On Tuesday 5th July I set out why Rupert Murdoch and his son James should be seen as responsible for the phone hacking scandal and should be declared unfit to run a major media corporation in Britain. There was an emergency debate in the Commons the next day and Tom Watson MP made an exceptionally devestating case against Rebekah Brooks, the editor of the News of the World at the time who is now the Chief Executive of News International. He shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that her claims not to have know what was happening are false. He also shows how James Murdoch ran a cover-up. Comments on OurKingdom's open question on the fate of News of the World, show that the evidence set out by Tom Watson is still not widely known, perhaps because the other papers and certainly the BBC are hanging back from reporting something which shows that they too were asleep on the pavement. So here is Tom Watson's speech, slightly edited and without the parliamentary exchanges (see here for the Hansard version). Anthony Barnett.
News International... was systematically, ruthlessly, and without conscience or morality, interfering with the phones of victims of murder, cruelly deceiving their families and impeding the search for justice. Glenn Mulcaire [who hacked the phones] has accepted some share of responsibility for this moral sickness, but the editor in charge of him [Rebekah Brooks] refuses to take responsibility. Indeed, far from accepting blame, she has—amazingly—put herself in charge of the investigation into the wrongdoing; the chief suspect has become the chief investigator.
I believe that Rebekah Brooks was not only responsible for wrongdoing, but knew about it. The evidence in the paper that she edited contradicts her statements that she knew nothing about unlawful behaviour. Take the edition that she edited on 14 April 2002, which reveals that the News of the World had information from Milly Dowler’s phone. In other words, they knew about the messages on her phone. They wrote that there was
“left a message on her voicemail after the 13-year-old vanished at 4pm on March 21. On march 27th, six days after Milly went missing in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, the employment agency appears to have phoned her mobile".
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