As it happened: Phone-hacking row

Key points

  • The Home Affairs Committee has questioned senior police officers about the way they handled investigations into phone hacking
  • The government says it will support Labour's motion that MPs believe it is in the public interest for News Corporation to withdraw its bid for BSkyB
  • Mr Brown is calling for an investigation into alleged links between News International newspapers and the "criminal underworld"
  • News International says it is satisfied about the methods used to obtain the Sun newspaper's story on Gordon Brown's son's medical condition
  • Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch have been asked to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee next Tuesday
  • Asst Comm John Yates says he is 99% sure his phone was hacked into

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    Welcome to our live page. We'll be keeping you up to date with all the latest developments in the phone hacking scandal over the coming hours.


    First up, the main development of the day. Senior Metropolitan Police officers are due to be quizzed by MPs in public later about inquiries into phone hacking at the News of the World.


    MPs are expected to ask two former officers why the initial investigation in 2005 failed to uncover evidence of hacking of crime victims' phones.

    Asst Commissioner John Yates, who ruled out reopening the inquiry in 2009, will also face the Home Affairs Committee. MPs will speak to the officer leading the current investigation, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, as well.


    It comes as News International is accused of "blagging" to obtain personal information about Gordon Brown and his family, including the fact his son had cystic fibrosis.


    Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz says the story is "very complicated" but it is important that Parliament is told the facts.


    Confused about what "blagging" is? It is "knowingly or recklessly obtaining or disclosing personal data or information without the consent of the data controller", and has been illegal since 1994.


    For all the key questions in the phone-hacking scandal, read our up-to-date Q&A.


    Liberal Democrat Sir Alan Beith says David Cameron made a "crass error" in appointing former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his director of communications.

    Mr Coulson resigned earlier this year from the post and has been arrested as part of the police phone hacking investigation.

    Mr Beith says the appointment of Mr Coulson was made despite warnings from Liberal Democrats - and others - and that Mr Cameron's judgement has been called into question.


    Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown tells the BBC he was "in tears" when he found out the Sun had the story about his son Fraser's medical condition, cystic fibrosis.

    "Your son is now going to be broadcast across the media, Sarah and I were incredibly upset about it, we're thinking about his long-term future."

    But Mr Brown says there was nothing he could do about it.


    Coming up, the full interview with Gordon Brown at 0900 BST.


    Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone tells Radio 4's Today programme it appears there was "far too close a relationship" between Metropolitan Police officers and reporters from the Murdoch press.

    He says it was a "completely spurious" argument that at any point in the inquiry police did not have the resources to look thoroughly into the hacking allegations.

    0909: Breaking News

    Gordon Brown is calling for an investigation into alleged links between News International newspapers and what he calls the "criminal underworld".

    In an exclusive interview, he tells the BBC he believes News International were using "people that were known criminals - people that in some cases had criminal records" to obtain stories.

    "These links have now got to be explored."


    In response to Gordon Brown's allegations about working with known criminals, News International says it has "no comment".

    But it reiterates the position that the Sun newspaper is satisfied about the methods in which it obtained the story about Gordon Brown's son's medical condition.

    0915: Elly

    tweets: Still sickened by the #NOTW links to @SarahBrownUK's son. I never knew people would sink that low.


    Mr Brown says he has always sought to keep his family "from the glare of publicity" and has never talked publicly about his son's medical condition.

    He says he did not question how the story about his son appeared.

    "You don't know how it's appeared, I've not questioned how it appeared. I've not made any allegations about how it appeared, I've not made any claims how it appeared but the fact is it did appear and it did appear in the Sun newspaper."


    Mr Brown also accuses the Sunday Times of running a story "with the purpose of bringing me down as a government minister".

    0921: Fiona

    tweets: Such a sad and embarrassing time for journalism. Thanks #NOTW for now painting all journos as unethical vultures.


    Mr Brown says he did not know "the level of criminality involved until now".


    Mr Brown says the country has a "duty to clean this up entirely" and the press has to answer some serious questions.


    Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson tells the BBC he did not call for an investigation into the original hacking inquiry because it would have been seen as a "low political blow" against Andy Coulson.

