7 Jul 2011

PM backs inquiry into hacking scandal

3:28 pm on 7 July 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron has backed calls for an independent inquiry into a phone hacking scandal surrounding News International.

Mr Cameron said everyone is revolted by accusations that one of the group's papers, the News of the World, paid to hack into the mobile phone of a murdered girl while she was missing.

But he said an inquiry could not take place until police investigations were concluded.

Mr Cameron told the House of Commons on Wednesday he would support two separate inquiries - one into why the original policy inquiry did not get to the bottom of what happened and a second into the behaviour of individuals and media organisations, and media ethics.

Amid noisy scenes at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, Mr Cameron said: ''We do need to have an inquiry, possibly inquiries, into what has happened.

''We are no longer talking here about politicians and celebrities. We are talking about murder victims, potentially terrorist victims, having their phones hacked into.

''It is absolutely disgusting, what has taken place, and I think everyone in this House and indeed this country will be revolted by what they have heard and what they have seen on their television screens.''

News Corporation, chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said allegations that staff had hacked phones and paid police were ''deplorable and unacceptable''.

News Corp is the parent company of the News of the World.

Further details

Milly Dowler, 13, went missing in March 2002 near her home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

Her remains were found in remote woodland at Yateley Heath in Hampshire six months later.

A nightclub doorman was convicted of her murder in June.

As disclosures involving the News of the World continue to emerge, families of victims of the 7 July bombings in 2005 have complained that they may have had their phones hacked.

Police investigating hacking claims against the paper have also contacted the parents of murdered schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.