By Max Clarke & Marcus Leach
Since the scandal that came to envelop the now defunct News of the World and its parent company, News Corp, erupted onto mainstream media, a series of high profile figures have emerged.
Following are introductions to the chief actors, and an overview of how they came to be embroiled in the ongoing fiasco.
The media mogul at the forefront of the global empire, News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch built his empire from scratch after being heavily influenced by his father's involvement in Australian media. He has gone on to create a global empire that includes print, TV, radio and television.
The scandal put Rupert firmly in the spotlight, forcing him to fly over to the UK to take charge of the crisis, where he has remained and will appear to answers questions, along side his son and Rebekah Brooks, before MPs on Tuesday.
With his empire rocked and the public outraged at the extent of the phone-hacking Rupert was forced to withdraw his bid to take a majority stake in BSkyB, a move that was pre-empted as politicians sought to pass a motion on the issue.
With more 20 years’ experience in print media, Brooks has risen to editor of the Sun and, crucially, the News of the World. It was under her aegis that the phone hacking incidents took place, though she denies any complicity.
Brooks had earned a reputation as a hands-on editor and her denial of any knowledge of phone hacking has widely been met with scepticism.
By the time the scandal erupted she had risen to become CEO of News International- the UK branch of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp media empire and was widely regarded at Murdoch’s ‘right hand woman’. She has since announced her resignation and will tomorrow attend a hearing at the House of Commons for questioning.
James Murdoch, son of Rupert, is the current chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, where he sits on the board of directors, and is widely expected to take over his father's media empire in the future.
It was James' decision to close the News of the World newspaper when the details of the phone-hacking scandal became clear and public outrage grew. At 38-years-old it seems the pressure is now on his shoulders to rebuild his father's empire after it has taken a considerable set-back in the past weeks.
From the outset of the scandal that has rocked the nation, James has stressed that the company is co-orporating fully with the police and their investigations. He also reiterated that he was not aware of the goings on until recently.
He will now, having closed the newspaper, appear before MPs on July 19th, where he will answer questions relating to the phone-hacking scandal.
Editor of News of the World between 2003-07 Mr Coulson stepped down from his position following ex-royal editor at the paper, Clive Goodman, and private investigator, Glen Mulcaire, being convicted of phone-hacking.
The phone-hacking scandal aside, the fact Mr Coulson was trusted by Prime Minister David Cameron to be his spokesman has caused serious public outrage. Although he stepped down from that role earlier this year, claiming the on-going phone-hacking allegations were distracting him from his job.
Arrested in July 2011 he was granted bail over phone-hacking and corruption allegations. The corruption allegations relate to emails that allege he authorised payments to police when editor at the News of the World.
Sir Paul Stephenson
As Commissioner for London’s Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson was regarded as the UK’s highest-ranking member of the police force before announcing his resignation on July 17th.
The close relationship between the Met and the News of the World had been the centre of a great deal of public and government scrutiny. When it emerged that Sir Paul had hired the paper’s former editor, Neil Wallis, as his advisor and had subsequently enjoyed hospitality at a luxury spa whilst recovering from cancer, Sir Paul decided to step down.
Having headed the 2006 inquiry into phone hacking at the News of the World, Assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was suspended on the 18th July for his connections with the scandal.
His suspension was, urge the Met, neither a disciplinary action nor an admission of guilt and an investigation into his actions will be carried out.
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