Archive | September, 2016

The back-to-front justice of Parliament

14 Sep


14th September 2016



Parliament’s Committee of Privileges has this morning published the results of its investigation into the 2012 findings of John Whittingdale’s Culture Media and Sport Select Committee.

At that time, the CMS Select Committee accused me of being in contempt of Parliament by lying to it about my knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World and of being “complicit” in a “cover up”.

The report from the Committee of Privileges has today found that John Whittingdale’s select committee got it wrong – the evidence does not support the CMS Committee’s claims that I lied to it. The Committee of Privileges has found that I am not guilty of contempt of Parliament.

“After more than four years, the Committee of Privileges has thrown out the charges that I was guilty of contempt of parliament and a cover-up of phone hacking. Its findings are too little and too late, coming so long after I was vilified by MPs in a 125-page report, a televised press conference and a 90-minute House of Commons debate.  

“The Culture Media and Sport Select Committee reached its false findings in 2012. It posed as a quasi-judicial body with the right to impose criminal punishments, yet followed none of the usual rules of law and fair process. It carried out an amateur investigation, missed vital evidence, and some members displayed no pretence at impartiality. Even before its report was released, the committee’s most vocal member, Tom Watson MP, published a book accusing me of misleading the committee.

“Today’s report by the Committee of Privileges speaks proudly of its concern to “meet modern standards of fairness” in deciding whether the Culture Committee had been “correct” in its findings.

“Parliament has a back-to-front idea of justice and fairness when it claims these standards after allowing the sham trial and free-for-all character assassination I experienced in 2012. “