Phone hacking: The day everything changed

News of the World sign Image copyright AFP

For the past two decades no politician with a prospect of power dared attack the Murdoch empire.

Indeed, politicians of both major parties and their spin doctors fought with each other to woo, to charm and to convert the executives of News International. Today all that changed.

The prime minister has promised enquiries into media ethics and the relationship of the police to News International.

The leader of the opposition has called for the chief executive of News International Rebekah Brooks to be sacked and the News Corporation's bid for BSkyB to be delayed.

Nothing will be quite the same again.

Update, 1513: I'm aware that some people have read my earlier entry and think I'm pointing and nudging towards Andy Coulson.

I'm doing no such thing. I can't say who News International think commissioned and sanctioned the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone, because I don't know. And I have no evidence to suggest it was Mr Coulson.

The fact is that News International are pretty clear they know who was involved. We have to assume that if it's someone on the staff they will have to be disciplined and - if the company doesn't discipline anyone - then it's someone who has already left the building. That includes more people than just Andy Coulson.