Thursday, 9 July 2009

Greens condemn revelations about alleged News Group phone hacking

The Green Party has strongly criticised inaction by Boris Johnson over revelations of hacking into mobile phones of public figures by the News of the World and other newspapers.

Jenny Jones, the Green Party's home affairs spokesperson and a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said: "The right to privacy has been widely eroded in recent years, but it is a serious right that must be respected by everyone. If it is ever breached, there should be a clear and strong justification. A list of 1,000 individuals being hacked by private investigators looks like systematic trawling for gossip for which there is no higher journalistic justification."

Jenny Jones also criticised Boris Johnson's inaction on the issue: "It's like he's a rabbit in the headlights. Even if he is involved [as one of the public figures whose phone was hacked] it would be appropriate to invite the commissioner and to say why he did not pass it on. In some ways he has to defend the commissioner and the police service if there is going to be criticism, so he needs to know."

Jones added: "The disturbing thing is if there was proof that phones had been hacked why did [the police] not get in touch with people themselves? That is the worrying aspect. The Met should have informed the victims of these hacking operations, especially the political ones, so that they could change their phone numbers."

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