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'Jonnie Marbles' charged over Murdoch pie attack

A 26-year-old comedian is accused of ‘harassment’ after the media mogul was smeared with shaving foam yesterday.

The incident in which Rupert Murdoch was attacked
The incident in which Rupert Murdoch was attacked
Image: Sky News / YouTube

A COMEDIAN AND activist has been charged after Rupert Murdoch was attacked with a shaving foam pie in the UK Houses of Parliament.

Jonathan May-Bowles, 26 – also known as ‘Jonnie Marbles’ – is accused of behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress in a public place, the BBC reports. He was bailed to appear in court on Friday.

Mr Murdoch and his son James were giving evidence to the House of Commons Culture Select Committee, who are investigating the phone-hacking scandal enveloping News Corporation. As the hearing progressed a member of the audience approached, pulled a paper plate of shaving foam from a bag and tried to put it in Rupert Murdoch’s face.

Mr Murdoch’s wife Wendi – a former volleyball player – was the first to his defence, slapping the attacker and trying to smear the foam on him. She then comforted her husband before the chairman of the committee ordered members of the public out of the room.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Mr May-Bowles is a veteran left-wing campaigner and father of one.

Shares in New Corporation, which have suffered in recent weeks, jumped in value yesterday as James and Rupert Murdoch denied to MPs that they knew about or sanctioned phone-hacking at the News of the World. However, Bloomberg reports that Rupert Murdoch’s refusal to take responsibility, and insistence that he did not know what was happening in his own organisation, could put him under heavy pressure to resign as chief executive.

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks also gave evidence to the committee yesterday. She denied sanctioning payments to private investigators to hack phones while she was editor of the News of the World.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Rebekah Brooks’ husband Charlie has denied accusations of a cover-up after trying to reclaim a bag containing a laptop computer and documents, which was found dumped in a bin near the couple’s London flat. Police are currently examining its contents.

Watch: Rupert Murdoch pied by protester whilst giving evidence to MPs >

Rupert and James Murdoch: What they said >

Read more on the hacking scandal >

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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