Ed Miliband's silence over the Mirror Group's phone-hacking could be due to his desire not to offend the one news organisation arguing in his favour, William Hague has said. (Picture: Reuters)
The Commons Leader added all hacking allegations should be "fairly and thoroughly" investigated by the relevant authorities.
Philip Davies, a Tory member of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, questioned why Labour had yet to "raise a breath" over the issue – in contrast to hacking by the now defunct News of the World.
Trinity Mirror – the owner of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – publicly apologised recently for phone-hacking and said civil claims would cost the company more than first thought, increasing the provision for the scandal by £8m to £12m.
Speaking in the Commons, Davies asked Hague: "Could we have a debate on phone-hacking at the Mirror Group?
"I'm rather surprised I need to ask for a debate because I would have thought the Leader of the Opposition would have been all over this like a rash seeing as though he had lots of interest in phone-hacking previously.
"In such a debate perhaps we could find out why the Labour Party needed a judge-led inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World but don't even raise a breath about the extensive phone-hacking at the Mirror Group."
Hague replied: "You raise an interesting comparison. It is of course important that all such allegations are fairly and thoroughly investigated and we expect the relevant authorities to do so.
"But there could be many theories to answer your question. It may be the Leader of the Opposition does not want to offend the one news organisation that is still arguing in his favour."