Tag Archives: rebekah brooks

Phone hacking trial: Coulson found guilty, Cameron apologises

andy-coulsonThe long-awaited trial of David Cameron’s former director of communications, Andy Coulson, concluded today, with the jury finding him guilty of a charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemails as part of the phone-hacking scandal. All Coulson’s co-defendants, including former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, were all found not guilty of various conspiracy charges.

It’s just over 7 years since Cameron appointed Coulson as the Conservatives’ communications director – we noted in May 2007 his connection to what became known as the phone hacking scandal but which back …

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John Leech MP writes… Remembering the reasons for Leveson

The Manchester Evening News has a regular slot in the paper where they get a number of MPs to write an opinion column on topical issues of their choice. This week just happened to be my turn, so I thought that I would comment on the eagerly awaited Leveson report, due out on Thursday.

For those of you who don’t know, the MEN is owned by Trinity Mirror, and along with other major newspaper groups, are totally opposed to independent regulation of the press. They claim that regulation will be the end of freedom of expression. How ironic then, that the …

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Opinion: Hackgate – Who do you trust?

5 Live Drive had a poll yesterday on “Who do you trust?”, particularly with Hackgate in mind.

Emerging, blinking, from two weeks of saturation “Breaking News”, answering that question is a good way to take stock of where we are.

Who do I trust?

Vince Cable is the first person who springs to mind. He (inadvertently publicly) “declared war on Mr Murdoch”. He was then forced to be “hors de combat”. He said “I think we are going to win” and we did. Murdoch is in retreat. Well done, Vince.

Tom Watson is the second person I trust as a result of this …

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Opinion: A good/bad day for Parliament

Some initial reflections on the Culture select committee hearing today:

Is this the most humble day of Rupert Murdoch’s life, as he claimed? I very much doubt it. I suspect the most humble day of his life will come when he is finally removed from his News Corp’s Chairman’s office, no doubt kicking and screaming, with his finger nails screeching along the expensive wallpaper.

One of most significant moments, for me, came when Rupert Murdoch was asked if he felt personally responsible for what went on at his company and he answered “No”.

That seemed very strange, for me. The normal answer is …

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So, Rebekah Brooks has finally resigned

This is obviously a good thing, and the right thing. Her position was untenable, and as I’ve blogged before – whether she knew what was going on in the newsroom when she was editor of the News of the World is irrelevant. She was in charge, and needed to take responsibility.

However, I can’t help but worry that this is a still all part of a bigger tactical game being played by News Corp. Wait til Friday to resign – fewer journalists working over the weekend, less time to make more of the story. Time it for the morning the …

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In (partial) defence of Labour’s so-called ‘Lay Off Murdoch’ instruction to party’s MPs

‘Lay off Murdoch’ — that was the ever-so-quotable paraphrase that the New Statesman used to accompany this article by Dan Hodges, revealing how the Labour Party press team had issued a circular ‘to all shadow cabinet teams warns Labour spokespeople to avoid linking hacking with the BSkyB bid, to accept ministerial assurances that meetings with Rupert Murdoch are not influencing that process, and to ensure that complaints about tapping are made in a personal, not shadow ministerial, capacity.’

In reality, Labour’s communications chief Tom Baldwin — yes, himself a former Murdoch employee — did not use the phrase, ‘Lay off …

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Ed’s learning: he’s done a Dave over Murdoch

Credit where it’s due, fair’s fair, and well-played.

As Paul Walter noted here on LDV on Wednesday, Labour leader Ed Miliband is having a good war, sticking up for clear and proper principles — a judge-led public inquiry, referring News International’s BSkyB bid to the Competition Commission, and the public call for the resignation of Rebekah Brooks — that resound well with the public.

By contrast, David Cameron is on the back-foot over the unravelling scandal at News International, compromised both by having hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his director of communciations (despite warnings), …

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LDVideo: Vince and Shirley’s war on Murdoch, while Nick savages PCC as “busted flush”

There’s no doubt about the big story this week: Rupert Murdoch being forced to close the biggest-selling British newspaper in a brazen bid to ride out the illegal hacking story that threatens his media empire.

Vince Cable’s prophetic powers first came to prominence during the economic storm that came close to collapsing the banking system. Last December, he accidentally went on the record to make clear his wish to clip Rupert Murdoch’s wings. Ironically, it was the Telegraph’s widely condemned subterfuge which stopped Vince in his tracks, and prevented his ability to hold to account the company where illegal hacking was rife. Here’s what he inadvertently revealed to the Telegraph last year:

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In Praise of Nick Davies, the British Bernstein & Woodward to Murdoch’s Nixon

One man, above all, deserves to be singled-out for his single-minded pursuit of the lies, deceit and criminality that have stained British journalism: The Guardian’s special correspondent, Nick Davies.

His has been a lonely crusade. Despite the mounting evidence of corrupt practices, the tentacles of which have extended right into the very centre of the Establishment in this country — Parliament, media barons, senior police officers, Downing Street — Nick Davies has doggedly pursued a campaign which has resulted in the closure of this country’s most-read newspaper. That is some accolade.

But, as he would be the first to point out, it should never have got this far.

The closure of the News of the World would have been avoided if those who knew the truth, or at least had the power to uncover the truth, had done their jobs properly, had fulfilled their duty to the public. And that’s as true of Rebekah Brooks as it is of ‘Yates of the Yard’.

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Opinion: Cameron should be as ruthless as Murdoch‏

In shutting the News of the World, the Murdochs have shown themselves to be ruthless. Their ruthlessness changed the story, although it has not killed it.

David Cameron needs to be as ruthless. So long as the Murdochs have a powerful media presence, his hiring of Andy Coulson and his closeness to Rebekah Brooks are real issues. The retoxification of the Tory party is underway.

Cameron should announce that he was lied to by Coulson, and that the level of rot can only have happened if people at the top were not managing the paper properly. It was Brooks and …

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Brian Paddick writes: The Lib Dem Guide to phone hacking

Uniquely perhaps, I was a victim of the News of the World’s private investigator, Glen Mulcaire, when I was a senior police officer at New Scotland Yard, working along the corridor from the officers who conducted the first phone hacking inquiry in 2002. But they never told me I was victim.

It was only a couple of years ago when my solicitor received a call from a Guardian journalist, that I knew Mulcaire had my name and mobile phone number in his notebook.

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Opinion: Nick Clegg didn’t suck up to Murdoch – that’s why his minions tried to destroy him

There was a moment during the election campaign last year when many Liberal Democrats realised we had passed through the looking glass.

Nick Clegg’s performance in the first leaders’ debate broke the glass ceiling of British politics and, it seems, caused more than one Tory-supporting newspaper editor to wet themselves in fear.

Then, on the eve of the second debate, the right wing press let slip the dogs of war.

It wasn’t just the Murdoch papers that went for Nick, but they did and they did it viciously. The Sun ridiculed him, splashing outrageous and ridiculous headlines on their front page for days …

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