Reacting to the DCMS select committee report on “Press standards, privacy and libel”, which has just been published, Chris Huhne has said:
This report blows a gaping hole in the News of the World’s line that only a sole rogue reporter was involved in illegal hacking of phones, and reveals enormous worries about the feeble response of the Metropolitan Police in investigating what was clearly widespread illegal activity.
There are very serious issues at stake here for the privacy of the citizen and the report highlights deep concern at the weak reaction to these illegal intrusions by News International, the Press Complaints Commission [PCC], the Met and the Information Commissioner.
The only alternative to get to the bottom of what actually went on at the News of the World is a judicial inquiry so that a judge can insist on information and can draw out the lessons if we are to avoid such wholesale abuse of privacy again.
The DCMS report is withering in its criticism of the PCC’s behaviour over the phone-hacking scandal:
We find the conclusions in the PCC’s November report simplistic and surprising. It has certainly not fully, or forensically, considered all the evidence.
Background: See The Guardian report on what the Committee has found.