London: James Murdoch has refused to rule out the possibility of closing down Britain’s best selling tabloid, The Sun, if the phone hacking scandal spreads to it.
The News International chairman made the comment as he faced a day of questioning from British MPs over previous evidence that he gave to Parliament about the hacking scandal. At one point he was compared to a mafia boss by an MP, The Telegraph reports.
Murdoch denied misleading the committee when he told them in July this year that he was unaware of the now infamous ‘for Neville’ email, which implicated other reporters at the News of the World in hacking.
However, he admitted to have had been told about an email that made it clear the company should settle a case with Gordon Taylor, the head of the Professional Footballers’ Association.
Murdoch said he was not told that the email was title ‘For Neville’ or that the email contained evidence that other journalists at the paper were involved in hacking.
On being asked about the conduct of other newspapers in the News International stable, Murdoch refused to rule out closing The Sun.
Steve Rotheram MP claimed that The Sun is mentioned in the notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective jailed for phone hacking in 2007.
The MP asked Murdoch: “If this particular publication is implicated in phone hacking and it is revealed that The Sun does appear in the Mulcaire file, will you close that paper like you did with the News of the World.”
Murdoch said he did not want to pre judge the outcome of any investigation before adding: “I do not think we can rule or I should not rule any corporate reaction to behaviour of wrongdoing out. That will be a decision taken at the time given whatever is out there.”
Earlier this week, Sun reporter Jamie Pyatt was arrested in the police investigation into alleged payments from journalists to police officers.