Rupert Murdoch In Britain To Tackle Crisis At The Sun

Rupert Murdoch

PA/The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 16/02/2012 22:08 Updated: 16/02/2012 22:08

Rupert Murdoch arrived in the UK tonight to take charge of the latest crisis involving one of his titles.

Mr Murdoch, who touched down in a private plane at Luton Airport, is expected to speak to staff at the Wapping headquarters of his British newspapers tomorrow.

Ten current and former senior reporters and executives at The Sun have been arrested since November over alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

There is anger at the paper that News Corporation's Management Standards Committee (MSC) - formed to clean up the company following the phone hacking scandal - gave police the information that led to the arrests.

Tom Mockridge, chief executive of News International, the UK newspapers division of News Corp, told staff at the weekend that Mr Murdoch has personally told him of his "total commitment to continue to own and publish" The Sun.


Rupert Murdoch leaves Luton Airport after arriving in a private plane


Mr Murdoch is expected to offer further reassurances in a direct address to employees during his visit to the paper's offices in Wapping.

Five Sun journalists - including the deputy editor, picture editor and chief reporter - were held for questioning by Scotland Yard officers on Saturday on suspicion of making improper payments to police and other public officials. They have all been bailed.

The latest arrests provoked criticism that the Metropolitan Police were being heavy-handed and that the MSC had identified some journalists' confidential sources to detectives.

Trevor Kavanagh, associate editor of The Sun, which is Britain's top-selling paper, said on Monday: "There is unease about the way some of the best journalists in Fleet Street have ended up being arrested on evidence which the MSC has handed to the police."

It came after NUJ head Michelle Stanistreet launched a campaign to get News International journalists back in the union via the News of the World's former chief reporter's blog.

Stanistreet also confirmed that the NUJ is working with top human rights lawyers Geoffrey Robertson and John Hendy to help protect News International staff from revealing their sources.

The investigation into The Sun has disclosed evidence suggesting that tens of thousands of pounds a year were paid to public officials for information, a source told Reuters.

The News of the World, The Sun's sister paper, was closed last July after the revelation that it hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler following her disappearance in 2002.

FOLLOW HUFFPOST UK