The final edition of The News of the World. Photo credit: Archie Thomas
News of the World
The letter by former News of the World’s Royal Editor Clive Goodman claims that hacking was “widely discussed” at News International editorial meetings. That contradicts the News International line that Goodman was a rogue reporter. Goodman wrote the letter to News International as he appealed against his dismissal for gross misconduct in 2007. Goodman is the only journalist so far convicted of intercepting voicemail messages. The Commons culture, media and sport select committee, released the letter on their website today. Read it here.
If proved to be accurate, the letter, which claimed “this practice (hacking) was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the Editor” is particularly damaging for Andy Coulson, Goodman’s then editor.
“Clive Goodman’s letter is the most significant piece of evidence that has been revealed so far. It completely removes News International’s defence. This is one of the largest cover-ups I have seen in my lifetime,” Labour MP and select committee member Tom Watson told The Guardian.
Earlier today, select committee chairman John Whittingdale said the MPs would likely recall James Murdoch and other senior News International executives to give further evidence because it needed to ask more questions about what they knew about hacking. James, his father Rupert and Rebekah Brooks all faced select committee grillings over the phone hacking scandal in July. Speaking to the BBC, Whittingdale said: “When we have all that information and answers to the questions, I think that it would be likely that we will want to speak to James Murdoch again.”
- Blow for Cameron, humiliation for Murdochs. “The claims are acutely troubling for the prime minister, David Cameron, who hired Coulson as his media adviser on the basis that he knew nothing about phone hacking,” insisted Nick Davies of The Guardian, who broke the hacking story. “And they confront Rupert and James Murdoch with the humiliating prospect of being recalled to parliament to justify the evidence which they gave last month on the aftermath of Goodman’s allegations.”