Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament?

Parliaments bared its teeth today, subjecting police officers to interrogation, summoning the Murdoch Three to answer them, and uniting to oppose the BSkyB takeover.

The Mother of all Parliaments bared her teeth today and showed who’s boss, subjecting senior police officers to interrogation, summoning the Murdoch Three to answer them, and pledging to unite tomorrow to say a big fat no to Rupert Murdoch’s big fat takeover of BSkyB.

All this as revulsion grew at the sickening revelations about News International’s intrusion into Gordon Brown’s private life, and as it emerged News Corporation executives could face trial for corruption in the US.


On another day of dramatic developments in the News International phone hacking scandal, the most compelling was the slow burn of the three-and-a-half hour session of the home affairs select committee in the Wilson Room of Portcullis House from 11, at which the Met’s John Yates, Peter Clarke, Andy Hayman and Sue Akers were grilled on the “unauthorised hacking of mobile communications”. Watch it in full here.

Former Deputy Assistant Commisioner Clarke said he came across “prevarication and what we now know to be lies” from NI, while Acting Deputy Commissioner John Yates said Murdoch’s firm “appears to have failed to co-operate” during his review of the phone hacking investigation – with the session bursting into life at the end of former Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman’s testimony, in which he denied absolutely ever having taking payments from newspapers.

We will have more on the failings of the Met, in particular Yates and Hayman, on Left Foot Forward tomorrow.

Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, meanwhile, were this evening summoned to appear before the culture, media and sport select committee next Tuesday, “to give evidence on developments in phone hacking”, committee chair John Whittingdale saying:

“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.”

The signals emerging from Westminster, however, appear to indicate all three will decline, committee member Tom Watson MP telling tonight’s Channel Four News:

“Rebekah Brooks has run scared three times before… There are lots of arcane rules [to compel witnesses to appear] but these are quite complex and very rarely successful. We’re asking them to play to their decency and submit themselves so we probably don’t have any chance…

“It’s like the parable of the Emperor’s clothes, everyone thought he was all powerful so he was… We’ve not seen any of them on TV for 48 hours. It’s ironic that this is a company that likes to stake people out and knock on doors and they’ve gone into hiding.”

Earlier, David Cameron joined the chorus of condemnation against the Sun for its intrusion into his predecessor Gordon Brown’s private life, calling the publication of Fraser Brown’s medical records “heartbreaking” and “completely unacceptable”.

He said:

“My heart goes out to Gordon and Sarah Brown. To have your children’s privacy invaded in that way, and I know that myself particularly, when your child isn’t well, is completely unacceptable and heartbreaking for the family concerned.”

It’ll come as no surprise at all to you that today’s Sun completely ignored the story. As pathetic as it was predictable.

Further afield, the outlook for Murdoch could get a whole lot worse if reports emanating from the States are realised. Executives at News Corporation, the parent company of News International, owners of the News of the World, could face prosecution in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for the alleged bribery of police officers. It is illegal under the act to pay bribes overseas to government officials.

As our sister site Think Progress reports:

According to the the Department of Justice, “The FCPA prohibits payments made in order to assist the firm in obtaining or retaining business”. Thus the papers’ use of bribery to obtain information which helped sell newspapers could fall under the act’s purview.

And even though the bribery occurred entirely in Britian, NewsCorp is an American company, incorporated in Delaware, and held accountable for its foreign subsidiary’s actions. Even if the corporation wasn’t directly involved in bribery, it could be found in violation of the law for turning a “blind eye”.

The legal experts told the AP they would be surprised if the Securities and Exchange Commission and the DoJ have not already opened investigations into the matter and said the decision to shutter News of the World was potentially an attempt to limit Murdoch and NewsCorp’s legal exposure.

NewsCorp is also the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, which have largely ignored the scandal.

And it has also emerged that News Corp shareholders are taking legal action, an American shareholder group led by Amalgamated Bank filing papers in a Delaware court stating:

“These revelations show a culture run amok within News Corp, and a board that provides no effective review or oversight.”

Tomorrow, after PMQs, the prime minister will make a statement outlining details of the inquiry into phone hacking, after which the debate on the BSkyB takeover will take place, with all 650 members – bar the Speaker and culture secretary Jeremy Hunt (who must remain impartial) – expected to stand up, stand tall and say no to Murdoch.

What a day it promises to be!

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33 Responses to “Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament?”

