Rebekah Brooks: “Not Guilty”. OK?

Rebekah Brooks leaving the high courtNow that the case is over, it is worth noting some of the details which hitherto could not be reported. Milly Dowler was a child who was abducted and then killed by a predatory paedophile. News of the World (NoW) journalists chanced on a voicemail which suggested she might still be alive and working in Telford. They did not however tell the police who were searching for her. When the police search failed to locate her, those same journalists, needing confirmation of the story, demanded that the Surrey police (Milly was a Surrey schoolgirl) corroborate the story for them. They quoted the voicemail both in phone calls and in email, and both those calls and messages have been retained in the Surrey police records. Continue reading

It’s not Hunt’s neck that’s now on the line, it’s Cameron’s

The evidence revealing the inappropriately close relationship between Cameron and News International in the run-up to the BSkyB bid gathered pace in the last two days with the appearance of Coulson and Brooks before Leveson. First, there was Cameron’s insouciance about hiring Coulson to No.10 without thorough checks on what he may have known about phone-hacking at the News of the World where he had been editor, even when the Guardian later indicated in 2009 that phone hacking at the tabloid was rife. This suggests that the Prime Minister was so determined to get as close as possible to the Murdoch outfit that he was quite ready to gloss over any embarrassing details that might incriminate Coulson, and never raised the subject with him more than once even while the hacking saga was steadily unfolding. Continue reading

The net tightens on News International

Sales of the doomed News of the World increased by 30% we are reliably informed on the day the newspaper closed, and on the day Rupert Murdoch flew in dressed in an open neck shirt and a panama hat.

The ‘Dirty Digger’ as Murdoch used to be known affected not to have a care in the World. He said that his first priority was Rebekah Brooks, his Chief Executive of News  Corporation operations in London and who edited the News of the World when clearly documented cases of phone hacking were taking place. Just another day then, Rupe? Just another squall to deal with? Continue reading

Murdoch pays the price – News of the World to close

It was so ordained that James, rather than Rupert Murdoch, announced the closure of the News of the World, the 168 year old tabloid, after the presses roll this Sunday. He did so from New York, the city to which Rupert spirited him earlier this year, possibly already aware that leaving him in London would open him to the flack now being directed at his successor, Rebekah Brooks. Continue reading

Is it OK to hate News International again?

Back in the late 1980s, it was official Labour policy for MPs to refuse interviews with News International publications. Not that ambitious young politicians, such as home affairs spokesperson Tony Blair, took any notice of the ban whatsoever, you understand. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

Now that the full ugly reality of the hacking scandal has hit home, it is finally OK to hate News International again. But those who remember the last time the two sides weren’t talking are well placed to chip in with a few wry observations here.

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