Only yesterday I predicted that this blog would be returning to Phonehackgate before long. The only surprise was that the wait was so short. The latest Guardian piece on the report of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee into the activities of the press, which I mentioned yesterday, had one man missing from its list of authors: Flat Earth News creator Nick Davies, who had previously carried most of the reporting on the affair.
The reason for this is straightforward: Davies was continuing to get stuck in to the story, and today the paper has published details of developments, including the news that, on the watch of Andy Coulson, the Murdoch News Of The World employed a freelance private detective who was fresh out of jail, having done time for blackmail.
The only barrier to revealing the name of the individual concerned is that he is to be tried for a crime of violence. He is the fourth investigator to work for the Screws known to have used illegal methods to get information.
Former Labour minister Denis MacShane has urged the withdrawal of Coulson’s parliamentary pass, and Lib Dem spokesman Chris Huhne has demanded a judicial enquiry. Young Dave, meanwhile, must be hoping it all goes away: my take is that he’s stuck with Coulson, who is part of the Murdoch “family”.
After all, he wants Rupe’s support. Doesn’t he?