UK PM backs probe into phone hacking

LONDON, (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David  Cameron on Wednesday said there should be an official inquiry  into a phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News  International that has prompted national outrage.
“We do need to have an inquiry, possibly inquiries, into  what has happened,” Cameron told parliament. People had been  “revolted” by the affair, in which journalists were said to have  tapped into the mobile phone of an abducted girl who was later  found to have been murdered.
The government has been under increasing pressure to hold an   inquiry after allegations of phone hacking against the   top-selling tabloid News of the World spread beyond politicians   and celebrities to victims of crime.
British lawmakers will later today hold an emergency  debate over the scandal that has prompted calls for the  resignation of a Murdoch executive.
Relatives of people killed in London’s 7/7 bombings in 2005  said police had told them their voicemail messages may have been  intercepted by the Sunday paper.
Graham Foulkes, whose son David was one of 52 people who  died in the bombings, told BBC radio on Wednesday he was  contacted by police after they found his private contact details  on a list as part of the investigation into hacking claims.
He said that after the 2005 explosions his family did not  have any news of David for “quite some days”.
“…we were using the phone frantically trying to get  information about David and where he may have been and …  talking very intimately about very personal issues, and the  thought that these guys may have been listening to that is just  horrendous,” he said.
Three hours have been cleared for today’s parliamentary  debate, in which politicians may call for a national boycott of  the News of the World until Murdoch confidante Rebekah Brooks,  its former editor and a friend of Cameron, resigns.
The debate is likely to embarrass Cameron, already under  fire for hiring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as  his communications director. Cameron regularly entertains Brooks  and her husband at his country home.
Pressure is also mounting on News International, the British  newspaper arm of Murdoch media empire News Corp , and  comes at an awkward time for the conglomerate as it seeks  government approval to take over satellite broadcaster BSkyB   .
Car firm Ford said it would pull advertising from the  News of the World until it saw how it deals with the matter,  while Virgin Holidays and Halifax said it would not be  advertising in it this Sunday.
Other companies said they were reviewing the situation.
Internet campaigns have sprung up urging readers to boycott  the paper which, if successful, could prove more damaging to  Britain’s best-selling Sunday paper then any political  condemnation.
Sales of News Corp’s Sun newspaper never recovered in the  city of Liverpool after it offended football fans in the wake of  a stadium disaster more than 20 years ago in which 96 people  died.

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