?

  • Comment number 2.

    This has done great harm to UK journalism, but has been coming for years. The media, mostly tabloid, but on occasions all media, have lost sight of the difference between 'In the public interest' and 'of interest to the public'. In search of continued sales, grubby methods have been employed only to provide tittle tattle about rather temporary celebrities.

    This behaviour damages the trust the public puts in the media, but also constrains those genuinely investigative journalists searching out real wrong-doing.

    Sad

  • Comment number 3.

    All this now explains why Rupert Murdoch was keen to get Son James out of London as fast and as far away as possible as detailed in your post 6 April 2011.

    Clearly Murdoch Senior is desperate to take over the rest of BSkyB and knows that the only way this can be achieved is to try and prove NewsCorp is as squeaky clean as possible. Trouble is this all smacks of gates and horses and if the organisation had been properly controlled and monitored in the first place these extreme measures wouldn't now be needed. Hypocrisy? Yes. Business sense? Also probably yes. Stinks? Definitely!

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    About time. In fact scrap the NOTW - it's not worth the toilet paper it's printed on.
    Who thinks they have the right to HACK the private phone lines of people? Celebrity or whatever, people's private lives should be respected.

  • Comment number 6.

    Do the people named really need £100k+ in compensation. Are they really so hurt? Bless. I'm all for caning NOTW, but let's just put the £20M to charity - perhaps they could ask their readers to nominate a good cause.

  • Comment number 7.

    There are several narratives to this story and one of these is how the Coulson story will not go away for the government and David Cameron in particular. I wonder if any of the other newspapers will report this as they fear the net being thrown wider! http://bit.ly/hHpSlN

  • Comment number 8.

    i keep hoping that someone, somewhere will get a real grip on organisations like News International and other multi-nationals that have questionable motives. I don't really see why NI should be allowed to pre-empt the decision of the court, which should be allowed to run its course, as lots of very interesting information would come to light.

  • Comment number 9.

    Sounds like a damage-limitation exercise. Admit to the crime so they end up paying out less than they could potentially be sued for.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm confused as to why this is a story worthy of 'Breaking News' and headline billing - other than it being an opportunity for one faction of the media to kick another.

    Tid-bits of gossip discovered by over-zealous journalists of a ridiculous rag 'hacking' (accessing unsecured voicemail) of non-celebrities and non-politicos - and all resolved by the handing over of a bit of compensation to the 'victims' ?

    Sounds like a nice little earner in lieu of the individual or other party not being able to sell the stories themselves to OK, Hello etc.

    I knew nothing about these people as a result of the original NotW stories. Thanks to this investigation i now know more about their lives than i ever did.

  • Comment number 11.

    The practice of breaking the law in the name of the “Public Interest” (an interest stimulated by the media) must stop.

    This goes beyond phone tapping. Voyeuristic photographs of semi naked celebrities do not serve the public interest either.

    The argument that celebrities court the press therefore must be subjugated by it, is flawed in the same way a rapist claims that a victim “was asking for it”

  • Comment number 12.

    So NI admits its criminality.Does Cameron still claim that his former spin doctor did nothing wrong and how can he and his lackey Hunt still allow Murdoch to buy up all of Sky - unless he is sucking up in the hope of gettting the Sun's support again

  • Comment number 13.

    A large part of me feels that we're hearing this 'genuine apology' only because they were caught out in the first place.

    But that's probably incredibly cynical of me, isn't it.

  • Comment number 14.

    > It will also establish a compensation fund, with a view to "dealing with justifiable
    > claims fairly and efficiently".

    Jacques Cartier's phone was hacked some months ago, and I'll be looking for some compo. £50K should do it - it'll pay to take the wife to Laguna for a few weeks.

  • Comment number 15.

    Gosh, is this the real story ?

  • Comment number 16.

    This will be to stop proceedings and avoid any new documents having to be made public in court.
    Some of the cases are brought by those with political axes to grind so they may well not accept.

  • Comment number 17.

    finally theyve been forced to admit defeat after several years of hard work by people like MPs Watson & Bryant, but also wonderful work by Twitter people in COULSONGATE & HACKGATE. WE APOLOGISE FOR NOT BEING ROBUST ENOUGH not SORRY FOR BEING CAUGHT OUT FOR A VARIETY OF CRIMES, YES WE DID THE CRIME AND NOW WE WILL DO THE TIME. What needs to be done is to connect Murdoch to all this so that he loses the right to have the awesome power he has in the British media

  • Comment number 18.

