James Murdoch to Be Called Back to Parliament
Committee chairman John Whittingdale says the panel will write him next week to ask more questions on the phone hacking scandal at The News of the World.
LONDON -- News Corp. deputy COO James Murdoch is facing further questions from the culture, media and sport committee, a member of Parliament and possibly the British police.
Committee chairman John Whittingdale, who resided over Tuesday’s Parliament grilling of Murdoch and his father Rupert Murdoch, said Friday the panel is to write to James Murdoch next week to ask more questions on the phone-hacking scandal at The News of the World.
Whittingdale told the BBC and other news outlets the move comes on the back of a public challenge to Murdoch's evidence to the committee by two former News of the World senior executives.
Labor MP Tom Watson, one of the chief interrogators on the panel Tuesday, also said he has written to the Metropolitan police in light of the challenge made to Murdoch’s account by Colin Myler, editor of the paper until it was shut down two weeks ago, and Tom Crone, the paper's former head of legal affairs.
James Murdoch told MPs that he was unaware of an email suggesting hacking at the paper was more widespread when he agreed a reported £700,000 ($1.2 million) out-of-court settlement with Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, in 2008.
Thursday night Myler and Crone claimed that Murdoch was "mistaken" and that they had informed him of the email, which had been obtained by Taylor's lawyers.
Murdoch responded on Thursday by saying that he stood by his original evidence.
"I think this is the most significant moment of two years of investigation into phone hacking," Watson told the BBC.
Scotland Yard is reported to have confirmed that it had received Watson's letter, which was "being considered".
Prime Minister David Cameron also said Murdoch had "questions to answer" over the claims and said News International - News Corp's U.K. newspaper publishing arm - needed to clear up the "mess" that had been created on television.
Cameron himself is under fire for links to News International and the level of security clearance given to Andy Coulson, the former News of The World editor who became his director of communications.
"Clearly, James Murdoch has got questions to answer in parliament and I am sure that he will do that. And clearly, News International has got some big issues to deal with and a mess to clear up," Cameron said. "That has to be done by the management of that company. In the end, the management of a company must be an issue for the shareholders of that company."
Whittingdale said Murdoch will be asked to provide additional information regarding allegations that he sanctioned an out-of-court settlement with Gordon Taylor.