Prime Minister David Cameron emphatically denied claims that his staff tried to stop an inquiry into a phone hacking and police bribery at the News of the World and defended his decision to hire one of the tabloid's former editors as his communications chief.
In a raucous emergency session in Parliament, Cameron admitted, however, that both the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour parties had failed to pursue key developments in the hacking case over the years
Cameron addressed Parliament Wednesday after cutting short a trip to Africa.
Meanwhile, News Corp. says it has stopped legal payments to Glenn Mulcaire--a private investigator implicated in the phone hacking scandal roiling Britain's establishment.
The termination of the payments Wednesday came one day after media baron Rupert Murdoch told lawmakers that he would try to find a way to stop the payments "provided it is not in breach of a legal contract."
Mulcaire had hired a well known defense lawyer--which led some to speculate that News Corps was covering the tab in an effort to buy Mulcaire's silence.
Media outlets, even those owned by News Corp, are ravenously covering the phone hacking drama as it unfolds. "The Sun" tabloid in Britain gave its owner, Rupert Murdoch, rave reviews for his testimony before a U.K. parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking at another newspaper owned by the media magnate.
"The Times," another Murdoch title, led one story Wednesday about how Murdoch's Chinese-born wife, Wendi Deng, thumped a prankster who accosted her husband. The headline played off the title of an acclaimed martial arts movie: "Crouching Wendi, hidden dragon."
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article
- Richard Galpin, BBC Reporter
This segment aired on July 20, 2011.