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Portsmouth MP is told he may be a phone hack victim

HACKED? Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock

HACKED? Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock

 

POLICE have launched an investigation into whether Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock’s phone was hacked.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police, which is investigating the News International phone hacking scandal, have told Mr Hancock that his calls and messages may have been intercepted.

Mr Hancock, Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South, has asked the force to continue its investigation, which he says relates to two issues.

He said: ‘It had occurred to me my phone may have been hacked and I was contacted by the police to confirm I was one of the people they believed it could have happened to.

‘I have asked them to continue their investigation.’

Mr Hancock has taken legal advice about what he is allowed to reveal while the Met’s renewed Operation Weeting probe is in its early stages.

He said: ‘The less I say, the less chance there is to endanger any case people have to answer.

‘Some people have been outspoken on the issue.

‘But I don’t want to say much more until there’s some further development.’

Operation Weeting is investigating claims up to 3,000 people had their phones hacked by people acting on behalf of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Senior News Corp staff have been arrested, and the News of the World shut down as a result of the scandal.

Police had contacted 170 people by July 12, to let them know their phones may have been hacked.

Most allegations relate to a period from 2003-2007, but The News understands the investigations into the invasion of Mr Hancock’s privacy cover a longer period.

The Portsmouth MP has been a controversial figure throughout almost all his 14-year Parliamentary career, facing allegations about his personal life which have featured in the tabloid press.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police refused to confirm details of the investigation surrounding Mr Hancock.

The spokesman said: ‘We’re not naming anyone who’s part of Operation Weeting, and are not providing a running commentary on the investigation.’

HACKING SCANDAL

IT IS thought that up to 3,000 people may have had their phones hacked in the scandal that has rocked media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire.

The latest wave of revelations came after it emerged that messages on the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler were intercepted and wiped after her death.

The revelations led to the resignation of senior police officers and to the demise of the News of the World.

It has also put Prime Minister David Cameron under pressure, after the paper’s former editor Andy Coulson, who the PM appointed communications chief of 10 Downing Street, was arrested.

It’s alleged up to 3,000 people – including the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler in 2002 – had their phones hacked by private detectives paid by News Corps staff.

By July 12, the Met said the 45 officers on its Operation Weeting investigation had contacted 170 of the 3,000.

It increased the number of officers on the case to 60, on Wednesday afternoon.

 

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