Nick Clegg has asked Lib Dem members to write to him outlining what they think the inquiries into the Phone Hacking affair should cover. I will be submitting some notes and I'm aware lots of non party members read this blog. So if you have strong views on any particular aspect of this affair drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or add notes to the comments section below. I'd welcome contributions.
One aspect that seems to be currently not getting enough attention is the potential for a perceived conflict of interest that the Met Police may have. There is now an allegation that News International were making payments to police officers, presumably in exchange for information. There is absolutely no suggestion, allegation or evidence, at least to my knowledge, that any of the Met Police Officers either currently or previously employed on these inquiries were in any way connected to these payments. Indeed, I don't believe it has even been suggested that these alleged payments were made to Met Police Officers at all - there are plenty of other police forces who could be involved. But I do worry that if the allegations of illegal payments are found to have any substance and Met Police Officers unconnected with the investigation were shown to be involved, then the credibility of any police work could be undermined by a perceived conflict of interest. And I think this has now become too important for any doubt to be left over the results of the current investigations.
Anyway, send me your thoughts. And if you have 5 minutes to spare, do have a read of this piece from Peter Oborne. Sycophantic praise for Paul Dacre aside, it's easily the most erudite and pointed analysis of what's wrong with the undue influence of NI in particular, and the press in general, on our political leaders.