News24

Family of dead UK troops - phones hacked

2011-07-07 17:45

London - On Thursday The Royal British Legion veterans association became the latest group to sever ties with a tabloid newspaper at the centre of a phone hacking scandal.

A spokesperson said there was "revulsion" at allegations that investigators at the News of the World newspaper had tapped into the mobile phone messages of relatives of people who lost loved ones in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The allegations were reported by the Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

The News of the World, a Sunday tabloid owned by Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch, has been a staunch backer of Britain's involvement in the conflict.

The Legion, which gives financial support to injured soldiers and cares for bereaved relatives, is among organizations placing regular advertisements in the News of the World.

It said it had suspended all relations with the newspaper pending a resolution of the allegations.

"We can't with any conscience campaign alongside News of the World on behalf of Armed Forces families while it stands accused of preying on these same families in the lowest depths of their misery.

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The hacking allegations have shocked us to the core," said a spokesperson.

Claims that the newspaper hacked into the phones of relatives of war victims is the latest in a chain of allegations of illegal phone hacking by the paper, with "targets" ranging from celebrities to victims of crime.

The allegations are currently being investigated by the police. They have cast a cloud over ambitions by Murdoch to take full control of BSkyB, the British satellite broadcaster.

Murdoch, who owns the News of the World, the Sun, the Times and and Sunday Times in Britain, on Wednesday condemned the methods allegedly deployed by investigators as "unacceptable."

As the scandal escalates, a number of leading companies, including banks and carmakers, have withdrawn advertising from the paper.