Murdoch News Chief Quits Over Hacking

Rebecca Brooks had vowed she would not leave. Then reality set in.

Brooks and Murdoch initially exhibited a cheerful defiance to the news that their paper had hacked the personal phone conversations of a family whose child had been abducted and murdered. (Photo: Olivia Harris/Reuters)
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Rebekah Brooks, 43-year-old chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International, has reneged on her vow not to resign due to a phone hacking scandal at British tabloid News of the World. Calls from politicians and private citizens for Brooks to step down had escalated in the past week, as revelations of the extent of phone hacking by News of the World reporters expanded.

Initially, the News of the World's policy of invading private telephones was thought to be confined to Britain's royal family and a handful of English celebrities. Subsequent allegations accused the paper of tapping into the personal conversations of families whose children were murdered or terror attack victims. In the United States, the FBI is investigating indications that News of the World trespassed into the cell phones of people who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks of 2001.

The BBC reports:

Prime Minister David Cameron thinks that Rebekah Brooks's resignation was "the right decision", his official spokesman said.

Rebekah Brooks was the paper's editor between 2000 and 2003, during which time murder victim Milly Dowler's phone was hacked.

In a statement, she said she felt a "deep responsibility for the people we have hurt."

She said she wanted to "reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place."

Actor Hugh Grant, a longtime target of News of the World hacks, recently taped a conversation with a former News of the World reporter without that hack knowing he was being recorded. The reporter openly stated that Rebekah Brooks had been aware of hacking at the paper as early as 2000 to 2003, when she was a News of the World editor.

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