Hacked Off criticises Rebekah Brooks' 'News International return'


Media reform campaigners have slammed former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks' reported return to the newspaper publisher's top job.

Reports of Ms Brooks' homecoming a year after she was cleared of all charges in the phone hacking trial was met with "incredulity" by the Hacked Off campaign.

The news came as it emerged that top executives at Rupert Murdoch's company could face corporate criminal charges over phone hacking.

Evan Harris, joint executive director of Hacked Off, said: "This could only happen in a dynastic company where normal rules of corporate governance simply do not apply.

"Mrs Brooks' successful defence at trial was that she was such an incompetent executive that she was unaware of industrial-scale criminal wrongdoing in intercepting voicemails and bribing public officials, and unaware of the vast conspiracy to cover it up, despite her admitting to destroying millions of emails and putting the company's reputation before co-operation with the police.

"Her failure has cost the company £300 million and then there is the £16 million pay-off she received while scores of her newspapers' sources have gone to jail."