Slugger O'Toole

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Convicted NoW journalist claims phone hacking widely discussed at paper

Tue 16 August 2011, 8:59pm

The furore over the News of the World phone hacking had seemed to be dying down. However the BBC are now reporting that former NoW journalist Clive Goodman wrote a letter alleging that hacking was widely discussed at the newspaper.

Goodman was appealing against his dismissal by the NoW following his conviction for phone hacking. However in the letter to News International’s Head of Human Resources copied to Les Hinton, News International’s then executive chairman, and Stuart Kuttner, the then managing editor of the News of the World; Goodman stated:

“The decision is perverse in that the actions leading to this criminal charge were carried out with the full knowledge and support of [redacted] … payment for Glen Mulcaire’s services was arranged by [redacted].
“The decision is inconsistent because [redacted] and other members of staff were carrying out the same illegal procedures.
“This practice was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the Editor. As far as I am aware, no other member of staff has faced disciplinary action, much less dismissal.”

Former Downing Street Director of Communications Andy Coulson resigned as NoW editor following Goodman’s conviction but Goodman’s letter does not state the date of these supposedly open discussions about phone hacking so it is not clear who was editor of the NoW at the time.

Clive Goodman also claimed “Tom Crone (News International Legal Manager) and the Editor (Andy Coulson) promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in my mitigation plea,” wrote Mr Goodman. “I did not, and I expect the paper to honour its promise to me.”

Clearly Goodman wrote these claims after he has been convicted of criminal offences and had been sacked in disgrace from the NoW: as such his claims need to be viewed with caution.

This letter was supplied to MPs by the legal firm Harbottle and Lewis. Another copy was also provided by News International but with the references to phone hacking being widely discussed at editorial conferences and the claim about allowing Goodman to return to his job both blanked out.

It seems likely that MPs will recall a number of News International personnel. The text of Goodman’s letter is here (PDF) on the Culture media and Sport Committee’s website.

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Comments (9)

  1. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    As we suspected all along. There has to be a few people quaking in their gucchi loafers in other newsrooms too.
    Now some banks are too big to fail, some countries too big to bail out;
    Are there some newspaper proprietors too old to send to jail?

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  2. pauluk (profile) says:

    The furore over the News of the World phone hacking was dying down because left leaning liberals were being exposed. But, hey, let’s give it another go and see if we can get Murdoch this time. Custard pie this time?

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  3. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Paul,

    Erm, Piers Morgan? Left leaning liberal? Shurely shome mishtake?

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  4. I think that its inevitable that in the gap between Parliament taking its summer break and Party Conference season…….the phone hacking scandal will be on hold.
    Today a Sky News presenter (Anna Botting I think) put it to Michael White of the Guardian that the phone hacking story was less important than the Riots and maybe a”waste of police resouces”.
    It would be interesting to see if this is a new line (“theres a War on”) that Journalists come up with in their eagerness to see this story swept under a carpet.

    The rogue reporter defence has gone.
    It already had.
    The heat being turned up on others in NoW and the developments there will be interesting
    But so will the developments away from NoW.

    Clearly NoW comes out of it all badly and Journalism itself was too anxious to support the “rogue reporter” theory and the industry is now exposed as being very stupid or up to its necks in the scandal.
    How far can we rely on Journalists to tell us the story.

    But the real point about Goodmans alleged letter is NOT that it was written but that it has emeged today. It already existed. And probably more exists.

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  5. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    I’m increasingly mistrustful of bugbears. You have it in for journalism to the extent of ignoring the fact this story is being driven by journalists.

    But, that’s not to deny that more than the Murdoch empire have been happy to sweep sins under the carpet. This piece from the Media Show demonstrates a kind of moral stupor other so far as we know, perfectly respectable journos suffered when faced with the sins of their tabloid cousins: http://sluggerotoole.com/2009/07/16/murdochgate-it-is-not-as-news-international-claimed-one-rotten-apple-it-is/

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  6. Surely everyone has “bugbears”.
    My point would be that this is a story that its almost impossible to believe that very few in Journalism knew nothing about……and even fewer did anything to expose.
    To that extent Journalism is no different from any other group of people rallying round their own.
    Doctors, Solicitors, Politicians, Civil Servants, Accountants, Police, Military have and/or would do exactly the same.
    Im not making the point that Journalists are different.
    In fact I am saying they are exactly the same.
    That Journalists from “respectable” papers are driving the story……is a bit like claiming truly) ythat a Doctor exposed Harold Shipman.

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  7. Dewi (profile) says:

    Bullshit Mick – a lad got sent to clink for 6 months for nicking a £1.50 bottle of water and this scum prowl our streets…

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  8. Johnny Boy (profile) says:

    Is the hacking storey less important than the riots? Maybe the question should be are they in some sense linked? The world of politics, media, and finance have been found to be rotten to the core, and all the while the man in the streen is left with the bill and a bitter taste in his mouth.

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  9. Are Andy Coulson et all going to be rushed through the courts to send out a message?

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