    SORRY IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH
    AS WE NEED MONEY
    FINE THEM MILLIONS (OR HALF THEIR ASSETS)
    THEY WOULD NOT DARE TO DO IT AGAIN !

  • Comment number 19.

    There are many who believe that Andy Gray's sacking has more to do with this lawsuit than it ever was about sexism. Does Rebekah Wade think a simple name change will eradicate her previous history? The best way for her to "clean house" would be to resign

  • Comment number 20.

    This makes the Tory sucking up to News Int at the election seeking their endorsement all very grubby. I also do not see how they can be considered fit and proper persons/organisation to own Sky News and BSkyB. This has all been carefully orchestrated. Get that idiot Hunt to agree their takeover before all the embarrassing truths emerge and its too late to change. Shame on the Tories.

  • Comment number 21.

    Surely not even the tories will let their friend have BSKYB now!

  • Comment number 22.

    This is really bad for News International -even with VERY senior police "investigators???" in their pockets, their nefarious activities STILL get exposed.
    What is the world coming to??

  • Comment number 23.

    How can I find out if my phone was hacked.?

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    & our Government is considering letter the owners have a majority share in Sky. Shame on them.

  • Comment number 26.

    Not good enough Murdoch. Until we see News International executives behind bars this is simply a PR exercise.

    Rebekah Brooks has already admitted to illegally paying police officers for information. Why is she not "helping the police with enquiries" and facing charges. Perhaps the answer can be found in the recent article in the Guardian reporting on Nick Clegg's interview with Jemima Khan which reports that: -

    "Khan also asks Clegg what he thinks about News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, being a regular guest at David Camerons' dinner parties. "I don't know anything about Oxfordshire dinner parties. I'm assuming that they weren't sitting there talking about News International issues," says Clegg."

    If Clegg believes that he will believe anything.

    The links between Cameron and News International employees and ex-employees such as Andy Coulson and the dodgy links (paid hospitality etc) between the Met hierarchy and News International executives show why the News of The World was able to get away with this for so long.

    Frankly the whole affair stinks and this latest move by Murdoch is simply a further attempt to cover up the extent of the scandal.

  • Comment number 27.

    Shame no-one warned Kelvin MacKenzie before he wrote his column in yesterdays Sun.

    There was a snide little piece on how the police investigation into phone hacking was a politically motivated waste of tax payes money.

    Looks like NewsCorp will have to work hard to get all its minions on message in the future, and at least pretending to show a little remorse and contrition around these sordid events.

  • Comment number 28.

    News Corp's business activities now too numerous and too widespread to be in the public interest.

    Keith Rupert Murdoch should be given a choice - BSkyB or News Group Newspapers, one or the other, not both!

  • Comment number 29.

    Not good enough.
    Not good enough at all.

    But everybody knows the apology will be accepted and then it will be time for Murdoch's smelly empire to move on.

  • Comment number 30.

    So, Robert, why have they suddenly decided to try and stop all these cases appearing in court? The one thing I am sure of is that News International has not had a sudden moral conversion...

  • Comment number 31.

    So what about Criminal Charges against News International?

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm surprised people are so shocked , mobile phones and e mails are easily intercepted , ask the the government the store all above as a matter of course...

    I am more interested in the criminal aspect of this , it very nearly ALL got swept under the carpet, thanks to the detailed scrutiny of the MET...

  • Comment number 33.

    23. At 16:19pm 8th Apr 2011, coplani wrote:
    How can I find out if my phone was hacked.?

    ----

    google yourself.

    if you don't find thousands of references to your private and professional life, and if you've never been a victim of or associated with someone who was a victim of a famous crime, then its odds on no-one has bothered to hack your phone.

  • Comment number 34.

    NB - re: Comment no. 10

    ... Yeah, thanks for that, Mr. Coulson. Nice try :)

  • Comment number 35.

    I suppose its some consolation that, eventually, the NOW has effectively admitted some liability. It is, though, a clear indication (if one were needed) of the lack of morality in the "popular press".
    The whole fiasco also reflects very badly on the police investigation (either incompetent or didnt like rocking the boat).
    I also feel the Conservative Party (via the Coulson connection) chose to bury its head in the sand for expediency's sake.
    All in all a very poor reflection on the misuse of power and influence in the UK today.

  • Comment number 36.

    13**

    It's not cynical , it's just reality. If they had not got caught red handed this type of investigation would of still been on going .

  • Comment number 37.

    ahh so the rich get richer - you wouldn't hack my phone would you!!!?

