RMT general secretary told Lord Leveson’s inquiry that it was “quite right” for public to be unhappy with RMT if it calls a strike, but News International papers had crossed into “unlawful intrusion:”
RMT general secretary Bob Crow has told the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking and the conduct of the press that Sun newspaper reporters unlawfully obstructed him on his way to work, that the newspaper parked a double decker bus outside the front door of his house and that he and his partner were put under surveillance by the newspaper during a private family holiday to the Caribbean last year.
Bob Crow also told the inquiry he believes either his mobile phone or that of his office PA were hacked to provide information for a story in the Mail on Sunday in which he appears in a photo being given a lift on his assistant’s scooter.
His PA had offered him a lift because the Central Line was closed that day because of a long-running signal fault.
“The issue for us is not whether it is a ‘non-story’,” he told Lord Leveson, “but it’s how they obtained the information. No action was taken against the paper for obtaining corrupt information.”
He said he believed the paper had obtained details of his PA’s home address by illegally blagging the information from the DVLA.
Questioned by Lord Leveson about why the paper might have had a photographer outside his PA’s house on the day, Bob Crow said: “It is strange that on that particular day, that particular week, that particular hour, someone was there with a camera to take a picture.”
He told the inquiry he had asked the police if their phones had been hacked and was told that the matter was still under investigation by Operation Weeting – the Metropolitan Police’s investigation of phone hacking by The News of The World and other papers.
In earlier written evidence to the inquiry, Bob Crow said: “While I accept that the press has an important watchdog role to play in putting public figures under scrutiny, News Group Newsapers/News International have become too powerful and have crossed a line by unlawfully intruding into people’s lives like myself to obtain information that has no legitimate public interest as far as I can see.”
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