As it happened: MPs quiz Murdochs

Key points

  • Rupert and James Murdoch are questioned by the Commons culture committee on News International's role in the phone-hacking scandal.
  • The hearing is suspended after a man throws foam at Rupert Murdoch
  • Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks tells MPs mistakes were made but the company had responded "appropriately and responsibly" since new information emerged.
  • Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson denies "taking a swipe" at the PM in his resignation statement.
  • Outgoing assistant commissioner John Yates tells MPs he has stood up to be accountable - and News International should do the same

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  1.  
    2006:

    Well - it's the end of a long day in Parliament so we'll wrap up our live coverage of the day here. For those interested in a catch-up of Rebekah Brooks's appearance - you can watch back a clip here. Many thanks to everyone who joined us throughout the day and to those who contributed. The story continues tomorrow as David Cameron makes a statement on phone hacking in the Commons to be followed by another MPs' debate.

     
  2.  
    2003: The BBC's Andrew Neil

    tweets: Did News Corp shares rise because investors were impressed with Rupert Murdoch or because it was so poor they think he will step aside?

     
  3.  
    1947:

    A bit more on the Sean Hoare post mortem. Here is a statement from Hertfordshire constabulary: "Further toxicology results are now awaited and there is an on-going examination of health problems identified at the post mortem. Please note, toxicology reports can take some weeks and we cannot make any further comments on the post mortem, including the problems at this time."

     
  4.  
    1940:

    John Whittingdale says he his glad the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks did not just "sit in silence" as some had predicted they would - and all three had made important statements on the record.

     
  5.  
    1939: The Daily Telegraph's Christopher Hope

    tweets: Blimey. Former Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald says evidence of criminalty was "blindingly obvious" in the Harbottle & Lewis file

     
  6.  
    1936:

    Did the culture committee get the answers it wanted? Chairman John Whittingdale does not sound too sure, saying it "has taken our knowledge a little further - but it is going to be subject to a full judicial inquiry."

     
  7.  
    1934: The Daily Express's Patrick O'Flynn

    : Still say this crisis will recede for Cameron - but he must realise he has little credit left in the bank with his backbenchers.

     
  8.  
    1931: Political hack James Macintyre

    tweets: What an absolute joke. Not one question on chats to BSkyB bid with Cameron. Pathetic.

     
  9.  
    1930:

    Labour MP Cathy Jamieson - who was blocked from joining the culture committee by a Tory MP last night - has now been approved by the Commons without objection. She was allowed to take part in today's final session for just one minute, taking her seat just as the session with Rebekah Brooks was coming to an end.

     
  10.  
    1927: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Interesting the extent to which Rebekah Brooks distanced herself from Andy Coulson - including denying reports about News International subsidising his salary and running a mile from the suggestion that she put him forward for the post as David Cameron's communications chief.

     
  11.  
    1926:

    Over at the home affairs committee, Keith Vaz is keen to bring a long day's proceedings to an end and questions to Dowler family lawyer Mark Lewis are wrapped up pretty quickly. Mr Vaz complements the lawyer on his work for the family and says their experience must have been "truly horrific".

     
  12.  
    1925:

    As the session ends, Mrs Brooks asks the committee that, when she is free from legal constraints, it will invite her back so she can answer them in a fuller way. She also says it is important for the Dowler family and others that the current investigations get to the bottom of events.

     
  13.  
    1924: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Rebekah Brooks closes the session with an apology - the line from both her and the Murdochs seems to be "this dreadful stuff happened on our watch but we are shocked and we are the ones to clear it up."

     
  14.  
    1921:

    Breaking news on the death of ex-NoW journalist Sean Hoare: A post mortem has found "no evidence of third party involvement and the death is non-suspicious".

     
  15.  
    1919:

    Mrs Brooks says it is "wholly unfair" to single out the News of the World as the only paper to have close relations with the police and politicians.

     
  16.  
    1919:

    Mrs Brooks also says it is not true that Andy Coulson's salary was subsidised by News International - she says press reports to that effect are "incorrect".

     
  17.  
    1918:

    Does Mrs Brooks "swap gossip" with Mr Cameron that might have been obtained by illegal means? Mrs Brooks says she has said that any social encounters with the prime minister saw only "wholly appropriate" conversations.

     
  18.  
    1918:

    Mrs Brooks says it is "not true" that she suggested Mr Coulson be hired, as some press reports have suggested.

     
  19.  
    1917:

    Back to the culture committee: Mrs Brooks says it is public knowledge that it was George Osborne's idea that the discussions over whether to employ Andy Coulson should begin after he left the News of the World.

     
  20.  
    1916:

    With that, Mr Starmer concludes his evidence. Now it is the turn of Mark Lewis, one of the lawyers representing the family of Milly Dowler.

     
  21.  
    1916:

    Down the corridor at the home affairs committee, Keir Starmer is asked whether he had any personal contacts with News International which may have compromised his ability to do his job. Mr Starmer says "absolutely not".

     
  22.  
    1914:

    Mrs Brooks says she has never been horse riding with David Cameron and has no idea where the story came from - she says it's been suggested she owns a racehorse or some land with the prime minister: "I do not," she says. There's "a lot out there that isn't true" - particularly around her relationship with David Cameron, who she says is a "neighbour" and a "friend" but she has never had a conversation with him privately that anyone would disapprove of.

     
  23.  
    1913:

    Mrs Brooks says she has never been to Downing Street while David Cameron has been PM but she went "regularly" under Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

     
  24.  
    1912: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Rebekah Brooks says she has never been to Downing St under David Cameron - but about six times a year under Gordon Brown

     
  25.  
    1912:

    Asked by the home affairs committee whether the legal advice given to the police about potential prosecutions in cases of phone hacking was too "narrow", DPP Keir Starmer says this should never have "inhibited" any police investigation on the case.

     
  26.  
    1910:

    Mrs Brooks says she and the Murdochs have come before the committee to try to explain "openly and honestly" what had happened - the committee's previous criticisms "had been felt"

     
  27.  
    1909:

    Mrs Brooks says News International had stepped up its response to the phone hacking allegations and there would not now be a new police investigation, if the company had not handed over more details to the police

     
  28.  
    1908:

    Did she know that former NoW reporter Neville Thurlbeck was a police informant, as cliamed in press reports earlier? "No," says Mrs Brooks, apparently surprised by the revelation: "Is that true?". Mr Davies says the Evening Standard is reporting that he was - based on court reports. Mrs Brooks says she's not even sure what it means - the press and police do exchange information for public interest, she says.

     
  29.  
    1906:

    When she was chief executive, Mrs Brooks says her office was next to James Murdoch's and she spoke Rupert Murdoch, on average, "every other day".

     
  30.  
    1905:

    Therese Coffey asks whether Mrs Brooks regrets any headlines she had published - Mrs Brooks say any editor in Fleet Street would have made some mistakes and she was no different. But having been in the spotlight herself, she says she would still defend the rights of a "free press".

