The son of the owner of News Corporation, James Murdoch, who used to run his father’s UK operations as chairman of News International, has made his third appearance at the Leveson inquiry into British press abuses.
Until now the inquiry has very much focused on the press and its wrongdoings. From now on it will be looking more closely at the politicians who connived and went along with a style of journalism and tactics that were often criminal.
Murdoch continues to maintain the defence that he did not know what was going on, and that he had no idea telephone hacking, for example, was commonplace.
“I was given repeated assurances, as I have said, that these practices, that the newsroom had been investigated, that there was no evidence. I was given the same assurances as they gave outside. I’ve been very consistent about it,” he said.
On Wednesday and Thursday his father Rupert is due to give evidence. While James, who is focused more on the television side of the business, might plausibly claim he was unaware of his newspaper’s actions, Rupert changed Britain’s press with his brash arrival in the late 1960s, pioneering intensive chequebook journalism. He would personally steer his papers, and everyone knows it.