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Huhne attacks 'Murdoch press' for role in his downfall

Former Cabinet minister and Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne faces the media on his release from prison May. Credit: Empics

Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has attacked "the Murdoch press" for its role in the speeding points swap scandal which led to the jailing of him and his ex-wife.

Writing in the Guardian newspaper, he admitted that "[his] own behaviour has not helped" but said he believes his calls for the Metropolitan Police to reopen their hacking investigation turned the editors of certain publications against him.

"The News of the World sparked the end of my marriage, but another Murdoch title, the Sunday Times, then groomed my ex-wife until she told them about the speeding points," he said.

Murdoch: 'I used wrong adjectives to voice frustration'

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz wrote to Rupert Murdoch asking him to comment on the secret recording.

In a reply released today, Mr Murdoch said:

I accept that I used the wrong adjectives to voice my frustration over the course of the police investigation.

But I had been hearing for months about pre-dawn raids undertaken by as many as 14 police officers, and that some employees and their families were left in limbo for as much as a year and a half between arrest and charging decisions.

I have no basis to question the competence of the police and I and our newspapers respect the work that they do every day to protect the public.

But I do question whether, over the last two years, the police have approached these matters with an appropriate sense of proportion, and with regard for the human cost of delay.

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Rupert Murdoch: Hacking probe has 'gone on too long'

Rupert Murdoch has reneged on claims the investigation into phone hacking and corruption is "totally incompetent" but said Scotland Yard's probe appears "excessive" and has "gone on too long".

Rupert Murdoch has written a letter to MPs about the hacking probe. Credit: Press Association

In a letter responding to demands from MPs that the media magnate explain comments he made about police at a staff meeting, he conceded using the "wrong adjectives" to describe his frustration at events over the last two years.

But the News Corp boss also questioned whether officers had "approached these matters with an appropriate sense of proportion" and said it would be unfair to suggest his company had impeded the Metropolitan Police's inquiries.

Mr Murdoch was apparently recorded describing the treatment of journalists who had been arrested as a "disgrace" during a meeting in March and saying that police had been told to obtain court orders to get information, rather than the company offering up material as it had done previously.

Murdoch accepts MPs' request to be quizzed again

A spokesman for News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has announced that he has accepted the request by MPs on the culture, media and sport committee to appear in front of them again, after a recording emerged of him apparently venting his anger about police investigations into his newspapers:

Mr Murdoch welcomes the opportunity to return to the Select Committee and answer their questions.

He looks forward to clearing up any misconceptions as soon as possible.

– News UK spokesman

Police to 'fully assess' Rupert Murdoch tape

Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Cressida Dick Credit: Press Association

Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick confirmed the force is trying to get a copy of the clip of Mr Murdoch speaking to members of staff from the Sun in March.

Murdoch not expected to face MPs until autumn

  • Scotland Yard is currently assessing the recording made during a meeting with News International journalists

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Rupert Murdoch 'asked to reappear by MPs'

Rupert Murdoch has been invited to re-appear before the Commons Culture Media and Sport committee. It comes after a recording emerged of him apparently telling journalists he regretted the level of co-operation given by News International to the investigation into phone hacking and illegal payments.

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation Credit: Press Association

Ex-NotW deputy editor 'glad' about Murdoch remarks

Former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis said he is "glad" that Rupert Murdoch "stood by his staff" after hearing secret audio recordings made during a News Corp meeting.

Phone-hacking charges against Mr Wallis were dropped in February this year.

He also replied to a Twitter user who asked whether he thought Murdoch was "really backing the staff":

Murdoch heard branding police 'totally incompetent'

In one clip from a secret audio recording obtained by Channel 4 News, Rupert Murdoch is heard branding police "totally incompetent" and damning the Scotland Yard inquiry into corrupt payments to public officials.

"It's the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing," he says.

Hear more of the recordings at Channel 4 News.

A News Corp statement said Mr Murdoch was showing "understandable empathy" to his staff.

News Corp: Murdoch showing 'understandable empathy'

Defending Rupert Murdoch's pledge to staff, a spokesman for News Corp told Channel 4 News:

No other company has done as much to identify what went wrong, compensate the victims, and ensure the same mistakes do not happen again.

The unprecedented co-operation granted by News Corp was agreed unanimously by senior management and the board, and the MSC continues to co-operate under the supervision of the courts.

Rupert Murdoch has shown understandable empathy with the staff and families affected and will assume they are innocent until and unless proven guilty.

– News Corp
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