Wednesday News Review

Testimonies put Murdoch in hot water

James Murdoch could be recalled to Parliament to face MPs after fresh phone hacking claims at the News of the World emerged. The paper’s former lawyer Tom Crone told the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee yesterday Mr Murdoch knew the practice went beyond “rogue reporter” Clive Goodman. Mr Crone said he was “certain” he told him about the “For Neville” email, which is thought to have been intended for reporter Neville Thurlbeck. It contained hacked information about Profesional Footballers Association chief Gordon Taylor, to whom Mr Murdoch authorised a damages payout of £425,000. Mr Murdoch had previously told MPs he was not informed about the email. He said in a statement yesterday he stood by his initial testimony. – Daily Mirror

James Murdoch is likely to be recalled to parliament to answer fresh questions after two former News of the World executives said on Tuesday they were certain Murdoch was told of an explosive email that indicated phone hacking at the paper went beyond one rogue reporter. Commons sources said Murdoch would probably be ordered to appear for a second time before MPs next month to clarify whether or not he was told about the now-notorious “for Neville” email, which blew apart the newspaper’s defence that phone hacking was isolated to its royal editor, Clive Goodman. In a tense session before the culture, media and sport committee, Tom Crone, who left as News Group Newspapers‘ legal manager in August, said he had told Murdoch about the email. It was after hearing the news of the email at a 15-minute meeting in 2008, he claimed, that Murdoch authorised a payment of £425,000 plus costs to Gordon Taylor, a football executive. This contradicts James Murdoch’s account of events. Giving evidence at the same session, Colin Myler, who became editor of News of the World after Andy Coulson resigned over phone hacking at the paper, said it was “inconceivable” that Murdoch was unaware that the email indicated hacking went beyond a single rogue reporter at the Sunday newspaper. – the Guardian

Osborne admits to economic woes but will stick to Plan A anyway

Britain is living through a ‘Great Contraction’ which will mean lower than expected growth – but would face disaster if it shifted course from tough austerity measures, George Osborne said last night. The Chancellor gave his clearest signal yet that official forecasts for recovery will have to be downgraded later this year, admitting: ‘We have all had to revise down our short-term expectations over recent weeks.’ Mr Osborne blamed Labour’s mismanagement of the economy – arguing that the ‘overhang of debt’ meant the recovery from the financial crisis was ‘slower and choppier’ than recoveries from other kinds of recession.  ‘That’s why economists… have called the period we are living through the “Great Contraction”,’ the Chancellor said. – Daily Mail

In boastful mood last night George Osborne said the Government’s tough deficit-reduction strategy meant Britain was “master of its own destiny” unlike other European nations which were at the mercy of the financial markets. In a defiant speech to the Lloyds insurance market in London, the Chancellor conceded that all countries had had to “revise down our short-term expectations over recent weeks”. That was a clear signal that the Office of Budget Responsibility would scale down its growth forecasts on 29 November, when the Chancellor publishes his autumn statement. He is expected to unveil a raft of measures designed to boost growth, some of which may be trailed at next month’s Conservative Party conference. Last night he argued that the lesson of the summer was that Britain had not suffered the same wobbles as Italy, Spain and France because the Government enjoyed the confidence of the financial markets. – the Independent

Moran faces 21 charges

Disgraced former Luton MP Margaret Moran is to face criminal charges in relation to her parliamentary expenses claims. Ms Moran was considered to be among the worst offenders in the 2009 expenses scandal and was forced to stand down at the 2010 general election. She is to appear at Westminster magistrates court on September 19th to face 15 charges of false accounting and six of forgery, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed. Keir Starmer QC, director of public prosecutions, said: “Having thoroughly reviewed the evidence gathered by the police, we have decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring criminal charges against Margaret Moran. “These charges relate to fraudulent claims with a total value of more than £60,000.” Ms Moran is the fifth Labour MP to face criminal charges over expenses, following David Chaytor, Jim Devine, Eric Illsley and former minister Elliot Morley. –

Another ex-Tory MP to appear on Strictly

Brendan Cole has admitted he would be happy to be partnered with ex-politician Edwina Currie on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Brendan Cole would be happy to partner Edwina Currie on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. The professional dancer – who previously won the show with Natasha Kaplinsky in 2004 – is set to find out who his partner will be tomorrow (07.09.11), but admits he doesn’t care who he gets, despite predictions the 64-year-old ex-politician will struggle with the routines because of her age. When asked if he’d like to dance with Edwina at the launch for the Jeans for Genes campaign at Kettners in London last night (06.09.11), Brendan exclusively told Bang Showbiz: “I don’t mind who I’m partnered with, to be honest, young or old. – the List

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2 Responses to “Wednesday News Review”

  1. swatantra says:

    Lets see if Currie is left with masala on her face, bearing in mind ex-Tory now embaassment to Labour Speakers wife was first to be kicked out from Big Brother.
    Ageism is alive and kicking on Strictly ever since Pamela Stevenson lost out to it last time round. Great if Sir J Major coud have been asked same time; he’s pretty nifty on his feet; and so is Prezza.
    I shall be watching because Tess is great.

  2. swatantra says:

    Can’t comment on M Moran because its probably sub judice, but Luton is to be congratualed on electing a fine upstanding Lab & Coop MP in Gavin Shuker.

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