Rebekah Brooks' Bell Pottinger spokesman takes proactive comms stance

Rebekah Brooks' PR representative Bell Pottinger is taking a proactive stance by pre-empting the Crown Prosecution Services' announcement and dubbing the decision 'unjust'.

Rebekah Brooks: has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
Rebekah Brooks: has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice

Former News International chief executive Brooks has been charged with three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, in relation to the News of the World phone hacking inquiry.

Brooks' official spokesman, Bell Pottinger Public Relations chairman David Wilson, told PRWeek that the move to issue a statement before the CPS held its press conference to detail the charges was ‘completely intentional’. Wilson confirmed that a further statement is planned.

The comms strategy also includes attacking the CPS for its handling of the case using language such as ‘weak’ and ‘unjust’.

The full statement read: ‘We deplore this weak and unjust decision. After the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS we will respond later today after our return from the police station.’

Brooks was arrested along with her husband on 13 March this year by Scotland Yard officers on suspicion of perverting the course of justice as part of the ongoing investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.

As well as Brooks' charges, her husband has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Wilson was hired by Rebekah Brooks' lawyers following her resignation as News International chief executive and subsequent arrest in July last year.

UPDATE

Rebekah and Charlie Brooks have released further statements:

Charlie Brooks said: 'I feel today is an attempt to use me and others as scapegoats, the effect of which is to ratchet up the pressure on my wife, who I believe is the subject of a witch hunt.

'There are 172 police officers, about the equivalent of 8 murder squads, working on this; so it doesn’t surprise me that the pressure is on to prosecute, no matter how weak the cases will be.

'I am confident that the lack of evidence against me will be borne out in court, but I have grave doubts that my wife will ever get a fair trial, given the volume of biased commentary which she has been subject to.

'We look forward to fighting this in court.'

Rebekah Brooks said: 'Whilst I have always respected the criminal justice system, you have to question whether this decision has been made on a proper impartial assessment of the evidence.

'Although I understand the need for a thorough investigation, I am baffled by the decision to charge me. However I cannot express my anger enough that those close to me have unfairly been dragged into this.

'As the details of the case emerge people will see today as an expensive sideshow, and a waste of public money as a result of this weak and unjust decision.'

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