14th September 2016
News of the World executives misled Parliament
News of the World’s former editor, Colin Myler, and NOTW’s former head lawyer, Tom Crone, have been found to be in contempt of Parliament by a House of Commons committee.
The Committee of Privileges has found that Mr Myler and Mr Crone gave misleading evidence about phone hacking to Parliament.
Mr Myler and Mr Crone misled the Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMS Committee) by “answering questions falsely about [their] knowledge of evidence that other News of the World employees had been involved in phone-hacking and other wrongdoing.”
Mr Crone also misled the CMS Committee by giving a counter-impression of the significance of the confidentiality in the settlement of the claim brought by phone-hacking victim Gordon Taylor against News Group Newspapers Limited (NGN). Mr Crone was involved in settlement negotiations over Mr Taylor’s phone-hacking claim and was aware of NGN’s desire for confidentiality had increased the settlement amount.
The Committee of Privileges cleared News International chairman Les Hinton and found no evidence he had misled Parliament, despite the CMS Committee being “sceptical about Mr Hinton’s memory.” News International was also cleared of contempt.
Mr Myler and Mr Crone should be formally admonished for their behaviour, recommends the report. The Committee could have recommended fines or even imprisonment, although reports suggest these powers have not been used for decades.
Hamlins’ phone-hacking solicitors have been appointed Lead Solicitors in the civil phone-hacking claims against News Group Newspapers Limited (NGN), and represent a number of phone-hacking victims bringing claims against NGN.