Hugh Grant on Prime Minister: 'Be Wise' Over Phone Hacking
Actor Hugh Grant criticized PM David Cameron for taking side with the newspaper media which "wreaked havoc with the lives innocent people" through their illegal attempts of obtaining news. Grant wrote his deep disappointment to Cameron in The Guardian's column titled "Be wise".
"When he was forced to choose between honoring his promises to the victims of years of press abuses or staying cozy with the owners of Conservative-supporting newspapers, he chose the press barons," Grant wrote. "When he had the choice between giving the British people an independent press complaints system or letting the newspaper industry continue to mark its own homework, he chose the latter."
Grant is the leader of Hacked Off, the celebrity-led effort to create a tougher media watchdog scheme that could force the unruly British press to behave and punish them if they did not. He has taken a stand against illegal snooping done by the press to hundreds of actors, royals, celebrities and sports stars. He himself was a victim of the unruly press.
Fellow campaigner J.K. Rowling, whose privacy was also intruded by the press, said victims had been "hung out to dry" by the minister. "I believed David Cameron when he said that he would implement Leveson's recommendations 'unless they were bonkers'," she said. "I did not see how he could back away, with honour, from words so bold and unequivocal. Well, he has backed away, and I am one among many who feel they have been hung out to dry."
The phone-hacking scandal in U.K. erupted in 2011 after illegal attempts of obtaining information done by Rupert Murdoch's the News of the World were revealed. The Leveson Inquiry made recommendations for a legal "backstop regulator" to replace the existing Press Complaints Commission. However, Cameron was against it because he saw it as a risk to press freedom. Some people, including Grant, saw it as a wrong step for Cameron to take.
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