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Hacking pressure grows for Cameron

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 02:23

July 19 - British Prime Minister David Cameron has cut short a visit to Africa as he tries to contain the phone hacking scandal which has escalated into the biggest crisis of his premiership. Andrew Potter reports.

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***AUDIO ON DAVID CAMERON SOUNDBITE AS INCOMING*** British Prime Minister David Cameron in Nigeria's capital Lagos. He'd planned to be in Africa for four days, but that's been cut to a day and a half as he races home to deal with the biggest crisis of his time in office, the News International phone hacking scandal. SOUNDBITE: David Cameron, British Prime Minister, saying (English): "As Prime Minister people are very concerned about our economy and they want to see real growth and real investment and improvement. They want to see a government which keeps its promises about things like immigration and welfare. They do want us to get on with the job of governing the country at the same time as dealing with hacking." That crisis continues to escalate. Inside this flat north of London the body former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare was found on Monday. He'd been a key whistleblower on illegal phone hacking at the newspaper. Hoare said the paper's former editor Andy Coulson knew about the activity, before he resigned and became David Cameron's spokesman. Coulson was forced to quit that job in January. It's this relationship which shows a fatal lack of judgement by Britain's prime minister according to former Labour party spin doctor Alastair Campbell. SOUNDBITE: Alastair Campbell, Former Labour Party Director of Communications, saying (English): "It's almost as if he's been in denial. I mean he ran this ridiculous line about, you know, he wanted to give the guy a second chance as though he's a probation officer rather than the prime minister and even now, yesterday, he was protesting that 'the guy didn't do anything wrong while he was working for me'. It's not the point. The point is the judgement that he applied or he failed to apply in making a decision that so many people were warning him would end as it's ended." Cameron is also facing criticism for his close relationship with Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor and News International CEO who quit over the crisis. Arriving at work on Tuesday, James Murdoch has always been considered the heir appararent to the News Corp empire. That succession plan is now being questioned. News Corp has lost more than $6 billion in market value since the hacking scandal erupted. And the company's top British tabloid The Sun isn't immune to being hacked itself. On Monday night the paper's website displayed a hoax story about Rupert Murdoch committing suicide, after being accessed by hacking collective LulzSec. Andrew Potter, Reuters

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Hacking pressure grows for Cameron

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 02:23