     
  31.  
    1904:

    Back at the culture committee, Tory MP Therese Coffey withdraws a question about who might yet be charged with crimes

     
  32.  
    1902: Labour MP Richard Burden

    tweets: Rebekah Brooks at Culture Media and Sport Committee: "The Sun is a clean ship" - mmm...discuss. #hackgate

     
  33.  
    1902: VA from Birmingham

    e-mails: Why was Rebekah Brookes allowed to hear James and Rupert Murdoch's testimony to the committee? Was it so that she could be familiar with the questions and their answers?

     
  34.  
    1901: June Kelly Home Affairs correspondent

    A senior lawyer has told the Home Affairs Select Committee that material which News International handed over to the police last month contained evidence of serious criminal offences. After Scotland Yard received the file they launched Operation Elvedon - the investigation into alleged corrupt payments to police officers. It is running in conjunction with the inquiry into phone hacking. The top QC, Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, (the former Director of Public Prosecutions) was employed by News Corporation to examine the material. He said that when he told the board what was in the file they were stunned and shocked.

     
  35.  
    1900:

    But, added the DPP, soon after that he had two phone conversations with Mr Yates about potential material in the case about which he had concerns.

     
  36.  
    1859:

    Director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer is now being questioned by the Home Affairs Committee. He says he was not personally consulted by John Yates before the Met officer decided not to reopen the phone hacking inquiry in July 2009.

     
  37.  
    1859:

    Mrs Brooks says if the former Sun political editor Trevor Kavanagh came to him with a leaked story without naming his sources "I knew it to be true" - because of his standing and experience as a journalist.

     
  38.  
    1858:

    Mrs Brooks says any newsroom is "based on trust" - stories get published on trust and you rely on the people who work for you to behave "in a proper manner".

     
  39.  
    1857:

    She says when the story allegedly based on hacking Milly's phone was run nine years ago - it was a single column on page nine of the newspaper, questions would have been asked of the reporter or news editor, the lawyer would have checked them. No-one would have said it came from an illegal voicemail interception, says the former NoW editor.

     
  40.  
    1856:

    Mrs Brooks says she has to be careful about what she says about the Milly Dowler allegations due to legal proceedings - but repeats that they are "abhorrent" to her and were unknown to her at the time.

     
  41.  
    1855:

    According to Bloomberg, News Corp shares are up 5.9% since opening in New York this morning.

     
  42.  
    1853:

    Mr Bercow "has asked for the incident to be thoroughly investigated. It is wholly unacceptable that a member of the public should treat a witness in this way".

     
  43.  
    1853:

    Commons speaker John Bercow is "very concerned at what has occurred" during Rupert Murdoch's hearing, he spokesman has said.

     
  44.  
    1851:

    Mrs Brooks says she does not recall calling Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre about it but they would discuss "industry matters" on occasion. She also denies telling London mayor Boris Johnson she wanted Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger to beg for her forgiveness: "Absolutely not".

     
  45.  
    1851:

    Paul Farrelly refers to silence across Fleet Street about the coverage of the phone hacking allegations in 2009 - did Mrs Brooks encourage editors not to cover it?

     
  46.  
    1850:

    "I don't know anyone ni their right mind who would authorise ... anyone listening to the voicemails of Milly Dowler in those circumstances," Mrs Brooks says.

     
  47.  
    1850: Editor of PoliticsHome.com, Paul Waugh,

    tweets: Amazed MPs not pushing Brooks on how exactly private investigations commissioned by NoTW. What was chain of command, editorially, financially?

     
  48.  
    1849:

    Asked about previous efforts by the company to respond to phone hacking allegations - Mrs Brooks says when they saw a new file it put a "new light" on matters and they had passed it on to police.

     
  49.  
    1848: Diana Pop in Romania

    tweets: I've watched the News of the World phone-hacking hearings for hours straight and I'm still not getting anything solid.

     
  50.  
    1845:

    Back to the committee: Was Mrs Brooks on holiday at the time Milly Dowler's phone was allegedly hacked? She denies the company put out any statements to that effect. She says she was away at the time but feels it was irrelevant because, as editor, it would have happened "on her watch". Andy Coulson was her deputy at the time.

     
  51.  
    1843:

    Labour's Ivan Lewis has given his reaction to the news that Neil Wallis may have provided Andy Coulson with "informal" advice before the election: "This revelation raises further serious concerns about David Cameron's judgement in appointing Andy Coulson. He must now come clean about Neil Wallis' role and activities in supporting Andy Coulson, both in his capacity as director of communications for the Tory Party, and then the prime minister."

     
  52.  
    1840:

    Mrs Brooks says her own phone messages were accessed by Glen Mulcaire on a regular basis - and she had the "same knowledge as everyone else" about it.

     
  53.  
    1839:

    Mrs Brooks says the argument that there was only one "rogue reporter" involved in phone hacking was a "reality" at the time - based on the police investigation and trials.

     
  54.  
    1838:

    Mrs Brooks tells Paul Farrelly - who used to work at the Observer before becoming an MP - the his old newspaper would also have used private detectives during his time there

     
  55.  
    1838:

    Mrs Brooks says she was convinced "Sarah's Law" was in the public interest and that was the reason for her use of private detectives.

     
  56.  
    1835:

    She says at the time she believed that on the Milly Dowler and Soham cases the press had respected the privacy of the families - but admits that looks ridiculous in hindsight: "Clearly these allegations, if true, are appalling and contradict the statement I made"

     
  57.  
    1835:

    Mrs Brooks says Milly Dowler's disappearance was a "terrible" news story which had gone on for years, as the trial of Levi Bellfield has only just concluded.

     
  58.  
    1833: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    She clarified she first knew of the allegation that Milly Dowler's phone was hacked "two weeks ago" and wrote to Surrey Police.

     
  59.  
    1831: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    It may surprise some people that Rebekah Brooks can't remember exactly when she knew that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked: "Last monday, maybe the monday before."

     
  60.  
    1830:

    Tory MP Damian Collins asks about the Milly Dowler case - Mrs Brooks goes through how a newspaper handles a big story like that.

     
  61.  
    1830:

    Labour's Jim Sheridan asks about missing emails at the trial of MSP Tommy Sheridan (no relation). Mrs Brooks says the Information Commissioner has said he is "entirely comfortable" with News International's response.

     
  62.  
    1828:

    She says it could be a year or more before they "get to a position where we know what happened"

     
  63.  
    1825:

    She says the newspaper had been in the headlines for the "wrong reasons" for too long - but stresses hundreds of journalists there were not culpable and says they are trying to find jobs for "everybody" across News Corporation.

     
  64.  
    1825:

    Back to the committee hearing: Mrs Brooks praises the "very honourable" journalists at the News of the World who had been "baffled" by the decision to close it.

     
  65.  
    1824:

    The party adds: "We are currently finding out the exact nature of any advice. We can confirm that apart from Andy Coulson, neither David Cameron nor any senior member of the campaign team were aware of this until this week."

     
  66.  
    1823:

    In a statement, the Tory Party said neither Wallis or his company had been contracted to the party and no payments had been made to either of them. But he may have provided some informal advice on a voluntary basis before the election.

     
  67.  
    1820:

    A bit of breaking news now: Hacking suspect Neil Wallis may have provided "informal advice" to David Cameron's communications chief Andy Coulson before the general election, the Conservative Party have said.

