“This whole business of phone tapping, personally I’d be astonished if anything like the reality of it comes out, because there’s too many powerful people that will suffer if the truth comes out.”

PR guru Max Clifford speaks to Foreign Correspondent‘s Eric Campbell, in an episode to air tonight on the News of the World phone-tapping scandal. Clifford knows what he’s talking about. In March of this year he accepted a £1 million-plus payout in exchange for dropping phone-hacking allegations against the News of the World.

Tonight’s story details just how much the powerful have to lose by connecting the dots on who taped who and why. Clifford again:

“It’s common sense, isn’t it? Politicians rely on popularity. It’s the media that gets that message out there. Um, most of the media in this country right now supports the conservative party, ah but of course the most powerful overall would be the Rupert Murdoch organisation. So David Cameron would want The Sun and the News of the World, The Times and The Sunday Times to continue to support him, particularly as there’s massive cuts coming up all over. So the last thing that David Cameron would want would be a lot of problems over this phone hacking, which obviously everybody wants to talk to Andy Coulson [former News of the World editor, current Tory communications director] about.”

Presumably he’s a PR agent not terribly interested in garnering favourable coverage for his clients on the front of any Murdoch papers any time soon. Watch that space…

Peter Fray

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