12 Jul 2009

Police face inquiry into media payouts

now The Metropolitan Police could face a new House of Commons inquiry into whether officers are routinely paid by journalists to obtain confidential information about celebrities and suspects, in a fresh twist to the tabloid phone-hacking scandal.

The home affairs select committee will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to launch a full inquiry into how private information such as criminal and DVLA records have been obtained by private investigators, who have then sold them on to journalists.

Three Labour members of the committee - Martin Salter, Karen Buck and Ann Cryer - have written to its chairman, Keith Vaz, calling for an inquiry and for assurances that the Met's decision last week not to reopen its own inquiry into phone hacking arranged by News of the World staff was not influenced by any fear of embarrassing revelations over backhanders that were paid to police officers.

The Observer