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Tom Watson: 'The Sun' Should Face Phone Hacking Questions

Tom Watson

The Huffington Post   Katherine Fung First Posted: 09/27/11 01:37 PM ET Updated: 11/27/11 05:12 AM ET

A leading MP on the phone hacking beat has alleged that The Sun -- another Rupert Murdoch-owned British newspaper -- also engaged in the same illegal phone hacking practices that shuttered News of the World.

The Guardian reports that Watson, the Labour MP who has doggedly pursued the claims against News Corp., made the allegation at a party conference on Tuesday, where other members slammed the party's ties to Rupert Murdoch's media empire and called for stricter controls on the British press.

"Do you really think that hacking only happened on the News of the World?" Watson asked. "Ask Dominic Mohan, the current editor of the Sun. He used to joke about lax security at Vodafone when he attended celebrity parties. Ask the editor of the Sun if he thinks Rupert Murdoch's contagion has spread to other newspapers. If he gives you an honest answer, he'll tell you it's only a matter of time before we find the Sun in the evidence file of the convicted private investigator that hacked Milly Dowler's phone."

It is not the first time that the Sun has been linked to phone hacking or accused of similar hacking activities. The tabloid has denied Jude Law's allegation of phone hacking, and dismissed a features editor over phone hacking allegations from his time at News of the World.

The Sun also faced allegations that it hacked the medical records of Gordon Brown's son. (In fact received the information from a member of the public.)

The Sun in particular has come under increasing scrutiny as a paper formerly edited by Rebekah Brooks, who is also a central figure in the phone hacking scandal, and owned by News Corp.

On Tuesday, Watson also motioned to the Times, where a deputy football editor was arrested for phone hacking, as further evidence of the scandal's wide reach. "This month we learn that journalists at the Times are affected by this scandal," he said. "The paper is shutting down its BlackBerry phone network – I hope they aren't deleting the records."

The phone hacking scandal has cast doubt on the practices of British newsrooms, a consequence that made clear by the official investigation into the press culture and ethics of all British papers that is now underway.

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