Monday, July 11, 2011

colleagues, including Brooks's racehorse-training husband, Charlie, were attending George Osborne's 40th birthday party, Murdoch had chosen to spend his evening with his most loyal lieutenant, who lives close to the Kingham Plough pub, near Chipping Norton. Murdoch, who can expect presidents and prime ministers to fly all the way round the world to court him, was dropping in on his employee. The mountain was coming to Muhammad.

Although, only two days earlier, Brooks had been at Murdoch's annual summer party in London, where she had rubbed shoulders with David Cameron and the Labour leader Ed Miliband, the two would still have had much to talk about.

With politicians vying for their shareholders and to express anger, it was Murdoch 's son, James, News Corp' s Chief Operating Officer, to the left to deliver the coup de grace.

But amazingly, it was not for Brooks 's head on a plate. Instead, it was the newspaper that they published between 2000 and 2003. The News of the World , Great Britain 's Bestsellers Sunday paper will, was deleted after 168 years, Murdoch junior revealed in an e-mail to all News International staff. A cursory visit to Brooks to the paper 's newsroom, where - in a soft voice, dry eyes and walking - she spoke of her affection for the paper's demise confirmed shocked the few people who were there to hear them .

As mitigation, it was as brutal as it was unprecedented. But in sacrificing their massively profitable title Sunday, the Murdoch empire has triggered more questions than answers. Questions that are now destroyed, which is an unholy alliance of politicians, press and police.

Little changed when Coulson arrived at the


were also done," he said.

Observer that the agency had worked with the News of the World on a number of legitimate stories while he was in the Met. But in a development that promises to throw more fuel on the fire, he said, he wants to sue his former power. A spokesman for his solicitors, Pannone, said: "We can confirm that a partner in the firm is advising Mr Fillery a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Police for malicious prosecution \."

The Met has, meanwhile, is scouring powder all the evidence accumulated on Rees to determine whether his company was also in the conduct of illegal activities on behalf of participating newspapers. There should be at least 11,000 pages \ material on Rees at the Met's his property, none of which have been disclosed and some of which is believed to be the most important public figures that relate to date on what has already mentioned periphery of scandal .

Significantly, while it is confirmed that Rees was paid by the

So far the arrests have been confined to reporters and editors, but how did the investigators obtain the mobile phone numbers to hack into in the first place? One obvious line of inquiry is the illegal accessing of the police national computer, suggesting corrupt officers were involved. The paper has already confirmed that several Met officers were paid for information.

A News International insider said that claims an estimated 4,000 phones may have been targeted could tell only part of the story. There are suggestions that the paper was interested in as many as 80,000 phone numbers over the past decade. How many were hacked or bugged is a subject for the police investigation, but by the mid-1990s it appears hacking had become endemic and no one was considered out of bounds. From the families of 7/7 victims to Milly Dowler, all were targets. John Cooper, a barrister who represents the families of soldiers killed in the Nimrod disaster in Afghanistan and the RAF Hercules explosion in Iraq, as well as those who died at Deepcut barracks, confirmed on Saturday night that his clients were concerned that they may have been the victims of telephone hacking.

"Phil is convinced his phone was substantively hacked by the

with a Sunday Sun

News of the World

On the morning of Election Day Sun Front-page request that "If Kinnock wins today, the last person to leave Britain please turn out the light". When he licked his wounds amid the wreckage of a fourth consecutive general election defeat for Labour, Kinnock turn the blame the media and the Murdoch stable, especially for the tide against him. "It 's The Sun Wot Won It' ran \ is the paper's triumphant headline.

From that moment on Labour 's modernizers - Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Gordon Brown, Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell - knowing that if the party was to Tory demands for power is to break no more important task than Murdoch and his papers to get offside.

Lance Price, a journalist and ex-spin doctor, who worked at No. 10 as Campbell 's deputy, tells how Blair and Campbell took to heart the advice of Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating deal about dealing with Murdoch.

"He's a big bad bastard and the only way you can deal with him is to make sure he thinks you can be a big bad bastard too," he said. "You can do deals with him, without ever saying a deal is done. But the only thing he cares about is his business and the only language he respects is strength."

Two official inquiries, one into phone hacking, the other, with a wider remit into press ethics, promise uncomfortable headlines for Fleet Street over the coming months. So too does Scotland Yard's continuing investigation, the results of which will extend far beyond the and phone hacking to other newspapers and criminal acts like bugging and email interception.

the news.

had briefly walked off the job in protest at their sister paper's closure. Most of the anger was saved for a solitary figure – Brooks. Picture editors vied with subs and young reporters to say the same thing: they had been sold down the river by the Murdoch family to save her skin."There are young people with families," one said. "What are they going to do?"

feel about continuing to work under Brooks, especially after Cameron in effect called on her to stand down, saying: "It's been reported that she had offered her resignation in this situation, and I would have taken it." His comment again threw into question Murdoch's increasingly quixotic desire to protect Brooks. As the seasoned media commentator Raymond Snoddy observed on the MediaTel Newsline Bulletin: "Her famed political access will be no more. You can hear the doors already slamming in her face."

but for all of Fleet Street.

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