Earlier today, the Culture Media and Sport select committee published a mine of new correspondence between the committee and key players in the phone hacking scandal. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
- Clive Goodman wrote to News International after he was sacked for phone hacking, to make a claim for unfair dismissal. In the letter, he states that Andy Coulson was aware of the practice of phone hacking, and that it was regularly discussed in editorial meetings until “explicit reference of it was banned by the Editor.”
- The version of Goodman’s letter provided to the committee by News International had redacted all references to hacking being discussed in editorial meetings.
- According to James Murdoch, Clive Goodman was paid £243,502.08 in settlement of his unfair dismissal claim. Also, approximately £246,000 was paid to Glenn Mulcaire’s lawyers to cover his legal fees.
- The Editor and Managing Editor of the News of the World could authorise payments of up to £50,000. Deputy Editors could authorise £10,000 and Desk Heads, £2000.
- 54 staff have been disciplined under News International’s Corporate Code of Conduct since 2000, including 3 this year.
- While NI have records stating Rebekah Brooks was on holiday at the time the Millie Dowler story which had been sourced through phone hacking broke, James Murdoch says they do not have records showing who deputised for her, or who the on duty lawyer was.
- Mark Lewis, Gordon Taylor’s lawyer, says he was told by a lawyer representing News International that he was “negotiating with Murdoch.” Lewis says “I did not know whether he meant Rupert Murdoch or James Murdoch at that time, but it seems likely that the reference was to James.”
- The 2007 email review carried out by Harbottle & Lewis, far from being a full, unrestrained investigation, was restricted to five email subfolders – and only to look for evidence regarding Clive Goodman. The “limited” selection of documents were examined over a period of two weeks, by junior employees.
- When James Murdoch the legal firm had been brought in to find out “what the hell was going on”, he may have been, say Harbottle & Lewis, “confused or misinformed.”
- News International’s former Director of Legal affairs Jonathan Chapman told the committee the 2007 Harbottle & Lewis email review could not be characterised as the “wider internal investigation” it had been made out to be at the committee hearing. He said the attempt to do so could be said to be “a diversion.”
Have we missed anything? If you’ve found something juicy in the documents that we haven’t listed, let us know.