James Murdoch has written to MPs claiming that Rebekah Brooks reached a settlement with Max Clifford in 2010 over his phone hacking-claims against the News of the World without seeking authorisation with him or discussing its terms.
Further detail is provided by Linklaters, lawyers to News Corporation’s in house management and standards committee, which said there was no written agreement for the Clifford settlement, in a separate letter to the committee.
The News of the World’s former chief reporter has provided written evidence to MPs accusing executives on the paper of “withholding information” about the extent of phone-hacking at the title from a parliamentary committee and other senior News International managers including James Murdoch.
Neville Thurlbeck claimed Colin Myler, the former News of the World editor, and Tom Crone, the former head of legal at the newspaper, had left him “to dangle as a suspect for the next two years” after he first told them in July 2009 that he had “final proof” that phone-hacking at the paper went beyond a single “rogue reporter”.
Andy Coulson has taken News of the World publisher News Group Newspapers to the high court in an attempt to force the company to continue paying his legal fees relating to the phone-hacking affair.
Coulson is suing News International subsidiary News Group Newspapers over the construction of a clause within the severance agreement entered into when he resigned as News of the World in January 2007.
His counsel, James Laddie, told Mr Justice Supperstone at the high court in London on Wednesday that Coulson’s contract included an agreement to pay the cost of any “regulatory, administrative, judicial or quasi-judicial” legal action he might face.
The private investigator Glenn Mulcaire is understood to have been arrested in connection with voicemail interception and perverting the course of justice.