By Marcus Leach

James Murdoch, the under pressure News International chief executive, appeared before MPs again today (Thursday) and was quick to reject suggestions that the company operated like the Mafia over the phone hacking scandal.

Labour’s Tom Watson, who of all those on the Committee last time asked the most meaningful questions, was once again chief inquisitor of Mr Murdoch.

Mr Watson claimed that the UK arm of News International had opted for a ‘code of silence’ over the matter. However, Mr Murdoch said that such a claim was both offensive and untrue.

Mr Murdoch once again insisted he was not made aware that the phone hacking in 2008 went beyond one reporter.

The exchange with Mr Watson, who has continuously pursued News International over the phone hacking scandal, became heated as mafia references were made to the apparent annoyance of Mr Watson’s fellow MPs.

Mr Murdoch, as with his last appearance before the committee, repeatedly told them he had not been made aware of details suggesting phone hacking went beyond Clive Goodman.

“You must be the first mafia boss in history who didn’t know he was running a criminal enterprise,” said Mr Watson.

Mr Murdoch retorted saying such claims were ‘inappropriate and that the company acted with “I think great zeal and diligence to get to the bottom of issues to improve the processes to make sure they didn’t happen again”.

The full outcome of the latest questioning is yet to be known, but Mr Murdoch faces continued pressure in his role and this will only add to his worries.

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