Furious News Of The World staff joined the chorus of politicians and commentators calling for the paper’s onetime editor Rebekah Brooks to resign from her post as chief executive at News International.
Many believed they had taken the fall for Brooks who edited the Sunday tabloid at the time murder victim Milly Dowler’s phone was allegedly hacked by a private investigator employed by the newspaper.
Staff were reportedly stunned when at 4.15pm yesterday Brooks, flanked by two security guards, delivered the bombshell that News Of The World would cease to exist after this Sunday’s edition.
One staff member told The Times: “As soon as she said it she left immediately. She didn’t answer questions, she couldn’t get out of there fast enough and she certainly wasn’t crying.”
NoTW editor Colin Myler then address staff looking "watery-eyed and very angry".
The National Union of Journalists reported that sub-editors at sister paper The
Sun newspaper walked out in solidarity with NoTW journalists.
News International chairman James Murdoch gave Brooks his full backing last night.
am satisfied that Rebekah’s leadership of this business and her
standard of ethics and standard of conduct throughout her career are
very good,” he said.He added: “Rebekah and I are absolutely committed
and this company is absolutely committed to doing the right thing.”
Brooks claims to have had no knowledge of the Milly Dowler hacking incident.
It is understood that News International are sticking to the line that Brooks (then known as Rebekah Wade) was on holiday at the time.
Brooks became the youngest editor of a British national newspaper when she took the top job at News Of The World in 2000.
Her three-year editorship was punctuated by controversy. A “name and shame” campaign against paedophiles backfired when a paedetrician was attacked by a mob.