Pressure for Leveson inquiry to consider broadcast media

By Phil Scullion

Conservative backbencher Bill Cash has called for the Leveson inquiry into phone-hacking to be widened to consider the role of broadcast media.

Mr Cash yesterday tabled an early day motion on the issue which has already drawn the support of 13 other select committee chairs.

This follows a question put by the MP for Stone to the prime minister following Wednesday's phone-hacking statement.

His motion reads: "This House insists that the terms of reference of the Leveson inquiry must be extended to the whole media, including sound, visual and social media and include blagging and other unethical or illegal practices and not confined to 'phone-hacking'."

A Downing Street spokesman promised to "reflect" on the suggestion.

If accepted the change would spell further trouble for News Corporation owner Rupert Murdoch as it would potentially see the phone-hacking scandal spill over to his broadcast assets.

One alteration has already been made to the terms of the inquiry with an extension allowing it to examine why Scotland Yard hired ex-News of the World editor Neil Wallis.

Theresa May, home secretary, has asked for the Metropolitan police to explain why Mr Wallis was awarded an advisory role on £24,000 a year in 2010.

London mayor Boris Johnson spoke yesterday with Met police chief Sir Paul Stephenson about the issue.