Expanding Murdoch scandal claims second Scotland Yard officer
Two senior Scotland Yard officers have now resigned over a scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tied to bribing police and illegally hacking into cellphone messages.
Britain’s phone-hacking scandal stayed in overdrive Monday following the arrest of Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the World (NotW) and the resignation of Britain’s top police official, Sir Paul Stephenson, who left amid allegations he employed expensive News Corporation operatives to advise Scotland Yard.Skip to next paragraph
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A scandal that began at a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch has seeped into and around 10 Downing Street and now appears to be unsettling the London police department. London police commissioner John Yates, who was in charge of a 2006 investigation into illegal telephone intercepts by NotW, also resigned today.
Prime Minister David Cameron today said he is cutting short his visit to Africa and will extend parliamentary sessions to accommodate the crisis. Mr. Cameron's political future has been clouded by the scandal, since he employed since-arrested former NotW deputy editor Andy Coulson.
Just two weeks ago, on July 2, a glittering array of media and political figures were fêted in a sumptuous News Corp. bash held at Cotswald Mansion, the home of Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth. That now seems like another era. Outcry over the hacked phones of 3,870 ordinary Brits, including the erased messages of a murdered 13-year-old girl, Millie Dowler, has hit London’s power elite. The News of the World has been shuttered, and Mr. Murdoch’s planned $12 billion purchase of full control of satellite TV station BSkyB has been blocked. News Corp. has lost approximately $7 billion in value since June 1. Last Friday is being termed “Black Friday” for News Corp. here as both Brooks and a top US executive, Les Hinton, left the firm.
Moreover, the Murdoch empire in Britain, known and feared as kingmakers and opinion-shapers, faces unprecedented revulsion and opposition.