Friday, 20 April 2012

News Of The World: Keep On Digging

"Unbeknown to members of the Culture Committee, the NOTW established a team to investigate their private lives. For several days, as chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck would later tell Tom Watson, reporters searched for any secret lovers or extra-marital affairs that could be used as leverage against the MPs.
"Thurlbeck said: "All I know is that, when the DCMS [Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee] was formed or rather when it got onto all the hacking stuff, there was an edict came down from the editor and it was find out every single thing you can about every single member: who was gay, who had affairs, anything we can use.
"Each reporter was given two members and there were six reporters that went on for around 10 days. I don't know who looked at you. It fell by the wayside; I think even Ian Edmondson [the news editor] realised there was something quite horrible about doing this..."

"Although the committee wanted Brooks to give evidence, its members, whose private lives News International had pored over, capitulated and decided not to summon her. On the day the committee met to discuss the issue, two Labour MPs close to Tony Blair, Janet Anderson and Rosemary McKenna, were absent. The gay Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price – who in September unexpectedly announced that he would leave Parliament at the next general election to take up a Fulbright scholarship in the US – claimed that the committee's members had been warned that if they had called Brooks, their private lives would be raked over.
"Mr Price said later: "I was told by a senior Conservative member of the committee, who I knew was in direct contact with executives at News International, that if we went for her, they would go for us – effectively they would delve into our personal lives in order to punish [us]."
 
From The Independent who are serialising Tom Watson's book Dial M For Murder.
Nice work lads.

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