Brooks and Murdoch invited to appear before MPs

News International has said it would co-operate after Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch and his son James were asked to appear before a committee of MPs.

The Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee asked the trio to give evidence about the phone hacking and police payments scandals at a hearing next week.

A spokeswoman for News International, publisher of the News of the World, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times, could not confirm whether all three would attend the hearing.

But the company said in a statement: “We have been made aware of the request from the CMS committee to interview senior executives and will co-operate. We await the formal invitation.”

Labour MP Tom Watson said the committee wanted to ask Ms Brooks about her knowledge of payments to the police.

He said MPs also intended to quiz James Murdoch on his involvement in “authorising payments to silence” Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, after his phone was hacked.

‘Confidence has been damaged’

Meanwhile, the police chief leading Scotland Yard’s phone hacking probe has revealed just 170 of more than 4,000 potential victims have been contacted.

The full scale of the long-running operation was laid bare as Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers admitted “confidence has been damaged” by previous failures.

She admitted there was an “awful lot to do” after saying police had compiled a list of more than 12,000 names and numbers.

Evidence from News International details 3,870 names along with 5,000 landline numbers and 4,000 mobiles, she told the committee of MPs.

She gave MPs her “guarantee” that she would oversee a thorough inquiry, adding: “I hope that I do not have come back here in five years time.”

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