Milly Dowler phone hack prompts Media Standards Trust call for public inquiry

The Media Standards Trust today launches its campaign 'Hacked off' calling for a public inquiry into phone hacking.

News of the World: faces claims it hacked into Milly Dowler's mobile
News of the World: faces claims it hacked into Milly Dowler's mobile

The move to call for an urgent inquiry follows claims a private investigator working for the News of the World hacked into murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's mobile. Further claims that families of the 7/7 bombing victims may have had their phones hacked have also surfaced.

Director of the Media Standards Trust Martin Moore told PRWeek: ‘The campaign has been in the planning for weeks and we brought some of our activities forward with the news of the Milly Dowler hacking.

‘We believe that only a public inquiry with full powers to call for papers and summon witnesses can explore the full range of issues involved, establish what went wrong and who ordered for the phones to be hacked.’

The campaign is running alongside an online petition and a series of events to bring together people calling for the inquiry.

Moore added: ‘We want to make sure that everyone can have their say, whether they are from the legal profession, the government or the media.

‘Journalists want to clear the air and say they don’t hack and won’t hack and we want to talk to as many of them as we can.’

Home Office minister Baroness Browning has resisted calls in the House of Lords for an immediate independent inquiry.

She told peers: ‘A police investigation into allegations of phone hacking is currently under way. It's important that the investigation is allowed to proceed and the conclusions made public.

‘The Government believes it most appropriate to consider the outcomes of the police investigations and the various inquiries before deciding whether any further steps are necessary.’

The campaign will be launched at the College Green in front of the Houses of Parliament from 4pm. The Dowlers’ lawyer, Mark Lewis, Colin Stagg’s solicitor, Jacqui Hames, Lord Prescott and Chris Bryant MP will attend.

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