     
  68.  
    1819:

    Labour MP Jim Sheridan asks about the closure of the News of the World. Mrs Brooks says it was a collective decision, which "we all took together" - with Rupert Murdoch.

     
  69.  
    1817:

    She says she was editor of the Sun at the time and could say it was a "clean ship".

     
  70.  
    1817:

    Mrs Brooks says there was a "fundamental change across most newspapers" in 2002/3 with changes to the Data Protection Act, particularly after the publication of the information commissioner's first report "What price privacy?," which exposed the trade in personal details.

     
  71.  
    1814:

    Mrs Brooks stresses that News International is trying to put things right and says there should be a constant review of conduct and ethics of journalists

     
  72.  
    1812:

    Louise Mensch refers to Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's assertion - at a select committee on Mondy - that he had never sanctioned a story based on hacking or blagging. Mrs Brooks says she didn't see Mr Dacre's comments but out of all the media groups, News International has been the one to "openly welcome" an inquiry into all Fleet Street practices. She says she doesn't want to comment on other newspaper groups.

     
  73.  
    1811:

    She says in her experience information from police comes "free of charge".

     
  74.  
    1810:

    Mrs Brooks is asked whether payments to the police were widespread across newspapers or confined to News International. She says she has never paid a policeman or sanctioned a payment - a 2003 statement to MPs that she had referred to a "widely held belief" as opposed to practice, she explains.

     
  75.  
    1808:

    Ms Mensch asks if it was not obvious that using PIs and illegal activities were part of a Fleet Street culture. Mrs Brooks says the failings of all newspapers in not understanding the extent of private investigators across Fleet Street has already been held to account. The "climate" was different now, she says.

     
  76.  
    1806:

    Tory MP Louise Mensch asks about hacking and blagging - she says another former NoW editor Piers Morgan had admitted accessing phone messages while he was editor of the Daily Mirror.

     
  77.  
    1805: Rebecca Bond

    tweets: It's a bit of a worry that Brookes is getting her information from Panorama?

     
  78.  
    1805:

    Mrs Brooks is asked if she has any regrets. She says: "Of course," referring to the alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's phone as "abhorrent".

     
  79.  
    1803:

    Tom Watson suggests Mr Whittamore was involved in trying to get information on the Dowlers - Ms Brooks says she became aware of that two weeks ago. She says the number he was trying to track down was a business number and "widely known".

     
  80.  
    1802:

    Mrs Brooks said she did have contact with another private investigator Steve Whittamore - she says her use of PIs while at the NoW was "purely legitimate" and mostly to do with tracking down convicted paeodophiles for her "Sarah's Law" campaign

     
  81.  
    1801: The Daily Mail's Lara King

    tweets: Surely tomorrow's splash will now be 'Humble Pie'?

     
  82.  
    1801:

    Mrs Brooks says she does not know what Jonathan Rees did for the NoW - Tom Watson suggests that, as chief executive of the company, that seems incredible.

     
  83.  
    1800:

    She says it "seems extraordinary" that Rees was rehired by the News of the World, after his conviction.

     
  84.  
    1800:

    She says she had not met another private investigator - Jonathan Rees. "He wasn't a name familiar with me," she says - adding she is told he rejoinined the NoW in 2005/6 - and worked for various newspapers at the end of the 1990s.

     
  85.  
    1758:

    Mrs Brooks says she first heard Glen Mulcaire's name in 2006. She said she knew of other private investigators, "but he was not one of them".

     
  86.  
    1758:

    Mrs Brooks says she has never met with private investigator Glen Mulcaire - asked if Mr Mulcaire would deny it, she says: "I'm sure he would - it's the truth".

     
  87.  
    1756:

    Asked how private detectives were paid - she says a managing editor allocates the budget to different departments, but will authorise payments - unless there is a big item, when an editor would get involved.

     
  88.  
    1754:

    Tom Watson asks how extensively she worked with private investigators as editor of the Sun and NoW. Mrs Brooks says "not at all" on the Sun - she says in the late 90s private eyes were used by Fleet Street - but that was later reviewed. She adds: "The NoW employed PIs like most newspapers in Fleet Street"

     
  89.  
    1753: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Hushed silence now as rebekah brooks gives evidence. MP Stephen Pound and former MP Quentin Davies in the audience but, apart from press, public excluded. Serjeant at arms has banned us from texting from the meeting.

     
  90.  
    1752:

    She said outstanding civil cases were being dealt with a standards committee which had been set up, and another company which had handled the civil cases all along.

     
  91.  
    1752:

    Tom Watson asks why News International legal manager Tom Crone was sacked - Mrs Brooks says he was not sacked but he was mainly a News of the World lawyer, and the paper was axed. Other titles had other lawyers and there was no job for Mr Crone when the newspaper closed.

     
  92.  
    1751:

    Asked whether she had been lied to by senior employees - she says she doesn't want to "infer guilt" while criminal proceedings are under way.

     
  93.  
    1750:

    There are empty seats behind Mrs Brooks - the public have apparently been excluded from this session after the earlier attempt to throw foam at Mr Murdoch.

     
  94.  
    1750:

    Rebekah Brooks says News International acted "quickly and decisively" once it had discovered the extent of hacking and had tried to settle as many civil cases as possible.

     
  95.  
    1749: Jonnie Marbles

    tweeted 21 minutes ago: It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat

     
  96.  
    1748:

    Mrs Brooks is asked to reject a previous statement about whetehr NoW journalists had accessed mobile phone messages. Mrs Brooks says until the Sienna Miller documents emerged in 2010, senior management had not seen evidence relating to a current employee of the company.

     
  97.  
    1748:

    She notes that her lawyer is with her so she does not "impede those criminal proceedings" - having been arrested at the weekend but she hopes to be as "open as possible".

     
  98.  
    1747:

    Mrs Brooks - a former Sun and News of the World editor - begins by adding her apologies about what happened at the NoW, which she describes as "pretty horrific".

     
  99.  
    1747:

    Here is a picture - courtesy of the BBC's Alan Connor - of the alleged perpetrator of the attempted foam pie attack on Rupert Murdoch.

    Police officer arrests alleged perpetrator
     
  100.  
    1743:

    Rebekah Brooks has taken her seat - Chairman John Whittingdale begins the session

     
  101.  
    1737: Shane Norman in Cirencester, UK

    emails: Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and Tom Watson. Without their sharp, relevant, questions, this event would be entirely aimless.

     
  102.  
    1732:

    The committee breaks for five minutes, after which Rebekah Brooks is due to appear.

     
  103.  
    1731: John Kirriemuir in Grinnell, Iowa, USA

    emails: How come I can't take a small bottle of water onto a plane, but someone can attack the head of News Corp, in Parliament, with shaving foam?

     
  104.  
    1730:

    When two men went to prison in 2007, Rupert Murdoch says, he thought the situation had been resolved.

     
  105.  
    1730:

    The News of the World's behaviour "went against everything I stand for and my son too", Rupert Murdoch says.