    He says he considered asking Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to review the original investigation into hacking claims, but decided against it because he would have been "castigated".


    Mr Brown says News International had a political agenda.

    "I think there's absolutely no doubt that News International were trying to influence policy."


    BBC correspondent Colette McBeth says News International stand by their story that they obtained the information about Gordon Brown's son by legal means.

    Our correspondent says it feels like the company is under siege.


    Mr Brown says: "The fact of the matter is that I had my bank accounts broken into, I had my lawyers' files effectively blagged, as they call it, with someone getting information from my lawyers - my tax returns went missing at one point, medical records have been broken into.

    "I don't know how all this this happened but I do know one thing. That in two of these instances, there is absolute proof that News International was involved in hiring people to get this information. And I do know also that the people that they work with - because this is what really concerns me most - are criminals, known criminals."

    0928: Louise Bolotin

    tweets: No fan of ex-PM Brown but feel sorry for him - he looks so distraught talking on BBC News right now about what News Int did to him #notw

    0929: Ken in Inverness

    texts: I think the politicians are behind the curve on the Murdoch affair. Whatever you think of him he is a brilliant business man. My guess is that he will sell all of his newspapers in the UK which will satisfy the Competition Commission and he will proceed with the bid, including Sky News, in about a year's time.


    Our correspondent Colette McBeth says Rebekah Brooks is in an extremely difficult position because she was the editor of the Sun newspaper when it ran the story about Mr Brown's son Fraser - and Mr Brown's latest comments will only add to the pressure.

    0931: Bob in London

    emails: I can't help thinking about other media organisations that might have been hacking away at people's phones for years but don't have a leftist campaign sifting through their emails.

    0932: Laura Kuenssberg Chief political correspondent, BBC News channel

    Mr Brown is very troubled about what he has discovered - he is not some naive player when it comes to the press but he clearly is shocked and emotionally upset by the way one newspaper appears to have got a story about his son's medical condition.


    Mr Brown tells the BBC: "I just can't understand this - if I, with all the protection and all the defences and all the security that a chancellor of the Exchequer or a prime minister, am so vulnerable to unscrupulous tactics, to unlawful tactics, methods that have been used in the way we have found, what about the ordinary citizen?"


    "What about the person, like the family of Milly Dowler, who are in the most desperate of circumstances, the most difficult occasions in their lives, in huge grief and then they find that they are totally defenceless in this moment of greatest grief from people who are employing these ruthless tactics with links to known criminals," Mr Brown adds.


    Ed Miliband tells the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler his "heart goes out" to them, as he holds talks to discuss phone hacking.

    The family told the Labour leader they first heard about the alleged hacking of Milly's phone at the end of April, shortly before the trial of Levi Bellfield, the man convicted of her murder.


    Labour leader Ed Miliband met the Dowler family this morning.

    Labour leader Ed Miliband with the Dowler family

    Gordon Brown says "people are utterly defenceless" against tactics used by newspapers to obtain personal information.


    Mr Brown says News International had an agenda on the BBC, and Ofcom and the Labour Government had stood up to them.


    Mr Brown says that the record will show his government refused to support News International's "commercial ambitions" when it thought they went against the public interest.

    "And I think people will find it is partly because we stood up to News International and partly because we refused to go along with some of their commercial proposals that were purely in the interests of their company, that News International did not find that they could support a Labour Party at the last election."

    0952: John Murray in Newcastle

    emails: As ever it's the bottom line that matters. So long as somebody is making money - in this case, selling newspapers - then it doesn't matter who gets hurt. This country needs to recognise that there is a limit to the value of making a profit.


    Mr Brown also tells the BBC he is "shocked" that a "supposedly reputable" firm [News International] "made money at expense of ordinary people using known criminals".


    Asked for a response for the BBC's interview with Gordon Brown, News International says: "We note the allegations made concerning the reporting of matters relating to Gordon Brown.

    "So that we can investigate these matters further, we ask that all information concerning these allegations is provided to us."

    News International also says the Sun newspaper is satisfied about the methods in which it obtained the story about Gordon Brown's son's medical records.


    Mr Brown says he attempted to challenge the editor of the Sunday Times directly about one of its reports, but when he told him it was "completely out of order and the story was completely inaccurate, he distorted my conversation and actually used it in the newspaper".

