If you thought the phone-hacking row was all over...

 
Houses of Parliament Parliament has, once again, been at the centre of this national debate

It's not.

The Murdoch empire may have dropped its bid for BSkyB. The News of the World may have been closed. The police may have arrested eight people already and have more in their sights.

A judge-led inquiry into the behaviour of and relationships between the media, politicians and the police may have been set up. However, there is more, much more, to come.

News Corp must now decide whether to hold on to its other papers, its executives and its links with the Murdoch family.

Ofcom must decide whether, on the basis of what they already know, they will investigate whether News Corp is a "fit and proper" owner - and if it decides it isn't that could even cost News Corp its existing 39% stake in BSkyB.

The government must decide whether to change competition law to re-define who can own what in the media and to alter the way the "fit and proper" test works to cover organisations as well as individuals. The prime minister hinted in the Commons that they would.

Downing Street must start to publish details of which minister has met which media executive or proprietor. Labour will be under pressure to match whatever they do.

Team Cameron will be asked to publish an account of the checks that led to the appointment of Andy Coulson as director of communications and to explain why the prime minister was not told by his closest aides that Coulson had hired a criminal when he was editor of the News of the World.

And so on and so on.

All this as the police still have to inform more than 3,000 people that they were possible victims of hacking - each of whom may start legal proceedings or brief the media.

All this as an inquiry will begin with significant powers and a huge remit.

All this as Rupert Murdoch's enemies smell blood.

What about the politics of all this?

Ed Miliband has had a major victory. He will be desperate to keep this story going.

David Cameron has had a major scare. Until today he has looked under the spell of events rather than in control of them. He has, however, now done all of what has been asked of him.

The dangers for him, though, are far from over - although today's announcements may take some of the immediate pressure off him the questions about his appointment of Andy Coulson and his relationships with the Murdochs and their lieutenants will mean that life remains very uncomfortable.

The so-called Tory press will either be self absorbed (in the case of The Sun) or on the defensive (the Mail and Telegraph fear what regulatory regime may now be set up).

Parliament has, once again, been at the centre of this national debate.

The political classes will feel tonight that they have stood up to Rupert Murdoch and won - for now.

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

Emergency data law to be rushed in localisation->translate("watch"); ?>

Emergency legislation will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to log records of customer calls, texts and internet use.

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 94.

    81. Purplehatplus
    13 HOURS AGO
    I agree with Graham. The BBC cannot bring itself to congratulate David Cameron for anything.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Give us a clue...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 93.

    '62. Bass_Man What I want from the Beeb is reporting, not comment. Whether we get that is up for debate.'

    Happy to tick that. See who can't handle it, Col. Jack-style.

    Shame meeting on The Editors' posts is again off limits as that wonderful 'good' media monopoly on free speech radiates.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 92.

    "For some reason you are unable to comment rationally on this whole Murdoch story but you keep at it. Why?"

    you call the left kicking the @*se out of Coulson element of this story rational?? Considering the left's track record of failing to police its own relationship with the press? Do me a favour! THATS why I keep at it. Whilst the underlying story is important, the Coulson element is froth!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 91.

    "And if even that fails (as here), you look to change the subject."

    I dont think it failed. You reacted to it. Had it been a failure, you'd have just walked on by and ignored it. Yeah, you harrumphed about it and looked down your nose at it, but you still reacted, didnt you? Why would you react to a failure? Because theres a case to answer. Its just the left are completely incapable of answers.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 90.

    "to me that whatever the story, you seek an anti-Labour angle - and if there isn't one, you have a jolly good and determined bash at creating it."

    Theres usually one which they inflict on themselves by crowing and throwing stones from their big glass house, Saga. I dont need to go looking for it. My role is purely reactive.

 

Comments 5 of 94

 

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