Neville Thurlbeck, News of the World Reporter, James Murdoch And Rebekah Brooks Were Not Shown For Neville Email

Neville Thurlbeck: I Should Have Grown A Spine And Told Brooks About Hacking

Neville Thurlbeck, the former News of the World journalist named in the infamous "For Neville" phone hacking email, has revealed his own version of events on the scandal.

Thurlbeck claims News International boss James Murdoch should have the benefit of the doubt because he wasn't shown evidence he had gathered to prove who was committing the illegal acts.

The remarkable first-person piece for Press Gazette is Thurlbeck's attempt to clear his name - if not in the eyes of the law then among his Fleet Street peers.

It is framed as a Jacobean revenge tragedy and Thurlbeck provides a convincing defence.

In his 2,000 word piece Thurlbeck reveals how he named the actual News International executive who organised phone hacking - but his claims were ignored and shielded from the company's top bosses including James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks.

"I had a warm and trusting relationship with Rebekah over many years. I had been her news editor. She would have opened her door to me. I should have grown a spine and gone over my boss’s head.

Thurlbeck also explains why he decided to speak now - after turning down numerous media requests.

"I have ignored the entreaties of Newsnight, Panorama, the Wall Street Journal and a host of other media outlets too numerous to mention to bring my explanation to you, my fellow journalists, in the Press Gazette

"And if you still think me guilty of the Gordon Taylor hacking in any way, shape or form. And if you believe I was fairly dismissed, please consider this. I have chosen not to take the offer of potential immunity from prosecution. I stake my very liberty on the truth of what I say.

"That makes me a fool or an innocent man. I leave you, my peers and the people who know me best, to decide which that might be."

Was Thurlbeck a fool or an innocent man? Comment below.


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