    "There was no support going to come from the editor of the Sunday Times in dealing with the indiscipline and the practices of his own reporters.

    "This was a culture in both the Sunday Times and other newspapers in News International where they really exploited people - people who were at rock bottom. And rock bottom was the rock upon which the Sunday Times founded their reputation," he tells the BBC.

    1011: Laura Kuenssberg Chief political correspondent, BBC News channel

    Ed Miliband has been able to grab hold of the scandal to knock away some of the government's credibility, whether it's been over the BSkyB deal or what David Cameron did or didn't ask about Andy Coulson. It's giving Labour a political opportunity.

    1015: Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    We're expecting the Dowler family to leave the Houses of Parliament, where they've been meeting with Mr Miliband, very soon.


    Martin Moore of the Hacked Off campaign says at a meeting this morning Ed Miliband agreed with the group on the need to start an inquiry quickly.

    He says the Labour leader agreed the inquiry had to go further than just the Metropolitan Police and than just News International.


    The solicitor for Milly Dowler's family, Mark Lewis, says the Dowlers thought it was an "excellent meeting" with Ed Miliband.

    "They've had to have their dirty linen washed in public and now it is time for politicians to have to go through the same experience," he says.


    Mr Lewis says the media are still able to lobby politicians to stop them holding an inquiry.

    He says the situation may be uncomfortable for MPs but they need to be fearless and "stand up to the press".


    David Cameron's former press secretary George Eustice says the prime minister is handling the situation as well as he can and would not have hired Andy Coulson if he had known the extent of the allegations against him.


    The Home Affairs Committee is due to hear from former police Assistant Commissioners Andy Hayman and Peter Clarke, Assistant Commissioner John Yates and Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers - who is leading Operation Weeting - at about 1130 BST.

    1036: A N de Vicq in Macclesfield

    emails: This is democracy; we choose to buy newspapers full of jingoistic and reactionary comment and titillating celebrity scoops obtained by dubious means. We have no interest in a serious informative press. Serious current affairs programmes have all but disappeared. We are an ignorant and ill-educated society who value wealth and celebrity above competence, honesty and integrity - we get the politicians and press we deserve. Of course we like to bleat about them but it is us who need to change.


    The BBC's Colette McBeth says Rupert Murdoch arrived at News International's Wapping headquarters at around 1000 BST but there has been no sign of Rebekah Brooks.


    Colette McBeth says if Rebekah Brooks rang to tell Mr Brown about the article on his son, questions must be asked about what she knew about the source of the information.


    Media lawyer Charlotte Harris tells the BBC it's implausible the information used in the Sun's article on Gordon Brown's son could have been legitimately obtained.

    "There seems to be no way that this information could have been got hold of by legitimate means."


    Charlotte Harris says there is a very important constitutional right to freedom of speech but the press cannot abuse its power.

    "You're not fit and proper if you try to abuse the power that you have as a large media organisation."


    A quick recap on the key points from the BBC's exclusive interview with former PM Gordon Brown. In it, Mr Brown accuses News International of using "known criminals" to gain access to personal information about people and calls for an investigation.

    He also claims the Sunday Times used underhand methods to get access to personal details about him, with the aim of bringing him down as chancellor. The article in question is a front-page Sunday Times report that Mr Brown had bought a flat owned by Robert Maxwell at a "knock-down price", which Mr Brown says was "completely wrong".


    In response, News International says it will investigate Mr Brown's allegations and asks to be provided with all information relating to the claims.

    It also says it is satisfied about the methods used to obtain the Sun newspaper's story about Mr Brown's son's cystic fibrosis.


    The last issue of the News of the World newspaper sold 3.8 million copies, up 1.1 million on the previous week, latest figures show.


    For a more international outlook, the BBC's Tom Geoghegan in Washington asks Could Rupert Murdoch's US empire be affected??


    David Cameron says his heart goes out to Gordon and Sarah Brown over what seems to be "another appalling invasion of privacy".

    The prime minister says claims that underhand methods were used to obtain information about Mr Brown's son are "heartbreaking" and the government will not rest until it gets to the bottom of the allegations.


