Rebekah Brooks has taken Piers Morgan to lunch today after his appearances on all three News UK radio stations to plug his new book – what are old friends for after all? Rebekah personally escorted Piers around the building. Speculation is that she is trying to get him for the new TV channel. He may be under contract to GMB, a trifle like that wouldn’t stop Rebekah…
Fleet Street elders are looking on with horror and glee as a slow motion Game of Thrones power battle is played out at The Sun. Anyone who thinks this saga is really about a provocative Kelvin Mackenzie column criticising an Everton footballer is naive. “The New King”, “Joffrey” Gallagher, is caught in the midst of all out war between “The Old King of the North” Kelvin and the fiery “Mother of Dragons”, Queen Rebekah.
The decision by News UK to suspend Old King Kelvin is being widely viewed through the prism of Queen Rebekah loathing him. It has been noted in other realms of the Baby Shard that the statement knifing Kelvin came from a News UK spokesman, not a Sun spokesman.
The emerging narrative is that Gallagher kicked back at the decision and, rightly, defended Kelvin, hence why the statement throwing him under the torrent of outrage did not come from The Sun. It came from News UK, where Queen Rebekah reigns. Last Thursday’s Popbitch reported that “Rebekah is aching to bin his £300,000 a year column, cutting costs and helping to detoxify the Sun’s brand in one easy move”. Kelvin’s column was published on Friday.
The New King Gallagher and The Old King Kelvin also go way back. Gallagher has always owed Kelvin after he helped him secure the Sun throne. Before that, at the Telegraph, Gallagher hired Kelvin as a columnist only to be forced to cancel his column when the Scouse hordes protested.
So far, the views of the One True Sun King of Antipodea remain unclear. Though anyone who has watched the hit HBO series (available through all BSkyB-approved outlets) knows this one is going to end in a bloody mess, with a twist or two along the way…
Rebekah Brooks will replace Mike Darcey as the chief executive of News UK on Monday according to Guido sources. An official announcement will be made later today…
UPDATE: As was widely rumoured Tony Gallagher is transferring from the Daily Mail to become The Sun’s editor-in-chief.
Rebekah Brooks is about to have the charges read to her and asked to plea at Southwark Crown Court. She was all smiles this morning when she arrived with her husband…
Metropolitan Police Press office statement:
Police have today (Tuesday, 13 March) arrested six people at addresses in London, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Hertfordshire.
The co-ordinated arrests were made between approximately 0500 and 0700 this morning by officers from Operation Weeting, the MPS inquiry into the phone-hacking of voicemail boxes.
All six – five men and one woman – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977.
The two arrested in Oxfordshire are thought to be Charlie and Rebekah Brooks. The Met were not thought to be looking for the return of their horse…
It was looking tricky as soon as Murdoch’s real daughter turned on her this morning.
UPDATE: Brooks’ email to staff:
At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.
The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.
As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.
I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.
This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.
Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.
Rupert’s wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.
I would like to thank them both for their support.
I have worked here for 22 years and I know it to be part of the finest media company in the world.
News International is full of talented, professional and honourable people. I am proud to have been part of the team and lucky to know so many brilliant journalists and media executives.
I leave with the happiest of memories and an abundance of friends.
As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive.
My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance.
I am so grateful for all the messages of support. I have nothing but overwhelming respect for you and our millions of readers.
I wish every one of you all the best.
UPDATE II: Tom Mockridge the CEO of Sky Italia will replace her. Interesting decision to reassure the world that you won’t be selling your newspapers by putting a telly man in charge of them.