Rebekah brooks

The real Rupert Murdoch, by Kelvin MacKenzie

For more than four decades I have been around Rupert Murdoch. In that time he employed me in both London and New York, invested in my business ideas and ultimately fired me. It was always rock ’n’ roll around Rupert and that’s the way I liked it. So you would have thought that when the BBC made its current three-part documentary on him, it might have come to me for my views. Oh no. I presume it didn’t want to take the risk I might say something warm and supportive. It did, however, film Trevor Kavanagh, the Sun’s political columnist, for hours on end. He was warm and supportive. But

Maxine Peake is wrong: Margaret Thatcher and Rebekah Brooks are feminist role models

Margaret Thatcher has been out of power for twenty-six years and dead for three, but in our brave new world of virtue signalling (defined in this magazine by its creator James Bartholomew as ‘the way in which many people say or write things to indicate that they are virtuous…one of the crucial aspects of virtue signalling is that it does not require actually doing anything virtuous’) she has become the El Cid of politics, strapped to her trusty steed and sent out into the fray one more time. But interestingly, her corpse is being repeatedly trotted out by her enemies, rather than by those who guard her flame – and what

Friends reunited: David Cameron makes a return to the Murdoch party scene

During the general election campaign, David Cameron’s close relationship with Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks was regularly used as a whacking stick against him by his opponents. However, with a Tory majority now won, the Prime Minister appears to have few qualms about socialising with the media mogul once again. On Monday night the Prime Minister attended an intimate Christmas drinks bash at his old pal Murdoch’s St James’s flat. With the phone hacking scandal — and consequent Leveson inquiry — now far behind Murdoch, Cameron joined other Cabinet Ministers including John Whittingdale and George Osborne to raise a toast. At the event, the Guardian reports that Cameron was also joined by his old friend Rebekah Brooks. The reunion comes

Long life | 10 September 2015

I remember Sidney Blumenthal from my time in Washington in the late 1980s when I was there as the first American editor of the Independent. He was a smartly dressed, agreeable political journalist, handsome in a donnish kind of way, who had a gracious, dignified manner that seemed to put him a cut above most of his fellow hacks. He was also a liberal of strong political conviction, whose purpose was to help rebuild American liberalism so that it could take on and beat the New Right after its long ascendancy under Ronald Reagan and restore the Democrats to power. It was at around this time, in 1987, that Blumenthal

Portrait of the week | 3 September 2015

Home The Government decided after all to retain the rules preventing ministers and their departments from publishing campaign material, ‘with some exceptions’, in the month before the referendum on membership of the European Union. The Electoral Commission said the planned wording for the referendum, ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?’ could favour the status quo, and proposed adding the words ‘or leave the European Union?’ The government said it accepted the change, but Parliament must decide. Net migration to the UK had reached the unprecedented level of 330,000 in the year to March, according to the Office for National Statistics. Rebekah Brooks was to return

Rebekah Brooks returns to News UK to head up Rupert Murdoch’s empire

It’s all change at News UK today after it was confirmed that Rebekah Brooks will be making a triumphant return to the publishing group. Brooks — who stood down from the company over the phone hacking scandal — has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of News UK. Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp, announced her appointment in a statement: ‘Rebekah will lead a great team at News UK into the digital future, while maximising the influence and reach of our newspapers, which remain the most informative and successful in Britain and beyond. Her expertise, excellence and leadership will be crucial as we work to extend our relationship with readers and advertisers,

Justine Miliband rushes to her husband’s defence

Justine Miliband has given an interview to the BBC, a sort of ‘back my husband, my hero’ contribution to the Labour election campaign. She starts by talking about the pressures on the family and how ‘being a working mother’, she hasn’t really had a chance to think about what it would be like for the family with Ed in Downing Street. ‘I’ve thought about this and I think it’s going to get worse, I think over the next couple of months it’s going to get really vicious, really personal, but I’m totally up for this fight and I’ve thought about the reason why and the reason is because I think

Paul Dacre: Watch out, BBC. The political class may come for you next

The below is an edited version of a speech given yesterday by Paul Dacre to the NewstrAid Benevolent Fund, a charity for those who sell and distribute newspapers and magazines. Newspapers are all only too painfully aware of how we are having to adapt to survive in today’s modern, fast-paced, ever-changing digital media world. But the way I look at it, we have always had to fight to survive, ever since the birth of the mass media in the 1890s – the decade, if I may indulge in a little product placement, in which Alfred Harmsworth launched the Daily Mail. In more than a century since then, we’ve grown and we’ve

Should Cameron be worried about Neville Thurlbeck’s New Year surprise?

Given how close the phone-hacking scandal got to the heart of Downing Street, the Tories will be hoping nothing will provoke more questions this side of the election about Cameron’s hiring of Andy Coulson. So there will be some worries about an intriguing book deal done late last night. Neville Thurlbeck – the jailed News of the World chief reporter and, more recently, Coulson’s cell mate in Belmarsh –  will be telling all, in true tabloid style, just a couple of months before polling day. Political publishers Biteback have bought up Thurlbeck’s ‘Tabloid Secrets’ for an undisclosed sum and Mr S understands the book is due in the New Year. Happy reading, Prime Minister.