    Former Met Commissioner Lord (formerly Sir Ian) Blair is being questioned by the Home Affairs Select Committee.


    Lord Blair confirms his mobile phone and home numbers were in the files held by private investigator Glen Mulcaire, but says there is no evidence his phone was hacked.


    He says the hacking inquiry was a "tiny fragmentary event" and not seen as a "particularly significant inquiry" at the time (between 2005-2007).


    Lord Blair says as commissioner he was accountable for any mistakes made during the initial investigation into phone-hacking, but he could not have known about the extent of the scandal.

    He says if material showed "what is now being described as industrial level hacking" it would have been appropriate to have gone further.

    Lord Blair says it was a tiny element of his job at that time and he had accountability, not responsibility.


    Assistant Commissioner John Yates has made an opening statement to the MPs, saying he is grateful to have the chance to appear before the committee again.

    "I can assure you all that I have never lied and all the information that I have provided to this committee and others has been given in good faith."


    Mr Yates says the News of the World appears to have failed to cooperate in the way they should have and his actions would have been different if he had known that.


    Mr Yates admits he described the first police investigation as "crap", as quoted in a Telegraph article, but he says he should have used the word "poor".

    He says he "passionately believes in doing the right thing" and will hold his hands up if he is found to have done anything wrong.


    Mr Yates in July 2009 to the best of his knowledge it was correct not to investigate the phone-hacking allegations further.

    With hindsight, he says that was a poor decision, but that at the time police did not have information they should have.


    Mr Yates says there was nothing to indicate in the Guardian's July 2009 article that more police resources should have been deployed into investigating phone-hacking.


    But Mr Yates says he wants to make it clear that he does not accept responsibility for the News International's actions.


    Mr Yates says it is "abundantly clear" if he'd had the revelant information in 2009 he would have made some very different decisions in terms of the scale and scope of the police investigation.


    He says if he unwittingly misled the committee on the basis that he did not have that information it was a matter of regret.


    Mr Yates says he's 99% sure that his phone was hacked into between 2005 and 2006.


    Mr Yates says he was asked to establish whether there was anything new in the 2009 Guardian article alleging widespread phone-hacking and was advised by his colleagues there was not.

    But he says he did not take legal advice on the issue.


    Mr Yates says he had an in-depth discussion with the senior investigating officer, Det Ch Sup Phil Williams, before making his decision not to reopen the investigation.


    Labour MP Steve McCabe tells Mr Yates: "You just don't sound like the dogged determined sleuth that we'd expect."


    Mr Yates says it would be unfair to suggest that he should resign over the phone-hacking investigation.


    Mr Yates says he has "never, ever" received payment relating to a news investigation but that it's "highly probable" that some of his officers have.


    He says the Met has invested a lot of time into its anti-corruption strategy, but if vetting of officers becomes an issue, that will be reviewed.


    Asst Comm Yates says he wants the public to be reassured that a new investigation under a different command structure is scrutinising the new evidence on phone-hacking.


    Mr Yates says his conscience is clear in that he has expressed regret for the areas of the first police investigation that could have been done better.


    Chairman MP Keith Vaz tells Mr Yates he thinks the Home Affairs Committee believes his evidence today has been "unconvincing" and the assistant commissioner will probably be called back to give more evidence.


    Former police Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke has begun giving evidence to the Home Affairs Committee.


    Mr Clarke says he has not seen the list of potential victims generated by Operation Weeting but does not believe he is on it.


    Mr Clarke says he is not surprised by anything that "certain parts of the media engage in".

    But he says the first investigation's remit was strictly to look into who had been hacking into the phones of members of the royal household.


    Mr Clarke says he shares the shock of "almost everybody" at the depths to which the media appears to have sunk.

    He says he is appalled at the allegations that Milly Dowler's phone was hacked.


    Mr Clarke also says that terrorism and national security concerns meant he could not justify the time and resources a wider investigation would have needed.


    Mr Clarke reads a statement to MPs in which he says the parameters of the first investigation were very clear.

    A much wider investigation would have taken longer to complete, put evidence at risk and would have compromised what the investigation was setting out to achieve.