     
  106.  
    1728: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: Murdoch on closing statement now - 'this is most humble day of my career - I know we needed to be here today'

     
  107.  
    1728:

    Rupert Murdoch says he will work tirelessly to win the forgiveness of phone-hacking victims.

     
  108.  
    1728:

    Mr Murdoch senior says he has made his "share of mistakes" but at no time has felt as "sickened" as he was when he found out what the Dowler family has been through.

     
  109.  
    1728:

    Rupert Murdoch gives a closing statement. He says he has "great respect" for the people of Britain.

     
  110.  
    1726: Financial Times business columnist John Gapper

    tweets: Police performance not great, all in all. Allowed protesters and custard pie thrower into the room. Made Wendi Murdoch turn vigilante

     
  111.  
    1726:

    People working for him have "betrayed" him and he is the "best person to clear this up", Rupert Murdoch says. Mrs Mensch praises his "immense courage" in staying in the room following the "common assault" with the shaving foam.

     
  112.  
    1726:

    Concluding her questions, Tory MP Louise Mensch asks whether Rupert Murdoch, as "captain of the ship", has considered standing down. He says he has not.

     
  113.  
    1720:

    Mrs Mensch asks whether journalists at the News of the World felt entitled to use hacking as it was "part of the general culture of corruption" in the tabloid press. James Murdoch says it is not for him to "impugn" other titles.

     
  114.  
    1719: Digital Maverick

    tweets: Credit to the Murdochs for deciding to continue with the questioning in spite of what happened

     
  115.  
    1718:

    Mrs Mensch says the actor Jude Law is alleging his phone was hacked on US soil. She asks about the families of 9/11 victims. Rupert Murdoch replies there is no evidence that their phones were hacked.

     
  116.  
    1716:

    Louise Mensch MP asks about any reports of phone hacking in News Corp businesses outside the UK. James Murdoch says he has not heard any and reiterates that employees are asked to comply with a code of ethics.

     
  117.  
    1712:

    James Murdoch, returning to business, says it is customary for both sides in an out-of-court settlement to agree confidentiality.

     
  118.  
    1711: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Police say they've arrested a man following the attack on Rupert Murdoch. According to one of the committee members Paul Farrelly, the assailant made for Rupert Murdoch with what appeared to be a paper plate with shaving foam on it, in the form of a custard pie. The committee room corridor has been sealed off by police.

     
  119.  
    1710: Tweetminster

    tweets: Quite a few tweets claiming that the man who attacked Rupert Murdoch is on Twitter: @JonnieMarbles http://bit.ly/rpfe27

     
  120.  
    1709:

    The session is restarted after 15 minutes. Tory MP Louise Mensch continues her questioning. She praises Mr Murdoch's "immense guts" for facing the committee.

     
  121.  
    1708:

    Labour MP Chris Bryant, who is attending the hearing, tells the BBC the plate of shaving foam was shoved in Rupert Murdoch's face. He says it is a "despicable" thing to do, especially to a man of more than 80 years of age.

     
  122.  
    1707:
    Committee

    The moment when a protester attacked Rupert Murdoch with shaving foam.

     
  123.  
    1705: Labour MP Tom Harris

    tweets: And once again a Gap Year Anarchist succeeds in his lifetime's ambition: to get all the attention. Well done. *slow hand clap*

     
  124.  
    1701:

    James Murdoch looked shocked that security staff had failed to protect his father properly, Nick Robinson says.

     
  125.  
    1701:

    Nick Robinson says Rupert Murdoch's wife was "up like a shot" to defend her husband.

     
  126.  
    1659:

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says Rupert Murdoch was apparently hit in the face with a plate of shaving foam by a man shouting: "Greedy."

     
  127.  
    1657:

    A man with white substance - possibly paint - on his face has been taken away by police following the incident.

     
  128.  
    1656:

    Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi stood up and appeared to strike somebody in defence of her husband.

     
  129.  
    1655:

    Rupert Murdoch appears to have been attacked by somebody in the public gallery.

     
  130.  
    1654:

    The sitting is suspended for 10 minutes - after some kind of disturbance.

     
  131.  
    1653:

    Mr Murdoch tells MPs how the Brown and Murdoch children used to play together and how their wives "struck up a great friendship". He thought the former PM had "great values". He hopes the relationship can be rebuilt in the future, adds Mr Murdoch.

     
  132.  
    1651:

    Rupert Murdoch says he is "sorry" that he no longer has a friendship with Gordon Brown - who launched a scathing attack on News International last week in the Commons.

     
  133.  
    1649:

    Damian Collins asks if Rupert Murdoch has a "cultural problem" with advisers saying what he wants to hear. The media magnate says it is up to him to "see through" people trying to please him.

     
  134.  
    1645:

    Rupert Murdoch says that when the Daily Telegraph bought stolen documents on MPs' expenses it caused a huge outcry. He adds that Singapore is the cleanest society in the world, as every minister is paid at least one million dollars a year and has no temptation to transgress. "Good luck in selling that one," Damian Collins replies.

     
  135.  
    1644: Television presenter and ex-NoW editor Piers Morgan

    tweets: Rupert called me every week for 18ms on News of the World - rarely asked about anything but what stories we had that week. #Murdoch

     
  136.  
    1643:

    Conservative MP Damian Collins - the second from last MP on the committee to have a go at questioning the Murdochs - asks if it is right that people in public life can expect total privacy. Rupert Murdoch's brief reply: "Nope."

     
  137.  
    1642:

    Alan Keen is calling Murdoch Sr "Mr Rupert". Earlier Philip Davies was calling Murdoch Jr "James". Perhaps they should have worked this one out beforehand...

     
  138.  
    1641:

    Mr Keen says Rupert Murdoch's desire to protect Rebekah Brooks was "admirable", but asks if he regrets that News International has become a "family organisation". The media mogul replies that his son went through a proper recruitment process.

     
  139.  
    1639:

    James Murdoch tells Labour's Alan Keen he understands "completely" the MP's frustration that News International's original denials over hacking were "too strong".

     
  140.  
    1638: David Jackson in Chelmsford

    emails: To Kerry Douglas, the objective is to not trip up the Murdochs, it is to ellicit how such appalling media practices have been allowed to go on. This is not acceptable in the UK.

     
  141.  
    1636: BBC News website reader

    texts: I'm watching the Murdoch 'GRILLING' by MPs......more like a gentle poaching if you ask me!

     
  142.  
    1636:

    Rupert Murdoch says that "nobody kept me in the dark", but he might not have found out about a "small part of my business". The situation has become "extremely serious", he tells the committee.

     
  143.  
    1634: Mark Reckless MP

    tweets: New Blogpost: What About The CPS? http://fb.me/182H2QyqF

     
  144.  
    1633:

    Rupert Murdoch is asked whether it was "possible" that the editor of a newspaper did not know that staff acted as "gatekeepers" for a private investigator. Rupert Murdoch says it is important to find out what was going on.

     
  145.  
    1630:

    Back to the hearing: Paul Farrelly says it is not known whether News International was complicit in keeping back information. Rupert Murdoch says he does not find the situation satisfactory.

