COMMONS

Unauthorised hacking into or tapping of mobile communications

05 April 2011

Following the Home Affairs Committee session on Tuesday 29 March 2011, Chairman Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP has written to Rebekah Brooks, Chief Executive of News International, requesting information on the number of police officers paid by The Sun newspaper during her time as Editor. A response was received on 11 April 2011.

The Chairman has also written to Acting Deputy Commissioner John Yates requesting the release of the legal advice he received before and after 1 October 2010.

The Committee will take oral evidence from the Director of Public Prosecutions on Tuesday 5 April at 12.15pm in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House.

The Committee will also take evidence from the Information Commissioner on Tuesday 26 April.

Committee Chair, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, said:

“The Committee is keen to clarify outstanding issues so we can conclude our inquiry. The DPP and Information Commissioner have agreed to give evidence as part of this inquiry”.

(1) Letter from Chairman to John Yates - Phone hacking inquiry

"Thank you for giving such full evidence to my Committee on Tuesday.
 

I wished to ask for some further information arising from your oral evidence. The Committee would find it very helpful to be provided with copies of the legal advice on the scope of the offence given to you in relation to your review of the Mulcaire case last autumn: both before and after the 1 October case conference at which you first learned of the DPP’s willingness to test a broader interpretation of the section 1 offence.
 

During the session you also mentioned the research that was being undertaken into the claims that police officers had been paid by newspapers for information. Please could you outline the remit of the research?
 

I would be grateful to receive your response by noon on Monday 4 April 2011."

(2) Letter from Chairman to Rebekah Brooks - Phone Hacking

"I am writing concerning the current Home Affairs Committee inquiry into the unauthorised tapping of Mobile Communications. 

In March 2003, whilst editor of The Sun newspaper you gave evidence to the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. You stated that the newspaper had paid police officers for information.
 

Today during the Home Affairs Select Committee session with Deputy Commissioner John Yates this matter was raised again.
 

I would be most grateful if you would let me know;
 

  • The number of police paid by The Sun newspaper whilst you were Editor? 
  • How much these police officers were paid?
  • When the practice ceased? 

I would be grateful if you could respond by midday on Monday 4th April."

(3) Letter from Rebekah Brooks to Chairman - Phone Hacking 

"Thank you for your letter dated 29 March 2011 and for giving me the opportunity to clarify comments I made towards the end of my appearance before the Culture Media and Sports Select Committee in March 2003.

 

As can be seen from the transcript, I was responding to a specific line of questioning on how newspapers get information. My intention was simply to comment generally on the widely-held belief that payments had been made in the past to police officers.

 

If, in doing so, I gave the impression that I had knowledge of any specific cases, I can assure you that this was not my intention."

(4) Letter from Chairman to Rebekah Brooks - Phone Hacking

"Thank you for your letter of 11th April 2011 in response to my letter of 29th March 2011.

 

I am most grateful to you for your co-operation with the Committee’s inquiry."

Further information

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