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September 08 2010


Phone hacking: new government inquiry launched, PM expected to be quizzed today

The Home Affairs select committee has launched a new inquiry into allegations of phone hacking against the News of the World. The select committee will look at the offences related to unauthorised hacking, how such offences are dealt with and the police’s response.

This will be the second inquiry conducted by MPs following the culture, media and sport select committee’s investigation, which concluded earlier this year with a report condemning “collective amnesia” amongst senior staff at the News of the World. News International argued that the cross-party committee had pursued a political agenda.

The new inquiry has been prompted by claims of fresh evidence against the News of the World and yesterday’s appearance by assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police John Yates in front of the home affairs committee. Yates told the committee that “all reasonable steps” had been taken during the Met’s 2006 investigation of phone hacking to warn individuals when police had reason to believe their phones had been hacked, which he said only applied in the case of 10 to 12 people.

According to the Guardian, Ross Hall, a former employee of the News of the World named in the previous government inquiry, has said he will testify in the phone hacking case. Hall, who is reported to have transcribed hacked voicemail messages for others in the newsroom, told the Guardian he would be willing to speak to Scotland Yard and the new select committee.

Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to face questions on the affair at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today. To follow updates on the story from Journalism.co.uk, subscribe to this RSS feed.Similar Posts:

August 23 2010


Vanessa Perroncel speaks out against super-injunctions

Vanessa Perroncel, the woman alleged to have had an affair with former England captain John Terry – an allegation she denies – has given newspaper interviews this weekend in which she condemns both the use of gagging orders by celebrities and the tabloid media coverage of the affair allegations.

In an interview with the Independent on Sunday, Perroncel said people should not be able to pick and choose when they want a public profile in the media.

There are some people who enjoy the limelight, and they let the press have really intimate information, like weddings, baptisms and so on. So why should these people then be allowed to cherry pick what the newspapers write about them? I know how expensive it is to take out an injunction, and it’s not fair that footballers should be allowed to protect themselves because of their money.

Her comments follow John Terry’s use of a ‘super-injunction’ in February against the News of the World which temporarily stopped the newspaper from publishing allegations of the affair. The order, which was later lifted, made it appear as though they had something to hide, Perroncel says.

She says she is angry that Terry took an injunction out, as she felt it was disproportionate. “There was no need: a simple denial would have done,” she says. “People said I had been gagged but that wasn’t true.” She is angry at the damage the allegations did to her reputation, and at the red-top intrusion she suffered. But she believes newspapers should be free to report genuine cases of infidelity.

She discusses the damage to her reputation further in an interview with the Guardian writer Polly Vernon, who herself concludes that the model was “ripped apart” by the media – the only party who should feel guilt for the way the story played out, she adds.

I am shocked at the wrong that’s been done to Vanessa. Whether or not you believe her denials – and oh, it’s tempting, isn’t it, to keep believing the worst, the most malicious rumours. But Perroncel did not deserve those months of unmitigated trashing. And now it’s calmed down for her somewhat, I’m not sure what she’s got left. (…) There is still, it seems, an overwhelming sense that she has done wrong somehow, somewhere along the line; that she has committed some crime. We’re extremely attached to that idea as a nation. Yet if anyone should be feeling guilty, it’s probably us.

According to Vernon’s article, Perroncel is now planning to take legal action against any publication which printed “unpleasant” stories about her in relation to the accusations. It is also reported that an “official inquiry” has been launched into claims her phone may have been tapped to intercept private calls.Similar Posts:

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