Murdoch admits: there was a "cover-up"

News Corp head admits News of the World disguised phone-hacking.

An increasingly foul-tempered Rupert Murdoch has made several revelations during his testimony to the Leveson inquiry. But one, more than any other, stands out: his admission, for the first time, that the News of the World did "cover-up" phone hacking.

Here's that quote in full:

I do blame one or two people for that who perhaps I shouldn't name for all I know they may be arrested. There is no question in my mind maybe even the editor, but certainly beyond that someone, took charge of a cover-up which we were victim to and I regret.

Pressed by Robert Jay, QC, to say from where the “culture of cover-up” emanated, Murdoch answered: "the person I'm thinking of was a friend of the journalists, a drinking pal and a clever lawyer.

“And this person forbade people to go and report to Mrs Brooks or to James. That is not to excuse it on our behalf at all. I take it extremely seriously that that situation had arisen.”

News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch, his wife Wendi Deng and son Lachlan leave their London home earlier today. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.