10/11/2011 08:23 GMT | Updated 10/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Phone Hacking: Rebekah Brooks Thought Tom Watson Was 'Mad'

Rebekah Brooks had a “pathological” hate for phone hacking MP Tom Waston and thought he was “mad,” it has emerged.

During the grilling of News International boss James Murdoch, Watson revealed he’d been speaking to two former senior executives at News of the World.

One was Neville Thurlbeck, who is implicated as a key player in the phone hacking scandal.

The second, who was unnamed, revealed details of the dislike Brooks had for Watson.

Watson’s anonymous contact said Brooks, the former editor of News of the World, tried to “smear” Watson.

Watson said it was common knowledge that Brooks didn’t like him. She apparently told Tony Blair that Watson was “mad.” She is said to have told the former prime minister: “He’s mad, you’ve got to cool this guy off.”

Murdoch denied any knowledge of the incident.