Conduct of witnesses before a select committee: Mr Colin Myler, Mr Tom Crone, Mr Les Hinton, and News International Contents

4Colin Myler

Key dates

26 January 2007 Colin Myler appointed Editor of The News of the World (NOTW)

21 July 2009 Second CMS Committee oral evidence session

10 July 2011 NOTW closes and Colin Myler loses his job as Editor (employ ment formally terminated November 2011)

6 September 2011 CMS Committee oral evidence session.

86.Colin Myler was appointed Editor of NOTW on the day that Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire were sentenced and Andy Coulson announced his resignation. His knowledge of and involvement in the phone hacking saga at NOTW does not include the phase one criminal investigation and prosecution of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire, but commences at phase two, the Clive Goodman employment appeal, which he was appointed to conduct.

CMS Chapter 8 conclusions

[Tom Crone and] Colin Myler misled the Committee by answering questions falsely about their knowledge of evidence that other News of the World employees had been involved in phone-hacking and other wrongdoing (see paragraphs 130 and 140)

Para 130:

130. In evidence, Tom Crone and Colin Myler gave repeated assurances that there was no evidence that any further News of the World employee, beyond Clive Goodman, had been involved in phone-hacking. This was not true and, as further evidence disclosed to us by the newspaper’s solicitors Farrer & Co now shows, they would have known this was untrue when they made those statements. Both Tom Crone and Colin Myler deliberately avoided disclosing crucial information to the Committee and, when asked to do, answered questions falsely.

Para 140:

140. When giving evidence to the Committee, Tom Crone and Colin Myler made two assertions that were contradictory. They maintained that, whilst the ‘for Neville’ e-mail had meant that the company had had to settle the Gordon Taylor case, it had only been evidence that “knowledge” of Glenn Mulcaire’s phone-hacking activities had “passed through” the newsroom. Tom Crone’s internal briefing and Michael Silverleaf QC’s opinion on the Gordon Taylor case clearly demonstrate that they believed that the ‘for Neville’ e-mail was evidence of far more than this. In his own internal briefing, Tom Crone described it as being “fatal” to the case and “damning”.

He also stated that it proved that “we actively made use of a large number of extremely private voicemails from Gordon Taylor’s telephone in June/July 2005 and that this was pursuant to a [ … ] contract”. Colin Myler was sent that briefing and subsequently discussed evidence of wider involvement and problems in the newsroom with the newspaper’s solicitors.

We now know that Tom Crone had also had sight of counsel’s opinion from Michael Silverleaf QC which referred to “a powerful case that there is (or was) a culture of illegal information access used at NGN in order to produce stories for publication”. If Colin Myler had not read the opinion himself, he was certainly briefed on its contents. Yet in giving evidence to the Committee both Tom Crone and Colin Myler attempted to downplay the significance of the ‘for Neville’ e-mail and made no mention of the legal opinion that they had obtained. In itself this amounts to an attempt to mislead the Committee about the import of a crucial piece of evidence and the failure of the company to act upon it.

87.In summary, the sting of the CMS Committee’s conclusion is found in three allegations against Colin Myler, namely that he sought to mislead them in that he:

a)Gave repeated assurances that there was no evidence that any further NOTW employee, beyond Clive Goodman, had been involved in phone hacking (and deliberately avoided disclosing crucial information);

b)Attempted to downplay the significance of the “For Neville” email, and portray it merely as evidence that Glenn Mulcaire’s activities had passed through the NOTW newsroom;

c)Failed to mention that they had obtained a legal opinion.

88.We bear in mind that at the CMS Committee evidence session on 6 September 2011 it is likely that Colin Myler had no access to his office files and other related documents. We note that at the time Colin Myler gave evidence in 2009 he was still in post, and had such access.

Written evidence before the CMS Committee (of relevance to Colin Myler)

2010 Report

89.As stated above, The Guardian had disclosed both the “For Neville” email and February 2005 Contract to the CMS Committee. The Committee also had a copy of the letter from Harbottle and Lewis, dated 29 May 2007 which set out their conclusions on the email review which was undertaken as part of Clive Goodman’s employment appeal:

We have on your instructions reviewed the emails to which you have provided access from the accounts of: Andy Coulson; Stuart Kuttner; Ian Edmondson; Clive Goodman; Neil Wallis; Jules Stenson

I can confirm that we did not find anything in those emails which appeared to us to be reasonable evidence that Clive Goodman’s illegal actions were known about and supported by both or either of Andy Coulson, the Editor, and Neil Wallis, the Deputy Editor, and/or that Ian Edmondson, the News Editor, and others were carrying out similar illegal procedures.100

2012 Report

90.In advance of the oral evidence session with Colin Myler and Tom Crone on 6 September 2011, the CMS Committee had received Clive Goodman’s dismissal letter dated 5 February 2007 and his letters appealing that decision of 2 and 14 March 2007, as well as a response to Clive Goodman from Daniel Cloke, and emails between Lawrence Abramson of Harbottle and Lewis and Jon Chapman regarding the email review. All other documents referred to below were received by the CMS Committee after the oral evidence session.