     
  146.  
    1629: Editor in Chief of Guardian Newspapers Alan Rusbridger

    tweets: James M : I was 'surprised and shocked' we were paying Mulcaire's fees Doesn't read the Guardian then http://bit.ly/gCn8gy

     
  147.  
    1628: Kerry Douglas in Cairns, Australia

    emails: The Murdochs doing very well indeed. Very patient with the ridiculous petty questions, don't these committee members understand the level these men work at in running a corporation of this size? Fancy asking a CEO and a chairman of a company that employs 56,000 people a question about petty cash. If this committee's aim was to trip up the Murdochs or descredit them then they have failed.

     
  148.  
    1627: Tim Colman in Norwich, UK

    emails: The Murdochs have, so far, said nothing of substance or consequence. The enquiry, as is, could have been over in 5 minutes if they'd just read their opening statement. What a waste of time. What a shame.

     
  149.  
    1626: John Cooper QC Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

    texts: These are speeches not questions. Why no lawyers on the committee?

     
  150.  
    1625:

    The hearing was scheduled for about an hour. It's nearing the two-hour mark now.

     
  151.  
    1624:

    Asked why proceedings by Goodman and Mulcaire for unfair dismissal were settled, James Murdoch says it is important "not to stray" into allegations about individuals, given the police investigations under way.

     
  152.  
    1619: Tory Press HQ

    tweets: Alistair Campbell Diaries: 'TB left for a memorial service and came back for lunch with Murdoch. We got him through the back door...'

     
  153.  
    1618:

    Labour has responded to some of the earlier evidence given to the home affairs committee, Yvette Cooper says it is "astonishing" that the PM's chief of staff reportedly turned down an offer by Mr Yates to brief him on some aspects of the phone hacking case and advised Met chiefs not to brief the PM about the employment of Neil Wallis.

     
  154.  
    1615: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Some fall out from the home affairs committee hearing with John Yates. Mr Yates mentioned that the prime minister's chief of staff Ed Llewellyn had rejected the offer of a briefing on phone hacking. No 10 has now released the relevant emails. In his email to Mr Yates, Mr Llewellyn doesn't use the term "phone hacking" - rather he talks of "other matters which have caught your attention this week" but says "we will want to be entirely clear - for your sake and ours - that we have not been in contact with you about this subject." In his evidence Mr Yates suggests this is a "proper" response to his offer.

     
  155.  
    1613: BBC's Robert Peston

    Rupert Murdoch does not deny that Les HInton will receive many millions of dollars in compensation following resignation

     
  156.  
    1612: Lord Sugar

    tweets: Next MP question: Mr Murdoch senior can you tell me how much red ink and black in is used each day on Sun's print run

     
  157.  
    1610:

    Rupert Murdoch says he would "like to" stop all payments to Mr Mulcaire. Providing it is not in breach of a legal contract. He will ensure this happens, he adds.

     
  158.  
    1609:

    James Murdoch says he does not know the "precise status" of whether the company is still contributing to Mr Mulcaire's legal fees.

     
  159.  
    1609:

    Labour MP Paul Farrelly asks if News International has been paying Glenn Mulcaire's legal fees during the course of the civil actions. James Murdoch says he does not know the details but adds that he was "shocked" to find some of the private investigator's fees had been paid.

     
  160.  
    1605:

    Ending the News of the World after 168 years was the "right choice", James Murdoch says, adding that News International is doing anything it can to find new employment for laid-off journalists.

     
  161.  
    1605:

    James Murdoch says the closure of the News of the World was "grave thing", but the "hurt" caused by phone hacking was worse.

     
  162.  
    1603:

    There is nothing in the leaving settlements of Rebekah Brooks or Les Hinton which would compromise their ability to help any inquiries, James Murdoch says.

     
  163.  
    1602:

    Philip Davies asks if the Murdochs regret ending the News of the World to "save" Rebekah Brooks. The two decisions were "totally unrelated", Rupert Murdoch says.

     
  164.  
    1559:

    Rebekah Brooks's resignation was accepted after the second time she offered it, as she was in a "state of extreme anguish", Rupert Murdoch says.

     
  165.  
    1559:

    Rupert Murdoch says executive Les Hinton resigned last Friday, saying: "I was in charge of the company and I feel I must step down."

     
  166.  
    1558:

    Such legal payments would have been "above" managing editor level, Rupert Murdoch says. It "could have been" Les Hinton or a chief legal officer, he adds.

     
  167.  
    1556:

    Tory MP Philip Davies asks if Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire received any payments after their conviction. James Murdoch says he was "very surprised" to find the company had helped with legal fees. He does not know who made the arrangements, he adds.

     
  168.  
    1555: BBC Newsnight's Michael Crick

    tweets: Are Clive Goodman + Glenn Mulcaire now free to speak publicly, as far as Murdochs are concerned?

     
  169.  
    1555:

    At the start of the committee hearing the Murdochs asked to be able to read out a statement - chairman John Whittingdale said they could submit it - but not read it out loud. For those interested - here's the statement in full

     
  170.  
    1553: Former Labour minister Denis MacShane

    tweets: Sorry but I don't think a glove has been laid on Murdochs so far. Maybe transcipt will prove new facts, admissions but I doubt it

     
  171.  
    1552: Dominic Campbell

    tweets: Such a weird damp squib of a very British passive aggressive committee on the whole. I want US courtroom style. Led by @Tom_Watson.

     
  172.  
    1552:

    James Murdoch is asked why ex-Sky football pundit Andy Gray's reported payout of \u00a320,000 was so much lower than those for Mr Clifford and Mr Taylor. He again says that losing the earlier cases would have meant "substantial" costs, if they had gone to court and damages and legal fees had been payable.

     
  173.  
    1551:

    Rupert Murdoch says there was "apparently" a contract with Max Clifford that was cancelled by Andy Coulson.

     
  174.  
    1551: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Initially a rather optmistic hour was set aside to quizzing the Murdochs - this seems to have some way to run, so we will have to wait a while to see Rebekah Brooks

     
  175.  
    1550:

    Asked if he "overpaid" Gordon Taylor or Max Clifford, James Murdoch says he made a judgement on Mr Taylor based on advice.

     
  176.  
    1547:

    Rupert Murdoch says he works a 10 or 12-hour day and "I cannot tell you the multitude of issues I handle". The News of the World was "small" in this context, he adds.

     
  177.  
    1546: Guardian journalist Paul Lewis

    tweets: Whittingdale needs to take command quick or the Murdochs will slip away unharmed

     
  178.  
    1546:

    Rupert Murdoch says he spoke to the News of the World's editor "very seldom", but he rings the Sunday Times almost every Saturday.

     
  179.  
    1546:

    Asked about what coaching they have had ahead of the hearing, James Murdoch says he and his father were just advised to be as transparent as possible and that is what they have tried to do.

     
  180.  
    1544:

    Rupert Murdoch says News International was never guilty of "wilful blindness" on phone hacking.

     
  181.  
    1544:

    As soon as News International had information suggesting a "wider involvement" in phone hacking in 2010, the company acted, James Murdoch says.

     
  182.  
    1541:

    Here's a clip of Rupert Murdoch telling the committee he is M'ashamed of what happened', for those that missed it.

