Saturday 23 September 2017

Brooks back in charge of Murdoch newspapers

Rebecca Brooks
Rebecca Brooks

John-Paul Ford Rojas in London

Rebekah Brooks has been appointed chief executive of News UK, publisher of 'The Sun', 'The Times' and 'Sunday Times' newspapers.

The announcement confirms the return of the former 'Sun' editor to the leadership of Rupert Murdoch's British media empire after she was cleared of all charges in the phone- hacking trial last year.

Former 'Daily Telegraph' editor Tony Gallagher would become editor of 'The Sun', Britain's largest-selling daily newspaper, the company said.

Ms Brooks takes charge from next Monday.

Robert Thomson, chief executive of parent company News Corp, said: "Her expertise and leadership will be crucial as we work to extend our relationship with readers and develop our digital platforms."

Ms Brooks said: "I am delighted to return to News UK. I am confident that we can meet the many challenges of this digital age with a combination of cutting-edge technologies and world class journalism."

Reports that surfaced over the weekend of her imminent appointment - four years after she left News UK's predecessor News International - have already been met with "incredulity" by the Hacked Off campaign.

Evan Harris, joint executive director of Hacked Off, said: "This could only happen in a dynastic company where normal rules of corporate governance simply do not apply."

Ms Brooks, former editor of the now-defunct 'News Of The World', was cleared of all charges following the 138-day hacking trial at the Old Bailey, as was former managing director Stuart Kuttner.

But Andy Coulson, another former editor of the newspaper who went on to become David Cameron's director of communications, was convicted and given an 18-month prison sentence.

Phones

British shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant - who was a victim of 'News Of The World' phone-hacking - said: "Rupert Murdoch has just stuck two fingers up to the British public and the thousands of people whose phones were hacked by News International. Hundreds of ordinary journalists lost their jobs when Mr Murdoch closed the 'News Of The World', but it seems Rebekah Brooks is to get very special treatment.

"This decision is ludicrously premature when the Crown Prosecution Service is still considering corporate charges against News Corp and when the Leveson Inquiry has to still to complete the second part of its work into the events at the 'News Of The World'."

Irish Independent

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