  • Comment number 38.

    When the media turns into the "enemy within" and acts little different to Nazi Gestapo or Stalanistic practices then this is deserving of far greater punishment than has so far been imposed.

    NOTW had its go at MPs expenses and any other discrepancy, demanding highest punishments.

    Government and UK justice system needs to come down on NOTW with whatever MAXIMUM punishments are available and not just on individuals.

    In the case of BPs oil leak, it was NOT individuals who were made to pay the top costs.

    I doubt whether UK justice system will inflict heavy penaltys because certain individuals may be fearful of News Corp media group targetting them in other ways.

    Maybe if NOTW is hit hard enough it will close and do moral decency a favour.

  • Comment number 39.

    20. At 16:15pm 8th Apr 2011, Tayloroftheyard wrote:
    This makes the Tory sucking up to News Int at the election seeking their endorsement all very grubby. I also do not see how they can be considered fit and proper persons/organisation to own Sky News and BSkyB. This has all been carefully orchestrated. Get that idiot Hunt to agree their takeover before all the embarrassing truths emerge and its too late to change. Shame on the Tories.




    What about the labour party who were very chummy with Murdoch at the previous three elections?

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    Any chance of discovering why the DPP set the definition of 'hacking' so narrowly? Thought not.

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

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

  • Comment number 44.

    Funny how breaking into a small bunch of Z-listers' and politicians' phones gets prosecuted so vigorously by the Met, on the same day that the CPS tells BT that no-one will be getting charged over the systematic interception, collation, and marketing to third parties of hundreds of ordinary people's internet communications. I guess normal people just aren't glamorous enough to deserve recourse to the law (or even a story on the BBC News website).

  • Comment number 45.

    Thank god the meeja can be trusted to regulate themselves! This is obviously the only crime any newspaper has committed and we should just move on now.

    Unlike any other section of society - e.g MPs, footballers - journalists alone are famous for automatically behaving in an ethical manner in all circumstances. So there no need to subject them to the same level of highly public, arbitrarily hostile questioning that they routinely subject everyone else to. After all, it's not as if they have any influence over the rest of society, is it?

    We certainly shouldn't have a regular prime-time program investigating the private lives of journalists on, say, a public service broadcasting channel like the BBC. Because unlike any other section of society, there's no need to check that journalist's private interests interfere with their work. Their conduct is completely beyond question (except for the ones we happen to have caught this time).

  • Comment number 46.

    39. At 16:58pm 8th Apr 2011, openside50 wrote:
    20. At 16:15pm 8th Apr 2011, Tayloroftheyard wrote:
    This makes the Tory sucking up to News Int at the election seeking their endorsement all very grubby. I also do not see how they can be considered fit and proper persons/organisation to own Sky News and BSkyB. This has all been carefully orchestrated. Get that idiot Hunt to agree their takeover before all the embarrassing truths emerge and its too late to change. Shame on the Tories.




    What about the labour party who were very chummy with Murdoch at the previous three elections?

    ----

    Thats what makes NewsCorp so insidious.

    They've enjoyed unconditional cross party support for decades.

  • Comment number 47.

    The general public are not really interested in the media frenzy in feeding off their own - this is only of real interest in the "media/political village" ie primarily London. There are more important Business/World issues for this to continually grab headlines and space. Whilst it may be fun for you I find it boring.

  • Comment number 48.

    Can't believe people have money to throw away on so called newspapers.

    Another point, if the Government wants to raise money, put VAT on newspapers.

  • Comment number 49.

    This is a step in the right direction but there is a long road still to travel, passing by Scotland Yard. The links between Metropolitan Police officers and News International journalists will eventually be revealed and, when they are, it will be like an earthquake for the Met and a shocking number of its personnel.

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    Let's follow the trail of culpability from "flame-haired temptress" to "dirty digger".

  • Comment number 52.

    Of course if these cases settle then Murdoch and his senior staff will not have to appear in court and be questioned under oath, nor will the paper have to deposit any more embarrassing papers in open court. Cheap for £20 million.

    Pity about the Met!!!

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm totally underwhelmed by the 'importance' of this story.

  • Comment number 54.

    #49 frisbydyke2005
    "This is a step in the right direction but there is a long road still to travel, "

    Surely not. Next you will be saying that the only reason we are in Libya is because they have Africa's largest oil reserve?

  • Comment number 55.

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

  • Comment number 56.

    47**

    You could not be more wrong , this could make the mp expenses inquiry , look like small potato's.

  • Comment number 57.

