British Lawmakers Trade Jabs Over Hacking Scandal

Jul 20, 2011

There's a remarkable scene playing out right now in the British Parliament, where Prime Minister David Cameron has been laying out a defense of his — and his staff's — actions related to the "hacking scandal" and the leader of the opposition has accused Cameron of ignoring warnings about some of the News Corp. executives hired to work for the government.

Labor Party leader Ed Milliband just declared that Cameron was "warned and he preferred to ignore the warnings" and that the prime minister isn't providing "the leadership we need."

Cameron fired back that the problem of too-close connections between the British government and editors of Rupert Murdoch's media outlets "has been taking place for many years." And he asked "when are we going to see ... transparency from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown?" — the Labor Party prime ministers who preceded Conservative Cameron.

Cameron accused his Labor critics of belonging to "the Slumber Party."

Among the live-blogs up and running are those of The Guardian and BBC News.

In related news, the BBC's current lead story starts with Cameron conceding that "he would not have employed ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson if he knew what would emerge about phone hacking there. ... In an emergency statement to MPs, Mr Cameron also said inquiry into the phone hacking scandal will be widened to examine the conduct of individuals in the police, media and politics."

On Morning Edition today, NPR's David Folkenflik reported that even though the now defunct News of the World, where the scandal started, was less than 1 percent of News Corp., "it could — just could — drag the company out of the Murdochs' grasp."

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