Two former News International executives have questioned the testimony James Murdoch gave at the home affairs select committee meeting on Tuesday.
The two former staff said they gave him evidence three years ago that suggested phone hacking was more widely practised.
Murdoch said on Tuesday that he paid £725,000 to settle a court case made by hacking victim and soccer union leader Gordon Taylor in 2008. But he insisted he wasn’t aware there was evidence to suggest that there was more than “a lone rogue reporter” responsible for the phone hacking.
The former executives – former News of the World editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone – made a statement that said Murdoch was “mistaken”.
The pair said they had shown Murdoch, who is in charge of News Corporation’s European and Asian operations, an email marked “for Neville” (referring to News of the World’s chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck) that contained a transcript of a hacked answerphone message. This was used as evidence in Taylor’s case.
Myler and Crone made a statement yesterday saying: “Just by was of clarification relating to Tuesday’s CMS Select Committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch’s recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken.
“In fact, we did inform him of the “for Neville” email, which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor’s lawyers.”
The committee chairman and Conservative MP John Whittingdale said the committee would not reconvene on the matter, but Murdoch had been asked to write to the committee to clarify his evidence on the matter.