Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

MPs to hold emergency Milly debate

MPs will debate the Milly Dowler phone-hacking allegations
Rebekah Brooks said she was appalled by claims that Milly Dowler's phone was hacked

MPs will have an emergency debate on whether to hold a public inquiry into the phone hacking scandal following claims a private investigator working for the News of the World hacked into murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone after she went missing.

Commons Speaker John Bercow said the matter should be debated on Wednesday and MPs, mainly on the Labour benches, signalled their agreement.

The call for a debate came from Labour's Chris Bryant, who accused the News of the World of "playing God with a family's emotions" in Milly's case.

He called for a public inquiry, alleging the Metropolitan Police had failed to fully investigate claims of phone hacking.

Milly's parents are suing the News of the World over claims that her phone was hacked after she went missing in 2002.

Bob and Sally Dowler said they had been given "false hope" that their daughter could still be alive after voicemail messages on the phone were deleted in the days after she vanished. Scotland Yard officers contacted Mr and Mrs Dowler about the hacking allegations in April, a month before Levi Bellfield went on trial for her murder.

News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of the paper at the time, said she was "appalled and shocked" by allegations

Mr Bryant, MP for Rhondda, who is taking legal action over allegations his own phone was hacked, used a technical parliamentary procedure to apply for the emergency debate.

He said: "There cannot be a single person in the land who is not sickened by the news that a private investigator working for the News of the World hacked the mobile phone of the missing teenager Milly Dowler and deleted some of her messages, thereby leading the family to believe that she might still be alive.

"That's not just a paper out of control, that's not just a paper believing it's above the law, it's a national newspaper playing god with a family's emotions."

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