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Prescott to reveal hacking decision

Lord Prescott is due to decide whether to take legal action to see if he was the subject of News of the World (NotW) phone hacking.

His decision comes after former NotW reporter, Sean Hoare, was questioned on Tuesday night over claims Tory communications chief Andy Coulson asked him to hack into messages when he was editor of the Sunday paper.

The allegations, which appeared in an article in the New York Times, reignited the phone hacking row earlier this month.

Mr Hoare, 47, was interviewed under caution at the London office of his solicitor, David Sonn. He was not arrested.

The former deputy prime minister has submitted a request to see files compiled by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire who was jailed over the scandal in 2007.

The latest developments came as a Westminster sleaze watchdog announced it would consult parliamentary and legal experts on whether hacking MPs phones is a "contempt of Parliament".

MPs voted last week to refer allegations to the standards and privileges committee. After a preliminary meeting, the cross-party body of MPs said it would not consider any specific claims until it had looked into the wider issues.

The decision to refer the case was led by Labour MP Chris Bryant who is among a group of people to issue judicial review proceedings over the row. Mr Bryant told the Commons last week he was one of the MPs who had contacted the Metropolitan Police and been told he was on a list of those allegedly targeted by Mulcaire.

But he said he suspected that was the "tip of the iceberg" and hacking extended not just to Labour MPs but also to Liberal Democrats and Tories. And he branded the practice "a contempt of Parliament, a severe breach of parliamentary privilege" which could compromise their right to speak freely.

Lawyers representing Mr Bryant, former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick and journalist Brendan Montague have asked the courts to decide whether police handled the case properly.


From Belfast Telegraph