    Mr Clarke says the only thing the first investigation could be likened to would be a huge fraud case, and parameters needed to be put in place.


    Mr Clarke says police did suspect more journalists may have been involved in phone-hacking which is why "we pursued it as far as we could through the correspondence with the News of the World lawyers".

    But he says a full-investigation would have taken months and a "completely unacceptable" breach of privacy would have continued.


    Mr Clarke says a team of officers were detailed to go through material seized from private investigator Glen Mulcaire but were not asked to do "an exhaustive analysis".

    He says it was a manual search and he can't be absolutely certain that all the material was read.


    Mr Clarke says a global organisation with access to the best legal advice, was in his opinion trying to obstruct a police investigation.


    Mr Clarke says he took the view "you either do the job properly or you don't do it at all".

    He says he had to weigh up a breach of privacy investigation with counter terrorism investigations and an exhaustive analysis of the evidence at hand may or may not have made any difference at all.


    Mr Clarke says he did not at any time in his investigation speak to the Director of Public Prosecutors himself, but he knows for a fact that some senior Met officers were in touch with the Crown Prosecution Service.


    Mr Clarke says at the time of the phone-hacking investigation the Metropolitan Police was conducting some 70 investigations under his oversight.


    Mr Clarke says he did not socialise with any senior people at News International while the first investigation was under way but he cannot comment on whether his colleagues did.


    Mr Clarke says "this type of investigation was never actually core business for the anti-terrorist branch".


    Mr Clarke says in the initial stages of the investigation about 28 people were informed they could have been the victims of hacking.

    1317: Breaking News

    Labour MP Tom Watson says Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son James have been asked to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee next Tuesday.


    Mr Vaz says Mr Clarke has been "very helpful" to the committee and it is "most grateful".


    Former Met Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman is now being questioned by the Home Affairs Committee.


    Mr Hayman says he never made a secret of the fact he had private dinners with senior members of News International, but he was always with the director of communications for the Met and they were always for business.

    He says any suggestions that these were cosy candle lit dinners "where state secrets were shared" are absolute rubbish.


    Mr Hayman says "any hint" that he was "in the back pocket" of News International is "unfounded".


    Mr Hayman says he has nothing to hide.

    "Even if I had a motive that was unethical - and I didn't - how could I have stopped a line of investigation?"

    He says the dinners with News International took place before any arrests were made in the investigation.


    He says every interaction with any journalist during the investigation was recorded, and to his knowledge he was never alone on these occasions.


    Times columnist Mr Hayman says when he retired from the police he saw journalism as a second career.

    "Don't beat me up for being upfront with you and honest."


    He says there was no way the operational tactics of police would have been discussed in any of the meetings he had with journalists.


    Mr Hayman says he was offered a job by the Times about two years after the investigation and they were from a different part of the News International "stable".


    Mr Hayman says the team he worked with on the original investigation was the best he ever had.

    He says Peter Clarke had a reputation as being tenacious and keeping his cards close to his chest and "you wouldn't want him on the subs bench".


    Mr Hayman says Mr Clarke would talk with him on a daily basis in "general terms" about the investigation.


    Mr Hayman says there must be a judge-led public inquiry. He says what the victims of crime are going through is terrible: "This is a horror story. This is absolutely awful."


    When pressed on whether he wanted to apologise, Mr Hayman says he would want to be sure that he was apologising for something he had personally done wrong, or something someone in his team had done wrong, before taking such a step.


    Mr Hayman again says it is "absolutely appalling" that victims of crime have gone through a "terrible experience". He says it is "a matter of absolute regret - I do apologise".


    Asked if he ever accepted money as a police officer, Mr Hayman reacts with surprise, saying: "Good God - absolutely not, I can't believe you suggested that."

    He describes the question as "a real attack on my integrity".


    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who is heading Operation Weeting, is now being questioned by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee.


    DAC Akers says her team has access to all the original material gathered in 2005-2006, as well as further material gathered since January.


    DAC Akers says all the phone-hacking victims in the original investigation, as well as subsequent alleged victims, are within the scope of Operation Weeting.


    For more on Peter Clarke's allegations that News International obstructed the original police investigation into phone-hacking, read Hacking probe 'deliberately thwarted'.


