Hacked Off respond to news of Rebekah Brooks News UK return

Victims of press abuse have expressed outrage and incredulity at the return to head NewsCorp UK of Rebekah Brooks, who was Editor of the News of the World, the Sun and CEO of News International at the height of the phone hacking and police payments scandals and during their cover up.

Joint Executive Director of the Hacked Off Campaign, Dr Evan Harris, commented:

This could only happen in a dynastic company where normal rules of corporate governance simply do not apply.

Mrs Brooks’ successful defence at trial was that she was such an incompetent executive that she was unaware of industrial-scale criminal wrongdoing in intercepting voicemails and bribing public officials, and unaware of the vast conspiracy to cover it up, despite her admitting to destroying millions of emails and putting the company’s reputation before co-operation with the police.  Her failure has so far cost the company £300 million, hundreds of jobs and then there is the £16m pay off she received while scores of her newspapers’ confidential sources have gone to jail.

This is the equivalent of the return to post of ten Fred Goodwins with a Gerald Ratner thrown in for good measure.

Brooks’ reappointment is a major misjudgement of the national mood by a company still ethically out of control. It is no wonder the public don’t believe that the newspaper companies found guilty at Leveson when they say they have changed. It is also why reform of press ownership rules and regulation is inevitable. 


Note: Hacked Off represents victims of phone hacking and press abuse, and campaigns for effective independent press regulation.

Evan Harris is available for interviews.  Please call 07883533052 for media enquiries.


Jacqui Hames, the a former police officer and Crimewatch presenter, whose family was put under surveillance and whose phones was hacked by the News of the World under the editorship of Rebekah Brooks in 2002, said:

“The Leveson Inquiry heard how Rebekah Brooks admitted approving the surveillance our family during the investigation of a murder, with which the News of the World was linked, with the feeble excuse that it was because she suspected I was “having an affair” with the man who was actually my husband. How can a modern British company – with all the obligations to corporate governance – possibly be run by someone who admitted to Parliament that she knew her newspaper had paid police officers for information, and then denied knowing this when put on trial.  It is beyond parody, and not the actions of a company with any willingness to put the past behind them. It’s just business as usual.”

Christopher Jefferies, the Bristol landlord libelled by the Sun, among other newspapers, 5 years ago said:

“The proposed reappointment of Rebekah Brooks, who has never apologised to the victims of her negligent oversight, is yet another sign that we have a press industry that is largely unreformed, unrepentant and unwilling to understand that they have lost the public’s trust”

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

September 2, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Good piece in The Guardian:


In a moment of delicious irony, Murdoch was said to be “furious at the way she was treated by other media covering the hacking scandal”.

Yeah Rupert, isn’t it a bitch the way some people get so unfairly treated by the media? If you feel strongly enough about it, perhaps you should sign up to Hacked Off and support the implementation of the Leveson Recommendations…

Richard Crouchreply
September 3, 2015 at 6:05 am

What unbelievable arrogance on the part of Murdoch. Brooks was found not guilty but nevertheless disgraced by what happened ‘ll her watch’. Even the banks show less contempt for the public than this odious megalomaniac.

Andrew Fordereply
September 3, 2015 at 6:33 am

I agree with Christopher Jefferies comments above

Andy Coxreply
September 3, 2015 at 6:46 am

I cannot believe that Rebekha Brooks who is the luckiest and most incompetent administrator to have come out of the phone hacking scandal with a cleared name.it just shows that Murdock is thumbing his nose at the world .She may have got off this time but s–t sticks and everyone knows what sort of horrible person she really is and she will not be able to stop doing her nasty things to get a story.Next time she may not be able to distroy all the evidence to save herself .

Chris smithreply
September 3, 2015 at 7:15 am

My concern is that most people actually do not care that much. So your statemrnt og being out of touch with the public mood may not be the case.
Getting Cameron jamed in a corner to act would be useful.

David Servantreply
September 3, 2015 at 7:22 am

This cosy little club has caused misery to thousands of people , it wants disbanding.

Judith Pinkosreply
September 3, 2015 at 7:30 am

I find this yet another example of Murdoch and this governments total and utter arrogance and disregard for ordinary people. The fact alone that Brooks was in charge during the time of the outrageous phone hacking scandal, and the protection she was afforded thereafter, is bad enough, but to now reinstate her almost beggars belief. Except we expected it. What an indictment of our press and of our times.
Sorry I can’t be there on the 8 th September. Keep up the campaign.

William Reesreply
September 3, 2015 at 7:59 am

Please pass me the “Bucket” This woman Highlights what is wrong with the UK media. People like her threaten Democracy .

