News International has hired one of the UK’s leading barristers to chair the independent committee tasked with cleaning up the company in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.
As chair of the Management and Standards Committee (MSC), Lord Grabiner QC will work with the multiple investigations and inquiries into phone hacking as well as those looking into allegations of illegal payments to police.
The company said in a statement that the MSC will be independent of News International and will be tasked with introducing compliance, ethics and governance procedures at the company.
The MSC will report directly to News Corp board director and former assistant attorney general at the US Department of Justice Joel Klein.
He said: ‘The extension of the MSC is the next step in dealing with the issues surrounding News International.
‘It will co-operate fully with all authorities and also lay the foundation for future standards. It is therefore vitally important that it is independent and properly governed.
‘We are very pleased that such an eminent person as Lord Grabiner has agreed to be the independent chairman. He will bring his undoubted experience and intellect to this very important role. His appointment clearly demonstrates that we are serious about putting things right that have gone wrong in the past.”
News International said group general manager Will Lewis and corporate affairs director Simon Greenberg are to work full-time on the MSC.
The MSC will be housed in a ‘secure unit’to separate it from the main News International office ‘to ensure independence”.