    DAC Akers says it was "difficult" when the police first dealt with News International, largely because communications were through lawyers which created a layer of "complexity". But there is now a "different feel" after a meeting was held with executives Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg.


    Asked if media organisations other than News International are being investigated, DAC Akers says "we have to start where we start", but she says police will go where the evidence leads them.


    DAC Akers appeals for anyone holding material that would be of interest to her investigation to come forward.


    DAC Akers says the News of the World gave further evidence to police knowing it was going to have to disclose it in civil actions.


    DAC Akers says that, if there is the evidence, she is prepared to look beyond News International newspapers. She says she is confident she has an "excellent team" working on the investigation.


    Labour leader Ed Miliband tells the BBC that he will meet Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at 1830 BST to discuss phone-hacking revelations.

    Sue Akers

    DAC Akers's evidence to MPs follows the questioning of former Assistant Commissioners Andy Hayman and Peter Clark and Assistant Commissioner John Yates.


    The Home Affairs Committee has finished hearing evidence from Operation Weeting head DAC Sue Akers.


    Describing the extent of the task facing investigators, DAC Sue Akers reveals that the material gathered by police contains 3,870 first and second names. So far, only 170 people have been informed that their personal details are in the documents.


    Labour MP Tom Watson says Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son James have been summoned to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee but he believes they may not all turn up.

    "There's lot of arcane procedure as to this but we will be sitting next Tuesday and we expect them to be there. I suspect that some of them might be too cowardly to turn up but that's up to them to decide."


    A spokeswoman for the committee says if the News International executives refuse to appear, MPs could choose to "compel" Rebekah Brooks to give evidence.

    But she says it is not clear if the Murdochs could be compelled to attend as they are not British citizens.


    Former shadow home secretary David Davis says the "crisis" in the Met police has "wider ramifications than simply phone hacking".

    "The people the committee saw today are responsible for protecting us from terrorism in which sophisticated handling of evidence ought to be the most basic skill, and they have failed to show that."

    Mags W

    tweets: I liked Sue Akers. She was calm, and appeared to be in charge of what she was doing. Knew where she was at and how much more to be done.

    Pollee Tickle

    tweets: Home Affairs Select Committee into phone hacking is finding the Met police as utterly unfit for purpose.


    Reflecting on the evidence provided to MPs, committee chair Keith Vaz says: "It was very sad and disappointing that the case was not dealt with more thoroughly and all the officers involved feel the same way." But, he adds, DAC Sue Akers is "determined" to ensure Operation Weeting is more effective.


    Bit more on James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks being called to appear before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

    Tory MP John Whittingdale, chair of the committee, says: "In light of the extraordinary developments this week around phone hacking, serious questions have arisen about the evidence given to the committee by a number of witnesses in its previous inquiry into press standards, libel and privacy.

    "In particular, James Murdoch has said that Parliament was misled. That is a very serious matter that we will not allow to go unquestioned."

    Patricia Clegg in Essex

    emails: I was astounded at the behaviour of the Select Committee - the bullying of witnesses was beyond belief. When phone hacking first emerged, there was a high level of terrorist threat and I would have wanted the Met to concentrate on that rather than pursuing phone hacking - unless it related directly to terrorism. It is very distressing for people such as the Dowler family and for Gordon Brown having his son's illness publicised, but if it is a choice between this and preventing terrorist atrocities, then the Met have to concentrate on the latter.

    Mr G of Leicester

    texts: With the government wanting to privatise public services, and in the wake of the phone hacking allegations, how will we maintain public confidentiality? I think we are going down a very dark road unless decent checks and balances are put in place.

    Ian Williams in Newmarket

    emails: Keith Vaz is displaying an extraordinary level of arrogance and lack of respect towards senior police officers. I can only conclude MPs feel they are entitled to display righteousness (in front of the cameras) given that it was the press and police that exposed their near criminal behaviour with regard to expenses. The behaviour of this committee can best be described as churlish!


    Labour leader Ed Miliband tells the BBC he hopes the government will support Labour's motion for Rupert Murdoch to abandon his bid to take over BSkyB when it is debated in the House of Commons tomorrow.

