UK media watchdog a 'toothless poodle'

2011-07-08 13:23

London - Opposition leader Ed Miliband dismissed Britain's press watchdog as a "toothless poodle" on Friday, and said the closure of the News of the World should not let Rupert Murdoch's most senior newspaper executive off the hook.

Speaking a day after Murdoch's News Corp shut down the News of the World tabloid at the heart of a phone hacking scandal, Miliband said Rebekah Brooks, the newspaper's former editor and now chief executive of the group's British newspapers, should also pay the price.

"I've made no secret of my view that Rebekah Brooks should take responsibility for what happened while she was editor of The News of The World," Miliband told an audience at a Thomson Reuters event.

"She was the editor at the time, she should take responsibility for that and I don't think frankly closing down the News of the World changes that."

Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters later on Friday: "It has been reported she (Brooks) offered her resignation and in this situation, I would have taken it."

Miliband said the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) had "totally failed" to tackle the hacking scandal, which has engulfed Rupert Murdoch's global media empire.

Toothless poodle

"It failed to get to the bottom of the allegations about what happened at News International in 2009," he said. "Its chair admits she was lied to but could do nothing about it."

"The PCC was established to be a watchdog. But it has been exposed as a toothless poodle. Wherever blame lies for this, the PCC cannot restore trust in self-regulation. It is time to put the PCC out of its misery."

Britain's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper will publish for the last time this weekend.

Allegations that News of the World journalists hacked the voicemail of thousands of people, from child murder victims to the families of Britain's war dead, have outraged readers and posed a growing threat to Murdoch's hopes of buying out broadcaster BSkyB.

Cameron is also embroiled in the scandal after he hired ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications director.

"(Coulson) is now, as I understand it, under police investigation, as others will be," Cameron told a news conference on Friday.

"That police investigation has got to go ahead unhindered, without fear or favour as I said."

Coulson, who resigned from his government communications role in January, was arrested on Friday on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and suspicion of corruption, police said.

  • Mad man - 2011-07-08 13:36

    News 24, don`t you have South African news that make headlines? Of course, we are bored with this news from the heartless imperialists

      G.du Plessis - 2011-07-08 13:38

      Why do you only care about South Africa - head buried in the sand? Not interested in other parts of the world? Where is your quest for knowledge?

      Thandiwe83 - 2011-07-08 13:40

      @Madman - you are mad to think South Africa is the only country in the world. They are no longer imperialists - they are still in recession and deserve sympathy - they are owned by the US imperialists!! Lol! Stop talking about imperialism - it isn't 1970!!

      Tolerant - 2011-07-08 14:09

      It is a slow news day in SA, only more ANC promises and hopes, nothing new.

  • ¦? - 2011-07-08 13:53

    Oh Ed,go back to Israel where u belong !

  • Totman - 2011-07-08 14:24

    @ Thandiwe83. I think both of them get owned by very rich families[money powers] It's a pity we are not family of @ Mad man. It seams you have a boring day. Maybe I must go out and make some s####t that you have something for the weekend to For all the one's now going home. Enjoy your weekend!!!!!

  • jowza - 2011-07-08 14:28

    we could send you the info bill

  • pages:
  • 1