John Dphertyreply
September 3, 2015 at 8:01 am

Murdoch is sticking two fingers up at the British public by appointing that woman who was so incompetent she didn’t know what her reporters were doing Time he took his interfering fingers out of our politics Retire you old a– Take her with you

Ed Powellreply
September 3, 2015 at 8:04 am

News International rewarded Rebekah Brooks for her incompetence (what an interesting legal defence) with a £16 million pay off. Her putative incompetence has now been rewarded once again with her appointment as CEO of NewsCorp UK. There is a manifest arrogance in Rupert Murdoch’s conduct . He was the man who stated that he had been humbled by the illegal acts of his employees during the phone hacking enquiry. His subsequent behaviour would suggest he has an impoverished understanding of humility.

The news of Mrs Brooks appointment is clear evidence that the Murdoch Dynasty thinks it is business as usual and acts as though the past never happened. Along with many others, I have not forgotten the illegal activities of some sections of the Press. And the impact on victims. Murdoch has once again underestimated the nation’s mood when it comes to these matters. The campaign continues until Leveson is implemented fully.

Danny Greenwoodreply
September 3, 2015 at 8:47 am

Rebekah Brooks was clearly at the centre of the phone hacking as an editor and then as CEO in News International. The jury at her trial believed her story of her incompetence, rather than finding her guilty of criminal behavior. She has never publicly apologised for the criminal activity that went on at NI during her time as an editor and as CEO. Her organisations victims including the Dowlers,and the McCanns deserve an apology and I call on her to make a full sincere apology on BBC news and to face journalists questions.

September 3, 2015 at 8:59 am

Leveson was neither stupid or wrong but murdochs tea boy refused to act.
Please do not let this go away!.

Kate Wroereply
September 3, 2015 at 9:01 am

These people have no right to any of the jobs they have been offered in the light of past events. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Phil Arthurreply
September 3, 2015 at 9:21 am

Democracy is about letting the people decide by whom and how they wish to be governed. Those decisions rely on the information the people have available and if that information is distorted, untrue and biased, coming from self-serving, criminal sections of the press then the whole basis for democracy is undermined.
No-one wants the media controlled by government but still less do we want government controlled by sections of the media. We have a right to expect the media to be compelled to adhere to acceptable standards of decency and truthfulness and they will not do this when regulating themselves.

Sean O’Gormanreply
September 3, 2015 at 9:36 am

Has the last vestige of decency passed?

Audrey Kinghamreply
September 3, 2015 at 9:38 am

We are losing sight of the words crime and justice. If crimes are committed on your watch and you have the responsibility does that mean you can be promoted to a top job? We all believed that Leveson was brought on board to ensure that this type of injustice didn’t happen. This reflects badly on the government and proves it doesn’t have teeth. Just a lot of bluster and spending tax payers money without any return on investment for all of us.

Dave Dodgereply
September 3, 2015 at 10:07 am

Same old corrupt press, sailing on a sea of immunity while avoiding the rocks of public accountability. We need to send a gunboat to sink the rotten vessel with all her piratical crew.

Ian T Hincheyreply
September 3, 2015 at 10:24 am

The continual generation of social divisiveness by the tabloid press in support of the Political-Corporatisms presently ruling the political roost, has slowly sickened the voting public to creat an ever increasing desire for a socially responsible politic. As evidenced, for example, by the increased post-election appeal of Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt at a more socially inclusive and cohesive approach. And therein lies the second- line-of-defence against Murdoch Scare-Politic should Hacked Off’s campaign be defeated by financial muscle : Political-Corporatism’s continuing social divisivenesd signing its own death warrant by eventually forcing birth of a Super-Socialism, and which may become unshiftable, unchallengeable, as wealth is seen to be more fairly shared-out.
A prospect guaranteed to scare the hell out of the beneficiaries of Political-Corporatism, and sufficiently to make them chuck in the towel and support Levenson?

mike servicereply
September 3, 2015 at 10:38 am

All those who have failed to initiate the Leveson proposals should hang their heads in shame.

The wrongdoings of so many powerful organisations is shameful and only exceeded by the failures to take effective measures.

Mary Thompsonreply
September 3, 2015 at 10:54 am

This sharade just shows how our so called Legal System is a Farce.
How much did the Levison Enquiry Cost the british public and why have They (The Legal System) Failed to Impliment The Enquiry Findings.
More should be done in Showing Up Our Legal System,
One Law for the Rich,
and Another Law for the Poor.
If the Government are blocking such Implimentation’s then this should also be made known.
If not then the Government should take action to ensure that the Legal Process is in Full Operation of Their Findings with Urgency.
The British Public Deserve True Justice.

Trevor Watkinsreply
September 3, 2015 at 12:26 pm

I rather fear that this is yet another example of a failing that goes far wider than the press. This shows yet again that, despite the multitude of corporate scandals that have been uncovered in British boardrooms over the past decade, the wagons will always be circled and those in power will, in the main, protect their own.

