News International in phone hacking imbroglio

Revelations have emerged that Rupert Murdoch’s News International paid over £1 million in out-of-court settlements to cover up alleged phone hacking antics conducted by freelance private investigators hired by the publisher.

The Guardian reports that News International journalists hired investigators to hack into mobile phone accounts of celebrities and politicians.

News International said in a statement it was “is inappropriate to comment at this time.”

One of Murdoch's former editors and broadcast executives, Andrew Neil, said the allegations represented one of the “most significant media stories of modern times.”

Neil, a former editor of the Sunday Times and chairman of Sky TV, said the story revealed that such levels of hacking were “systemic throughout the News of the World, and to a lesser extent the Sun.”

Following publication of the story in the UK last night, the Metropolitan police is under pressure to launch a new investigation into the scandal, the Guardian said.