    Oh it would be so good to see Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch leaving the Old Bailey in a prison van..........

    And Rupert banned from owning any UK media as 'not being a fit and proper person'. And Richard Desmond too....

  • Comment number 58.

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

  • Comment number 59.

    I am surprised our collective governments haven't taken the steps to dismantle and break up the Murdoch Empire. It was done with Microsoft, yet an organisation that has its tentacles in all of the developed world's media has free reign to do so.

  • Comment number 60.

    Oh no you don't MR BEEB - I'm reposting this as it's the truth!

    And this company wants full control of BSkyB? A Company that has admitted MASS CRIMINALITY as it's modus operandi?

    I don't think so - time to be "minded" to refer that particular deal to the competition commission, Mr Hunt.

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

    Where exactly is this "potentially defamatory" - they have admitted culpability! - grow a spine man, for goodness sake!

  • Comment number 61.

    just another example of this grubby little world in which we live!!! No doubt after a damn good "unreserved apology" everything will be dandy again, and this can become tomorrows fish and chips wrapper. Arr, oh no it can't, not allowed to use newspaper!!

  • Comment number 62.

    Perhaps News International should also hack investment bankers 'phones and splash that all over the front pages?

    Nope, can't see that happening! Wonder why that could be ....?

  • Comment number 63.

    This "apology" sounds so hollow.

  • Comment number 64.

    So what!

    If a NOTW target apologises for anything, it doesnt matter NOTW hangs them out to dry anyway.

    SAme should happen to NOTW

  • Comment number 65.

    Jeremy Hunt must be wondering how much of a mug he looks now!

  • Comment number 66.

    I would like to see News International taken to court.
    I sincerely hope that some of the complainants will pursue their cases in that way.

  • Comment number 67.

    "56. At 17:45pm 8th Apr 2011, hughesz wrote:

    47**

    You could not be more wrong , this could make the mp expenses inquiry , look like small potato's."

    Well it doesn't really. We've known for decades, for example, that journalists perform tricks such as rummaging through dustbins to get personal information & that the police turn a blind eye to this. This is just another method, made easier by the victims not ensuring their voicemail was secure enough. I'm rather shocked that politicians in particular could have messages of apparently nation importance on their unsecured voicemail and that no-one in the civil service could have considered this might be a bad idea.

  • Comment number 68.

    Please let me buy Sky
    Please let me buy Sky
    Please let me buy Sky
    Please let me buy Sky
    Please let me buy Sky
    Please let me buy Sky
    Please let me buy Sky
    Please let me buy Sky

    Lots, please.

    Please let me buy Sky

    Ad infinitum

  • Comment number 69.

    "59. At 17:50pm 8th Apr 2011, Piggyback wrote:

    I am surprised our collective governments haven't taken the steps to dismantle and break up the Murdoch Empire. It was done with Microsoft ..."

    Errm, no it wasn't.

  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    23. At 16:19pm 8th Apr 2011, coplani wrote:

    How can I find out if my phone was hacked.?

    ____________

    Read the News of the World!

  • Comment number 72.

    9. At 15:49pm 8th Apr 2011, itsdavehere wrote:

    Sounds like a damage-limitation exercise. Admit to the crime so they end up paying out less than they could potentially be sued for.

    _______________________

    The lawsuit should be taken to the top, let Mr Murdoch write some cheques out, about time people made money from HIS misery rather than the other way round!

  • Comment number 73.

    I'd just like to say that Sienna Miller looks particularly lovely in that photograph.

    Oh and I hope that this costs the NoTW (or SoTE to give it its proper name) hunners and hunners and hunners of thoosands, preferably mullions.

  • Comment number 74.

    It's all very well saying 'Let's fine NOTW', but can't we fine the idiots that buy this and other tabloid newspapers as well?

  • Comment number 75.

    There must be a law which will deprive Murdoch of Sky? - someone else please buy it!
    This man really is the 'bain' of most ordinary people's lives by depriving us of what we should normally be entitled to - free to air major events!
    When is Hunt and the rest of them going to wake up and sort out the public priorities and THEIR responsibilities to US with regard to broadcasting!?

  • Comment number 76.

    Maybe someone can tell me why they read most of the tabloids. My favorite when The BBC reads headlines is taking the Sun Serious. On Page three they have a nude picture of a woman. The fund should be higher and anyone affedted should sue them.

  • Comment number 77.

    Who gives a jot. NOTW who buys it???, publishing stories of who knows??... who cares.....but its good to tarnish Murdoch's empire

  • Comment number 78.

