James Forsyth James Forsyth

The parties take their positions as the phone hacking story deepens

The political plates on phone hacking are shifting rapidly. The story has now ‘gone mainstream’ following the accusations about how the phones of Milly Dowler and the parents of the Soham victims may have been hacked

Politicians are racing to catch up. Ed Miliband is rapidly moving into a more robust position. The Labour leadership doesn’t want to appear vindictive, to turn this into Labour v. Murdoch. But they are now prepared to openly question the future of Rebekah Brooks and Ed Miliband’s language this evening about how ‘it is up to senior executives at the News of the World and News International to start taking responsibility for criminal activities over a sustained period’ is significantly tougher than what he has said about this matter previously.
 
The Tories know that, in the words of one source, ‘the politics of this have changed completely.’ Their worry is the danger of guilt by association. As one observed, it is a very great job for David Cameron that Andy Coulson insisted on resigning. If he was still in post, Downing Street would find it far harder to deal with this story.

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