In an interview with The Guardian, the former BBC chief political correspondent said he would aim to ‘combat some of the hysteria that is rife in British public life”.
I know very good people who write for the Times and for the Sun and they are first class journalists and they are very decent people and again one of the reasons why I am more than happy, I’m delighted to take the job, is that those people cannot be tarred with the same soggy brush as just a few people who were either involved in criminal activity, which is a matter for the courts, or you know, were seemingly out of control.
Harri replaces Andrew Honnor and will report to News International chief executive Tom Mockridge.
Honnor himself replaced Simon Greenberg on an interim basis after Greenberg was seconded to help Will Lewis head up News Corp’s management and standards committee.
Former BBC chief political correspondent Harri told The Guardian:
I would not be joining this company myself if I thought that they condoned, and were actively involved in, any of the practices that they have rightly been condemned for and I cannot think that the people I have met and the man I will be reporting to is I think without doubt the person most determined to clean up any lingering odour of bad practices.
I cannot think of any company in history – and this does go to the very top from the man himself in New York – that spends millions of pounds employing people to trawl the bowels of their own servers in order to find evidence to hand over to the police to actually convict their own staff.
They are being extremely robust and arguably brutal about cleansing up the past, and they are not only disciplining people internally, they are handing over evidence to the police.