Sarah Booker

06/09/2011

#Hackgate ex-News International executives appear before MPs – Storify

Jonathan Chapman, former director of legal affairs, and Daniel Cloke, former group HR director, News International are first before the culture, media and sport select committee, followed by Colin Myler, former editor, News of the World and Tom Crone, former legal manager, News Group Newspapers. This attempts to reflect the actions and reactions to MPs questions at the committee meeting.

No custard pies at #phonehacking hearing today. Police carrying out extra body search at committee room door “because of last time”
gordonrayner
September 6, 2011
Steve Coogan on #phonehacking: ‘Why I won’t let News Corp off the hook’ http://t.co/iKDkdCP #NotW
guardian
September 6, 2011

Daniel Cloke denies knowing about Clive Goodman’s letter stating that knowledge of phone hacking was commonplace at the News of the World.

Cloke avers that he had “no idea” Goodman was alleging widespread knowledge of illegal #phonehacking until his letter arrived.
kady
September 6, 2011
Today’s #Hackgate hearing will be a complex exercise by four men of remembering and forgetting and in shifting blames…
DavidAllenGreen
September 6, 2011

Jonathan Chapman believes a thorough exercise was carried out when checking emails.

Everything was looked at in context.

“It was quite chatty with some exaggeration. The Harbottle emails were pulled out of context.”

LOL Never believe what you read in an email?? Chapman talking like a *careful* lawyer. #unbelievable #hackgate
paddybts
September 6, 2011
Oh good god, ex News International lawyer Chapman talks of having “interfaces”. #Hackgate
DavidAllenGreen
September 6, 2011
Nothing “indicated reasonable evidence” of widespread phonehacking claimed by former #NOTW reporter Goodman – Jon Chapman, former NI lawyer
CassellBryanLow
September 6, 2011
John Whittingdale asks if Chapman was happy with the results of his investigations.Chapman says his brief was to look for voicemail interception but nothing was found in the emails and nothing “to his recollection” that gave him cause for concern.
Curious to know what percentage of Parliamentary questions to Murdoch execs have been met with “I can’t remember”. #hackgate
ravisomaiya
September 6, 2011
#NOTW top brass already denying there was discussion of widespread hacking…
NewsAllianceUK
September 6, 2011

Louise Mensch asks if there is anything causing concern.

Cloke says no one admitted to any wrongdoing, but he doesn’t have his notes.

Chapman wasn’t involved with questioning but just told nothing was found. His involvement was as employment lawyer.

Mensch asks “didn’t you ask in-house lawyers?”

Chapman says no, he’s an employment lawyer not an investigator.

Cloke proving master of understatement re NoTW failure to find evidence of illegality: “I’m not an investigator”
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011
Really just an employment matter says Cloke #HackGate #NotW
antmac9
September 6, 2011
Don’t understand why NI didn’t look for criminal activity, but instead only looked at employment tribunal issues? #hackgate #notw
AdamGlyde
September 6, 2011

Damian Collins asks if any lawyer with criminal experience was involved in the investigation.

Chapman says no, it was an employment case.

Davies says reading the emails it does point to something that needs further investigation.

Chapman, NI legal head, not involved in key Burton Copland enquiry into hacking (one before Harbottle). Knows nothing or cover-up elsewhere?
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
#HackGate …last month Lord Macdonald QC said contained evidence of serious criminal activity. How did *they* miss it?
DavidAllenGreen
September 6, 2011
Keep Digging. It’s the SECOND Goodman Letter in March That Is the Smoking Gun, Not the First Letter #Coulson #Wallis #Edmondson #hackgate
MrsTrevithick
September 6, 2011
One possible explanation could be that Chapman and Cloke conducted a “whitewash” in their supposed investigation. #HackGate
DavidAllenGreen
September 6, 2011
NI lawyer Jonathan Chapman says he was ‘trying it on’ with Harbottle&Lewis. How refreshingly frank #hackgate
Mejarmole
September 6, 2011
Cloke on Myler claim that he said in 07 “good news, no smoking gun” – “I don’t recall saying that” #hackgate
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011

Collins asked, shouldn’t you have got someone with criminal law experience involved?

Chapman/Cloke: “No.”

Cloke was confident as an HR director that it had been covered.

It seems there wasn’t an inquiry beyond an HR one.

