Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tom Watson Looks To Expose News Corporation Intimidation Of MP's

From The Guardian:

Tom Watson, the Labour MP who helped uncover the hacking scandal, is to write to all other MPs asking whether they have ever been threatened or bullied by News International.

He is taking the action after Max Mosley, the former Formula One racing boss, announced he was funding legal assistance for MPs to reveal potential blackmail and intimidation against them by Rupert Murdoch's newspaper group. Chris Bryant MP, who was also instrumental in exposing the scandal, said the intimidation of MPs was widespread and that he intended to list all the threats he had received in his evidence to the Leveson inquiry.


Watson has said that attempts were made by News International to make him drop his investigations into the company. Another Labour MP, Chris Bryant, said in a Commons debate last year that an associate of Rupert Murdoch had warned him that campaigning on hacking would "not be forgotten".

Bryant said he intended to detail all the threats he had received from News International and News Corp when he gives his evidence to the Leveson inquiry. "News Corp always worked a double pincer, offering fear and favour. Intimidation was relatively widespread but mostly aimed at people who were the most exposed such as those on the culture, media and sport committee."

Mosley told the Independent that he was aware of two other cases in which News International had brought undue influence to bear on MPs.

In 2011, News International executives instructed journalists to scrutinise the lives of the MPs of the culture, media and sport select committee. Private detectives were hired to tail Watson.

Shortly after the appearance of the Murdochs before the select committee in July 2011, committee member and Conservative MP Louise Mensch said she was emailed by a journalist called David Jones threatening to expose past misdeeds including taking drugs. The email was copied to the Conservative chairman and the Conservative chief whip. Mensch then issued a statement to the media confessing to the accusations and concluding: "I have not the slightest intention of being deterred from asking how far the culture of hacking and blagging extended in Fleet Street."

The true identity of David Jones was never established but colleagues on the select committee say that Mensch has kept a low profile on the subject of News International and phone hacking ever since.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, just working for the "public interest."

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