Gerry Shawreply
September 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm

She is a big friend of Cameron, what do you expect.

John Phillipsreply
September 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm

What a surprise, the scum in charge of our print media companies prove once again that they think themselves above us mere mortals and free to carry on as before as long as they make the right sounding superficial gestures towards reform. While Rebecca Brooks’ advancement with her new position after proving either to be grossly incompetent and/or a liar, they are not mutually exclusive after all, makes one wonder what she has on Murdoch. Perhaps we should put one of the News of World’s former hackers on her and Rupert’s case to see what is going on. [/joke, for while it would have a certain poetic justice to it, I’m not cut from the same compassionless ethics free cloth as so many of these people appear to be.]

James Clarkreply
September 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Liars and cheats always succeed and honesty always fails. We used to have a saying at school in the 1950s “cheats never prosper”, since then I’ve realised how the opposite is true.
I do hope she resumes her very very very close association with slime ball Cameron, although Samantha may have put a stop to that, although we’ve not heard much about her lately.
Reduce your carbon footprint, don’t buy a newspaper.

Hilary Nichollsreply
September 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm

What a disgrace – the witch is back, in good time for Halloween.

The Murdoch empire continue to behave like a criminal conspiracy, treating public opinion and the law with utter contempt. I do not understand how Brooks and the others could be acquitted, given the evidence of them disposing of hard drives and other vital evidence on security cameras.

Garry W Gibbsreply
September 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm

News International, it seems to me, is no longer a journalistic organisation.
By re-instating Mrs Brooks and giving away the private sources of journalists employed by them to the police, the company has, in fact, now turned against journalists and journalism itself.
It is now the anti-journalism company as it has broken the sacred rule of never revealing its employees’ sources and private information. It now opens up the prospect of reporters exposing privately what is going on in their own offices in the way that whistle-blowers expose problems within the NHS. It also, crucially, opens up the prospect of gagging clauses in employment contracts for journalists within the company and that antithetical idea of a journalist employed to NOT tell the truth under any circumstances.
Should we consider how public interest and common good can be married together in a healthy journalistic marriage?

Mike Canterreply
September 3, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Clearly our legal system operates in two distinct parallel universes, in one the victims of press abuse continue to be abused and in the other a blind eye is turned to protect the ‘abusers’. Will this ever change?

M Crammondreply
September 3, 2015 at 5:46 pm

It is little wonder that the public has no faith in the so called morals or integrity of the press when they appear to have no scruples by showing that they consider themselves above the law. The name of ‘Gutter press’ is well deserved, and also applies to the low life who work there.

Frank MUGFORDreply
September 3, 2015 at 5:53 pm

It is utterly beyond belief! Murdoch is a scumbag and he has appointed a scumbag, again, to lead his notorious scumbag rag.
Please EVERYBODY, just do not buy the sun or any other products of Murdoch’s companies.
Let us also NOT FORGET that brooks is a pal and neighbour of LOL ‘call me Dave!’, our illustrious but rather dim PM. How on this earth did that bunch of self serving Tories ever get in again?

Richard Coelhoreply
September 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

It is patently obvious that Rupert Murdoch needs to keep Rebekah Brooks somewhere where he can keep a close eye on her and sweet to avoid her spilling the beans on the entire set-up. He’s obviously bought her silence with that extraordinary pay-off and reappointment. He needs to ensure her silence. Her “incompetent” plea was a sham. She knew exactly what was going on. For one thing, no one is ever likely to believe that pillow talk between Andy Coulson and Rebekah would not have touched upon any of the hacking that was going on. The whole thing reads like something out of the mafia story.

brian blestowereply
September 3, 2015 at 6:53 pm

It does not surprise me, the rich and powerful in this country have once again shown that our legal system is arranged, as it always was, in favour of them. If you have enough money to hire for a long enough time clever legal representatives , to bore and confuse the jury you will get away with it, as all those Murdock people have.

I do what I can by not partaking in any of the Murdock products, not difficult when you look at the rubbish they produce.

The younger generation will also need to fight the destruction of the BBC as many of the Tories are planning, it will not effect me much as I am too old.

Patricia Lawlorreply
September 3, 2015 at 7:20 pm

If anything this story highlights the need for full implementation of Leveson’s recommendations. Utter contempt for the public and total control of the government and what we read. If anyone performed this badly in any other industry they would have been sacked years ago!

Talia Bellreply
September 11, 2015 at 10:12 am

I am so angry about this. Anyone responsible for their employees’ actions is held responsible. Not RB. She got away with everything (earning millions in the process) because she’s friends with, and has power over, politicians etc.

You have to be completely stupid to believe she didn’t know what was going on (and she probably did the same thing herself when she was a journalist).

Murdoch runs this country with RB as deputy.

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