Chapman admits no criminal lawyer looked at e-mails only employment lawyers at the time
bowdenatsky
September 6, 2011
Damian Collins to Cloke: I’m amazed you…didn’t discuss with Hinton the poss that more work should be done (on content of emails).
byameliahill
September 6, 2011
Cloke on Myler claim that he said in 07 “good news, no smoking gun” – “I don’t recall saying that” #hackgate
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011
Cloke: We didn’t sweep it under the carpet.We looked through 2,000 emails.”In terms of an employment dispute this was a fair route to take.”

Collins asks Cloke and Chapman to confirm no action was taken outside the narrow employment remit, to check into any wrong doing.

Cloke: “If an independent third party told us there was evidence we would look into that.”

Cloke now blaming Harbottle & Lewis (3rd party investigator) for not telling NI that there was evidence of criminal activity in the emails.
HuffPostMedia
September 6, 2011
One day these 2,500 ‘hacking emails’ will be published and we can see if Chapman and Cloke were asleep or carefully chose the wrong bits
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Daniel Cloke – Not unusual for ex members of staff who have been sacked for gross misconduct to make allegations #hacking
MaisieMcCabe
September 6, 2011
Daniel Cloke essentially says: “We did the minimum work required to show we didn’t cover this up, and we kept the evidence to ourselves.”
lddurbin
September 6, 2011
But at the end of the day it isn’t about employment – phone hacking is illegal, and surely they had a duty to stop it? #notw #hackgate
AdamGlyde
September 6, 2011
Chapman says they were looking at the situation in a reactive way.
Chapman: “It was not for us to suggest at the time that the inquiry should go further: we were looking at this in a reactive way.”
IsabelHardman
September 6, 2011
Chapman:”If something had stood out to me and looked suspicious, then I wdve done something about it”
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011
Chapman confirms News of the World only investigated the emails requested by Clive Goodman http://t.co/Gj2aMKT #hacking
TotalPolitics
September 6, 2011
Interesting: Myler, not Cloke, looked at some invoice payments as part of enquiry into Goodman hacking allegations…
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Cloke looked at other documents, but was it Myler who followed the money? Dobbing Myler in it?
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Cloke re scope of NoTW internal email trawl:”It was not a forensic wide ranging investigation.” You can say that again….
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011

Philip Davies asks about payments to Clive Goodman.

“Who decided to pay him a year’s salary when he had committed a criminal offence?”

Chapman: “It may seem on the outside as a strange thing to do.”

It was Les Hinton’s decision.

So Cloke, HR director, did nothing to investigate hacking at NI even after Goodman jailing until he appealed against dismissal
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Cloke did nothing on hacking until Goodman appealed his dismissal #newsint
MaisieMcCabe
September 6, 2011
Chapman reveals Les Hinton decided to give Goodman a huge payoff “on compassionate grounds because of the family situation”
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011

Davies checks if Goodman had gone to a tribunal he would not have got more than £60,000.

“You two took the decision not to defend yourselves but to pay off Clive Goodman to the tune of £140,000 plus £13,000 legal costs.”

“What on earth were you doing paying him an extra £140,000 on top of the £90,000 salary.”

Chapman: “It was a stark choice. Tribunal would be several months down the line. Goodman would have been able to make allegations in a public forum. It was a pragmatic and commercial business decision.”

Davies: “Quarter of a million for committing a criminal offence.”

Chapman: it was a ‘pragmatic choice’ to avoid having stuff ‘raked up’ in a public forum–even though none of the stuff was true!
HuffPostMedia
September 6, 2011
Chapman: many cps pay out on claims having no foundation to prevent untrue allegations being aired in public. Hinton’s decision – not his
byameliahill
September 6, 2011
Chapman says paying Goodman almost a quarter of a million pounds was a pragmatic commercial decision to stop unfounded allegations
bowdenatsky
September 6, 2011
Davies has nailed a key point. Goodman was a criminal, but got a massive pay off. It was, Chapman, said Hinton’s decision
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
MPs appear to have unearthed apparent issue with evidence given by Murdochs – claim Goodman payment was approved by Murdoch man Les Hinton.
KeirSimmonsITV
September 6, 2011
Ah, Philip Davies just made my last point. Chapman says wanted to prevent “reputational effect” of Goodman raising false allegations.
joeyjonessky
September 6, 2011
Chapman: Allegations aired in tribunal would be given currency by those who wished to do so. Wanted to stop the “reputation effect”.
PoliceProMarcus
September 6, 2011
NI ex-lawyers say Les Hinton’s decision to pay Clive Goodman £250,000. But why pay him anything since he’d gone to jail? Unless hush money?
afneil
September 6, 2011
The Murdochs given “incorrect briefings”:Chapman. Hinton dumped in it once again.Circle the wagons. #hackgate #notw #murdochgate
antmac9
September 6, 2011
The Murdochs given “incorrect briefings”:Chapman. Hinton dumped in it once again.Circle the wagons. #hackgate #notw #murdochgate
antmac9
September 6, 2011
#Hackgate gray area: at what point does corporate pragmatism — practiced by most companies — become cover-up?
ravisomaiya
September 6, 2011
Former News of the World editor Colin Myler and former legal manager Tom Crone appear before the committee.
NOTW former editor Colin Myler and ex-legal manager Tom Crone arrive and questioning kicks off with the ‘for Neville’ email#nwpa11
PAWestminster
September 6, 2011
Crone: “for Neville” email was evidence that phone hacking went beyond Clive Goodman – it was the reason we had to settle the case …
JonathanHaynes
September 6, 2011

Crone says he discussed the “for Neville” email with the Murdoch in a 15 minute meeting before agreeing a payout to Gordon Taylor over allegations of phone hacking.

HoC: (The ‘for Neville’ email) was the reason we had to settle the case, to settle the case we had to speak to Mr Murdoch, says Tom Crone.
ST_Newsroom
September 6, 2011
Crone:”I can’t remember details of the conversation [w JMurdoch] +there isn’t a note of it. The conversation lasted about 15 minutes.”
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011
Tom Crone: the “For Neville” email was discussed with James Murdoch.: it was the reason we had to settle with Gordon Taylor
arusbridger
September 6, 2011
In retrospect it’s hard to understand how the “rogue reporter” defence was clung to for so long. #hackgate #hacking
JonathanHaynes
September 6, 2011
Myler and Crone stick to their guns: they did discuss the ‘for Neville’ email w JRM. Question may turn to email’s significance.
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Crone cannot recall saying “keep your mouth shut and keep your job”
Myler is a decent bloke, must be finding this very difficult #hackgate
Mejarmole
September 6, 2011
Contrast between witnesses is stunning. in summary, Chapman & Cloke (and Murdochs): we knew nothing. Myler & Crone: they are all lying.
RobertsDan
September 6, 2011
Crone: Coulson wanted to get Goodman back to #NotW after jail term. Sooooo forgiving! #murdochgate #hackgate
antmac9
September 6, 2011
Tom Watson asks what Crone was doing for two years.
Crone says ‘I can’t remember” three times in a row, tells Watson he hasn’t reviewed the Goodman case for at least two years.
JonathanHaynes
September 6, 2011
Fair to say that Crone is besting Watson in the battle of the Toms. #hackgate
paulbailey
September 6, 2011
An absolute joy to watch the proficient, thorough @tom_watson wiping the floor with inept Tom Crone, Legal Advisor to News International.
bindiyayagnik
September 6, 2011

Tom Watson asks Crone if he misled the committee in 2009, and has the former NI legal advisor read out his previous testimony.

“We now accept the information you’ve given us today is different to 2009. Are you misleading us today, or did you mislead us in 2009?”

Tom Watson to Tom Crone: are you misleading us today or did you mislead us in 2009? #hacking #hackgate
JonathanHaynes
September 6, 2011
@tom_watson turns all Paxman on Crone. ‘That’s enough,’ he demands
craigawoodhouse
September 6, 2011
Tom Crone from News International has been caught out….First big win for the committee. Hasn’t admitted misleading Parliament tho
ChrisWimpress
September 6, 2011
there is a difference between secrecy and confidentiality – Crone on his evidence #hacking
MaisieMcCabe
September 6, 2011
Crone reading his own evidence from 2009 – it seems to read rather differently to what he’s saying today.
joeyjonessky
September 6, 2011
Crone admits he knew phone hacking went wider than just Goodman
bowdenatsky
September 6, 2011

Tom Watson asks why nothing was done after the company had evidence and had spent money.

Tom Crone admits there was knowledge of phone hacking at the News of the World.

Watson: “And you did nothing.”

