Back in 2003 Rebekah Brooks made an astonishing revelation about illegal payments to the Met Police. If I told you that the man who could/should have launched the investigation that could have brought the whole NOTW house of cards down didn’t and then went on to receive payments from News International, would you be surprised?
I am certainly surprised, given the media hysteria around any potential link of an MP or a copper to News International, that the links between a former Home Secretary and News International/NOTW go unquestioned. Especially as the links raise questions right at the very heart of why the issue was not nipped in the bud back in 2003.
Step forward David Blunkett. Blunkett was Home Secretary when Rebekah Brooks told the CMS select committee that NOTW journalists regularly paid police officers for information – a clear breach of the law. For some reason the then Home Secretary appears not to have shown any interest about this alleged corruption amongst police. Intriguing don’t you think? The fact that the same Home Secretary went on to land a number of positions at News International (regular columnist or the NOTW/Sun/Times – annual contracts ranging from £50 – c£100K) and a £25K contract to advise News International of Corporate Responsibility (and a bang-up job he did) is even more intriguing.
Of course there is no direct evidence of wrong doing but the links here stronger and clearer than in some of the other cases that the media and opposition MPs are chasing.
The questions surrounding why Blunkett never decided to order an investigation, of the sort we have now, into police corruption do need to be answered. Did he ignore the evidence given to CMS select committee? Was he plain incompetent? Or was he afraid to upset News International and gain unflattering coverage for a government that relied on tabloid support, especially when it came to being seen to be ‘tough on crime’?
These are all fair questions. I think we deserve some answers.