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NOTW phone hacking: What News International and Rebekah Brooks are saying

Victims of alleged phone hacking have widened to include the parents of murdered children and families of 7/7 bombing victims.

File photo of Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, which owns News International and the NOTW.
File photo of Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, which owns News International and the NOTW.
Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Updated at 4:30pm

BRITISH PRIME Minister David Cameron has pledged to set up a public inquiry into allegations that the News of the World hacked a number of phones.

The police investigation into the alleged hacking suggests its victims may include murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her parents, the parents of murdered children Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, and the families of the 7/7 London bombings victims.

The investigation has also widened to include suspected payments to police officers by the newspaper.

Here’s what News International, which publishes the paper, and the paper’s former editor Rebekah Brooks have said this week about the allegations:

  • News International has been cooperating with police for months, the director of corporate affairs at News International Simon Greenberg said in an interview with the BBC’s Today programme:
We are in a fully co-operative mode with the police. We have been for some time, since January, in which we actually voluntarily handed over information that kickstarted the whole investigation into illegal voicemail interception again. We have been in that mode ever since.
  • Greenberg told the Telegraph that a meeting between Rupert Murdoch and 7/7 phone hacking victims, was “certainly something we would consider”.
  • Asked by Channel 4 News if there was any conflict in Rebekah Brooks leading an internal investigation into the allegations despite having been editor of the paper at the time of the alleged hacking, Greenberg said the facts would have to be established before considering an investigation into Brooks herself:
She was the editor at the time and she’s now  leading effectively the clean-up of the whole of the issue regarding illegal voicemail interception and any other issues that may occur… Let’s wait to see what the facts say about the case first.

  • The BBC reports that in a message sent to News International staff this week, Rebekah Brooks said she had contacted the Dowler family to say the organisation would “vigorously pursue the truth”.
  • Brooks’ statement to staff also said:
I have to tell you that I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened. Not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time, but if the accusations are true, the devastating effect on Milly Dowler’s family is unforgivable.
I hope that you all realise it is inconceivable that I knew – or worse – sanctioned these appalling allegations.
  • Rupert Mudoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation which owns the NOTW and News International, said today that despite calls for Brooks to resign, she would continue to lead the organisation.

Read: The Guardian’s updated list of known phone hacking victims >

Read more: Companies begin to pull ads from NOTW >

Read more: Bulmers’s Irish HQ confirms it is pulling ads from NOTW>

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