     
  183.  
    1538:

    James Murdoch says the high amounts paid out were not to buy confidentiality.

     
  184.  
    1535:

    The sole Lib Dem on the committee - Adrian Sanders - asks about out-of-court settlements.

     
  185.  
    1535:

    James Murdoch says he would still have settled out of court as he did before, but also contacted the police and other individuals involved immediately.

     
  186.  
    1534:

    James Murdoch says the "critical" information on phone hacking came to light during 2010.

     
  187.  
    1533: TV presenter and ex-NoW editor Piers Morgan

    tweets: Good pertinent questions from @tom_watson - rest of the MPs hopeless so far. #Murdoch

     
  188.  
    1531:

    Banging the table for emphasis again, Rupert Murdoch says the UK greatly benefits from having a competitive press and a transparent society.

     
  189.  
    1532:

    John Whittingdale asks if NI plans to open a new tabloid Sunday newspaper. James Murdoch says there are "no immediate plans for that", says the BBC's Iain Watson.

     
  190.  
    1530:

    The press industry needs to think about its ethics, James Murdoch says.

     
  191.  
    1529:

    Grilled by Tory MP Therese Coffey on whether his paper's will now change their ways, Rupert Murdoch says the UK has a "wonderful variety of voices", with media outlets "naturally competitive".

     
  192.  
    1527:

    The company's rules and code of conduct are promoted to all staff, James Murdoch says.

     
  193.  
    1527:

    Rupert Murdoch says each newspaper has an editorial manager who has to approve expenses claims for every reporter. Reports have "no authority" to do so on their own.

     
  194.  
    1527:

    Back to the evidencenow: Sometimes it is appropriate for journalists to use cash to make outside payments, but it is "customary" for them to record this, James Murdoch says.

     
  195.  
    1525:

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson has blogged from inside the Wilson Room: "It is hard to equate the man sitting a few feet away from me with the global media mogul feared by political leaders throughout my adult lifetime".

     
  196.  
    1523: Pop singer George Michael

    tweets: It must be great to be so close to your own father that he can use u as a human shield. Dad of the year....

     
  197.  
    1522:

    For the full board of News Corp to be consulted on payments, the sum would have to be "in millions", James Murdoch tells the MPs.

     
  198.  
    1521:

    Rupert Murdoch reaches over and touches his son's arm as he interrupts him while talking about out-of-court payments.

     
  199.  
    1521:

    News International could make out-of-court settlements without going to News Corp, James Murdoch says.

     
  200.  
    1520: BBC News website reader

    texts: Playing the poor old man in court card. Pretending he cant hear taking ages to answer awkward questions. Son keep butting in etc. All an act.

     
  201.  
    1520: Andy, Southampton

    texts: Rupert sounds stunned by what is happening - James just sounds pushy.

     
  202.  
    1520:

    On the out-of-court payment to footballers' union boss Gordon Taylor, which some have claimed was to buy his silence on phone hacking, James Murdoch says the "underlying interception was not a disputed fact" and the company was likely to lose the case. In that case, the cost could have reached as much as \u00a31m, he adds.

     
  203.  
    1519:

    Asked by Tory MP Therese Coffey if the NoW closure was a commercial decision, Rupert Murdoch says: "Far from it."

     
  204.  
    1518: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Rupert Murdoch denies responsibility for what Labour MP Jim Sdheridan describes as "this fiasco".

     
  205.  
    1517:

    Rupert Murdoch says the News of the World was closed after a discussion by the whole News Corp board.

     
  206.  
    1516: Stephen Grey

    tweets: V interesting admission by Murdoch that political stance is a group decision - surely violation of terms of original Times purchase?

     
  207.  
    1516:

    The home affairs committee finished 20 minutes ago. Much of the questioning focused on the decision to employ a former News of the World deputy editor, Neil Wallis, to provide media support to the police. Mr Yates agreed he was a friend but says "codswallop" has been written about how close they were. He also said he had stood up to be accountable and suggested News International chiefs should do the same.

     
  208.  
    1514:

    James Murdoch says all the company's financial dealings are transparent.

     
  209.  
    1514:

    Rupert Murdoch says he is not responsible for the scandal, but some of those he trusted.

     
  210.  
    1513:

    The victims of voicemail interceptions have had compensation schemes set up, James Murdoch says.

     
  211.  
    1512:

    James Murdoch says the stain on the company's reputation from the News oof the World scandal is a "matter of huge and sincere regret".

     
  212.  
    1512:

    News International's competitors have aroused "hysteria" leading to News Corp's decision not to go ahead with its intended takeover of BSkyB, Rupert Murdoch says.

     
  213.  
    1511: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Rupert Murdoch seems to have livened up somewhat when asked by Labour's Jim Sheridan about hacking 9/11 victims phones but he says "no evidence" for this

     
  214.  
    1510:

    Rupert Murdoch occasionally seems to struggle to remember details he is being asked for - asked about a meeting with Tony Blair he frowns, then suggests it was arranged "by Mr Campbell".

     
  215.  
    1509:

    The FBI has found no evidence of wrongdoing in the US, Rupert Murdoch says.

     
  216.  
    1509:

    Rupert Murdoch also visited Gordon Brown via the back door of 10 Downing Street several times, he says.

     
  217.  
    1508:

    Rupert Murdoch says he was invited to 10 Downing Street within days of the last election to "have a cup of tea" and be thanked for his support by David Cameron.

     
  218.  
    1508: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    News just in - the regular press briefing for lobby journalists from the prime minister's spokesman has been cancelled.

     
  219.  
    1507:

    "I just did what I was told," says Rupert Murdoch when asked why he came in through the back door at Number 10.

     
  220.  
    1506:

    Mr Watson asks why Rupert Murdoch "risked the jobs of 200" people at the News of the World, but not his son or Rebekah Brooks. He replies that the company was "ashamed" of what had happened.

     
  221.  
    1505: Will Straw

    tweets: Brilliant forensic probing by @Tom_Watson #hackgate

     
  222.  
    1505: Lord Sugar

    tweets: Bloody stupid questions to Rupert about micro detail when N.O.W represents 1% of his empire. Waste of time trying humiliate the old man.

     
  223.  
    1504:

    Rupert Murdoch says NI must deal "appropriately" with those involved in wrongdoing. James Murdoch says many of the people implicated in civil litigations have left the company.

     
  224.  
    1504:

    Despite the packed public benches in the committee room for the committee hearing - the room is silent as Rupert Murdoch slowly responds to Mr Watson's questions.

     
  225.  
    1503: BM from Eyemouth, Berwickshire

    e-mails: Rupert M seems rather too frail to deal with the situation. Tom Watson is showing considerable tact and skill as he pursues the issues. Admirable.

     
  226.  
    1502:

    NI was "100% cooperative" with police investigations, Rupert Murdoch says.

     
  227.  
    1502:

    James Murdoch says it would be "more helpful" to ask him about details of decisions. Mr Watson replies it is "revealing in itself" what Rupert Murdoch does not know.

     
  228.  
    1501:

    Tom Watson - the man who once shouted that Michael Gove was a "miserable pipsqueak" across the Commons - is being very softly spoken in his questioning of Rupert Murdoch.

