Tuesday 19 July 2011

Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of the News Of The World when the paper allegedly hacked Milly Dowler's phone, has said she first heard about the claims two weeks ago.

Speaking at a Commons committee hearing, Mrs Brooks denied any knowledge of the allegations before they appeared in the press.
It is claimed she was at the helm when the murdered schoolgirl's voicemails were illegally accessed by the tabloid following her abduction in 2002.
Mrs Brooks, said she found it "staggering to believe" that anyone at the News of the World (NOTW) could have authorised it.
She said at the time of Milly's disappearance she believed that the press had acted with "huge caution" and done its best to respect the family's privacy.
Explaining the moment she heard of the claims about Milly's phone, she said: "My instant reaction, like everybody else, was one of shock and disgust."

Milly Dowler's phone was allegedly hacked by the NOTW
Mrs Brooks said for "a family who had suffered so much already, these allegations clearly added immeasurably to their suffering".
"The first thing I did was write to Mr and Mrs Dowler with a full apology to say that we would get to the bottom of the allegations."
She added: "The idea that Milly Dowler's phone was accessed by someone being paid by the News of the World, or even worse authorised by someone at the News of the World, is as abhorrent to me as it is to everyone in this room.
"And it is an ultimate regret that the speed in which we have tried to find out the bottom of these investigations has been too slow."
Police have said there could be almost 4,000 hacking victims.
Mrs Brooks is one of a number of people arrested by officers investigating the claims. She was later released on bail.
Among those who may have had their phone hacked are families of those who died in the 7/7 bombings.
Mrs Brooks said allegations that the NOTW illegally accessed the voicemails of victims of crime were "horrific".