THE News of the World phone-hacking scandal continued to gather pace yesterday, with Gordon Brown asking police to investigate whether he was targeted. The former Prime Minister expressed concerns his messages may have been intercepted between 2005 and 2007, when he was chancellor.
Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne ramped up pressure on News Corp – owner of the News of the World – casting doubt on the newspaper’s defence that a single “rogue reporter” was responsible for the hacking. He told the BBC: “It seemed to me clear that the number of people that were being hacked clearly was not consistent with it being one rogue reporter who happened to be the royal correspondent.”
The allegations finally toppled David Cameron’s key aide Andy Coulson over the weekend. The Number 10 spin doctor quit, saying he was no longer able to give “110 per cent” to the job. Yesterday City sources were questioning whether the scandal could even affect News Corp’s bid for Sky. One suggestion is that News Corp could fall foul of “fit and proper” ownership rules if it is found it bought off potential witnesses in a in a future criminal prosecution. However, sources close to media watchdog Ofcom told City A.M. this scenario is “far fetched”.