Nick Cohen

The Great Reckoning

In my Observer column today, I talk about the scourging of Britain’s failed elite. To give readers an idea of how many institutions are in the dock, I quote an extract from Piers Morgan’s diaries from the summer of 2004. Because I have more space, I can give you the full ghastly detail here – what lucky people you are. Morgan’s managers had just fired him from the editorship of the Mirror for running pictures of British soldiers pissing on Iraqi detainees, which a fool could have told him were crude fakes. There is a risk that when the pictures are seen in the Middle East they will endanger men and

Sorry Dave, it’s Boris and Farage for Charlie Brooks

The other darling of the CLA Game Fair — alongside former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson — was Charlie Brooks (aka Mr Rebekah Wade), who appears to be back on the country scene in a big way. ‘I’m a big fan of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage’, the former litigant tells me. ‘I’ve always been a convert to be honest, which tells you what I make of politicians these days’. Curiously, it turns out Farage’s pub landlord was a juror in the Brooks’ recent trial, a fact that only came to light when the Ukip leader met Brooks for the first time on Friday. ‘You talked all sorts of nonsense, but you seem

Hacking Trial: the movie

We may have had the verdicts and the sentences in the hacking trial, but the biggest question remains unanswered: who’s going to play everyone in the movie? There’s one clear and obvious frontrunner for the part of Rebekah Brooks: Bonnie Langford. Sadly, however, Ms Langford has heavy panto commitments and cannot be released for filming. So we’ll have to make do with a B-list purveyor of ginge instead – Nicole Kidman, perhaps, or Julianne Moore. (Cate Blanchett might have got a look-in if we’d avoided the temptation to base everything on the hair, but Brooks herself never did so why should we?) Andy Coulson should be played by Ewan McGregor,

Rebekah Brooks takes her place in a perfect picture of modern Britain

What image comes to mind when we think of Britain today? I was moved to contemplate this question after reading the Prime Minister’s inspiring treatise on British values, which seemed to involve ‘being quite nice’ and not referring to other people as kaffir and then trying to blow them up. Fair enough. I suppose — as an image of Britain, Sonny and Cher jihadis bringing their arcane and vicious sandblown squabble to the streets of London is perhaps a more modernist take on John Major’s vision of an old maid cycling to morning communion through the early morning mist. I suppose cyclists should be somewhere in our new vision of

Convict the guilty. Keep the press free

We have not heard much from Hugh Grant this week. Nor from Max Mosley, Steve Coogan or any of the other bizarre array of celebrities and moguls who wanted to use the phonehacking scandal as an excuse to end British press freedom. For some time, they argued that the press had become a law unto itself, and it was time for politicians to regulate it. We have just seen why such a draconian step is not necessary. Hacking is already against the law, which is why £100 million has just been spent trying former executives of Rupert Murdoch’s News International. The woman who used to run the company, Rebekah Brooks,

Rebekah Brooks’s ‘Hutton style’ email

People pay Tony Blair handsomely for his PR advice; but, today, thanks to the hacking trial at the Old Bailey, we allegedly get to see a glimpse of the Great Man in action for free. The court was shown this email sent by Rebekah Brooks on the day after the last ever edition of the News of the Screws went to press; it is an account of a conversation she claims to have had with Tony Blair: Only got 10 minutes before I see Charlie for confiscation! I had an hour on the phone to Tony Blair. He said: 1. Form an independent unit that has an outside junior counsel,

Portrait of the week | 31 October 2013

Home A storm passed over England, with plenty of warning. The strongest gust, of 99mph, was recorded at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight. Of 570,000 households that lost power, 160,000 were left without it by sunset. About 200 trees fell on railway lines. A crane collapsed on to the roof of the Cabinet Office in Whitehall. A fourth big energy company, of Britain’s six, announced price rises, making the average increase 9.1 per cent. Tony Cocker, the chief executive of E.on, told the Commons energy committee that he had written to David Cameron, the Prime Minister, suggesting a full investigation of the market. A woman intent upon visiting the

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had a six-year-long affair

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had an affair that lasted at least six years, a jury heard today. A letter which revealed the affair was described as part of evidence produced by the prosecution in the trial of the two defendants. The letter had been written from Brooks to Coulson in 2004 and was found on her computer. Speaking for the prosecution, Andrew Edis said that ‘what Mr Coulson knew, Mrs Brooks knew too’. The pair deny charges relating to phone hacking. The trial continues. Comments have been switched off for legal reasons

Phone hacking: today’s charges

The Crown Prosecution Service this morning charged eight suspects in relation to phone hacking. These suspects, including Rebekah Brooks Andy Coulson face a total of 19 charges, which I’ve set out below. Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson, Stuart Kuttner, Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup are all charged with conspiring to intercept the voicemail messages of well-known people and/or those associated with them without lawful authority from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006. Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who is the eighth person charged today, does not face this first charge for legal reasons, but four charges relating to Milly Dowler, Andrew Gilchrist, Delia Smith and Charles Clarke