Rebekah Brooks, the embattled chief executive of News International, insisted last night that the company had no choice but to close the 'News of the World' because worse revelations about the paper's activities were going to emerge.
Mrs Brooks's admission -- in an address to staff yesterday afternoon -- came after a week in which the paper had been accused of hacking the phones of murder victims and the families of members of the armed forces killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mrs Brooks told staff, who were made redundant after the 'News of the World' was closed on Thursday, that she felt betrayed by the individuals who hacked mobile telephones.
Many staff have been angered that they have lost their jobs despite having nothing to do with the phone-hacking scandal, while Mrs Brooks, who was editor at the time much of the wrongdoing took place, remains in her post.
The Murdoch family rejected Mrs Brooks's resignation after she allegedly offered to leave twice before they closed the paper. However, it also emerged that News International's chairman James Murdoch had stripped Mrs Brooks of her role leading the company's internal investigation on phone hacking.
Mrs Brooks reportedly told staff she was staying on because she was like a "conductor" to the criticism of the company. She said she would try to find the 200 staff other jobs within the organisation.
Journalists at the 'News of the World' said they were treated like "criminals" yesterday after security guards appeared at the doors of the newsroom and their internet access was blocked.
A source said that employees had come to work determined to make a success of the last ever 'News of the World', which will appear this Sunday.
"The staff here . . . are innocent in all of this, as the people responsible for this mess no longer work here. It's an absolute insult," said a member of staff.