Tom Crone’s Memorandum, dated 24 May 2008

91.This document was drafted to advise Colin Myler about the Gordon Taylor claim and explains that the result of the disclosure by the MPS to Gordon Taylor of the “For Neville” email and 2005 Contract (plus some other Operation Motorman disclosure from the Information Commissioner) is that NGN Ltd cannot defend the claim. Tom Crone concludes:

8. This evidence, particularly the email from the News of the World is fatal to our case.

11. Our position is very perilous. The damning email is genuine and proves we actively made use of a large number of extremely private voicemails from Taylor’s telephone in June/July 2005 and that this was pursuant to a February 2005 contract, ie a five to six month operation. He has no evidence that the News of the World continued to act illegally after that but he can prove Mulcaire continued to access his mobile until May 2006 (because Mulcaire pleaded guilty to it).101

Michael Silverleaf QC Opinion, 3 June 2008 (“Silverleaf Opinion”)

92.Leading Counsel provided an opinion on the Gordon Taylor claim, which includes following key paragraphs:

3. [ … ] The material obtained from the Metropolitan Police has disclosed that at least three NGN journalists (Greg Miskiw, [REDACTED], and Ross Hindley) appear to have been intimately involved in Mr Mulcaire’s illegal researching into Mr Taylor’s affairs.

6. [ … ] NGN’s prospects of avoiding liability for the claims of breach of confidence and invasion of privacy made by Mr Taylor are slim to the extent of being non-existent. NGN must be vicariously liable for the conduct of its employees [ … ]. There is overwhelming evidence of the involvement of a number of senior NGN journalists in the illegal enquiries into [REDACTED]. In addition there is substantial surrounding material about the extent of NGN journalists’ attempts to obtain access to information illegally in relation to other individuals. In the light of these facts there is a powerful case that there is (or was) a culture of illegal information access used at NGN in order to produce stories for publication. Not only does this mean that NGN is virtually certain to be held liable to Mr Taylor, to have this paraded at a public trial would, I imagine, be extremely damaging to NGN’s public reputation.102

93.However, it is unclear whether Colin Myler ever read the Silverleaf Opinion or simply relied upon a summary of the points (oral or written) from Tom Crone and/or Julian Pike. He told the Leveson Inquiry that he did not recall seeing it.103

94.There are also notes from May and June 2008 of a phone conversation between Julian Pike and Colin Myler, and an email from Tom Crone to Colin Myler reporting on the progress of the Taylor negotiations and forwarding an email Tom Crone had received from Julian Pike.104

Colin Myler oral evidence to the CMS Committee

95.In both evidence sessions the majority of responses are provided by Tom Crone. This may be in part because Colin Myler became Editor of NOTW after Clive Goodman was sentenced. Nonetheless, in comparison to Tom Crone and Les Hinton, there is very little evidence given by Colin Myler to the CMS Committee. We have endeavoured to deal with the evidence of Colin Myler and Tom Crone separately, and in our conclusions we specify the individual pieces of evidence from which we draw conclusions, and set out which person said it.

Evidence for 2010 Report

96.In his opening statement to the CMS Committee on 21 July 2009, Colin Myler listed three issues which he considered needed to be addressed, the second of which was “whether we knew of others in the News of the World newsroom to have been involved with Goodman, or separately from him, in accessing confidential information illegally via Mulcaire”. He went on to specify that “This relates to evidence given to this Committee by Les Hinton, … on March 6, 2007.” The third issue was “the evidence that came to light in April 2008, and the reasons for settling our litigation with Gordon Taylor.”

