Don Foster MP

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Phone hacking: how the Met came to the Guardian looking for evidence

September 23, 2023 by admin in News

The results were all too predictable. Last Friday, the Guardian went public, revealing that the police had asked for a court ruling on the legality of the demand this Friday. Remarkably, support for the newspaper was widespread, with trenchant leading articles from the Financial Times and the Daily Mirror, which both recognised the importance of protecting journalistic sources. Meanwhile the Sunday Times, part of Rupert Murdoch’s media stable, called on the Met to “call off its legal dogs”. Even Richard Littlejohn, the Daily Mail columnist, announced, after advising his readers to “pour yourself a stiff drink”, that he was “about to defend the Guardian” in a column.

Politicians swiftly joined in. At their party conference, the Liberal Democrats were quick to voice support; asked by MP Don Foster at a fringe meeting attended by Hugh Grant whether there was a public interest in publishing the Milly Dowler story, every one of the 200 or so hands went up. On Monday, Labour followed suit - and both parties called on politicians or senior officials to intervene. As Fleet Street rallied around and politicians followed, the authorities struggled.

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