MP sees 'funny side' of phone-hacking tailing

James Murdoch apologised for any surveillance when giving evidence to MPs
James Murdoch apologised for any surveillance when giving evidence to MPs

By Alex Stevenson

One of the MPs allegedly put under surveillance by News International has said private investigators tasked with following him must have had a "boring time".

Liberal Democrat Adrian Sanders, a member of the Commons' culture, media and sport committee whose members were allegedly followed around for three days, said MPs should be "proud" for their refusal to be cowed.

"We already knew we were under the spotlight, we'd already been warned they could do us over if they could find anything against us," Mr Sanders told politics.co.uk.


"As far as I can tell, they didn't."

James Murdoch was confronted with allegations of surveillance by Conservative MP Louise Mensch in last week's evidence session. The News International executive chairman apologised to MPs for any surveillance.

Mr Sanders said he was not aware of being followed at any time in 2009, but pitied those who were tasked with the job.

"I do see the funny side - they must have had a very boring time following me around," he laughed.

"If they followed me to my constituency, that's great, they would have spent money in my constituency which is good for my constituency.

Ms Mensch, who was first elected to parliament in 2010, told Sky News that the idea that MPs could have been tailed was "chilling" and "shocking".

But Mr Sanders said he did not take the surveillance personally, adding: "We've got broad backs as politicians - or we ought to have."

Former Daily Mirror editor Roy Greenslade had cited a source at the News of the World who claimed for three days "only six or seven months ago, every single member of the committee investigating this matter were followed by private eyes, and/or staff of the newspaper".

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