The son of News International boss Rupert Murdoch has recently come under fire as the phone hacking scandal has escalated in recent months.

Rupert Murdoch said “We are all grateful for James’ leadership at News International and across Europe and Asia.”

In his official statement, James Murdoch said “I deeply appreciate the dedication of my many talented colleagues at News International who work tirelessly to inform the public,’

“With the successful launch of the Sun on Sunday and new business practices in place across all titles, News International is now in a strong position.”

“Quite clearly there’s going to be criticism of James Murdoch in the culture and media select committee report, which presumably will be coming out in the not too distant future, and I think essentially he’s been moved out of the firing line.” former News of the World deputy editor Paul Connew told the BBC.

Reactions are flooding in on Twitter – and as you’d expect, the jokers are having a field day – comedy tweeter @Prezzer quipped “Don’t panic everyone. In a few short weeks he’ll be relaunched as James Murdoch on Sunday.”

@OwenJones said “James Murdoch gone. If this was Lord of the Rings, that’s Saruman down. Still Sauron to go”

@TheMediaBlog said “James Murdoch has resigned as Executive Chair of News International, in order to spend less time with his family”

@GeorgeMonbiot, referencing yesterday’s Rebekah Brooks police horse story (see below) said “James Murdoch has now been lent to Rebekah Brooks, having reached the end of his working life.”