An interesting moment a while ago when Cameron pointed the finger away from the News of the World towards the rest of the media: in response to a question about the Mirror.
From Nadhim Zahawi:
“In the Operation Motorman investigation, the Information Commissioner found 861 personal information transactions which were positively identified as coming from 89 Mirror Group newspaper journalists. Can the Prime Minister confirm that the inquiry that he has announced will be able to look into the unlawful practices at Mirror Group Newspapers?”
The PM replied:
“While we shouldn’t believe automatically that these practices were spread right across the media, I think it would be naive to think that they were restricted to one newspaper or one newspaper group and indeed when you look at evidence like Motorman and the information commissioner’s report it’s clear that they went wider and this inquiry and indeed this police investigation must go where the evidence leads.”
You may recall that “What Price Privacy”, the information commissioner’s report, revealed that four journalists at the Observer, part of the Guardian stable, had paid for private investigators to carry out work on more than 100 occasions. The Daily Mail and Sunday People led the list, having used investigators 952 and 802 times respectively.
At the time then editor Roger Alton said:
Yes, the Observer has used the services of an outside agency in the past, and while there were strong public interest defences for most of those cases, it is possible that some of the inquiries did not sufficiently fit that criteria. As a result, I have now taken steps to ensure that no inquiries will be made through outside agencies unless I believe that there is a compelling public interest to do so.