Hacking select committee amendments
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NumberOrig. line/para of reportNew par numberAmmendmentAmendment makes report more or less critical of Murdochs or News InternationalProposerAgreed?John Whittingdale (Chair)Dr Thérèse CoffeyDamian CollinsPhilip DaviesPaul FarrellyLouise MenschSteve RotheramAdrian SandersJim SheridanGerry SutcliffeTom WatsonParty split on losing sideYes votes
111Amendment proposed, in line 11, to leave out from “Gordon Taylor case” to the end of the paragraph and add “but nothing definitive can be concluded from this. It can support, indeed, a number of interpretations: that James Murdoch was not fully informed about the extent of wrongdoing; that both Neville Thurlbeck and Colin Myler were wrong about the hard line that James Murdoch might have taken; or that he was informed, but his priorities lay elsewhere and he left Colin Myler to deal with the issue as the new editor of the newspaper.”—(Mr Paul Farrelly)NeitherPaul FarrellyYes00010111114 con6
2155Amendment proposed, to leave out paragraph 155 and insert the paragraphs including: “Tom Crone has given conflicting accounts as to whether he showed James Murdoch the ‘for Neville’ email, while James Murdoch has been consistent in insisting that he did not see a copy of the document until he saw the redacted version published in the Committee’s 2010 Report on Press standards, privacy and libel. Whilst this may seem surprising in itself—as the e-mail had been widely published during the summer of 2009—it is possible that he did not see a copy at the time the Gordon Taylor settlement was agreed. Given the conflicting accounts, however—and the reliability of evidence we have been given previously by witnesses from News International— the reality is that we cannot come to a definitive conclusion, one way or the other.
“Surprising as it may seem that James Murdoch did not ask to see this crucial piece of evidence, nor the independent Counsel’s opinion, his lack of curiosity—wilful ignorance even— subsequently is more astonishing. This stretched from July, 2009—when the ‘for Neville e-mail’ first became public—through the Committee’s critical report in February 2010 and further allegations in the New York Times in September 2010, to as far out as December 2010, when disclosures in the Sienna Miller case finally led him to realise, according to his own account, that the ‘one rogue reporter’ defence was untenable.” (Paul Farrelly)
MorePaul FarrellyYes00010111114 con6
3156161Amendment proposed, to leave out from “Committee.” to end of the paragraph and insert “They clearly did not tell truth to us then. Though their evidence has been demonstrably unreliable in other respects, however, it does not necessarily follow that they are not telling the truth with respect to James Murdoch and the ‘for Neville’ e-mail and Silverleaf opinion. We simply cannot adjudicate with confidence either way and suspect, as with so much to do with the phone-hacking saga, that more light will be shone on this as more documents and evidence emerge in the future. We may well revisit our conclusions in this Report if more information, currently subject to criminal proceedings or to legal privilege which has not been waived, is disclosed.”—(Mr Paul Farrelly)MorePaul FarrellyYes00010111114 Con6
4157162Amendment proposed, to leave out from “astonished” to end of the paragraph and insert “surprised that James Murdoch did not seek more information or ask to see the evidence and counsel's opinion when he was briefed by Tom Crone and Colin Myler on the Gordon Taylor case. Even for a large company, £700,000 is a not inconsequential sum of money and we don't believe that the Chief Executive should authorise its payment on the basis of such scant information. This is where James Murdoch, 'fell short' as he himself acknowledged in his letter to the committee of the 12th March 2012 and as stated in the same correspondence must take his 'share of responsibility' for the failure of News Corporation to expose and take action against wrong doing sooner. We have seen no conclusive evidence that James Murdoch saw the 'for Neville' email or that he understood its wider significance."—(Damian Collins)LessDamian CollinsNo1110100004 Con4
5157162Amendment proposed, leave out from second “information.” to end of the paragraph and insert “If he did, indeed, not ask to see either document, particularly the counsel’s opinion, this clearly raises questions of competence on the part of News International’s then Chairman and Chief Executive."—(Mr Paul Farrelly)MorePaul FarrellyYes0110111112 Con7
6163A paragraph—(Mr Paul Farrelly)—brought up and read, as follows:
There is, however, a bigger picture—and longer timeframe—that is relevant beyond the Gordon Taylor settlement. Not specifically being shown evidence, nor asking to see it, nor discussing explicitly its ramifications is not the same as not being aware. From the conflicting accounts, and despite our surprise, we cannot say whether in 2008 James Murdoch was aware of the significance of the Taylor case, or of the importance attached by his executives to it being settled in confidence. We have been told that notwithstanding our 2010 Report, the further media investigations including the New York Times, the settlement with Max Clifford and further civil cases by non-royal victims, it was as late as December 2010 that James Murdoch – and Rupert Murdoch – realised that the ‘one rogue reporter’ line was untrue. This, we consider, to be simply astonishing.
Question put, that the paragraph be read a second time.
MorePaul FarrellyYes01111111111 Con9
7171177Motion made, to leave out paragraph 171 and insert the following new paragraphs:
“An email exchange took place on 7 June 2008 between Colin Myler and James Murdoch, in which Mr. Myler asked for the meeting on 10 June. Within that email string, an email from Julian Pike to Tom Crone, dated 6 June 2008, and one from Tom Crone to Colin Myler, dated 7 June, were forwarded to Mr. Murdoch.
