'Murdoch gave Rebekah Brooks £1.7mn pay-off'



`Murdoch gave Rebekah Brooks £1.7mn pay-off` London: Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor who quit as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, received 1.7 million pounds and other benefits as part of her severance package from the group.

Brooks was among the people who were arrested and bailed for their alleged involvement in the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of Britain's mass selling tabloid.

The Observer reported today that as per records at Companies House, Brooks resigned from 23 directorships related to Murdoch's News International.

It added that besides a generous payoff and continued use of her company limousine and driver for two years, Brooks, 43, has been given an office for the same period of time in an affluent central London area.

The decision to give Brooks an office is likely to be raised on Thursday when James Murdoch, chairman of News International, will appear before the Culture, media and Sport Select Committee.

Tom Watson, the Labour MP who has been in the forefront of highlighting the phone-hacking scandal, said: "It is remarkably curious that such an generous package is given to Ms Brooks when others have been cut loose. It is almost as if she hasn't really left the company. I am sure Mr Murdoch will want to explain the decision to his shareholders."

Flame-haired Brooks was arrested by police investigating the scandal but was not charged.

PTI