In the most dramatic development of the phone hacking scandal, since Guardian journalist Nick Davies broke his Gordon Taylor story in July 2009, it has been announced that News of the World is to close this Sunday after 168 years in print.
But the story doesn’t stop here. Tom Watson MP, who has persistently campaigned for further investigation of voicemail interception by News of the World, said: “Lets be clear about this, this paper has closed but the hacking saga has not”.
The ‘Hacked Off’ campaign, led by the Media Standards Trust, called for more people to sign its petition for a full public inquiry: “The closure of the #NotW does not remove the need for a public inquiry,” it said on Twitter.
Twitterers have been quick to raise skepticism about News International’s handling of the situation, suggesting that closure of the title will simply open the way for a new Sunday edition of NOTW’s sister paper, the Sun.
The situation for Rupert Murdoch’s proposed purchase of 60 per cent of BSkyB is unclear; the Financial Times reported earlier today that
Culture minister Jeremy Hunt now seems likely to delay a final regulatory “yes” or “no” to the deal until September following a flood of responses to the final consultation.
The deal remains in “regulatory limbo and political purgatory”, the FT says. The Guardian’s live blog of events continues here.