In his letter of 12 March, Mr. Murdoch asserts that he only noticed the request for a meeting and did not read the full string, because it arrived on 7 June, a Saturday, when he was alone with his two small children. He states his response "sent from my BlackBerry just over two minutes after he had sent his email, confirmed that I was available on 10 June 2008 for a meeting and said that I was home that evening if he wished to call before then. I have no... recollection of his calling that weekend."
The contents of the email string are ambiguous. Colin Myler states "unfortunately it is as bad as we feared" and Tom Crone speaks of a "nightmare scenario". This could be interpreted as a warning of widespread phone hacking at the News of the World. Mr Murdoch's letter to the Committee asserts that the email related specifically to the settlement and "unfortunately it is as bad as we feared" relates to the amount of money needed to settle the case, while Mr Crone's "nightmare scenario" refers to a potential additional claim by Joanne Armstrong, an associate of Mr Taylor's. There is no conclusive evidence one way or another as to what these phrases meant, or if it would therefore have made any difference had Mr Murdoch read the entire string. There is no suggestion, nor, indeed, evidence that Colin Myler took Mr Murdoch up on his offer to call him that evening to discuss the email string, before the meeting Mr Myler had requested for the 10 June.”—(Louise Mensch and Dr Thérèse Coffey)
LessLouise Mensch and Dr Thérèse CoffeyNo10101000003 Con3
8171177Amendment proposed, to leave out sentence beginning “There is”.—(Mr Paul Farrelly)MorePaul FarrellyYes00010111114 Con6
9177183Motion made, to leave out paragraph 177, and insert new paragraphs INCLUDING From the civil claims to date, it is clear that phone-hacking at the News of the World started as far back as 2001. Given the confidentiality of disclosures in the civil cases and the wishes of Mr Justice Vos not to reveal names before possible criminal proceedings, we only set out certain of the facts which are on the public record, as we have gathered them, in order to bring this Report up to date. The Metropolitan Police are currently investigating and we also do not wish to run the risk of prejudicing any future trials by going beyond what is already publicly availableMorePaul FarrellyYes0001011114 Con5
10183206Amendment proposed, to leave out the first sentenceLessDr Thérèse CoffeyYes111111111110
11183206Another amendment proposed, to leave out from "However" to end of paragraph and insert:
“However much senior executives of the parent company were used to delegating to managers in their national territories, it is regrettable that they did not seek greater involvement where reputational matters were concerned. Yet we have been told this is precisely what happened. James Murdoch authorised the Gordon Taylor settlement on the basis of a single meeting that lasted between 15 and 30 minutes, relying completely on the assurances of his editor and the company's longstanding legal director.”
LessLouise Mensch and Dr Thérèse CoffeyNo11001000003 Con3
12183206Another amendment proposed, after "happened" to insert “We were told that the level of financial delegation did not require the payout of that size to be referred to the board of News Corp. This might explain why”LessDr Thérèse CoffeyNo1001000002 Con2
13184207Amendment proposed, to leave out “such executive carelessness” and insert “a lack of openness with senior management”LessLouise MenschYes1111000014 Lab, 1 LD5Tom Watson voted with Mensch et al
14186209Motion made, to leave out paragraph 186 and insert pars INCLUDING: Far from having an epiphany at the end of 2010, the truth, we believe, is that by spring 2011, because of the civil actions, the company finally realised that its containment approach had failed, and that a ‘one rogue reporter’ - or even ‘two rogue journalists’—stance no longer had any shred of credibility. Since then, News Corporation’s strategy has been to lay the blame on certain individuals, particularly Colin Myler, Tom Crone and Jonathan Chapman, and lawyers, whilst striving to protect more senior figures, notably James Murdoch. Colin Myler, Tom Crone and Jonathan Chapman should certainly have acted on information they had about phone-hacking and other wrongdoing, but they cannot be allowed to carry the whole of the blame, as News Corporation has clearly intended. Even if there were a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ culture at News International, the whole affair demonstrates huge failings of corporate governance at the company and its parent, News CorporationMoreYes00010111114 Con6
15216New paragraphs— (Mr Tom Watson)—brought up and read. INCLUDES: On the basis of the facts and evidence before the Committee, we conclude that, if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone-hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications. This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International. We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company.MoreTom WatsonYes00010111114 Con6
16232Motion made, to leave out paragraph 232 and insert:
As to the veracity of the evidence the Committee has received, we are able to draw the following conclusions about certain of the witnesses, and about News International corporately:
Les Hinton misled the Committee in 2009 in not telling the truth about payments to Clive Goodman and his role in authorising them, including the payment of his legal fee. He also misled the Committee about the extent of his knowledge of allegations that phone-hacking extended beyond Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire to others at the News of the World.
MoreYes01010111114 Con7
PartyVotes for more critical amendmentsVotes for less critical amendmentsNet hard score
Votes for more critical amendmentsPaul FarrellyLab918
Votes for less critical amendmentsSteve RotheramLab918
Jim SheridanLab918
Gerry SutcliffeLab918
Adrian SandersLD817
Tom WatsonLab927
Damian CollinsCon34-1
Philip DaviesCon14-3
Louise MenschCon16-5
Dr Thérèse CoffeyCon06-6
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