Britain’s top police chief resigned and the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s U.K. newspaper business was arrested yesterday over a phone-hacking scandal that has rocked pillars of the establishment.
Paul Stephenson, London’s police commissioner, quit in the face of allegations that police officers had accepted money from Murdoch’s News of the World paper and not done enough to investigate phone-hacking charges.
Stephenson said he did not want questions about his leadership to undermine the enormous challenge confronting the police in providing security for the Olympic Games in London next year.
“I had no knowledge of the extent of this disgraceful practice (of phone-hacking) and the repugnant nature of the selection of victims that is now emerging,” Stephenson said in a televised statement.
Stephenson’s resignation and the arrest of Rebekah Brooks, one of Murdoch’s top lieutenants, were the latest twists in a scandal that has tainted police and politicians and shaken the tycoon’s global media empire.
The scandal has shocked the public and raised concerns not only about unethical media practices but about the influence Murdoch has wielded over British leaders and allegations of cozy relationships between some of his journalists and police.
Brooks and Rupert and James Murdoch are due to be questioned in Britain’s parliament tomorrow.
Panel: No offenses at Dow Jones
No illegal activities have taken place at Dow Jones & Co., the News Corp. unit that publishes the Wall Street Journal, according to an independent panel tasked with overseeing the integrity of the newspaper.
The panel said in a statement released on Friday: “[None of the] London offenses or anything like them have taken place at Dow Jones.” reuters