James Murdoch is facing the Commons Culture Committee for a second time, as MPs investigate whether the News International chief misled parliament in evidence he gave to them in July in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
The 38-year-old insisted again that he was never shown a transcript of the so-called “for Neville” email which suggested that phone hacking at the News of the World went beyond a single rogue reporter.
Both James Murdoch and his father, Rupert, appeared before MPs four months ago shortly after the revelation that murdered teenager Milly Dowler had her voicemails intercepted by investigators on behalf of the News of the World.
At the time the paper had just been closed, and James Murdoch told MPs that he'd known nothing about phone hacking by the people working for him. Since then MPs have heard and seen a variety of evidence suggesting otherwise.
Police believe more than 5,700 people may have had their phones hacked over several years. The hacking normally involved using a default PIN code supplied by mobile phone networks to access voicemails. In the case of Milly Dowler, it's alleged that someone working for the News of the World deleted messages from her voicemail in the period between her disappearing and her body being found. The activity on her voicemail gave police and relatives false hope that the teenager was still alive.
Since the scandal broke several inquiries have been launched. The public inquiry, led by Lord Justice Leveson, will look at all aspects of the phone hacking saga, plus the wider context of the conduct of the media. Police in London also have their own investigation into phone hacking, plus another inquiry into alleged payments to police officers from journalists in exchange for information.
That's in addition to the Commons Culture Committee's own investigations.
Security at Westminster on Thursday morning was tight, in the wake of the embarrassing episode in July when Rupert Murdoch was attacked by a protester with a shaving foam pie.
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