Brooks talks of 'unimaginable stress' facing trial colleagues on first day as News UK chief executive

Rebekah Brooks said spoken of the "unimaginable stress and uncertainty" faced by staff still awaiting criminal trials as she took up her post as chief executive of News UK this morning.

Brooks returns to the Murdoch empire just over four years after resigning as chief executive of News International (as News UK was then called) at the height of the hacking scandal.

Last year she was found not guilty of conspiracy to hack phones, commit misconduct in public office and pervert the course of justice by hiding evidence.

Over the last four years some 22 Sun journalists have faced criminal charges, most of which related to payments made to public officials. Only two have been convicted so far and both avoided custodial sentences.

Two former Sun journalists are facing retrials over payments made to public officials.

In an email sent to colleagues this morning, Brooks alluded to the ordeal colleagues have gone through as a result of criminal prosectutions.

"It is a privilege to be back and many thanks for the warm welcome.

"I’ve worked for this company since 1989 doing a variety of jobs from making the tea to becoming CEO twenty years later. It’s hard to describe how good it feels to be home. And the Sun is shining!

"I will be spending my first day walking around the building saying hello to old friends and colleagues and introducing myself to those who I have not met. I will be in the canteen at lunchtime.

"My passion for our papers is in no doubt. This morning, I checked out The Times and The Sun on my tablet, my laptop and my smart phone but like millions of others, I read the newspapers first. Together I hope we will continue to energise and innovate to secure their successful future in all formats.

"We owe that to our heritage, our readers and our advertisers.

"It would be wrong to dwell on the past but it would be wrong not to mention it. Many colleagues and their families have suffered a great deal in recent years and my thoughts are with those who still face unimaginable stress and uncertainty.

"I am grateful to all of you who have kept our business on a firm footing and continued to publish our world-class journalism during that time."

Sun editor David Dinsmore has been promoted to chief operating officer of News UK to assist Brooks. And "in the coming weeks" former Daily Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher will be starting as Sun editor.

Brooks signed the email to colleagues "Rebekah".

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