'Murdoch Pie Thrower' Charged With Public Order Offence

Jonnie Marbles

First Posted: 20/07/11 11:42 Updated: 19/09/11 11:12   PA

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- The protester accused of throwing a paper plate of shaving foam at Rupert Murdoch as he gave evidence to MPs has been charged with a public order offence.

Jonathan May-Bowles, 26, of Edinburgh Gardens, Windsor, was bailed to appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court next Friday, July 29.

He is charged with behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress in a public place under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, said Scotland Yard.

May-Bowles, who goes by the name Jonnie Marbles, was on Tuesday night suspended from the Labour Party.

The incident happened as Mr Murdoch addressed the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Mr Murdoch and his son James, who leapt to his father's defence along with Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi, had been nearing the end of the session when the incident happened.

The hearing was adjourned for about 10 minutes before the Murdochs returned to their seats - with Rupert Murdoch noticably minus his suit jacket after it was apparently left covered in the foam.

During the hearing, Rupert Murdoch had told that MPs responsibility for the phone-hacking "fiasco" does not rest with him. Asked by Jim Sheridan MP who the blame lies with, the News Corp boss responded: "The people that I trusted and then, maybe, the people they trusted."

Then asked by Tory MP Louise Mensch whether he would resign, Mr Murdoch Snr replied: "No, because I feel that the people I trusted, I don't know at what level, let me down and I think they behaved disgracefully, betrayed the company and me and it's for them to pay. I think that frankly I'm the best person to clear this up."

In his evidence, James Murdoch admitted News International made payments to phone hackers Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire after they were convicted of the crime. Goodman, former royal editor at the News of the World, and private investigator Mulcaire, were both jailed in 2007 over royal phone taps.

Mr Murdoch insisted he had been "very surprised" to find that payments had been made towards the legal fees of the pair, but was told it was "customary" and admitted the payments could even be continuing.

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Filed by Olivia Williams  |