Tuesday 19 July 2011

Commons media select committee hearing: LIVE!


News Corporation chiefs Rupert and James Murdoch and former executive Rebekah Brooks will be questioned by MPs later about the phone-hacking scandal, and we’ll be here to bring you all the latest developments, completely live!

The Murdochs are due to appear from 2:30, with Rebekah Brooks expected to appear about an hour afterwards, but the build-up has proven riveting, and so we’ll be bringing you snippets from the day as it evolves.

The latest news will appear at the top, so if you want to start at the beginning, you’ll need to go to the end.  Yes, we know how that sounds.

You can send us a Twitter message or leave a comment on our Facebook page and we might even include it.  Maybe.

[Press refresh to see the latest updates]

17:12 – They’re back, but NewsThump has secured an exclusive photo of Rupert Murdoch’s attacker:

16:55 – Spontaneous bukake party in the committee room. It seems Rupert got some in the eye, poor love.

16:32 – Murdoch Jnr outs himself as a Donald Rumsfeld fan, “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Thanks for clearing that up, James.

16:06James Murdoch says the paper continued to pay legal fees for Glenn Mulcaire, even after his conviction, not to buy his silence, but because News International is essentially a altruistic organisation and Mr Mulcaire was “a bit down on his luck”.

15:40 – When asked about advice he received in advance of his appearance, James Murdoch says he was reminded, on several occasions, to “tell the truth”, ensuring the committee recognise that the people around him know him really, really, well.

15:20Rupert Murdoch keen to illustrate to all viewers that he knows the exact definition of a ‘dramatic pause’.  Unfortunately, it appears he’s always on the verge of asking, “Where am I?”

14:47James Murdoch explaining what happened post 2007, with all the enthusiasm you’d expect to hear in an audio book about conducting autopsies.

14:40The Murdochs are on the stage! Woop Woop! Rupert Murdoch says this is “the most humble day of my life”, whilst managing to look as bored as it’s possible for an eighty year-old face to get.

13:32 – Next up before the committee is Dick Fedorcio, the Met’s Director of Public Affairs – he opens with a statement, summarised as “Please don’t make me go to prison, I don’t want to go to prison. Dear God I wouldn’t last five minutes.”

13:20 – The committee is pushing on through lunch time, and Sir Paul is asked, “Would you like a sandwich, Sir Paul?” He replies, “You’d have to ask Mr Yates that.” (c/o @JonnyB)

13:05Sir Paul tells the committee that the Met’s main tactic in catching criminals is asking them “Have you done something untoward?” If they say no, they’re innocent.  The committee express surprise anyone is every found guilty of anything.

12:10 – Warm-up act Sir Paul Stephenson is on the stage, working the audience like a pro.  Gives a “big shout out” the missus at home. Lovely costume, too.

11:15 – Those of you watching on television or online are encourage to play Murdoch weasel-word bingo: get your playing card here http://twitpic.com/5seca3 (c/o @inpressmag)

10:55 – Latest news: Sean Hoare’s death very, very suspicious, insists everyone except the police

10:11 – Security outside the House of Commons have started turning people away from the public gallery if they’re carrying dogshit missiles.  The queue just got a LOT shorter.

09:30Rupert Murdoch has spent the morning rehearsing the best way to say “I know where you live”.  He’s quietly confident that the ‘hushed, lowered forehead’ version is the most sinister.

09:22 – It seems that James Murdoch is trying to call in sick. He’s insisting that a ‘poorly tummy’ is definitely a real medical condition and he should probably stay home today.

09:12Rebekah Brooks is quite relaxed over breakfast.  “Thank God you got rid of that laptop Charlie!” she tells her husband.  There is an awkward, and quite lengthy silence.

09:00 – Committee member West Brom MP Tom Watson is in deep discussion with his aides, as they try to talk him out of opening the session with a joke about Australian criminals.  He seems awfully keen.

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