Hacked Off: Campaign for a Public Inquiry into Phone Hacking

Hacked Off – a campaign for a full public inquiry into phone hacking – launches on Wednesday 6th July.

The petition is now live at www.hackinginquiry.org. Lord Fowler, Lord Cunningham, Chris Bryant MP, Mark Lewis, Adrian Sanders MP, Professor Brian Cathcart, and Martin Moore will officially launch the campaign at the House of Lords on Wednesday evening.

The Dowlers’ lawyer, Mark Lewis; Colin Stagg’s solicitor, Jacqui Hames; Lord Prescott, Chris Bryant MP and others will be available for interview at 4pm on College Green in front of the Houses of Parliament tomorrow.

Supporters of the campaign already include: Lord Fowler, Professor Onora O’Neill, Francis Wheen, Tom Watson MP, Dr Ben Goldacre, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Sir David Bell, DD Guttenplan, Professor Roy Greenslade, Professor Ian Hargreaves, John Lloyd, Isabel Hilton, Ian Jack, John Pilger, Richard Peppiatt, Andreas Whittam Smith, Kevin Marsh and others.

The campaign is calling for a full public inquiry into phone hacking and other forms of illegal intrusion by the press. The inquiry should cover:

  1. The extent of the use of illegal information-gathering methods by the press, directly and through intermediaries;
  2. The conduct of the Metropolitan Police Service in investigating these matters, and its relations with the press;
  3. The communication between press and politicians in relation to these matters;
  4. The conduct of the Press Complaints Commission and of the Information Commissioner, and of other relevant parties such as mobile telephone companies;
  5. The lessons to be learned from these events and actions to be taken to ensure they are not repeated.

A police investigation and civil proceedings are under way, but they are narrowly focused. Even if there are prosecutions, they will concern themselves only with specific cases and individuals. Without an inquiry most of the evidence will stay secret and the wider story of illegal information-gathering and the official response to it will never be told.

Only a public inquiry with full powers to call for papers and summon witnesses can explore the full range of issues involved, establish what went wrong and identify lessons to be learned. Anything less risks leaving a lasting stain of suspicion on individuals, companies and institutions. Anything less would be widely seen, both in Britain and abroad, as a cover-up.

The campaign is being organised by the Media Standards Trust, Brian Cathcart, and with the help of other concerned individuals.


Notes to editors:

The Media Standards Trust is an independent registered charity which fosters high standards in the news media on behalf of the public and public interest. It does this through a combination of research, debate and key initiatives.

Chaired by Sir David Bell (former Chair of the Financial Times), the Trust is governed by a board of trustees Board members include: Deputy Chair Julia Middleton (CEO, Common Purpose); Sir Cyril Chantler (Chairman, King’s Fund); Sir Robert Worcester (Founder, MORI); Robert Peston (Business Editor, BBC); William Davies (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford); Roger Graef (Films of Record); Baroness Helena Kennedy QC; The Right Reverend Stephen Platten (Bishop of Wakefield); Geraint Talfan Davies (Chair, Institute of Welsh Affairs); Anthony Salz (Executive Vice Chairman, Rothschild); Sue Stapely (solicitor, Quiller Consultants/Sue Stapely Consulting); Amelia Fawcett (Chairman, Pensions First; Chair, Guardian Media Group); Albert Scardino (journalist, editor); Sir Philip Otton (retired judge); Mary-Ellen Barker (Thomson Reuters); Charles Manby (Goldman Sachs).

The MST is funded by charitable donations from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Nuffield Foundation.

For more information, please contact Martin Moore, Director of the MST, on 0207 727 5252, or martin.moore@mediastandradstrust.org.