Rupert Murdoch, Son James, Brooks Summoned Before U.K. Lawmakers

Tuesday, 12 Jul 2011 10:13 AM

News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch and his son James as well as News International Chief Executive Officer Rebekah Brooks were summoned to appear before U.K. lawmakers to answer questions about the company paying police for stories.

The Murdochs and Brooks will be asked to attend the Culture, Media and Sport Committee to speak about prior evidence given to the committee, where executives had said News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper unit News International had paid police.

“We have been made aware of the request from the CMS Committee to interview senior executives and will cooperate,” News International said in an e-mailed statement. “We await the formal invitation.”

The summons follows accusations that News Corp. staff hacked into the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and terror victims and paid police for stories. That prompted Murdoch to close the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid on which his U.K. media empire was founded. Politicians from all parties have called for his planned purchase of pay-TV broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc to be scrapped.

The inquiry will focus on previous evidence given to the committee, lawmaker and committee member Louise Mensch said in a post on her Twitter Inc. account today. At a previous hearing Brooks said London-based News International had paid police for stories.

The opposition Labour Party will call on News Corp. to withdraw its bid for BSkyB during a debate in the British Parliament tomorrow. “Our motion for key House of Commons debate tomorrow: Rupert Murdoch - withdraw BSkyB bid,” Labour leader Ed Miliband said on his Twitter site today.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown today accused Murdoch’s newspapers of using criminals to get stories about him while he was in office.

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