    Power relationships with the Murdoch press as kingmaker.As Stanley Baldwin said about the press of his era."Power without responsibility,the prerogative of the harlot through the ages."

    Surveillance of political,cultural and sporting elites,pay-offs when the victims were powerful enough to make a stink,brush offs when they were not.Who were they reporting to,how high did the information go,are there conservative or Lib-Dem MPs among the victims?

    The Met come out of this badly,it looks as if they connived to hide the truth,certainly received payments, and was there a revolving door between retirement from the Met and jobs in News International?

    We don`t know how much Coulson knew.It`s significant however that he became director of communications at the top after the election and was a link between government and NI.It`s about power relationships and how the institutions of power and control,government,,media,business, are mutually reinforcing with interrelationships of resources and personnel.

    Forget Big Society,this is corporate Britain in action and without accountability.

  • Comment number 79.

    Shouldn't the headline be "They're sorry NOW?"

  • Comment number 80.

    The NoW have admitted excessive hacking, but you can be sure that most journalists of most newspapers and other media have at it for years. The politicians and celebrities who failed to look after their own security have only themselves to blame. They have created great temptations for the inquisitive.

  • Comment number 81.

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

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

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

  • Comment number 84.

    Rufus NcDufus

    "Well it doesn't really. We've known for decades, for example, that journalists perform tricks such as rummaging through dustbins to get personal information & that the police turn a blind eye to this. This is just another method, made easier by the victims not ensuring their voicemail was secure enough. I'm rather shocked that politicians in particular could have messages of apparently nation importance on their unsecured voicemail and that no-one in the civil service could have considered this might be a bad idea."

    Familiar technique,blame the victim.Happening at the Tomlinson enquiry,he was confronting police lines,or apologize to my foot for wanting to kick you.

    It`s a nonsense.The right are filled with self righteousness about the failings of the poor, but are unable to accept personal responsibility when they are at fault. Banker`s bleed because there wasn`t enough regulation to prevent their greed,Mr.Clegg has "feelings" which make him another victim of his own unpopular policies.

    Makes you sick,Step up to the plate,admit with NI you got it wrong.



  • Comment number 85.

    73. At 18:53pm 8th Apr 2011, TheGingerF wrote:
    I'd just like to say that Sienna Miller looks particularly lovely in that photograph.


    I wonder who she was - is she the referee who got Andy Gray sacked?

  • Comment number 86.

    *YAWN* - So why is this story important? If I understand it correctly, a few stupid, but famous people did not secure their voicemail access (by changing the default PIN) and revealed their mobile number to journalists. These dumb people had their voice messages listened to and/or deleted by said journalists.
    So, the lesson here for everyone is:
    1. Be careful who you give your mobile number to
    2. If possible, don't use voicemail.
    3. If not possible, change the voicemail PIN regularly
    4. If possible, have more than 1 mobile number.

    I was looking forward to seeing this case going to court. Unless a journalist ACTUALLY says that he accessed someone else's voicemail, how are you going to prove that he/she did it? It would have to be based on the number from which the voicemail was accessed. And if that number shows an office number such as NOTW, how do you prove it was a particular individual?
    I'm not a fan of NOTW and don't even read the garbage. But I do hope this silly insignificant matter is closed pdq and we can get back to REAL ISSUES.

    I thought Peston is the business editor. Is he also now the BBC's phone-hacking editor? I guess it's a promotion? Congrats !!!

  • Comment number 87.

    I'm stuck on your last four paragraphs, Robert.
    I don't see it as cleaning out the stables; it looks more like trying to get the stable door shut quickly so that cheques can be pushed under it.

  • Comment number 88.

    79. At 20:17pm 8th Apr 2011, Jacques Cartier wrote:
    "Shouldn't the headline be "They're sorry NOW?""

    Caught at it, protestations of innocence shown to be false,feeders in the Met shown up as in the pockets of the rich and powerful.

    This is corporate criminality,no getting away from it,the belated admission hopes to draw a line.It won`t,too many involved,the law,parliament,Media,police,government.The corruption goes to the heart of corporate Britain.

    Investigation follows a zig-zag logic,eventually no-one escapes.This will run and run for a very long time as more and more actors are drawn into its web.They will call it Murdochgate as a warped tribute to his 80th.


  • Comment number 89.

    It will be interesting to see when the REAL scandal will break. The Guardian newspaper with its avalanche of exclusive Wikileaks reports has been an outrageous leaking of highly confidential government information that has put intelligence services' lives at risk. The New Of World's snooping on minor celebrities is NOTHING in comparison to that.

