Denis MacShane MP has urged the Information Commission, Christopher Graham, to inform the victims of illegal media intrusion of details of their cases so that they can seek redress in the courts.
The former Europe minister complained to the House of Commons today about “the extraordinary refusal of the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, to reveal details of some 17,000 victims of newspapers that were blagging and finding out personal details via Steve Whittamore”, the private detective who was convicted of illegally accessing personal data in 2005.
MacShane himself won a case against News International last week after his phone was hacked.
The MP, himself a former minister and former president of the National Union of Journalists, told MPs “It is extraordinary that the Information Commissioner – of all people – is denying the British people their right to know. The details are with the police and the newspapers, but not with the victims themselves. This is not Stasi time for the Information Commissioner.”
Afterwards MacShane said he was astonished at the refusal of Graham to publish the list of victims so that they could decide whether to seek legal redress from the newspapers that has used illegal methods to obtain private information.
“This man is meant to be in charge of Freedom of Information but he is denying the most important information to thousands of victims of newspaper collaboration with a criminal – namely that they are victims and can and should seek redress. The editors and the police have the information it appears but not the victims.
“I will ask the House of Commons Home Affairs and Media Select Committee to look into this and require Mr Graham to change his policy so that victims of media improper behaviour can seek redress,” added MacShane.