97.In considering what Colin Myler told the CMS Committee of his knowledge that phone hacking went beyond one rogue reporter, the key questions are Qq1405–1410:

Q1405 Philip Davies: Can I just explore a bit further the idea about how many people at News International were involved in what was going on because, coming back to the point that Paul made, the idea that it was one rogue maverick journalist appears now to be a somewhat discredited theory given that the people who have been the victims of this—people like Gordon Taylor, Elle Macpherson—have nothing to do with the Royal Family, as Paul mentioned, surely that in itself would indicate to people that this must be going beyond Clive Goodman who was the Royal Editor; because why on earth would Clive Goodman be interested in the taped conversations of Gordon Taylor and Elle Macpherson?

Mr Myler: No evidence, Mr Davies, has been produced internally or externally by the police, by any lawyers, to suggest that what you have said is the truth, is the case. Can I just make the point that Mr Farrelly touched upon. In the course of talking to executives when I arrived to go through obviously what had happened—as I said, I conducted this inquiry with Daniel Cloke our Director of Human Resources—over 2,500 emails were accessed because we were exploring whether or not there was any other evidence to suggest essentially what you are hinting at. No evidence was found; that is up to 2,500 emails.

Q1406 Philip Davies: Although there may not have been any evidence that you came across that fingered a particular individual or individuals involved in this, would you at least acknowledge that the circumstantial evidence would suggest that more people than Clive Goodman at News International were involved in this particular practice?

Mr Myler: Mr Crone said earlier, how can we speculate on something like this? For an investigative newspaper I do not know of any newspaper—and this is the fourth national newspaper that I have had the privilege of editing—or broadcasting organisation that has been so forensically investigated over the past four years—none.

Q1407 Philip Davies: The theory I advanced, would you accept that that would be a perfectly reasonable theory?

Mr Myler: No, I am sorry, how much more do the News of the World staff, who have been accused of systematic illegality, have to continue—Where is the evidence?

Q1408 Philip Davies: You would say it is perfectly reasonable and perfectly logical that the Royal Editor—the Royal Editor—was involved with somebody in the tapping of phones of people—

Mr Myler: No, I do not.

Q1409 Philip Davies:—who had nothing to do with—

Mr Myler: No, I do not; but I think, Mr Davies, with respect you know full well that is not condoned either by me personally or anybody else on the staff of the News of the World. You know that.

Q1410 Philip Davies: I am not saying you condone it; I am just saying you think it is perfectly believable that the person at News International who was behind the tapping of the phones was Clive Goodman, and people who were nothing to do with Royal Family; you think that is perfectly believable?

Mr Myler: Mr Goodman has paid the price for the illegal conduct that he engaged in. It seems that Mr Mulcaire was the person who was perhaps engaged in more tapping of phones than other people on the News of the World. I cannot answer for Mr Mulcaire; I have not got an idea what was in his mind. I have never met the man; I do not know the man. He worked for the News of the World as far back as I think the late 90s in fact.

98.There is limited evidence from Colin Myler in relation to the “For Neville” email. Most of the answers are provided by Tom Crone.105 There is a passage of questions which relate to whether the “For Neville” email is evidentially a ‘smoking gun’ 106 which Tom Crone answers, although Colin Myler answers a couple of questions in which he accepts that the email was in fact sent, but he then moves to the topic of MPs’ expenses. 107

99.In relation to the legal opinion, we are aware that the Silverleaf Opinion of 3 June 2008 would have been covered by legal professional privilege and it may reasonably be inferred that NGN would not have proffered it to the CMS Committee without a direct request for disclosure. The Silverleaf Opinion was written for NGN; as such they were the client, and it was not within Colin Myler’s gift to agree to waive privilege and provide a copy. We note, though, that there was no restriction upon the power of the CMS Committee as a Committee of the House to require production of these papers.108 Further, a witness is bound to answer all questions which a committee sees fit to put to them, and cannot excuse themselves on the ground that the matter was privileged.109

100.Whilst there are numerous references within the 2010 Report oral evidence to receiving Counsel’s advice on the level of payment,110 Colin Myler did not raise the issue of legal professional privilege, and whilst he referred to the advice on the level of damages, he did not refer to the parts of the Silverleaf Opinion which dealt with Counsel’s conclusions on the evidence, that is, that “there is a powerful case that there is (or was) a culture of illegal information access used at NGN in order to produce stories for publication.” As noted above, it appears that Colin Myler did not read the Silverleaf Opinion, but relied instead on a briefing on its contents from Tom Crone given to him in advance of his meeting with Mr James Murdoch on 10 June 2008.111

101.Finally, Colin Myler was asked: in the appeal that you heard, Mr Myler, with Clive Goodman. Did he produce or did he mention that he had in his possession any email messages from Andrew Coulson that were material to this case?”112 Colin Myler answered: “Not that I can recall, no.” In fact Andy Coulson was named within the Goodman letters as a person whose emails should be looked at—although the question does refer to “in his possession” which, as Clive Goodman was seeking copies, they clearly were not.

