London: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is believed to be in talks with former ‘News of the World’ editor Rebekah Brooks for her return as chief of its UK division four years after she had quit amid the phone-hacking scandal, a newspaper reported.
Brooks had quit as chief executive in 2011 at the height of the scandal involving the hacking of phone voice mails by journalists though she was later cleared at the trial last year. Her re-appointment could be confirmed by next month, ‘The Financial Times’ reported.
Evan Harris, joint executive director of campaign group Hacked Off, said the appointment would show News Corp has no regard for the feelings of the victims of phone-hacking. “There’s a gall to just carry on appointing someone who – yes she’s entitled to her verdict of not guilty – but she achieved that with a defence of incompetence; she didn’t know what was happening, and yet she’s coming back. It’s astonishing,” he said.
The FT said a return could be perceived as a “slight triumph” for Brooks, but some former colleagues might not welcome it. Brooks, 47, had said after being acquitted of all charges following a 138-day trial that she felt “vindicated”.
Her former colleague, Andy Coulson, another former ‘News of the World’ editor, was jailed after being convicted of conspiracy to intercept phone voicemails of several people including crime victims and celebrities. The ‘News of the World’ is the subject of a police probe into the phone hacking called Operation Weeting.