(Former Legal Manager News International)

The CMS Select Committee has concluded that I gave misleading evidence in three specific areas. I do not accept this.

In particular, the Committee finds that I misled it by giving a “counter-impression” on certain matters. In terms of judicial or formal rulings on evidence, “counter-impression” seems a particularly subjective concept upon which to base such serious allegations.

On the main issue of misleading the Committee about knowledge of wider News of the World involvement in phone-hacking, I refer you to specific Committee findings and the evidence given on these matters by Colin Myler and myself which clearly demonstrate serious flaws in the report.

Committee Finding (paragraph 130):

“In evidence, Tom Crone and Colin Myler gave repeated assurances that there was no evidence that any further News of the World employee, beyond Clive Goodman, had been involved in phone hacking.”

Evidence to the Committee on July 21, 2009 (Q. 1339):

Tom Crone (at the outset of his evidence): “At no stage during their (ie. police) investigation or our investigation did any evidence arise that the problem of accessing by our reporters, or complicity of accessing by our reporters, went beyond the Goodman/Mulcaire situation. The first piece of evidence we saw of that, in terms of the management investigation, was in April 2008 when Mr Taylor’s lawyers produced the two documents: the first was a February 2005 holding contract and the second was the email that was discussed here last week.” (ie. the ‘For Neville’ email.)

Committee Finding (paragraph 140):

“… In giving evidence to the Committee both Tom Crone and Colin Myler attempted to downplay the significance of the ‘For Neville’ email… In itself this amounts to an attempt to mislead the Committee about the import of a crucial piece of evidence…”

Evidence to the Committee on July 21, 2009 (Q. 1331):

Colin Myler’s opening statement: “It seems that there are three issues which need to be addressed by us arising from the allegations made by the Guardian and the evidence given by its representatives to this Committee last week…

“… The third issue is the evidence that came to light in April 2008, (ie. the ‘For Neville’ email.) …The Committee may disagree but we consider this issue and the facts surrounding it to be the only new matters in this affair. We are here to answer whatever questions you have on this subject today.”

For the avoidance of doubt, I entirely accept the News of the World phone-hacking scandal is a matter of enormous public importance which needed a full and proper investigation and I in no way wish to diminish the good work undertaken by the Committee.

I accept that there are valid criticisms of my conduct in this matter but for the second time in a week, I seem to be the subject of serious allegations which lack foundation.


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