Full reply from Rebekah Brooks to chairman of Home Affairs Committee re phone hacking:
Thank you for your letter of Tuesday 5 July, on behalf of the Committee, seeking further information in reference to the allegations surrounding phone hacking at the News of the World.
Like everyone I was appalled and shocked when I was informed of the new allegations related to Milly Dowler and her family – and, indeed, the further awful revelations over the course of the last few days. As I said to News International staff on Tuesday, it is almost too horrific to believe that a professional journalist, or even a freelance inquiry agent, working on behalf of a member of the News of the World staff could engage in such alleged practices.
In response to the specific questions you raise in your letter, I want to be absolutely clear that as editor of News of the World I no knowledge whatsoever of phone hacking in the case of Milly Dowler and her family, or in any other cases during my tenure.
I also want to reassure you that the practice of phone hacking is not continuing at the News of the World. Also, for the avoidance of doubt, I should add that we have no reason believe that any phone hacking occurred at any other of our titles.
As you know, there are two major police investigations taking place and we are cooperating fully and actively with both. Indeed, it was News International which voluntarily brought evidence which led to the opening of Operation Weeting and Operation Elveden. This full cooperation will continue until the police’s work is done.
We will also cooperate fully with the two public inquiries announced by the Prime Minister this morning. In addition, as you may have seen, we have instructed Olswang LLP to undertake a full review of our policies, practices and systems and to advise us to ensure that journalistic standards are properly maintained in the future.
The hurt and suffering caused to Milly Dowler’s family, and the many other alleged crime victims of phone hacking, is horrendous and inexcusable. We will continue to do all that we can, with the police, to discover the truth and face up to the mistakes and wrongdoing of the past.