Royal prank radio boss under fire
The boss of the parent company of the radio station behind a notorious royal prank call has come under fire after dismissing the outcome with the phrase "s**t happens".
Max Moore-Wilton, chairman of Southern Cross Media, appeared to play down the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha three days after the prank by 2Day FM DJs Michael Christian and Mel Grieg as he spoke to shareholders in Australia.
Southern Cross owns 2Day FM, which was behind the prank call by Mr Christian and Ms Grieg to central London's King Edward VII's Hospital, where the then-pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was being treated, in December last year.
The call was answered by mother-of-two Ms Saldanha, who put the presenters through to a colleague who gave details of Kate's condition. Ms Saldanha was found dead in nurses' quarters three days later after apparently taking her own life.
Asked about the incident, Mr Moore-Wilton reportedly told shareholders at an AGM in Melbourne: "These incidents were unfortunate, no doubt about that.
"But in the immortal words of someone whose identity I cannot recall, s**t happens."
His comments have come under fire from MP Keith Vaz, who branded them "an insult to the memory of a loving mother and wife" and called for Mr Moore-Wilton to apologise immediately.
Mr Vaz, who started helping Ms Saldanha's family soon after her death, said: "I was shocked to hear Max Moore-Wilton's comments about this tragic incident. This is an insult to the memory of a loving mother and wife.
"The radio station has clearly not learnt the lessons from this incident.
"Mr Moore-Wilton must apologise for his comments immediately."
Ms Saldanha's death sparked a worldwide backlash against DJs Mr Christian and Ms Grieg, who were reportedly blamed directly in one of s everal notes left at the scene.
An inquest into Ms Saldanha's death has been postponed twice, and a new date is yet to be set.
It will hear evidence in person from Ms Greig who confirmed earlier this year, through her lawyers, that she would travel to London for the hearing.
The coroner has granted anonymity to a duty nurse who may have been one of the last people to speak with Ms Saldanha on the night of the call.
The inquest is also set to hear from security staff and police who can give details about the scene of the death.