James Murdoch: News International to apologise to nation

News International will publish apologies over the phone-hacking scandal in every national newspaper this weekend.

In a statement sent to staff this morning, News International chairman James Murdoch said the company will ‘apologise to the nation for what has happened”.

Thiss will be followed up ‘with communications about the actions we have taken to address the wrongdoing that occurred”.

He said: “The company has made mistakes. It is not only receiving appropriate scrutiny, but is also responding to unfair attacks by setting the record straight.

‘I would like to conclude by saying thank you. Throughout this time, you have gotten out great papers every day and have stayed focused. I am deeply grateful for that.’

Outlining actions taken to tacke the crisis, Murdoch said:

“Earlier today, Rebekah Brooks resigned from her position as CEO. I understand her decision and I want to thank her for her 22 years of service to the company. She has been one of the outstanding editors of her generation and she can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive. We support her as she takes this step to clear her name.

“We have created an independent management and standards committee and I want to emphasise its importance. The committee has direct governance and oversight from News Corporation board members and is codifying standards that will be clear and enforced.

“We made the difficult and necessary decision to close the News of the World.

“A number of other executives have now left the company.

“News Corporation also withdrew its proposal to acquire the shares in BSkyB it does not own. This is a strong signal that our top priority in the UK is to address the issues facing News International.”

UPDATE 15/7/11 4.28pm

Here is the full text of the apology that will be published in newspapers this weekend:

We are sorry.

The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account. It failed when it came to itself.

We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.

We regret not acting faster to sort things out. I realise that simply apologising is not enough.

Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be positive force in society. We need to live up to this.

In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.

Sincerely,

Rupert Murdoch

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