  • Comment number 90.

    This is the newspaper group that Mr Rhyming Slang thinks is just OK to dominate UK media. One thing we don't hear much about it that other papers do this as well, and some policemen tip off reporters. But News International seemed to have denied everything for as long as possible and then sacrificed some people.
    In my line of work, i get the credit if my people do well, and if they do badly, i get the blame. This doesn't seem to apply to Newspapers

  • Comment number 91.

    Much good security advice here but honest balance should be a default. I refer you to the attitude displayed by ex NOW journalist on C4 10 o clock show. you are all fair game says he, regardless of whether you password protect or not. he even gave out the hack! meanwhile what of the potential for perjury here? how would anyone feel after fighting and funding a battle against complete denials from NOW / NI for 5 years only to have - as others have posted - a "sorry so its alright" admission. The police investigation should continue thoroughly - and I mean thoroughly; potential perjury should be pursued; damages should be punitive (some have alleged that it has not only been 'celebs' hacked! it seems inhuman if true!)
    I wholeheartedly support honest pursuance of wrong doing , but feel this smacks of 'fishing' for a 'story' - sad inditement in a world of war, famine, torture and disaster.

    Mr Murdoch and your son who you have 'promoted' overseas leaving your construction to founder - people purchasing does not equal righteousness or support - or we would all be using ear hair clippers and other items in your advertisement sections!!

    I hope your money does not buy the suppressions of those aggrieved, but i have the feeling that you will win this, BSkyB, this will fade and your profits will continue to rise.

  • Comment number 92.

    The crucial question is..who is going to go to jail for illegal activities?
    The Journalist? The Editor?The Owner?
    Have a feeling that a Newspaper story is far more important than the law of the land.
    Sales matter....
    If found out...just apologise.
    No such thing as Bad Publicity.

  • Comment number 93.

    New of the World's "Sorry" is not enough, and compensation (other than to those genuinely damaged) is just offensive. What we need is real reform and PROPER investigative journalism.

  • Comment number 94.

    89. At 20:58pm 8th Apr 2011, RobEpsom wrote:
    Rob Epsom

    "It will be interesting to see when the REAL scandal will break. The Guardian newspaper with its avalanche of exclusive Wikileaks reports has been an outrageous leaking of highly confidential government information that has put intelligence services' lives at risk. The New Of World's snooping on minor celebrities is NOTHING in comparison to that."

    Hard to get excited by Willileaks,someting pathologically cold about cyber information however obtained and delivered.

    Hyenas of the press a different matter.Surveillance of individuals by a powerful corporation is abuse,it`s also criminal, although that seems to have escaped the notice of the police and NOTW until recently.

    The same people who carried out these crimes shouted the loudest when the anti terrorism laws were passed.They said it was an attack on individual rights,so is this, and who knows the destination of information got in this way?

    Too law when crimes are commited by private corporations,too censorius when mistakes are made by public bodies.This one will run and run make no mistake,it goes up into the heart of corporate Britain and its powerful elites.

  • Comment number 95.

    Why is this even news?? I mean; seriously.

    It's a non-story. Who should really care if a bunch of journalists bothered to listen to a bunch of non-entities.

  • Comment number 96.

    Of course they should be allowed to take over BSkyB, they've said they are sorry haven't they?
    I'm sure that will be good enough for Dave.

  • Comment number 97.

    Do people really read the News of the world? There isn't any news in it, or the Sun, and who are all these C List celebraties, I have heard of the politicians, but haven't a clue who some of the so called actors or celebs are. Does it really matter what comments are made when they come from some second rate media source, and who really cares? The best thing that any intelligent person can do, is avoid reading trash, when there are so many serious things going on in the world today.

  • Comment number 98.

    Never say anything you don't want others to hear.
    What a pity they didn't pick on Blair's conversations re: Iraq.
    this would have been in the public interest.

  • Comment number 99.

    This just has to be one of those it's not what you think Sunday Scoops. With some nameless charity in the background needing a PR front man with the Newspaper taking the rap for an invasion of privacy that the majority of the public have no interest in being told about. As I for one could not care less about the moral of the story and would kick any tabloid journalist in the nuts if they did not offer me a huge stack of unmarked banknotes before I sign the release papers to be on a hidden camera show. Have you seen the size of that lens, then why are you pushing it in my face, do you not know how to use the zoom?

  • Comment number 100.

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

 

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