    He says it is in the interest of the country and the House of Commons that politicians speak with one voice on the phone-hacking scandal.

    Mr Miliband says the public will see it as an "opportunity to rise to the occasion" and to show that politicians understand the scale of public outrage.


    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.

    1532: Chris Coltrane

    tweets: I hope Murdoch launches a Sun on Sunday. NotW was killed cos it was toxic. The Sun isn't yet toxic enough to kill. SoS will make that happen.

    1533: Cassandra from Worcestershire

    e-mails: I feel deeply sorry for anyone who has been a victim of this, Gordon Brown included. No-one deserves to be treated in this manner.


    A quick look at how the story is being received around the world. In Canada's Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente says: "The moral outrage is as thick as Devon cream.

    "But this story is about much more than corrupt police and a media culture run amok. It's about power, hypocrisy and revenge. It's about opportunism and political calculation. And most of all, it's about payback."


    On the Australian broadcaster ABC's website, Leslie Cannold says: "To really set things right, we'll need more than Brooks' head on a pike.

    "The abuse of media power that lies at the heart of the phone hacking scandal can be seen in News Corp media in other parts of the world, including Murdoch's Australian tabloids and the national broadsheet, The Australian."

    Bob Colman in the Bahamas

    emails: As a British citizen living abroad I have watched with dismay the sheer extent of the depraved greed of the News Corp. Let's hope the politicians find the backbone finally to beat back the forces that have destroyed the very fabric of British society.


    Meanwhile, Bruce Page, writing in the US' Daily Beast website, says politicians will now fear forensic examination by the Murdoch press.

    He says: "Murdoch gets the approval of politicians, then, not by frightening them - anyone frightened by Fox News would be best off staying indoors all day - but by making their professional lives so pleasant and easy, by insulating them so thoroughly from journalistic scrutiny, that they dread the removal of the protection."


    Labour leader Ed Miliband tells the BBC a judge-led inquiry needs to be set up immediately.

    "There really mustn't be any further delay in that, and it needs broad terms of reference, covering not just what happened at some newspapers but the relationship between police and newspapers, and also politicians and the press."

    "I'm hoping very much that Mr Clegg, Mr Cameron and myself can reach a settled way forward [and] a consensus on the kind of broad-ranging inquiry we need, the fact that it needs to be set up immediately with the power to compel witnesses."


    A business development now. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has unveiled plans to buy back $5bn (\u00a33.1bn) worth of its own shares as the media giant's proposed bid for BSkyB is put on ice.

    The move is likely to be seen as an attempt to appease investors, as a buy-back scheme boosts the share price, increasing the value of assets held by shareholders.

    1603: Laura Kuenssberg Chief political correspondent, BBC News channel

    In the last couple of minutes it has been confirmed that the government will support Labour's motion that says MPs believe it would not be in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to takeover BSkyB.


    The precise text of the motion states: "This House believes that it is in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw its bid for BSkyB."

    Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will not vote on the motion.

    1624: Laura Kuenssberg Chief political correspondent, BBC News channel

    News International says it is still satisfied that the story about Gordon Brown's son was obtained by legitimate and lawful means.


    Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown says Asst Comm John Yates's position is "untenable".

    "A failure of judgement on this [phone-hacking] case is, from a professional grounds alone it seems to me, a considerable reason for him to be considering his position. I personally find his position pretty untenable."


    Ed Miliband is welcoming the government's decision to support Labour's motion on News Corporation's bid to take over BSkyB.

    "It is welcome news that the government will support our motion. Rupert Murdoch must now recognise the strength of public feeling and the will of all the major parties."


    News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks leaving Rupert Murdoch's London residence earlier.

    Rebekah Brooks

    Analyst Henk Potts of Barclays says News Corporation's decision to buy back $5bn (\u00a33.1bn) worth of its own shares could be seen as depleting its war chest.

    But he says News Corporation would say if and when the opportunity arises to buy the rest of BSkyB, it will still be in a strong position to do so.


    News International says it will offer new positions to the "vast majority" of former News of the World staff who have lost their jobs because of the paper's closure.


    News International, which publishes the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times, says it has already found 30 editorial jobs across its titles, including existing vacancies, for former News of the World staff.