Evidence to CMS for the 2012 Report

102.Colin Myler’s evidence at the 6 September 2011 oral evidence session (again with Tom Crone) was that:

a)it was never suggested to him that there should be a full internal investigation;113

b)at the time of the Taylor settlement he did not have any specific conversations with anybody relating to whether there should be an external investigation into wrongdoing;114

c)in relation to discussing the “For Neville” email at any senior level that he might report to, that there have been lots of discussions “because of what has emerged.”;115 and

d)that this was not extraordinary because, “corporate governance of a company goes beyond my pay grade.”116

103.Throughout the evidence session Colin Myler made clear that his understanding at the time was that there had been a thorough investigation by the Police, and that in relation to the allegations he considered as part of the Clive Goodman employment appeal, no evidence had been found to support his allegations.117 He said he had sat down with the individuals named by Clive Goodman and “talked to them about the allegations and they denied every single one of them.”118

104.His position on the ‘one rogue reporter’ line and his answer to Q1405 in the 2010 Report were put to him:

Q955 Philip Davies: Just one final thing, in your evidence in 2009, when I put it to you that the idea that it was one rogue, maverick journalist appears now to be a somewhat discredited theory, your answer was, “No evidence, Mr Davies, has been produced internally or externally by the police, by any lawyers, to suggest that what you have said is the truth.” You have been saying today that as far as you were concerned, the “for Neville” e-mail was absolutely categorical evidence that the one, rogue maverick journalist theory was discredited. What you have said today and what you said back then—surely you cannot reconcile those two?

Colin Myler: No, as Mr Crone has pointed out, the existence of the “for Neville” e-mail was made known to Mr Taylor’s lawyers by the police. The police had this information and had this evidence.

Q956 Philip Davies: I said that it was discredited. You said that no evidence has been produced to suggest that what you have said is the case. That’s not the case, is it?

Colin Myler: I made the point very clearly in my opening statement to that hearing that the “for Neville” e-mail was clearly a significant development.

105.As referred to above, when Tom Crone and Colin Myler gave evidence on 6 September 2011, the CMS Committee did not have a copy of the Silverleaf Opinion. They received a copy on 31 October 2011.119 The Committee made no request to, nor levelled any criticism at, Tom Crone or Colin Myler during their evidence session or later in writing, for not providing a copy of the Silverleaf Opinion. Indeed the fact of advice being provided to settle and quantum of damages was freely discussed, but there was no discussion as to any view expressed by Counsel about a culture of illegal accessing of information.120 The CMS Committee did write to Tom Crone and Colin Myler regarding the Silverleaf Opinion, but the questions related to who had received or read a copy, not as to why either person had not told the Committee about all of its contents.

Colin Myler written evidence for 2012 Report

106.Colin Myler provided factual information as written evidence to the CMS Committee after the 2009 oral evidence session.121 In 2012 he also provided a number of pieces of written evidence, including as to his understanding of the investigations that had taken place prior to his taking up the post of Editor, and also what he had been told about the email review during Clive Goodman’s employment appeal:

During the course of that appeal, Mr Goodman made allegations that other employees were aware of phone hacking. While he provided no evidence to substantiate his assertions, the company commenced an internal investigation to determine whether there was any evidence to support those allegations. [… ] Once the email review was complete, I was informed that the emails did not suggest wider issues in relation to phone hacking as had been alleged by Mr Goodman. I believe the phrase used by Mr Cloke was that there was “good news; there is no smoking gun or silver bullet in the emails”. When the “for Neville” email came to light in April 2008, Mr Crone conducted an investigation into the background to that email. This included questioning a number of reporters and tasking the company’s IT department to carry out checks on the email.122

107.In relation to the “For Neville” email, in a separate piece of written evidence, Colin Myler stated:

[ … ] I have been clear and consistent throughout my evidence to the Committee about the significance of the “for Neville” email. I made clear to the Committee in my opening statement on 21 July 2009 that by that time it was obvious that Mr Goodman was not a single “rogue reporter” because the significance of the “for Neville” email and the implications of it were recognised. The fact that I emphasised the significance of the email in my opening statement demonstrated the importance I placed upon it.123

