Will Lewis to Charlie Brooks - 'Chris Bryant is clearly making stuff up about Rebekah'

A News International executive said in an email that an MP was “clearly making stuff up” when accused Rebekah Brooks of having knowledge of phone-hacking, a court heard.

The email exchange between Brooks' husband Charlie and NI executive Will Lewis from March 2011 was shown to the jury.

The emails related to comments from Labour MP Chris Bryant.

In the emails, Charlie Brooks wrote: "Is Rebekah ok? Bryant point one below seems pretty aggressive."

Lewis replied that he and Brooks had been busy with "other things" but added: "Bryant is clearly making stuff up."

Charlie Brooks replied: "Thanks Will. I was worried. I'm glad she has you alongside her."

The trial was also shown an email received by Charlie Brooks from Philip Dunne MP. It alerted him to comments made by Tom Watson MP about reports that voicemails were deleted from the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler by somebody acting on behalf of the News of the World.

With regards to the claims, Lewis wrote to Charlie Brooks, saying: "Another attempted hit on Rebekah by Watson. Far from ideal and Dowler family quotes are bad.

"We are on back foot as blind on the Mulcaire docs."

A 2009 letter written by Rebekah Brooks to the Press Complaints Commission was shown to the court, in which she insisted that News International publications abided by the regulator's code of practice.

She wrote: "News International's titles have always placed great emphasis on adherence to the PCC code of practice in all the work carried out by our editorial staff."

The jury were shown emails sent by Brooks to News of the World staff in which she said she would be contactable despite going to Ireland, and insisted that decisions about whether to promote reporters should not be taken by other people in her absence.

Giving evidence in the witness box, Detective Constable Andrea Fletcher, the case officer for Brooks in respect of phone hacking, said: "Even when Ms Wade, now Brooks, is on holidays or not in the office, decisions can always be put to her."

She added: "It also highlights what I would consider the personable relationship with her journalists."

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire; ex News of the World editor Andy Coulson, also 45, from Charing in Kent; former NoW head of news Ian Edmondson, 44, from Raynes Park, south west London; and the tabloid's ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, are all on trial accused of conspiring with others to hack phones between 3 October 2000 and 9 August 2006.

Former NoW and Sun editor Brooks is also accused of two counts of conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office – one between 1 January 2004 and 31 January 2012 and the other between 9 February 2006 and 16 October 2008 – linked to alleged inappropriate payments to public officials.

She faces another two allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – one with her former personal assistant Cheryl Carter, 49, from Chelmsford in Essex (pictured above credit Reuters), between 6 July and 9 July 2011; and a second with her husband, Charles Brooks, and former head of security at News International, Mark Hanna, and others between 15 July and 19 July 2011.

Coulson is also facing two allegations that he conspired with former NoW royal editor Clive Goodman, 56, from Addlestone in Surrey, and other unknown people to commit misconduct in public office – between 31 August 2002 and 31 January 2003, and between 31 January and 3 June 2005.

All of the accused deny all of the charges.

The trial continues on Monday morning.  

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