  1. jude

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  2. Charlie Harris FCIJ

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? | Left Foot Forward http://fb.me/PlvYAJkT

  3. dianne yates

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  4. Gael

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  5. Clive Burgess

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  6. rory

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  7. Tony Lumley

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  8. Michael

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? l Left Foot Forward – http://tinyurl.com/6bbmtm4

  9. Elaine S

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? l Left Foot Forward – http://tinyurl.com/6bbmtm4

  10. David Isaacs

    RT @leftfootfwd: Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://t.co/Bop6KES

  11. RCT UNISON

    “@leftfootfwd: Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://t.co/KN3uovb asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking”

  12. Craigy Boy

    RT @TheRightArticle: Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? l Left Foot Forward – http://tinyurl.com/6bbmtm4

  13. Tim Saunders

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  14. Rupert Murdoch facing BSkyB defeat as parties unite in call to drop bid – The Guardian « ps-capital.com

    […] TimesSenior police officers quizzed over phone hacking scandalBBC NewsEvening Standard -Left Foot Forward -Sky Newsall 6,156 news […]

  15. Wendy O'Mara

    There was certainly total amazement at the remarks made by Andy Hayman today when he cheerfully said “it was better to socialize with NoW than not…” How about all the time Cameron has spent with the Murdochs, Brooks, Coulsen etc – sharing holidays, dinners, Christmas etc. I think that is also very questionable behaviour for the Prime Minister of the Country!

  16. Mr. Sensible

    The BBC is reporting that Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks will accept the invitation to appear before the committee. Could be interesting…

  17. Lawrence

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament?: On another day of dramatic developm… http://bit.ly/p5jZ5V #burn fat

  18. SlashedUK

    RT @leftfootfwd: Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  19. 13eastie

    Has Gordon Brown got the balls to face Parliament?

    Will he be voting tomorrow on this crucial issue that had him and his wife in tears? (He and Sarah were so upset by Rebekah Wade’s phone call about their son’s illness that they went to her wedding).

    Don’t count on it.

  20. Leon Wolfson

    Ah so, you’re making the argument that what? An MP not addressing parliament on a specific issue is equal to people refusing to appear before a parliamentary committee to answer very serious charges?

    Ah, a view only a Tory could love.

  21. jalice winters

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament?: The Mother of all Parliaments bared her teeth… http://bit.ly/pCjUvR

  22. Ed's Talking Balls

    Although they are very separate issues, there is something deeply wrong about any MP not turning up to Parliament while drawing a salary from the taxpayer.

    That’s a view that not only Tories should share.

  23. Lawrence

    Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament?: The Mother of all Parliaments bared… http://bit.ly/po71Cm #burn fat

  24. AltGovUK

    RT @leftfootfwd: Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  25. GOVManslaughter

    RT @leftfootfwd: Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  26. Extradition Game

    RT @leftfootfwd: Do Murdoch, Murdoch and Brooks have the balls to face Parliament? http://bit.ly/q1FFsY asks @ShamikDas #phonehacking

  27. Labourvoter

    Time for Murdoch and co to face the music. This is only the beginning, there must surely be a hope within the Evil Empire and their conservatives supporters that the outrage will blow over and the take-over of BSkyB will eventually be waved through while we are distracted by another crisis elsewhere. Lets’ make sure that doesn’t happen.

  28. Selohesra

    The sight of the discredited Vaz so mired in sleaze and expense scandals taking the moral high ground against the police was truely shocking

  29. 13eastie

    Leon, have you no better way of putting your point that simply and repeatedly to call anyone whose views differ from your own a “Tory” while putting words into their mouths.

    If Brown is not prepared to vote in the HoC on a matter that he has claimed is so dear to his heart, then we should reject his labile day-time-television appeals to our sentiments.

  30. scandalousbill

    13eastie,

    You say:

    “If Brown is not prepared to vote in the HoC on a matter that he has claimed is so dear to his heart, then we should reject his labile day-time-television appeals to our sentiments”

    So by your logic, the absence of David Cameron to participate in this vote is therefore grounds for denying him any credibility on this issue?

    You accusations are merely those of an ill informed troll.

  31. Phone hacking fallout: Institutional indolence means Yates has to go | Left Foot Forward

    […] yesterday’s car crash performance before the home affairs select committee, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul […]

  32. Brooks will face Parliament while Murdoch and son cower away | Left Foot Forward

    […] to appear before them next Tuesday, after they refused the committee’s request for them to answer Parliament – while Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor at the centre of the phone […]

  33. FBI called in to investigate News Corp as Murdoch succumbs to Parliament | Left Foot Forward

    […] he will have to answer to the home affairs select committee next Tuesday at midday – with the Murdoch Three facing Parliament later that […]

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