Boris dismisses phone-hacking ‘codswallop’

By politics.co.uk staff

London mayor Boris Johnson has rejected concerns over the phone-hacking row as politically motivated “codswallop”.

Answering questions in his monthly question-time to the London Assembly, Mr Johnson said he could not recall “specific briefings” with the Metropolitan police after revelations by the Guardian newspaper last year.

He was the victim of phone-hacking in 2006.

Mr Johnson robustly rejected the concerns of many public figures that the Met may have failed to properly protect their interests by not informing them that their phones had allegedly been hacked into by the News of the World newspaper.

He described the latest row, centred upon whether prime minister David Cameron’s head of communications Andy Coulson was aware of illegal practices during his time as editor of the tabloid, as “codswallop” and a “politically-motivated put-up job”.

“Labour politicians have had five years to discover their principles about this and get outraged about what may or may not have happened,” the Guardian quoted him as saying.

“Unless there are significant new facts brought into the public domain that actually change the potential police case and make necessary a fresh look at it, then I don’t propose to change my views.”

His comments come as film star Sienna Miller became the latest high-profile celebrity to add her names to the case which will test the culpability of the Met.

Figures including former Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, Labour’s ex-Europe minister Chris Bryant and former deputy prime minister John Prescott are among those seeking a judicial review into officers’ decision not to inform them that phone-hacking had occurred.