Arrest of Rebekah Brooks takes hacking probe one step closer to the Murdochs

By Chris Marsden
18 July 2011

On Sunday, Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief executive, became the tenth person to be arrested in connection with the News of the World phone hacking and police corruption scandal.

Her questioning by police in London brings the investigation closer to the very highest echelons of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and its British affiliate, News International. Murdoch’s son, James, is chairman and chief executive of News Corp Europe and Asia, and Brooks’ immediate superior.

Due to give evidence before a parliamentary select committee this week, Brooks resigned as chief executive of News International on Friday. She was editor of News of the World from 2000 to 2003 before moving to its weekday sister newspaper, the Sun. She has repeatedly denied any knowledge of phone hacking or other criminal practices and refused to attend a 2010 parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking.

Brooks is a personal friend of Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, as she was with the previous Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.