Phone hacking: how MPs were split on crucial report

MPs on the Commons culture committee were split on a number of amendments to their report into phone hacking at the News of the World. Chairman, Conservative John Whittingdale, abstained from taking part in the votes.

Find out more about the committee and who backed or rejected the report below.

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  • Conservative

  • Labour

  • Liberal Democrat

- Backed report - Did not back full report

The key divisions in detail:

Rupert Murdoch "not fit"

Labour MP and prominent hacking campaigner Tom Watson sought to include several additional paragraphs in the report.

They stated that Rupert Murdoch "turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications", and that culture "permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International. We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company".

In favour: Labour MPs Paul Farrelly, Steve Rotheram, Jim Sheridan, Gerry Sutcliffe and Tom Watson, and Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders

Against: Conservative MPs Therese Coffey, Damian Collins, Philip Davies and Louise Mensch

Outcome: Paragraph included

"For Neville" email

Labour's Paul Farrelly sought to remove a paragraph stating the committee was "inclined to accept" that James Murdoch had not seen the pivotal email which suggested phone hacking at the News of the World went wider than one rogue reporter.

He wanted to replace it with a line stating that the committee "cannot come to a definitive conclusion one way or the other" about whether he saw it or not, but Mr Murdoch was guilty of "wilful ignorance" by not probing the phone-hacking issue more deeply.

In favour: Labour MPs Paul Farrelly, Steve Rotheram, Jim Sheridan, Gerry Sutcliffe and Tom Watson, and Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders

Against: Conservative MPs Therese Coffey, Damian Collins, Philip Davies and Louise Mensch

Outcome: Paragraph included

An attempt by Mr Collins to include a statement that there was "no conclusive evidence that James Murdoch saw the 'for Neville' email or that he understood its wider significance" was rejected by the same majority.

"One rogue reporter"

Mr Farrelly also tabled an amendment declaring the committee found it "simply astonishing" that Rupert and James Murdoch failed to realise until December 2010 that hacking went wider than jailed royal editor Clive Goodman.

In favour: Conservative MPs Damian Collins, Philip Davies and Louise Mensch, Labour MPs Paul Farrelly, Steve Rotheram, Jim Sheridan, Gerry Sutcliffe and Tom Watson, and Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders

Against: Conservative Therese Coffey

Outcome: Paragraph included

"Huge failings"

Paragraph 186 of the original report laid responsibility with Tom Crone and Colin Myler for failing to inform James Murdoch about evidence of widespread phone hacking.

But a proposed amendment said Mr Myler, Mr Crone and legal affairs director Jonathan Chapman "cannot be allowed to carry the whole of the blame, as News Corporation has clearly intended".

It went on: "Even if there were a 'don't ask, don't tell' culture at News International, the whole affair demonstrates huge failings of corporate governance at the company and its parent, News Corporation."

In favour: Labour MPs Paul Farrelly, Steve Rotheram, Jim Sheridan, Gerry Sutcliffe and Tom Watson, and Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders

Against: Conservative MPs Therese Coffey, Damian Collins, Philip Davies and Louise Mensch

Outcome: Paragraph included

Email chain

The report referred to an email chain into which James Murdoch was copied in 2008. Within the chain were suggestions about the true scope of phone hacking, but Mr Murdoch insisted he did not read it in its entirety.

The original report stated there was "no good excuse" for failing him to do so and if he had, "he could have taken action on phone hacking in 2008 and this committee could have been told the truth in 2009".

But Conservatives Louise Mensch and Therese Coffey sought to amend that paragraph, to say the contents of the email chain were "ambiguous" and there was "no conclusive evidence" that it would "have made any difference had Mr Murdoch read the entire string".

In favour: Conservative MPs Therese Coffey, Philip Davies and Louise Mensch

Against: Labour MPs Paul Farrelly, Steve Rotheram, Jim Sheridan, Gerry Sutcliffe and Tom Watson, Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders, and Conservative Damian Collins,

Outcome: Paragraph excluded

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