    John Whittingdale, the chairman of the Culture Media and Sport Committee, tells the BBC that he has been told Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks have accepted the invitation to attend a meeting of the committee.


    Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, says Assistant Commissioner John Yates has his "full support and confidence".

    "He never shies away from those difficult cases and in this particular matter, we need to give him credit for his courage and humility in acknowledging that if he knew then what he knows now, he would have taken different decisions," he says.

    The police chief says Asst Comm Yates "currently undertakes one of the most difficult jobs in UK policing" and is doing an "outstanding job".


    Mr Whittingdale says next week's meeting will be held at 1430 BST on Tuesday and he expects a lot of people will want to attend.


    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper says the government's decision to support Labour's motion on News Corporation's BSkyB bid tomorrow is a very big change.

    She says the government needs to go further in establishing the public inquiry into the phone-hacking allegations and broadening its scope.


    The situation is developing rapidly. Only half an hour after telling the BBC he understood Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, had accepted an invitation to attend a meeting of the Culture, Media and Sport committee, its chairman rows back slightly.

    He says there is now "some confusion" over whether they will appear before the committee.


    A News International spokesperson says the company has been conducting an inquiry after Gordon Brown accused the the Sun newspaper of using "disgusting" methods to gain access to personal information.

    "We are able to assure the Brown family that we did not access the medical records of their son, nor did we commission anyone to do so."

    The spokesperson says a member of the public approached the Sun with the information because he wanted to highlight the cause of those afflicted by cystic fibrosis.


    The News International spokesperson says the Sun approached the former prime minister and discussed with his colleagues how best to present the information they had received.

    "Those colleagues provided quotes which were used in the published piece which indicated his consent to it."


    There's still confusion over whether Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, will appear before a committee of MPs next week.

    The chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, John Whittingdale, tells Radio Four's PM programme he still hopes they will accept an invitation to appear.

    He says: "There is some confusion reigning. We understood that a News International spokesman had said that all three would attend but now it appears that we haven't had final confirmation of that. I still hope very much that they will come."


    Meanwhile, News International says its earlier statement that it will "cooperate" with the Culture, Media and Sport Committee still stands.

    But it isn't saying whether that means Rebekah Brooks and Rupert and James Murdoch will appear before MPs next Tuesday.

    1814: Hadi Zaher

    tweets: Amused at how 2 Australians dominate international news headlines, but for almost opposite reasons: Julian Assange & Rupert Murdoch.

    1815: Marc in Aberdeen

    texts: Gordon Brown did nothing about it at the time because he was scared of what would happen if he did. Now it's a free for all he has suddenly come over all brave. Blair should have done something, Brown should have, and now Cameron should do something - they have all failed. No sympathy for politicians - they play by their own rules.


    The Sunday Times responds to claims by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown that his personal details were obtained for a front-page story report that he bought a flat owned by Robert Maxwell at a "knock-down price".

    The paper says it pursued the story in the public interest, had reasonable grounds to investigate the matter and followed the press watchdog's code of conduct on using subterfuge.

    It says: "We believe no law was broken in the process of this investigation, and contrary to Mr Brown's assertion, no criminal was used and the story was published giving all sides a fair hearing."


    To recap on the main developments in a hectic day, the government says it will support Labour's motion that MPs believe it is in the public interest for News Corporation to withdraw its bid for BSkyB.


    Meanwhile, Asst Comm John Yates, who has admitted having regrets over his decision not to reopen an investigation into the phone hacking scandal in 2009, tells a committee of MPs he is 99% sure his phone was hacked into.


    And John Whittingdale, who chairs the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, says he hopes Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, will accept an invitation to appear before MPs next week.

    But, while he hopes they will accept the invitation, he admits that there is "confusion" over whether or not they will appear.

    John Wittingdale

    And there are likely to be more developments later.

    The leaders of the three main political parties - Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband - will meet this evening to discuss the independent inquiries into phone hacking and the way the media operates in the UK.


    We're going to wrap things up here now - thanks for your contributions. There are likely to further developments after the main political leaders meet this evening. And, in the coming days, we expect to find out whether MPs will get the chance to grill Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son, James.


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