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Rebekah Brooks resigns from News International

Former News of the World editor says she is sorry and feels “a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt”.

Image: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

REBEKAH BROOKS, former editor of the now-closed News of the World, has resigned from News International.

News International confirmed to TheJournal.ie that Brooks has resigned as chief executive and that the news was relayed first to employees of the corporation in an internal mail this morning.

Brooks had come under increasing pressure to step down as details of the phone-hacking scandal in the News of the World came to the fore in recent weeks. She had been editor there from 2000 to 2003, when she became the first female editor of The Sun. She was editor of the News of the World when the mobile phone of missing girl Milly Dowler was hacked by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire in 2002 to provide news stories to a NOTW journalist.

News International has released the internal memo sent to staff this morning to TheJournal.ie:

At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones. The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.

As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.

I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.

This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.

Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.

Rupert’s wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.

I would like to thank them both for their support.

I have worked here for 22 years and I know it to be part of the finest media company in the world. News International is full of talented, professional and honourable people. I am proud to have been part of the team and lucky to know so many brilliant journalists and media executives.

I leave with the happiest of memories and an abundance of friends.

As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive.

My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance.

I am so grateful for all the messages of support. I have nothing but overwhelming respect for you and our millions of readers.

I wish every one of you all the best.

Earlier this morning, Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of News Corp head Rupert Murdoch, was reported by the Telegraph to have “railed” privately against Brooks. Rupert Murdoch had flown to Britain on Sunday to take charge of the situation engulfing News International and its publications. When asked by reporters what his priority was, he put his arm around Rebekah Brooks and said: “This one”.

James Murdoch’s statement, printed here on The Guardian’s site, thanked Brooks for her service and said she had been “one of the outstanding editors of her generation”. He said that News Corporation would support her “as she takes this step to clear her name”.

The News of the World printed its last edition last Sunday after News Corp announced it had no choice but to close the paper after 168 years in business.

Meet the new CEO of News International… Tom Mockridge>

Timeline: News of the World hacking scandal>

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