By politics.co.uk staff
Scotland Yard misled MPs on the extent of phone-hacking at the News of the World, Labour MP Chris Bryant has said.
Speaking at a debate in the House of Commons last night, Mr Bryant said assistant commissioner John Yates misled a Commons select committee by arguing the Crown Prosecution Service's (CPS) definition of phone-hacking was limited to voicemails intercepted before they were listened to by the intended recipient.
The shadow Europe minister said this underestimated the number of hacking victims and that the CPS in fact uses a wider definition that includes intercepting voicemails after they have been received.
"We now know that the evidence given to the Committee was completely disingenuous," the Labour MP said.
"Yates misled the Committee, whether deliberately or inadvertently. He used an argument that had never been relied on by the CPS or by his own officers so as to suggest that the number of victims was minuscule, whereas in fact we know and he knew that the number of potential victims is and was substantial.
"What was lacking was not possible avenues of investigation, but the will to pursue them."
The revelations that journalists at the NoW illegally intercepted celebrities' resulted in the jailing of royal editor Clive Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire in 2007.
Since then a number of civil cases have brought evidence to light that the practice was more extensive, raising doubts over the vigour of Scotland Yard's original investigation.
Mr Bryant is pursuing a judicial review of the police investigation into the case.