Phone-hacking 'truth and reconciliation committee' needed

Boris: 'I think all the editors and all the proprietors should come forward.'
Boris: 'I think all the editors and all the proprietors should come forward.'

By Ian Dunt

Newspaper editors should instigate a 'truth and reconciliation' committee to reveal everything they knew about phone-hacking, the mayor of London has said.

The demand marks the first time a public figure has tried to expand the debate from just News of the World to the rest of the newspaper industry.

"I would like to see the entire newspaper industry, what we used to call Fleet Street and indeed the media generally, have a general truth and reconciliation commission about all this," Boris Johnson told Sky News.

"I think all the editors and all the proprietors should come forward, put their hands up, say whether they know of any of their reporters or employees who may or may not have been engaged in these practices which have now been exposed at the News of the World.

"I think that would be a very healthy development."

Many other tabloids are suspected of having practised phone-hacking and many journalists at News of the World are known to be resentful of the fact that the media spotlight has shone exclusively on their newspaper.

The comments came as media reports suggested that the Cabinet secretary had vetoed a call from Gordon Brown for a judicial review into the scandal.

The then-prime minister pushed for the review just before the general election, prompting Sir Gus O'Donnell to say that it would be inappropriate.

News of the World published an apology to eight victims of phone-hacking yesterday as it sought to draw a line under the scandal.

It seems unlikely to have accomplished its objectives, with at least one of the figures expected to maintain their legal fight until further record are made available.

"[Football agent and phone-hacking victim] Sky Andrew has been finally offered an apology and we are thinking about what to do," Charlotte Harris of Mishcon de Reya, which represents Mr Andrew, told The World This Weekend.

"There isn't actually a particular figure they have offered us for anything.

"The position Sky is taking is not dissimilar to that of Sienna Miller and Nicola Phillips. It is: isn't this a bit early, we are just about to have disclosure of the documents, we need to have a look and see what has happened and get to the bottom of it and then we'll see where it goes from there."


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