Simon Hughes will suggest LibDem MPs vote for a postponement of BSkyB bid decision

From Sky News:

Speaking on Sky News’ Murnaghan programme, Mr Hughes said he would encourage his fellow Liberal Democrats to vote with Labour, if the opposition tabled a Commons vote on halting the bid.

“If there is a debate and vote in the House of Commons I will be suggesting to my colleagues that we as a party, a party that’s never been close to Murdoch, never been in this inner loop, I think we should make clear that we think there should be a postponement of the decision.

“There shouldn’t be a takeover while the investigations are going on and we should let the police investigations run their course.”

Mr Hughes has also delivered a letter to Ofcom to request that the broadcasting regulator examine whether News Corporation would be a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold a broadcasting licence if the takeover goes ahead.

NOTW closure: Paediatricians will be able to sleep more soundly

Watching Amanda Platell and Fraser Nelson on Sunday Am eulogising on the death of the News of the World made me feel very queasy.

Well done to Kevin Maguire for bringing some realism to the wake on BBC News’ paper review. Rebekah Brooks has held up the “Sarah’s Law” campaign as if it is the Holy Grail. But, as Kevin said, there was much to criticise it for. Just read this from the BBC:

In July 2000, the News of the World published the names and photographs of 50 people it claimed had committed child sex offences and pledged to carry on until it had “named and shamed” every paedophile in Britain.

The editors said they were “taking action for Sarah and for all the other little victims”.

The campaign certainly struck a chord, but it also backfired, leading to violence, vigilantism and mistaken identity.


On the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth, protesters – mostly mothers and children – took to the streets every night for almost a week, waving placards saying “Kill the paedophiles”.

Cars were torched, windows smashed and at least five families were forced out of their homes after becoming targets.

Elsewhere, two men suspected of being child sex offenders committed suicide and in Newport, Gwent, paediatrician Yvette Cloete came home to find her front door daubed with graffiti branding her a paedophile.

Someone had misunderstood her job title.

David Wooding from the paper wrote about today:

Villains, paedophiles and corrupt politicians will be able to sleep more soundly now that the greatest investigative newspaper on Earth has gone.

Perhaps he should add to that list “paediatricians”.

Some intriguing clues from today’s News of the World crossword

From the Guardian’s live gloat blog on the hacking scandal:

Have staff who put together the News of the World’s last ever crossword included some subtle hints for News International’s chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, the former editor who told them that the newspaper was to be shut down today?

The Independent’s Whitehall Editor, Oliver Wright, has pointed out a few interesting elements in the quickie crossword on page 47. Its clues include:

• Brook (6)
• lamented (8)
• Prestige (6)
• Stink (6)
• Catastrophe (8)

• Digital protection
• Less bright
• Chair
• Pest
• Cease
• Criminal enterprise

 Update: More from the Guardian at 07:29pm:

These photos of the clues and answers for the News of the World’s suggest staff were making a thinly veiled comment on Rebekah Brooks and the scandal that closed down the paper (see also the 1.18pm post).

The answers in the cryptic crossword include: deplored, stench, disaster, racket and menace.

Its clues included “Woman stares wildly at calamity”, possibly a reference to Brooks.

Whether one of the answers – “tart” – was aimed at her too is open to speculation.