The spectre of phone hacking has never really gone away from the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker: despite all assurances from the Murdoch mafiosi, the Leveson Inquiry hearings, all the settlements with scores and scores of victims, the passage of all those years, and of course the closure of the late and not at all lamented Screws, the tinge of illegality is something that News UK can never quite shake off.
That's right Tom - you're BUSTED
And that is despite the steadfast claims by those working at the Sun, with its Sunday stablemate the Murdochs' last remaining UK tabloid, that It Didn’t Happen There, honestly. Chief among those telling anyone and everyone that It Wasn’t The Sun Wot Done It has been the paper’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn, who took to Twitter four years ago to settle the matter of alleged Sun phone hacking once and for all.
Responding to a little gentle prodding by Liam Connell, whom he had already smeared as a “Marxist”, to go on record and state that there had been no phone hacking at the Sun, The Great Man was unequivocal: “That's easy Karl [Karl? That supposed to be a joke?Don’t give up the day job, eh?] - I have no knowledge of phone hacking at all at The Sun, because there wasn't any. Hence why no arrests”.
Well, that’s that cleared up, then. Or rather it isn’t: phone hacking at the Sun is now the subject of a litany of civil claims, as I hinted a year ago. It was revealed then that claimants were “also presenting evidence from two other convicted phone hackers, [Glenn] Mulcaire and Paul McMullan, in support of claims that 40 articles published in the Sun were obtained through phone hacking”. Two men who know where the bodies are buried.
But the crucial piece in this jigsaw, in that it shows Newton Dunn was being seriously economical with the actualité, has been revealed as part of the now established series of articles on Byline Media, which tells “PHONE hacking may still have been happening at Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers two years after the company insists the illegal practice ended, according to new claims heard in the High Court”.
Courtesy of Byline Media
This claim is supported by a redacted email, the contents of which have been read out in court. This was addressed to senior Sun man Dominic Mohan, and states “For your information Dom, just so you're aware, I had dinner with (senior politician) last night who revealed very discreetly to us that his phone answerphone was hacked three weeks ago and he has called in the police. Being a decent bloke who likes us he is not planning on telling anyone or making a big deal”. It was dated 16th March 2011.
And who was the Sun man who let Mohan know that phone hacking was still going on, and probably at the Sun? Step forward Tom Newton Dunn! Sure, at that time the hack could have been the work of those at the Screws, but Newton Dunn emailing Mohan suggests it was the Super Soaraway Currant Bun Wot Done It.
In which case, Tom Newton Dunn has his trousers well and truly alight.