The defence of the Murdoch empire against claims that phone hacking might not have been confined solely to the late and not at all lamented Screws. The Super Soaraway Currant Bun had no part in the bad behaviour. So one title was closed down, the other survived, and by the most fortunate coincidence became a seven day operation, thus compensating perfectly for the lost coverage.observed that claims had been made that the Sun was involved in hacking phones. There were “five new defence witnesses … a number of these were former NGN journalists”. Former Murdoch journalists prepared to blow the whistle on their then employer. So who was targeted?
“the 16 claimants … include former EastEnders and Coronation Street actors … Simon Clegg, the former chief executive of the British Olympic Association … says around half of the articles he alleges were obtained through phone hacking were published in the Sun … Other celebrities … include the former FamilyFortunes presenter Les Dennis, Hear’Say singer and Coronation Street actor Kym Marsh and Doctors actor Sarah Manners”.
Earlier this month, we discovered who was blowing the whistle: information in support of the claims “has been provided by the convicted phone hacker and former News of the World news editor Greg Miskiw in support of an application to include the Sun in a tranche of phone-hacking claims against News Group Newspapers, the owner of the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World”. And today the case returned to court.
There, as Nick Mutch at Byline Media has told, the presence of Paul “Privacy is for paedos” McMullan “stated Brooks set a ‘tone of criminality’ and that ‘the only way… to keep our jobs was to go along with it’ … He claimed it was standard practice at The Sun for journalists to be tasked finding a legitimate way to stand up a story based on information gathered by phone hacking or surveillance”.
Coming in the same week as the verdicts on the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster, and the widespread revulsion at Police corruption, together with appallingly inaccurate reporting, the public mood is moving very firmly behind the resumption of the Leveson Inquiry into its second phase, considering the relationship between Police and the press. The new hacking case underscores this.
Victims of press intrusion want to see Leveson 2. The Hillsborough families want to see Leveson 2. And an increasing number of politicians across the political spectrum want to see Leveson 2. The press establishment is implacably opposed to the move, but then the question has to be asked: in whose name are we governed, that of the people, or the few very rich and very powerful offshore interests who run much of the press?
The Sun had a bad day on Tuesday. Today may have been the beginning of the end.