British newspaper group launches review after hacking row

LONDON, July 26, 2011 (AFP) - Trinity Mirror, one of Britain's largest newspaper publishers, said Tuesday it was conducting an internal review of its editorial controls following the phone-hacking scandal.

However, a spokesman insisted that the review was not an investigation, nor was it in response to any allegations against the group's newspapers, which include the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and more than 160 regional titles.

Nick Fullagar, director of corporate communications for Trinity Mirror, told AFP: "It is a review of editorial controls and procedures.

"This follows our previous review post the Hutton report into the death of Dr David Kelly. It is not an investigation into phone hacking or any allegation."

Kelly was a government weapons inspector who was found dead in 2003 after being exposed as the source for a BBC story that alleged Tony Blair's government had "sexed up" intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

A subsequent inquiry by Brian Hutton criticised the BBC's editorial practices.

In the wake of those criticisms, Trinity Mirror conducted an internal review of its own practices in February 2004, and Fullagar said it was right that it carry out another one following the phone-hacking scandal.

It will also examine the authorising of editorial payments.

The hacking row began at the now defunct News of the World but spiralled this month to include allegations of police bribery, taking down senior executives at Rupert Murdoch's media empire and two senior policemen.

It has also threatened to extend to other British newspapers, although they all strongly deny any wrongdoing.

Prime Minister David Cameron was also dragged into the row, over his decision to employ a former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, as his media chief up until January this year.

Coulson was arrested over phone hacking and alleged police bribery earlier this month, although he denies any wrongdoing.

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