Bishop says Milly Dowler phone hacking allegations are 'tragic'

The Bishop of Manchester has added to the public condemnation of allegations that the News of the World hacked into the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Speaking in the House of Lords, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch said the allegations relating to Milly Dowler were “tragic”.

He said there were “serious underlying ethical issues” that must be addressed “as a matter of urgency”, and that the police must be “allowed to do what they are meant to do”.

Prime Minister David Cameron has given his support to an inquiry into the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

He has caved to public pressure after weeks of resisting an inquiry amid allegations that a private detective hired by the newspaper hacked into Milly's voicemail.

Glenn Mulcaire illegally accessed Milly’s voice messages after her disappearance in 2002 and even deleted some messages, giving her family hope that she was still alive.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Cameron called the latest allegations against the newspaper “absolutely disgusting”.

He said: “We are no longer talking here about politicians and celebrities, we are talking about murder victims, potentially terrorist victims, having their phones hacked into.

“It is absolutely disgusting, what has taken place, and I think everyone in this House and indeed this country will be revolted by what they have heard and what they have seen on their television screens.”

He noted that a major police investigation is already underway into the hacking allegations, but added: “We need to have an inquiry, possibly inquiries, into what has happened.”