The sister of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler responded to this week’s phone-hacking trial verdicts by highlighting how ordinary people have “suffered terribly” as a result of illegal activity by some journalists.
Gemma Dowler said that crimes were being commited on a “major scale” in some areas of the press and criticised newspaper groups for the creation of the Ipso press regulator, which opposes the UK government’s Royal Charter press regulation legislation.
“We have known for ages that serious crimes were being committed on a major scale in parts of the press,” she said.
“Ordinary people have suffered terribly from journalists who recklessly intruded into private grief and stole private information. And now those same newspaper groups who let us down so badly before have set up another meaningless regulator called Ipso.
“This is just the newspapers looking after themselves. Something needs to be done to make sure what happened to my family doesn’t happen again.”
Dowler went on to criticise the “incestuous” relationship between politicians and the press, and told how former prime minister Tony Blair was quick to telephone Rebekah Brooks with an offer of support when investigations began but failed to inform the Dowlers when he found out their daughter’s phone had been hacked.
Former editor of the Sun Rebekah Brooks was this week cleared of all charges after an eight-month trial at the Old Bailey, while former News of the World editor and Tory spin doctor Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones.