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Murdoch: I should have closed NotW sooner

Murdoch: I should have closed NotW sooner
Rupert Murdoch has admitted there was a "cover up" at News of the World over the phone hacking scandal.

But Tom Crone, the newspaper's former legal manager, hit back at Mr Murdoch's evidence, releasing a statement claiming insinuations that he was involved in a cover up are a "shameful lie".

Giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry for the second day, Mr Murdoch said there was "no question" in his mind that "someone took charge of a cover up".

The News Corp chairman insisted he and other senior executives were "misinformed" about the extent of phone-hacking at the tabloid, which he was forced to close last summer.

Mr Murdoch said he "panicked" when he made the decision to close the paper, and added he wishes he had done it sooner.

“I panicked. I'm glad I did," he said.

"I’m sorry I didn’t close it years before and put a Sunday Sun in but I’ll tell you what held us back – the News of the World readers.”

He put much of the blame for the lack of transparency at the News of the World on senior executives at the time such as Len Hinton and Colin Myler, as well as the lawyers used by News Corp to investigate. However he still apologised for the scandal, which he described as a “serious blot on my reputation”.

Elsewhere in the testimony, Mr Murdoch defended his comments yesterday that Gordon Brown had “declared war” on the Murdoch newspapers, after the former Prime Minister today dismissed them as “wholly wrong”.

Green Box: Murdoch: I should have closed NotW soonerClick to open

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