There is outrage in the UK over claims that a tabloid newspaper hacked into the mobile voice messages of the innocent victims of serious crime.
There are also claims that Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World paid police for information.
The alleged victims include missing children who were later found murdered, and the victims of the 2005 London bombings.
Rebekah Brooks was editor of the News of the World at the time of the alleged hacking. She is currently head of News International and says she was not aware of the practice.
The latest allegations have brought the long-running saga to a head. Parliament’s schedule has been cleared for an emergency debate.
“If they (the allegations) are true, this is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation. What i have read in the papers…it is quite, quite shocking that someone could do this.” said David Cameron, talking to journalists during a visit to Afghanistan.
Leader of the opposition Ed Milliband says Brooks should resign.
“I am saying she should examine her conscience and I am sure she will because this did happen on her watch (sous ses yeux) but I am also saying that this goes beyond an individual because it is not about one individual it is about what was happening systematically at a newspaper and why was that allowed to happen?”
The phone-hacking saga has run for several years now but this is a significant development. Until now, it has only involved celebrities and politicians. But the alleged involvement of the innocent victims of crime, some of them children, has caused an outcry.