Rupert Murdoch denies responsibility before hearing descends into farce

The Commons committee hearing into phone hacking descended into farce today as an assailant attacked Rupert Murdoch with shaving foam.

Rupert Murdoch: denies responsiblity
Rupert Murdoch: denies responsiblity
Before the case was ajourned after News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch was attacked by a man with a foam pie, he denied responsibility for activities such as the hacking of Milly Dowler’s mobile phone, blaming his employees instead.

‘Not responsible,’ said Murdoch. When asked who was responsible, he answered: ’The people who I trusted to run the company, and the people they trusted.’

Murdoch also blamed his competitors on the collapse of his BSkyB bid. ‘A lot of people had different agendas in trying to build this position. All our competitors formally announced an agenda to stop us. A mood developed that made it really impractical to go ahead.’

Cutting in, News Corp deputy chief operating officer James Murdoch added that the phone hacking scandal is a matter of ‘huge and sincere regret’ for the organisation.

Rupert Murdoch admitted that the editors on his newspapers ‘certainly will think again’ about how they approach making headlines, although he argued that the UK benefits from having a competitive press, despite it being ‘inconvenient’ to some.

During the hearing, the Murdochs denied that there are any ‘immediate plans’ for a new Sunday newspaper to replace the News of the World, despite rumours of a Sun on Sunday to be launched.

James Murdoch acknowledged that he and his father had received comms advice before entering the committee hearing.

He said: 'We were advised fundamentally to tell the truth and be as open and transparent as possible.'

Last week it was revealed that News Corporation has turned to Edelman for help in advising its newly created management and standards committee, which is investigating the unfolding crisis.

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