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News Corp mogul Rupert Murdoch has been recalled by MPs to defend himself over alleged illegal payments to public officials by journalists at his Sun newspaper.

Contrary to the humble contrition he offered two years ago, a secret recording of the media tycoon has emerged in which he lambasts police investigators.

The Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee will ask Murdoch to appear before it to discuss his alleged comments this autumn, a spokeswoman said.

In the 45-minute audio, obtained by the Exaro investigative website and broadcasted by Channel 4 news, Murdoch is heard calling the arrest of his journalists a “disgrace” and defending their alleged unlawful payments to police and other public officials for stories.  

“We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops: that’s been going on a hundred years. You didn’t instigate that,” Murdoch says in the recording taken during a meeting with Sun staff members in March. The 82-year-old goes on to say that the journalists’ methods were entrenched in the “culture of Fleet Street”.

“The idea that the cops then started coming after you, kick you out of bed, and your families, at six in the morning, is unbelievable,” he continues in the audio.

“But why are the police behaving in this way? It’s the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing.”

A source on the select committee told The Guardian that the majority of MPs voted for Murdoch to return to explain his comments and apparent duplicity toward the initial investigation. The committee cannot compel him to appear, however, as he is a US citizen not living in the UK.   

Image via Getty


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Rupert Murdoch recalled by culture, media and sport select committee following taped revelations
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