Secret Murdoch recording reveals his regret at aiding police over phone-hacking scandal
In a secret recording, obtained by the investigation website Exaro, Rupert Murdoch has revealed his regret in aiding the police over the phone-hacking scandal which engulfed News Corporation in 2011.
The recording from March this year is of Murdoch privately speaking to journalists of The Sun newspaper, some of whom had been arrested over allegations of bribing police for information. Murdoch is heard belittling the allegations of corrupt payments, calling the police investigation “incompetent”, and indicates that he will protect journalists regardless of what the police investigation finds.
Following the first wave of hacking allegations, aimed specifically at celebrities, Murdoch set up an internal management standards committee to aid the police in their investigation. He now views the committee as giving momentum to the police investigation, and said: “In the atmosphere, at the time, we said, ‘Look, we are an open book, we will show you everything.’ And the lawyers just got rich going through millions of emails.”
The tapes show Murdoch’s hardline stance is in stark contrast to the way that he presented himself in the 2011 Leveson inquiry into press standards, where he gave a contrite apology.
Tom Watson, the Labour MP who was involved in helping uncover the hacking scandal, added “that this audio and this transcript should be in the hands of the police”. The tape has also reignited questions as to whether Murdoch was a “fit and proper” person to run a broadcasting company under British law.