News International accused of deceiving the Commons

A Labour MP who claims to be a victim of phone-hacking by the News of the World yesterday accused News International executives of telling ‘blatant’lies to the House of Commons.

Rhonnda MP Chris Bryant has become one of the most vocal campaigners against the News of the World since discovering last year that he was on a list of those allegedly targeted by the newspaper.

Last month he filed a complaint at the High Court alleging his phone was being hacked as long ago as 2003.

Yesterday Bryant told the Commons: ‘Over the Easter break – an unfortunate term, perhaps – News International confessed to the fact that there had been a very significant degree of criminality at the News of the World, in direct contradiction to the evidence that it had provided to two Select Committees of this House.”

At this point he was interrupted by Speaker John Bercow, who invited Bryant to discuss the matter with him in private.

But Bryant continued: ‘In addition, Rebekah Brookes, who in March 2003 said that she had paid police officers for information, wrote to the Home Affairs Committee only a couple of weeks ago to say that what she really meant was that other newspapers had done so.

‘That is a blatant lie. Before I write to you about standards and privileges, Mr Speaker, may I ask whether you have had any apology from News International? The House should no longer put up with being lied to.”

Bercow replied: ‘I am not aware that the House has received any apology, and I certainly have not.”

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