Hugh Grant criticises Metropolitan Police

The GuardianBritish actor Hugh Grant has criticised the Metropolitan Police’s attempt to use the Official Secret Act to get The Guardian newspaper to reveal its sources over the News of the World scandal.

The Guardian newspaper has been at the forefront in exposing the scale of phone-hacking at the News of the World. The paper has published numerous reports about alleged victims of the hacking – of which Hugh Grant is one – and the suspected links between the tabloid newspaper and Scotland Yard. The Metropolitan Police are now trying to use the Official Secrets Act to get The Guardian to name the sources who leaked information to it regarding the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone it’s proved to be a controversial move by the Police and Hugh Grant has become the latest person to speak out.

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Birmingham the actor said “It is a very worrying and upsetting development. A lot of us victims and campaigners had come to the view that the new police inquiry – Weeting under Sue Akers – were good cops. It was a new investigation. They were embarrassed by the behaviour of their predecessors and colleagues. So for them to suddenly turn on their fellow goodies in this battle is a worrying and deeply mysterious.”

Grant’s words come as the veteran Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster urged the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, to block the Metropolitan Police’s attempts on the grounds it isn’t in the public interest.  “I understand the attorney general has the opportunity to use this power,…should use it and say this is not in the public interest.” The Observer quote him as saying.

The Liberal Democrats have been mostly untainted by the phone hacking scandal and the controversy surrounding the close relationship between the press and politicians. That’s mostly because unlike Labour and the Conservative Party the Lib Dems haven’t enjoyed wide-spread support from newspapers nor has it courted it. The party therefore has been in a stronger position over its calls for tougher controls of media ownership and regulation.