James Murdoch accused by former employees of being ‘mistaken’ in testimony


News Corp. Chief Rupert Murdoch and his son James giving evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee on the phone hacking scandal. (Parbul/AFP/Getty Images)

That all changed when the former News of the World editor Colin Myler and the former News International legal manager Tom Crone released a statement Thursday evening that James Murdoch misspoke before the House of Commons committee on Tuesday.

Crone and Myler said in a statement, obtained by the Guardian:

James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken. In fact, we did inform him of the "for Neville" e-mail which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers.

The Neville e-mail refers to former News of the World reporter Neville Thurlbeck. It was an e-mail containing the hacked phone messages of the former head of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor. Taylor received a large settlement from the paper, which James Murdoch signed off on.

During the meeting on Tuesday, when questioned by Labour MP Tom Watson, Murdoch said he had not known about the Neville e-mail, despite agreeing to pay the huge settlement fee.

Murdoch put out a statement standing by his testimony, but John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons select committee, told Guardian reporter Patrick Wintour they would be seeking an explanation from Murdoch.

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