     
  229.  
    1502:

    Rupert Murdoch was not told that the culture committee had found NI executives guilty of "collective amnesia", he says.

     
  230.  
    1500:

    Tom Watson asks at what point he became aware criminality was "endemic" at the News of the World. Another pause. Rupert Murdoch is not happy with word "endemic" but says he was "shocked" and "appalled" by the Millie Dowler revelations.

     
  231.  
    1459:

    The settlement to Mr Taylor was "below the approval thresholds" which would need Rupert Murdoch's approval, his son says.

     
  232.  
    1458:

    James Murdoch says his father became aware of the settlement to Mr Taylor after it had been made in 2009.

     
  233.  
    1457:

    Rupert Murdoch says he was not informed of out-of-court payments to Gordon Taylor and Max Clifford.

     
  234.  
    1457:

    Big pauses while Rupert Murdoch considers Mr Watson's questions, before referring on matters of detail to James, who wants to step in and answer them.

     
  235.  
    1456:

    Mr Murdoch leans forward to listen to Mr Watson's questions. He thinks carefully before answering. Tom Watson asks - in a very measured way - about the 2006 internal News International report on phone hacking.

     
  236.  
    1454:

    Electrifying exchanges between Tom Watson and Rupert Murdoch. Rupert Murdoch says he was not aware that a reporter had been found guilty of blackmail.

     
  237.  
    1453:

    Asked why NoW chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck was not dismissed following the Max Mosley case, Rupert Murdoch replies: "I'd never heard of him."

     
  238.  
    1452:

    Tom Watson asks what News International did after the arrest of Glen Mulcaire and Clive Goodman. Rupert Murdoch says it employed a leading firm of lawyers to investigate it further.

     
  239.  
    1451: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: Rupert M accepts someone lied to him, 'Clearly'

     
  240.  
    1451:

    Rupert Murdoch says the News of the World was less than 1% of his company. Tapping his desk to make his point, he says he employs people on trust to run his divisions.

     
  241.  
    1449:

    Rupert Murdoch says "Yes" when asked by Labour's Tom Watson whether the company had a "zero tolerance" attitude to wrongdoing. He agrees that it was misled.

     
  242.  
    1449:

    James Murdoch says he has no knowledge that Rebekah Brooks or Les hinton knew about phone hacking. Their resignations were accepted on that basis, he adds.

     
  243.  
    1449:

    News International's provision of information that led in part to the re-opening of police investigations into hacking show the company's approach, James Murdoch tells the committee.

     
  244.  
    1446:

    It is a matter of "deep frustration" and "real regret" that the facts did not emerge earlier, James Murdoch says.

     
  245.  
    1445:

    It was not clear in 2008 and 2009 that there were any extra matters to be dealt with, James Murdoch says. He says the "critical new facts" arose in the civil trials at the end of 2010.

     
  246.  
    1445:

    James Murdoch says that this followed the successful prosecutions of 2007 and the resignation of Andy Coulson as NoW editor. The company relied on legal opinion from outside that there was no additional illegality, he adds.

     
  247.  
    1444:

    Mr Whittingdale says that, when his committee took evidence in 2009, all the News International executives said there had been a thorough investigation and no more evidence found. Was this a lie, he asks.

     
  248.  
    1443:
    James and Rupert Murdoch

    The Murdochs address MPs on the culture committee, while Rupert's wife Wendi watches from the public gallery.

     
  249.  
    1442: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    James Murdoch opens with an apology - he was denied an opening statement by the chairman but he is clearly delivering it anyway. His father adds a truncated version of his own -'the most humble day in my life.' Of course worth remembering he needed to be summonsed by MPs, and did not volunteer to give evidence on this day.

     
  250.  
    1441:

    News International alerted the police and re-started the investigation now under way. It has admitted liability in some cases and apologised unreservedly, James Murdoch says.

     
  251.  
    1440:

    James Murdoch continues, saying that he came to realise that potentially more people had been involved in hacking, following hearings in 2009.

     
  252.  
    1439:

    Rupert Murdoch interrupts his son to say: "This is the most humble day of my life."

     
  253.  
    1439:

    Mr Whittingdale asks James Murdoch why he admitted previously that Parliament had been misled by News International statements. Mr Murdoch apologises, saying it is a matter of sadness to the company and to him and his father.

     
  254.  
    1438: Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire

    tweets: Rupert Murdoch looked relaxed going into the Commons hearing. His son James, however, was bricking it

     
  255.  
    1437:

    Some protesters, holding up signs, are removed from the Boothroyd Room, at the request of committee chairman John Whittingdale.

     
  256.  
    1436:

    The Murdochs, both wearing dark suits, pour some water. James Murdoch asks to make an opening statement. Committee chairman John Whittingdale refuses, saying they can do so after the hearing.

     
  257.  
    1434:

    The moment has arrived. Rupert and James Murdoch are in place for their session with the culture committee.

     
  258.  
    1433: Political Editor of Sky News Adam Boulton

    tweets: Many Qs unasked but Home Affairs Chm Keith Vaz must want to wrap this before 2.30when Chm John Whittingdale opens CMSSC Murdoch hearing.

     
  259.  
    1431:

    Newspapers will, on a weekly basis run interesting articles - but police won't launch investigations on the back of all of them, Mr Yates tells the MPs.

     
  260.  
    1431:

    Labour's Alun Michael says everyone expected him to look broadly at the old police investigation into hacking. Mr Yates disagrees, saying it was just a case of "looking at what's new" and deciding whether it merited a fresh investigation.

     
  261.  
    1429:

    A moment of levity as Mr Vaz assures Mr Yates he will be out of there before the next witness arrives - at 5.30pm. "I'm enjoying myself so much," jokes Mr Yates

     
  262.  
    1428:

    Has there been a fair allocation of blame between the Met and CPS? Mr Yates says not - the Met had taken legal advice. "It is utterly, absolutely clear what advice we got - anybody who says a police investigation isn't framed by legal advice doesn't live in the real world."

     
  263.  
    1427:

    "This wasn't a body being found, this was an article in a newspaper," he adds, referring to The Guardian article that reignited interest in phone hacking.

     
  264.  
    1426:

    "You can criticise me with hindsight but it was a reasonably sophisticated process to go through around an article in a newspaper," says Mr Yates.

     
  265.  
    1426:

    Mr Yates says, of his hacking review, it wasn't a case of "finger in the air, I don't fancy it" - it was reasonably sophisticated in terms of the points covered, he says. "I had been assured that the material had been reviewed by counsel," he adds.

     
  266.  
    1425: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    John Yates says the PM's head of staff Ed Llewellyn turned down the offer of a briefing on the "scoping" of an investigation following New York Times stories on phone hacking (that appears to be September 2010) - John Yates said he didn't speak to Andy Coulson about this - but did speak to him when he was at No10 on the unrelated topic of police reform.

     
  267.  
    1424:

    Commons Speaker John Bercow has refused to allow a new vote to enable Labour MP Cathy Jamieson to sit on the culture committee, which will question Rupert and James Murdoch. Her appointment to the committee was blocked by a Tory MP last night. A point of order was raised by the shadow leader of the House Hilary Benn, seeking a change to the timetable to allow a vote before the committee starts, but Mr Bercow said he was unable to do this.

