After days of rumours and speculation, News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has resigned.
In a letter to staff, Brooks said the furore over phone hacking and criticisms levelled at her decision to remain at the newspaper company were "detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past".
At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.
Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.
Rupert's wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.
I would like to thank them both for their support.
In the letter she said she would still be attending the culture, media and sport select committee hearing next Tuesday.
Politicians and campaigners called for Brooks, 43, to resign after allegations emerged that News of The World hacked into murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone while she was editor at the Sunday paper.
It has also emerged that Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp, will meet the Dowler family face-to-face in central London on Friday.
Tom Mockridge, who is currently chief executive at Sky Italia, has been named as News International's new chief executive.
James Murdoch praised Brooks in a statement released on Friday, saying:
"She has been one of the outstanding editors of her generation and she can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive"
Brooks' resignation came after the FBI announced an inquiry into allegation that victims of the 9/11 attacks had their phones hacked by reporters at News of The World.
The developments provide the latest twists to the phone hacking scandal, which in the last week has seen The News of The World publish its last edition, News Corp pull out of its £8.7bn bid for BSkyB, the government launch a judge-led inquiry into the claims and numerous arrests of former newspaper executives.
|@ paulwaugh : No.10 sources say meeting btw Cam n Coulson at Chequers was "to thank him for the work he had done for us"|
|@ nicholaswatt : Ivan Lewis on Coulson visit to Chequers in March: This is yet more evidence of an extraordinary lack of judgment by David Cameron #notw|
"We need full disclosure of all connections, relationships and meetings between the Metropolitan Police and News International, right now. It isn't enough to defer these issues to the judge-led inquiry, as the Mayor and Home Secretary seem content to do."
|@ christopherhope : EXCLUSIVE: Andy Coulson was a guest at Chequers in April, Downing Street to reveal today. That's three months after he quit. Developing.|
|@ SkyNewsBreak : Sky sources: Rupert Murdoch to say tomorrow "we are sorry for the wrongdoing that occurred"|
|@ nicholaswatt : David Cameron releasing details of meetings with all media proprietors and editors since he became Tory leader #notw|
Rebekah Brooks has resigned, and the question everyone wants to know is who will play her in the hypothetical film of the phone hacking saga.
POLITICAL PUNTERS believe the current News International crisis could yet cause problems for David Cameron, who has been backed from 14/1 to 6/1 with William Hill to no longer be Conservative leader when the next General Election takes place. ‘We have seen a consistent stream of bets for Cameron to go before the Election since this crisis began, when he was a 100/1 chance to do so, but we have now had to shorten the price to single figures. It appears that punters believe there could be further revelations to come, which may not play well for the Tory leader’ said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.
|@ Jon_Reed : The picture of Rebecca Brooks leaving News International for the last time is actually rather touching http://bit.ly/r8UAxB|
They signed the following motion:
That this House insists that the terms of reference of the Leveson inquiry must be extended to the whole media, including sound, visual and social media and include blagging and other unethical or illegal practices and not confined to "phone hacking".
|@ afneil : From what I hear I suspect the Met Police in for a rough Sunday from several papers. #hacking|
"The right strategy is still to get right to the bottom of it... I think they've made very major strategic errors the whole way through."
Not in terms of lawbreaking, but how pernicious they are, he says. On Brooks he says: "I think it's always unpleasant when somebody gets themselves at the centre of a frenzy and then doesn't have control of it".
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke Friday for the first time about the News Corp. phone hacking scandal, saying that his office is responding to calls from members of Congress for an investigation into whether 9/11 victims’ phones were hacked.
He told Sky: "I think the very surprising thing and really the rather hurtful thing was that when Rupert Murdoch arrived in this country a week ago he said that his first priority was Rebekah Brooks, I don’t think , given the views and prospects of journalists working for the News of the World, that was the right thing to do and I don’t think given the mood of the country that was the right thing to do. "
It seems that the Government is holding back piles of potentially embarrassing reports for publication just as the select committee get under way.
In our survey 72.5% thought that Rupert Murdoch has "too much influence in British Politics" vs 8.5% that thought he does not and 7.9% that thought his influence "appropriate", while 11% "don't know"
And Ed Miliband is polling well.
Over the whole affair, 35.3% feel that the Prime Minister has handled the matter adequately or well. As regards the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg, 46.1% believe he has handled the matter either adequately or well. For Ed Miliband 66.1% feel that the Leader of the Opposition has handled the matter adequately or well.
search the hashtage #hackgatethemovie
Sideshow Bob to play Rebekah Brooks, is one suggestion.
He says Rupert Murdoch still "doesn't get it".
"Even Rupert Murdoch himself. because if he didn't know what was going on... If he had been lied to previously he surely would have come over and fired, sacked, all the people who were lying to him. "
He says: "News International's Axis of Evil falling like a house of cards, and SO much more to come...When the Johnathan Rees files on computer hacking are out there things may well get even uglier."
|@ oakeshottm : Brooks gone today,Stephenson soon? Now there's a big black question mark over his future.Policemen must catch criminals,not lunch them.|
Talking about his time in Fleet Street, the expertise of the Lords, and the time he tried to court Kelvin McKenzie
"This is the right thing for Rebecca Brooks to have done. It is an important first step in cleaning up this mess."