Even then I suspect that the Tories knew the score when they signed him up. They just hoped he wouldn't be found out, but why? His antics have been well documented in Private Eye.
But one of the more alarming aspects of the story is that it looks more and more that the courts and the police have tried to bury the story. John Prescott makes a very good point (I can't believe I just typed that!) when he says:
"First of all, those of us that had our phones tapped and the police were aware of it - why were we not told? Why were they [the News of the World] not prosecuted?
"Why was a separate deal done in the court and then put away, and not made available to us? To the legal authorities [I would ask] why did you do this?"
Why indeed? Just who were they trying to protect? The victims quite clearly were those whose phones were tapped by a foreign owned tax avoiding newspaper. This looks like collusion in the British establishment to protect the guilty, because I can think of no other reason to keep these facts secret. Power and money does apparently have its advantages.
But back to more basic reasons why Murdoch's poodle shouldn't be trusted. He's a Spurs fan. I've just found one of my old stories about him in UTA! issue 54. Far too bad taste for a family web site like this!