Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid paper, the Sun, has apologized to a politician for accessing information on a mobile phone that had been stolen from her, the BBC reports.Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh’s phone was stolen from her car in October 2010. British police later told her that the Sun had been accessing her text messages from around this date.
In London’s High Court today, the Sun, part of Murdoch’s News International group of newspapers, apologized for accessing the private information, and agreed to pay McDonagh “very substantial damages”.
Exactly who stole the phone has not been revealed, though the Sun has not accepted any responsibility for that crime. There had been earlier reports that the phone was handed into the paper by “a member of the public”.
McDonagh, speaking after the hearing, said, “I’m in public life and I don’t have a hang-up about my own privacy, but my family and constituents who had contacted me and given personal views were subjected to people seeing it. That made me feel very uneasy.”
This latest news is just the newest development in accusations of phone hacking and other unsavory practices by Murdoch’s UK journalists. Murdoch’s best-selling UK newspaper, the News of the World, was shut down after serious accusations about phone hacking came to light in 2011.
While the Sun was largely able to escape accusations about phone hacking, these new allegations could prove difficult for Murdoch’s British newspapers to shake — today a lawyer for phone hacking victims told the High Court that there were potentially “hundreds” of new victims.
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