James Murdoch is “likely” to be recalled before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee as part of its inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World, Labour MP Tom Watson said today.
Amid continued questions about the extent of Mr Murdoch’s knowledge of the hacking, the Sunday tabloid’s former editor, Colin Myler, and ex-legal manager, Tom Crone, are to be asked to appear in September.
After a meeting of the committee’s MPs this morning, Mr Watson said: “We are trying to find out if Parliament was misled and all of us around the table were determined to do that.
“It starts with Colin Myler and Tom Crone, and it will be likely that we will take (James) Murdoch back.”
He added that further evidence would be published at 1pm today which would contain “devastating revelations” giving the company in general “questions to answer”.
Mr Myler and Mr Crone have contradicted Mr Murdoch's claim that he did not know about an email that indicated more than one reporter at the News of the World knew about hacking.
Committee chairman John Whittingdale said today: “There is the continuing difference in the accounts of James Murdoch and Tom Crone and Colin Myler about whether or not James Murdoch was aware of the so-called ’for Neville’ email.”
Other questions that remained to be answered, Mr Whittingdale said, were about the settlement paid to hacking victim Gordon Taylor and “what influenced that”, the payment of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire’s legal fees and the size of the pay-off for Clive Goodman, the paper’s former royal editor who was convicted of hacking.
Mr Whittingdale said: “What is plain is that we are receiving accounts that are completely different and contradict each other at various points.”
Jonathan Chapman, the former head of corporate and legal affairs at the News of the World's parent company News International, is also to be called before the committee in September, Mr Whittingdale said.
“When we have all that information, obviously, James Murdoch, as the most senior member of News Corp, is there to respond on behalf of the company and I suspect we will want to put those questions to him,” he said.