Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Murdoch remarks lead UK lawmakers to recall him

Reuters, London

British lawmakers on Tuesday said they would recall media mogul Rupert Murdoch to clarify evidence he gave to them last year after he was secretly recorded belittling a police inquiry into alleged crimes committed by journalists on his papers.

In a meeting with staff on his the Sun tabloid, Murdoch said he regretted helping a police inquiry into phone hacking which has grown into a far wider probe into alleged illegal reporting practices.

He suggested the industry had relied on such tactics for decades.

“We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops: That’s been going on a 100 years,” he said

“Mr Murdoch welcomes the opportunity to return to the [Culture, Media & Sport] Select Committee and answer their questions,” a News Corp spokesman said in an e-mailed statement.

Murdoch, the head of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, had described himself as appalled by revelations of illegality and phone hacking that engulfed his British newspaper business two years ago and damaged his reputation.

However, after his comments to the Sun journalists were broadcast last week, lawmakers decided they wanted to question him again.

“The committee has voted to ask him to reappear in light of the comments he made to News International staff,” committee chairman John Whittingdale told reporters.

The committee does not have the power to force Murdoch to appear.

“We are seeking to obtain ... the tape of the meeting during which Rupert Murdoch appears to have been recorded and we will then assess the full contents of that tape,” London Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told parliament’s Home Affairs Committee on tuesday.

She also revealed that News Corp was no longer cooperating with detectives as it had been.

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