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Updating “News Of the World”

  • July 18th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

stephenson-resigns.jpgA mega-story befitting the land of the tabloids: on the eve of the scheduled appearance of the Murdoch principals before a parliamentary committee, London was taking stock of the resignation of the Police chief, and the weekend arrest and interrogation of Rebekah Brooks.

RESIGNATIONS

Sir Paul Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Commissioner (picture), resigned on Sunday, because his organisation had employed a former deputy editor of the News of the World Sunday newspaper, Neil Wallis, now arrested in the ongoing scandal over phone hacking.

He denied any failure of personal integrity.

It appears Rebekah Brooks, until last week the chief executive of News International, the Murdoch group in England, formerly publishers of The News of the World, has been asked by police, amongst other things, about staff of her newspapers making payments to their own officers for stories.

(Some at the Old Bill might already have known the answers.)

PARLIAMENT TO MEET – MORE QUESTIONS FOR PM

Ms Brooks was scheduled to appear before a House of Commons select Committee on Tuesday (19.7.11), along with Rupert Murdoch, head of the parent company, and his son James Murdoch.

david-cameron-anunewsnet.jpgThe British Prime Minister, David Cameron (picture), has been in South Africa, where the trouble followed him on Monday in the form of several British reporters.

He told them he would be back at Westminster on Wednesday, planning a statement to parliament on the News of the World affair, and the inquiry he has announced into the phone hacking, and mass media regulation more generally.

Mr Cameron  has been questioned about his own association with the problem, through his employment of Andy Coulsen, previously an editor of The News of the World, who has been arrested by investigators into the scandal.

The Prime Minister said it was not like the case of the Police Commissioner and that other News of the World man, because, he said, “the issues that the Metropolitan Police are looking at … have had a direct bearing on public confidence into the police inquiry into the News of the World and indeed into the police themselves.”

RAGING DEBATE

Members of Parliament were last week set to stage a raging debate over the bid by News International to buy up full ownership of B-Sky-B television, before the company dropped its bid on 13.7.11.

Members now say they want a debate on Wednesday, on the Select Committee hearing the day before.

TOUCH OF NOSTALGIA?

news-of-world-logo1.jpgThe police are investigating evidence that agents of The News of the World tapped into the phones of thousands of people to get information for stories.

The newspaper, keen on an exciting yarn and no great respecter of privacy, was closed last Sunday week (10.7.11).

What might it have done with a story of this explosive quality?

Reference

BBC News, London, “Phone hacking scandal: Commons recess set to be delayed”, 18.7.11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14182535, (18.7.11).

The Guardian, Manchester, “Cameron to postpone parliamentary recess”, 18.7.11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/, (18.7.11).

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