Commenting on the announcement by the Prime Minister that there will be a judge-led inquiry into the hacking activities at News of the World and breaches of data protection laws by other newspapers, and a further inquiry into the ethics and conduct of the press, First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“A judge-led public inquiry into the appalling hacking activity at News of the World, and breaches of data protection laws across the newspaper industry, is clearly the right and proper course of action.
“We already know from the Information Commissioner’s Operation Motorman report in December 2006 of over 3,000 breaches of data protection across a range of titles, yet nothing was done by successive Westminster governments despite his recommendations for tough action. The inquiry also needs to establish why this has been the case.
“In terms of the additional inquiry announced by the Prime Minister into the broader conduct of the press, if he is discussing its scope and remit with opposition leaders at Westminster, he must also consult with the parliaments and assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, given the diversity of the media across the different nations of the UK.
“In Scotland, Strathclyde Police have already been tasked by the Crown Office to examine aspects of the evidence presented during the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial. Regarding specific claims of phone hacking and breaches of data protection in Scotland, Strathclyde Police will also review the available information and liaise with the Metropolitan Police in relation to any Scottish dimension to their current investigations, and report their findings to the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow.”