Did Murdoch’s man illegally phone tap the PM?

At base, Gordon Brown is the architect of his own latest misfortune. At least that’s the only way his PR team can/should handle the latest attack on the British PM. How can a PM who sent soldiers to war in Afghanistan win a PR war with the grieving mother (who is behaving in her grief as any political enemy might) of a son killed that he sent into battle? That the guy was trying to quietly communicate with the families of the bereaved in a way that was more personal hardly matters. The game matters more. And at the moment, The Sun’s only game is to bowl Gordon out no matter what, or how. And since it has sat on the fence for some considerable while it has a lot of lost time to make up for. Hence what looks like another illegal phone tapping [another fragrant breach of civil liberties? – ed] of the PM’s conversation (unless Brown was daft enough to say yes to an open request – of the kind the law demands). Ben Brogan notes, it is too strong even for some Tory MPs… Though he also gently chides them: be careful of the friends you choose


  • Haven’t the Sun explained that Jacqui Janes recorded the call and not them? I’m sure they’d claim it was in the public interest …

    Wonder who left a digital recorder on the table beside the phone though!?

  • Mick Fealty

    Then, unless Ms James asked the PM his permission, she’s the one in breach of the law. Neat variation on an old Murdochian theme.

  • Rory Carr

    I do not think that Ms James would be in breach of any law by recording any calls she may receive on her own telephone. If that were the case then ansaphones would be on dodgy ground.

    I once was given a recording device by Private Eye that I might record calls, some of which were threatening, that were being made by the principals and agents of a crooked organisation that I had exposed and was quite open with the police when they came to call that I was employing this device. The cops took no exception whatsover even though they were in cahoots with the crooked party.

    All this affair demonstrates is that Murdoch and his editors are a bunch of shits, but then, like much of what appears in the Sun, that’s hardly news.

  • Brian Walker

    From Inthe news:
    “Doing the rounds in the news studios this morning, Sun political editor Tom Newton Dunn said the tabloid was informed of the conversation 15 minutes after it took place on Sunday evening; arriving too late to be included in the following day’s edition.
    Mrs Janes was sitting in her living room with friends when the PM phoned her to apologise over her anger at the letter, Newton Dunn said, when she put the call on speakerphone and used a friend’s Dictaphone (on a PDA) to record the conversation.”

    Is this not to be believed? It reads compleltely at odds with a Sun set-up.

  • 6countyprod

    It’s disgusting abuse by The Sun of a grieving mother for their own political purposes. Shame on them!

  • Pigeon Toes

    As far as I was aware under RIPA it is ok to record telephone calls (and without consent from the other person) for personal use, and as long as the recordings are not passed on to a third party.

  • Mick: It’s JANES not JAMES. Let’s hope Gordon doesn’t hand the shop over to you to mind for his last few months… 😉

    Gordon Brown is hardly going to sue Jacqui Janes either way, is he?

  • Mick Fealty

    Touche Paul…