Crone: told J Murdoch that others were hacking (For Neville letter), didn”t fire anyone. #notw
hamishwb
September 6, 2011
Crone silently shakes his head in confirmation that nobody was reprimanded once wider evidence of hacking knowledge was clear.
HuffPostMedia
September 6, 2011
Former NoW lawyer Tom Crone says he told James Murdoch in 2008 that there was evidence others in the NoW newsroom knew about hacking.
KeirSimmonsITV
September 6, 2011
Crone is asked if James Murdoch set a figure for payment to Gordon Taylor. It seems it was open ended… he can’t remember.Crone also can’t remember keeping Murdoch ‘in the loop’.
Crone says he only met James Murdoch twice which begs question: how come JM never called him in for detailed briefing during crisis?
iankatz1000
September 6, 2011
Crone says Met Police [criminal gang] wanted the Taylor case kept secret from the public & then Andy Hayman got a job with The Times…
NewsAllianceUK
September 6, 2011
“How can we be accused of covering up a document that has reached us from the police?” asks Crone of email suggesting further #hacking.
ravisomaiya
September 6, 2011
Crone is being very very careful not to perjure himself here. His “I don’t remember” ruse is carefully deployed at key points.
MattB_UK
September 6, 2011
Crone admits he knew phone hacking was widespread… But concealed the fact for years!
NewsAllianceUK
September 6, 2011
Crone says it’s “absolute nonsense” that he viewed hacking into voicemail not as gross misconduct but a “reporter’s job”. #hacking
PoliticalSlut
September 6, 2011
Watson submits Crone to a barrage of hard-hitting questions.
Crone v combative. Denies he misled Cttee. Says he told em that no ev of wider hacking until the ‘for Neville email’
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011
Crone denies accusations of a cover-up of widespread hacking at News of the World under questioning from @tom_watson.
athomson6
September 6, 2011
The questioning of Crone by @tom_watson is one of the most aesthetically+intellectually satisfying things I have ever witnessed
DerekJohnBryant
September 6, 2011
Good question @tom_watson to Crone – have you settled your package with NI? No. No he hasn’t. Performance package, eh? #hacking
pmnewton
September 6, 2011
Crone admits meeting Private Detective jonathan Rees and that he did undercover work for NOTW
bowdenatsky
September 6, 2011
Crone says he has never met Glen Mulcaire, Private detective who was jailed for phone hacking on behalf of NOTW
bowdenatsky
September 6, 2011
Myler sitting in silence for most.of this. Crone the lightning rod#hackgate
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011

Watson asks if journalists, or specifically Rebekah Brooks, asked civil claimants to settle.

“No,” says Crone.

