Monday 22 January 2018

Murdochs and Brooks called to face MP inquisition

Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son James have been called to appear before a powerful British House of Commons committee next Tuesday.

Labour's Tom Watson said MPs wanted to ask Mrs Brooks about her knowledge of payments to the police.

He said the Culture, Media and Sport select committee also wants to quiz James Murdoch on his involvement ''in authorising payments to silence'' Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, after his phone was hacked.

Rupert Murdoch owes the Dowler family an apology, Mr Watson added.

He told Radio 4's World at One programme: ''They have misled Parliament, egregiously, over time, they have misled the country and they have misled their readers and I think it is incumbent on MPs to get to the facts.''

Asked whether the News International trio would be compelled to attend, Mr Watson said there was lots of "arcane procedure" to go through but added: "We will be sitting next Tuesday and we expect them to attend

"I suspect that some of them might be too cowardly to turn up but that is up to them to decide."

Speculation is growing that Rupert Murdoch is planning to replace the News of the World by publishing the paper's daily sister title, the Sun, seven days a week.

The websites and, which were registered last week, have now been transferred to News International, internet domain name records show.

Meanwhile, the British Government has said it will support a Labour motion tomorrow that Rupert Murdoch should pull his plans to bid for full ownership of TV giant BSkyB.

Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman said: "We are intending to support it."

Asked whether the Government believed News Corp should heed the will of Parliament, he added: "Ultimately, that is a decision for News Corp but we would always expect people to take seriously what Parliament has said."

The takeover has already been referred to the Competitions Commission.

And the announcement comes ahead of a meeting between all three party leaders about the phone hacking scandal.

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