by Alexander Higgins
Disgraced royal correspondent Clive Goodman’s letter says phone hacking was ‘widely discussed’ at NoW meetings and reveals a massive coverup of the scandal
Phone hacking: News of the World reporter’s letter reveals cover-up
Disgraced royal correspondent Clive Goodman’s letter says phone hacking was ‘widely discussed’ at NoW meetings
The News of the World’s former royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, who was jailed over phone hacking. A letter from him claims phone hacking was widely discussed at the paper. Photograph: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and their former editor Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty and cover-up after the publication of an explosive letter written by the News of the World’s disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman.
In the letter, which was written four years ago but published only on Tuesday, Goodman claims that phone hacking was “widely discussed” at editorial meetings at the paper until Coulson himself banned further references to it; that Coulson offered to let him keep his job if he agreed not to implicate the paper in hacking when he came to court; and that his own hacking was carried out with “the full knowledge and support” of other senior journalists, whom he named.
The claims are acutely troubling for the prime minister, David Cameron, who hired Coulson as his media adviser on the basis that he knew nothing about phone hacking. And they confront Rupert and James Murdoch with the humiliating prospect of being recalled to parliament to justify the evidence which they gave last month on the aftermath of Goodman’s allegations. In a separate letter, one of the Murdochs’ own law firms claim that parts of that evidence were variously “hard to credit”, “self-serving” and “inaccurate and misleading”.