Crone says he has never met Glen Mulcaire, Private detective who was jailed for phone hacking on behalf of NOTW
bowdenatsky
September 6, 2011
@tom_watson asking if The Sun used Mulcaire. Any connection to this I wonder http://t.co/VwgsagL #hackgate
Mejarmole
September 6, 2011
Crone says he “probably did” commission private eyes or surveillance.”It’s not unusual for lawyers to use PIs”
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011
Collins starts questioning former NotW editor Colin Myler.
there is no ambiguity about the significance of this document [the 'for Neville' email] – Myler #hacking
MaisieMcCabe
September 6, 2011
- however the key point about the Taylor meeting is what happened internally afterwards. A significant allegation had been made, but…
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
…all that happened was that Crone asked Thurlbeck if he knew about the for Neville email and he denied it. Investigation over?
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Fmr News intl atty Crone & #NOTW editor Myler say Taylor lawsuit settled privately to prevent 4 poss lawsuits from others Mulcaire hacked
davidfolkenflik
September 6, 2011
So the cops say it was all NI’s fault they didn’t discover widespread #hacking…and now Myler says it was the cops’ fault
iankatz1000
September 6, 2011
Myler: I assumed the police had done a thorough inquiry – quotes his columnist Andy Hayman ‘That was clearly not the case’
arusbridger
September 6, 2011
Myler: I came in after the Goodman affair and didn’t think he had a case, but Cloke told me to sit down with him anyway.
HuffPostMedia
September 6, 2011
Myler describes the editor’s job as like a football manager. If he doesn’t perform he’s out of a job.
Myler: Corporate Governance goes beyond my pay rate. Right there. #hackgate
lapuntadelfin
September 6, 2011
Davies now asks Crone about “blagging”.
extremely disingenuous response by tom crone at select committee, conflating blagging and undercover journalism. MPs missed it completely…
scatatkins
September 6, 2011
#hackgate But if Crone was worried about the other cases why settle for hundreds of thousands when that would raise the bar I don’t get it
ex
September 6, 2011
Crone in his own words is negotiating his own settlement at present. Interesting. #newsinternational #notw #phonehacking
joyus1uk
September 6, 2011
Myler:”I’m a journalist, not a detective nor a lawyer”
paulwaugh
September 6, 2011
‘Crone admits phone hacking knowledge’ – when rolling news banners go Shakespearean.
philippawarr
September 6, 2011
@tom_watson @Mejarmole Crone describing desire for #coverup as “nonsense” may haunt him when police evidence comes to light. #hackgate
SueEvison
September 6, 2011
Ex #NOTW editor Colin Myler flat out denies knowing of payments to #phonehacking royal report Clive Goodman
RAGreeneCNN
September 6, 2011
“If I have fallen short you will not find me short in humility.” Myler
..Not crone – Myler I think. Either way both are raising a wall of fog in which blame seems impossible to pin point. Bit like Torchwood.
Benjamin_Huish
September 6, 2011
@DavidAllenGreen Crone is telling the world that after getting approval on a monumental settlement he didn’t even keep a file note?
subaitybh
September 6, 2011
How could Myler be taking a review of practices at the paper without looking at a single transaction #hackgate
ex
September 6, 2011
Colin Myler-what a journalist asks “Did you do anything wrong?” when the answer is no then he just accepts it!!!
1957AJB
September 6, 2011
@arusbridger why Myler says that he needed to change the culture of the newspaper if it was only”one bad apple”& it wasn’t spread across NI?
_fedes
September 6, 2011
BREAKING NEWS #Myler & #Crone top execs at #NOTW have unravelled claims that #JamesMurdoch knew nothing bout hacking emails. Said told him
minamaya13
September 6, 2011
Myler: there was ‘no ambiguity’ in the ‘For Neville’ email that he showed James Murdoch. (Paging James Murdoch…)
HuffPostMedia
September 6, 2011
Mensch quizzes Crone about the “For Neville” email.
Crone: I have a feeling that I probably did (tell Murdoch about “for Neville”email ) #hackgate
lapuntadelfin
September 6, 2011
Whittingdale: “did you tell him [JRM] that it ‘had the name of one of our reporters on it’” Crone, second time of asking: “I probably did”.
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Crone: “Neville’s name is on it, but he doesn’t accept he knows anything about it”
dansabbagh
September 6, 2011
Mensch proceeds to ask about the different stories written about Millie Dowler’s phone messages. One story had more detail than the other.
Tom Crone tells @LouiseMensch that neither he, nor News Corp, would have any records of when he was on holiday, #hacking.
StuartWilksHeeg
September 6, 2011
MP Louise Mensch asks about the discrepancy btwn 2 stories abt Milly Dowler, murdered girl who was hacked. Det… (cont) http://t.co/ezK18in
HuffPostMedia
September 6, 2011
.@LouiseMensch asking Crone and Myler about the Milly Dowler story, the versions of which changed through editions #hacking #hackgate
JonathanHaynes
September 6, 2011
Tom Crone appears to have the worst memory in the world. He seems to have absolutely no recollection of anything. Hmm… #phonehacking
jennybull
September 6, 2011
Mensch having a good old go at Tom Crone right now. A lot of “Forgive me Mr Crone but I put it to you…” She just needs the wig.
JNRaeside
September 6, 2011
#WTH tom crone struggles to deny #metpolice leaked them details of milly dowler voicemails. #notw #hacking
polleetickle
September 6, 2011
Odds of James Murdoch being recalled by Culture Committee very high, given direct challenge by Myler & Crone to his version of events
Peston
September 6, 2011
#hackgate NOTW ex-editor Colin Myler suggests News Of The World has been “under forensic scrutiny since 2006″. Breathtaking rubbish.
HPIAndyCowper
September 6, 2011
Louise Mensch to Colin Myler & Tom Crone : I have to say you have been as clear as mud. Too true!
Naomi_Adelle
September 6, 2011
Phone hacking and Leveson inquiry – live

Full coverage as the culture select committee questions four former News of the World executives including Colin Myler and Tom Crone, plus the Leveson inquiry’s first hearing 10.09am: Media lawyer Mark Stephens is one of the first to arrive at the Leveson Inquiry, reports Josh Halliday from the Royal Courts of Justice Good morning.
This Storify was designed to reflect what went on at the culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.Internet connection was lost at times, so there may be a few holes, but essentially it shows the reaction from people on Twitter.

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