MP’s shock as crisis-hit paper axed

Scarborough and Whitby MP, Robert Goodwill
Scarborough and Whitby MP, Robert Goodwill

SCARBOROUGH’s MP Robert Goodwill has spoken of his shock after hearing the News of the World will print its last edition this Sunday.

The demise of the national Sunday newspaper was announced yesterday by News International chairman James Murdoch amid numerous claims of telephone hacking.

Mr Goodwill, who attended a debate on the issue of phone hacking at Westminster on Wednesday, said: “I’m shocked to hear they’ve reacted in this way.

“I would imagine that they will re-launch under a new name, or there is a suggestion that the Sun could become a seven-day-a-week paper.

“This would be a cynical thing to do as it’s owned by the same company and would be written by the same staff.”

He also stressed that even under a new name, the paper must be held to account and face up to its responsibilities if the claims are found to be true.

Mr Goodwill said: “I hope that any outstanding questions will be asked and that this won’t just be an excuse for them to renege on their responsibilities.”

He also gave his reaction to the nature of the claims, which involve the families of the 7/7 bombings and murdered teenager Milly Dowler. He said: “When it was soap stars, footballers and politicians, people maybe took the view that they were in the public domain and had it coming.

“But when victims of terrorism and bereaved military families are involved it becomes absolutely unacceptable.

“If these claims are proved the hackers will have not just been breaking the law, but in the case of Milly Dowler interfering with a police investigation.

“I don’t think anyone could stoop much lower than that to get a story.”

Scarborough’s British Legion branch secretary John Anderson has also spoken out about claims that bereaved military families’ phones were hacked by the News of the World, saying that if proved true it will be a “travesty”.

He said: “I will follow it closely and see how it unfolds, as it’s difficult to have an opinion at this early stage.

“At a local level we don’t have any involvement with the News of the World, but it if does turn out to be true it will be a complete travesty.” Mr Anderson added that on a personal level he does not read the paper and will not miss it.

l End of the ‘World’ – page 8