Feeds

Cameron: Murdoch son of Murdoch needs another grilling

Princeling tries to get behind himself

Security for virtualized datacentres

Prime Minister David Cameron has called on News Corp chairman James Murdoch to face further questions from MPs about the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed his family media empire.

The PM's comments follow Labour MP Tom Watson's formal request that police look into evidence Murdoch gave to the media select committee earlier this week.

Last night two ex-News International execs, including the News of the World's final editor Colin Myler, alleged that Murdoch had previously been informed that use of phone-hacking at the tabloid was more widespread than the work of one "rogue reporter".

Murdoch signed off a reported settlement payment of £700,000 dished out in 2008 by News International to Professional Footballers' Association boss Gordon Taylor, who had filed a damages claim against the now-defunct Sunday tabloid.

Myler and erstwhile News International legal manager Tom Crone, who left the company after the closure of NotW, claimed that Murdoch had been privy to an email with the subject line "for Neville" that contained a transcript of illegally intercepted voicemail messages around the time he authorised the payment to Taylor.

"Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday's CMS Select Committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken. In fact, we did inform him of the 'for Neville' email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers," said Myler and Crone in a statement.

On Tuesday, at the committee hearing, Murdoch claimed he was unaware of the email in 2008.

However, he did tell MPs including Watson that "there was every reason to settle the [Taylor] case, given the likelihood of losing the case and given the damages – we had received counsel – that would be levied."

PM Cameron, according to the BBC, said the News Corp chairman still had "questions to answer in Parliament and I'm not sure he will do that".

Watson, meanwhile, said he would formally ask Deputy Assistant Sue Akers, who is heading up Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting investigation into the phone-hacking scandal, to consider the conflicting evidence.

"This is the most significant moment of two years of investigation into phone hacking," the MP told the Beeb this morning.

"If [Myler and Crone's] statement is accurate, it shows James Murdoch had knowledge that others were involved in hacking as early as 2008. It shows he failed to act to discipline staff or initiate an internal investigation, which undermines Rupert Murdoch's evidence to our committee that the company had a zero tolerance to wrongdoing.

"More importantly, it shows he not only failed to report a crime to the police, but because there was a confidentiality clause involved in the settlement it means that he bought the silence of Gordon Taylor and that could mean he is facing investigation for perverting the course of justice."

Last night News Corp issued a terse statement from James Murdoch in which he simply said: "I stand behind my testimony to the Select Committee."

On Tuesday, Rupert Murdoch told the media committee that he hired Myler at the News of the World – in the newspaper tycoon's own words – to "find out what the hell was going on. That is my understanding of it. I cannot swear to the accuracy of it."

Myler's editorship at the NotW followed the departure of Andy Coulson, who edited the paper from 2003 until early 2007 when royal editor Clive Goodman was jailed for illegal phone hacking. Coulson, who was recently arrested by Met police, later became Cameron's communications director. Earlier this week the prime minister admitted he regretted that appointment. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.