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Phone hacking: Former first minister for Scotland launches legal action

The former first minister for Scotland, Lord McConnell has been informed by Scotland Yard that his phone and those of his son and daughter may have been hacked by disgraced former newspaper the News of the World.

The news has prompted Lord McConnell to commence legal action against the paper's publishers, News International.

The former leader of Scottish Labour was told by police investigating phone hacking that his details were found in paperwork recovered from Glenn Mulcaire.

Mr Mulcaire was the private detective jailed for phone hacking. Evidence recovered from Mr Mulcaire subsequently resulted in the end of the News of the World and brought about the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics.

Several celebrities and public figures have since recovered millions of pounds in damages from News International after discovering that they were victims of the shady journalistic practice at the paper. Lord McConnell will be joined in his legal action by his son Mark 28, and his daughter Hannah 33.

A source close to the family revealed to newspapers that there may have been other potential data breaches against the family.

"The initial intrusion appears to start early in Jack's time as first minister but the family and the police don't seem to be ruling out anything at this stage," they said.

The Scottish Labour party has ratcheted up the pressure on Alex Salmond over his close personal relationship with Mr Murdoch and his son James.

The Leveson Inquiry heard this week that Mr Salmond had offered to lobby the Government on behalf of the Murdochs to support their takeover of BSkyB. The offer coincided with Mr Salmond seeking support for the Scottish version of the Sun newspaper for last year's Scottish parliamentary elections. The paper did support Mr Salmond and he is now first minister.

Mr Salmond told Radio 4's programme on Saturday: "I think Rupert Murdoch is one of the most substantial figures in journalism for the last 50 years, so it would strike me as important to have a good and businesslike relationship with him."

"The idea that malpractice and potential illegality is confined to one newspaper organisation is for the birds," he added.

Related links:

Read more on the story (The Guardian)

Phone hacking and the law (FindLaw)