     
  268.  
    1423:

    Assistant Commissioner John Yates again stresses he did not carry out a full "review" of the original police investigation into hacking - he just tried to establish certain facts around the case.

     
  269.  
    1421:

    Mr Yates says he met Andy Coulson but did not discuss phone hacking with him - or Neil Wallis.

     
  270.  
    1421:

    Mr Yates goes through his phone call with Neil Wallis about a potential contract with the Met - he says he received "categorical assurances" that there was nothing still being investigated by the Guardian that could embarrass the Met.

     
  271.  
    1420: NOTW Hacking News

    tweets: Biographer Michael Wolff is suggesting Rupert Murdoch could resign before the culture committee.

     
  272.  
    1419: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    John Yates repeats allegation of last week: "News International completely covered-up" phone hacking - no doubt this will be put to the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks when they come before the culture and media committee shortly.

     
  273.  
    1416:

    He predicts a "very small number of police officers" will be jailed for corruption over the phone hacking saga.

     
  274.  
    1415:

    Mr Yates's words are again quoted back at him that he made a "crap decision" not to reopen the phone hacking investigation - but he stresses that he meant that in the context of what he knows now.

     
  275.  
    1414:

    Mr Yates stresses that Mr Wallis is still an "innocent man".

     
  276.  
    1413: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Rather like an edition of the recently revived game show "Mr and Mrs", Keith Vaz points out that John Yates wasn't able to listen to Mr Fedorcio's evidence earlier. Like that show, sometimes answers don't match up.

     
  277.  
    1412: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    John Yates says it was down to PR chief Mr Fedorcio to carry out "due diligence" on Neil Wallis - not him. Mr Fedorcio, for his part, said it was John Yates who assured him Mr Wallis's contract wouldn't embarrass the Met.

     
  278.  
    1411:

    Keith Vaz asks which officials were trying to "protect the prime minister" from certain information - for example the employment of Mr Wallis. Mr Yates says in 2010 there was an offer to brief Mr Cameron's chief of staff on the nuances of what a "scoping exercise" was - following a New York Times article. There was some confusion about language. The offer was rejected, he says.

     
  279.  
    1410:

    More from David Cameron's press conference in Nigeria. Addressing the resignations of Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and assistant commissioner John Yates, the PM says: "Paul Stephenson and John Yates have made their decisions. They have made honourable decisions. I thank them for the service they have given."

     
  280.  
    1409:

    Lib Dem Julian Huppert asks whether an assistant commissioner sending an email to the Met's HR department was usual - Mr Yates says the director of HR would have "aborted the process" if there was anything wrong with it.

     
  281.  
    1408:

    Asked whether he was close friends with Mr Wallis - Mr Yates says he met him two or three times per year over six years or so: "I don't go round to his house on a regular basis," he says - adding he may have done so once to pick him up for a football match. he accepts he is a friend but says they are not "bosom buddies living in each others' houses".

     
  282.  
    1407: Political Animal

    tweets: Yates: "I was a postbox." And I'm a little teapot.

     
  283.  
    1407:

    He repeats the phrase again: "I was simply a post box". It happens all the time, he adds - pointing out that MPs employ relatives. He denies having secured a job for her - saying he sent one email on her behalf and he gave only an "equivocal interest" in whether she was employed or not.

     
  284.  
    1406:

    Interesting choice of words from Mr Yates on his alleged nepotism: "I simply acted as a post box for an application". He is accused of securing a job at the job at the Met for Neil Wallis's daughter.

     
  285.  
    1403:

    Mr Yates says it is "slightly over-egging the pudding" to suggest he had carried out "due diligence" - he had simply sought categorical assurances from Mr Wallis that he had done nothing to do with phone hacking that could embarrass the force. He says it was not "due diligence".

     
  286.  
    1403: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    It is interesting to see how what appeared to be normal behaviour now looks very different once viewed through the post-hacking prism. Mr Fedorcio says he knew nothing of the first hacking investigation until arrests were made and didn't advise senior officers on their decisions to dine with News International. Keith Vaz summed up the MPs' quizzing of the PR chief thus: "We are not any clearer than we were when we started."

     
  287.  
    1402:

    Keith Vaz starts by referring to the employment of Neil Wallis - Mr Yates had done "due diligence" and advised Mr Fedorcio Mr Wallis was fine to take on.

     
  288.  
    1401: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    All fingers so far are pointing to John Yates - Dick Fedorcio said he never personally asked Neil Wallis any questions about phone hacking - he took an assurance from John Yates that Mr Wallis's contract wouldn't embarrass the Met.

     
  289.  
    1400:

    Keith Vaz starts by asking why Mr Yates resigned. He says it's because phone hacking had become a huge distraction from his main role - as head of counter terrorism.

     
  290.  
    1400:

    John Yates is back in front of the home affairs committee - just a week after his last appearance.

     
  291.  
    1358:

    Mr Fedorcio says the first time he became aware of phone hacking was when he returned from leave in August 2006. The only dinner he attended with Andy Hayman and News International was in April 2006, while the hacking investigation was happening. He says he had no knowledge at the time of the investigation and says it would have been inappropriate for him to know at the time.

     
  292.  
    1355:

    Mr Fedorcio says he did not give preference to News International when "placing stories" in the media. He also says he only found out Mr Wallis's daughter was working at the Met yesterday.

     
  293.  
    1354:

    Mr Fedorcio says he discovered Mr Wallis was working independently in "mid-August" - asked if it was Rebekah Brooks that recommended him, Mr Fedorcio says "certainly not". He says he does not believe he was recommended by someone at News International.

     
  294.  
    1351:

    Mr Fedorcio says he talked to John Yates about hiring Mr Wallis specifically because of his involvement in the phone-hacking investigation. He adds he has "no reason to doubt" Mr Yates's integrity.

     
  295.  
    1350:

    In the committee room Tory MP Nicola Blackwood suggests it was not appropriate for Mr Yates to do "due diligence" on his friend - Mr Fedorcio says he had no reason to doubt Mr Yates's integrity

     
  296.  
    1350:

    After his appearance, Sir Paul Stephenson has issued the following statement: "Today's almost certainly my final professional public engagement after almost 36 years of policing."

     
  297.  
    1347:

    Mr Fedorcio says he knew Mr Yates was a personal friend of Mr Wallis - Keith Vaz questions why he allowed Mr Yates to carry out due diligence on the former NoW deputy in that case.

     
  298.  
    1346:

    Mr Wallis was employed to help with "corporate policy matters" - not "operational activity" says Mr Fedorcio. He says he "never" discussed the phone-hacking scandal with Mr Wallis.

     
  299.  
    1343:

    Did the Met go out to tender for the contract to hire Mr Wallis? Mr Fedorcio says he got three quotes and of those, Mr Wallis, was "by far the cheapest".

     
  300.  
    1342:

    David Cameron, who is in Nigeria, describes the death of the former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare as "a tragedy".

     

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Phone-hacking scandal

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