MP Tom Watson today claimed that an ‘edict’went out from News International for journalists to ‘dig out as much information as you can’on the members of the Culture Media and Sport Committee.
He says he has spoken to a former News International employee on condition of anonymity who said the ‘edict’went out the time of the committee’s first inquiry into phone-hacking and the News of the World in 2009.
Watson also claimed that former News International chief executive Rebekah Wade made a plea to former Prime Minister Tony Blair for him to be taken off the Committee’s inquiry.
According to Watson, the source said: ‘She tried to smear you as being mad. She was saying to Blair, ‘You’ve got to call this man off, he’s mad.'”
MP Steve Rotheram asked Murdoch if he was aware that the words ‘the Sun’ appeared in the evidence file of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
He said: “If it’s revealed that the Sun does appear in the Mulcaire file, will you close the paper like you did the News of the World?”
Murdoch replied: ‘I think it’s important not to prejudge the outcome of any of the investigations… I don’t think we can rule out any corporate reaction to wrongdoing.”