New evidence before this Committee

Colin Myler Witness Statement dated 21 December 2011

108.Colin Myler provided a statement to the Metropolitan Police in which he told them that on 11 July 2009 Neville Thurlbeck had confessed to him and Tom Crone that in 2004 he had hacked into David Blunkett’s phone. Colin Myler and Tom Crone reported this to Rebekah Brooks (who had been announced as the new Chief Executive, to take over in September 2009, but who was already acting as Chief Executive during the transition period). In reporting to Rebekah Brooks, Colin Myler considered that he had discharged his obligation to report the matter to his line manager, and expected that she would in turn report this matter higher up the chain. Mr Myler also told the Police: “After I had made clear to the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee my view about the significance of the “for Neville” email in July 2009, Mr Thurlbeck’s position became increasingly untenable.”

109.The 11 July 2009 conversation between Colin Myler, Tom Crone and Neville Thurlbeck took place ten days before Colin Myler and Tom Crone gave evidence to the CMS Committee. It appears that Mr Myler remembered it sufficiently well to record it in his statement to the police some 17 months later.

Colin Myler evidence to the Leveson Inquiry

110.Colin Myler provided written and oral evidence under oath to the Leveson Inquiry. Of particular interest are the following pieces of evidence:

Q. … throw your mind back to three or four years ago, and the one rogue reporter defence. Did you believe the one rogue reporter defence before you saw Mr Crone’s briefing notes,124 which is earlier on in this bundle?

A. I think there had been no evidence presented to support any other view, and I have to say that one of the things that was very foremost in my mind when I came back was the, as I understand it, the police took away three black bin liners of evidence from Mr Mulcaire’s home when he was arrested in August 2006. And given what I believed to be a thorough police investigation throughout that period, and the fact that the police had not interviewed any other member of staff from the News of the World other than Mr Goodman, I think that weighed heavily on my mind that I assumed that they would have done so if they had had any kind of evidence or reason to speak to somebody else. So that did weigh heavily on my mind. And also, when Mr Goodman was arrested with Mr Mulcaire, the company called in Burton Copeland to act as the go-betweens and the word I’ve used before is a bridge head, as I understand, between the police and the company, so that anything that the police wanted Burton Copeland would facilitate, so that there was full transparency and there was no opportunity to accuse the company of being an obstruction to what the police were looking for.125

And:

It’s fair to say that I always had some discomfort and I always—the term I phrased was I felt that there could have been bombs under the newsroom floor and I didn’t know where they were and I didn’t know when they were going to go off. That was my own view. But trying to get the evidence or establishing the evidence that sadly the police already had was another matter.126

In relation to the Silverleaf Opinion, he confirmed that Tom Crone had briefed him, but he did not recall a phrase regarding a “powerful culture”:

The message that I remember being communicated was very clear: that our position, following the discovery of the “for Neville” email, was fatal to our case. That was what I remember being the central message from silk’s view. A view that was shared by Mr Crone, by Mr Pike and indeed by myself.127

Colin Myler responses to the Committee of Privileges

111.Mr Myler, through Simmons and Simmons, made no substantive response (other than as to procedural issues) until we received his letter of 14 July 2016 in response to the draft paragraphs of criticism.128

Evidence to the Committee of Privileges from other witnesses

112.A submission from Julian Pike is of relevance, in which he discussed evidence he gave in 2011. Colin Myler’s submission to us of 9 February 2015129 also draws our particular attention to this piece of Julian Pike’s evidence:

Q1099 Paul Farrelly: At what stage did it become clear to you that the line that we were being given was not the truth?

Julian Pike: It would have been at the point it was given to you.

Julian Pike submitted to the Committee on Standards and Privileges that he was referring to processing the results of hacking, not involvement in the activity of hacking. He went on to comment:

… even though in my view Mr Myler gave an inaccurate answer to the CMSSC on 21 July 2009 in answer to Q1405, it does not appear that the CMSSC was misled as it already had a copy of the “for Neville” email and it was able to, and did, draw its own conclusions from the content of that email. Indeed, Mr Myler’s evidence should be understood in light of the fact that he was giving evidence to the CMSSC precisely because the committee had seen the “for Neville” email. Particularly in light of that, had I been asked, it would not have been my evidence that Mr Myler deliberately misled the CMSSC on this point.

He added:

I was and remain of the view that some of the evidence given to the CMSSC in 2009 was inaccurate, but I am not able to say whether any inaccuracy was deliberate.130

Our conclusion

113.In coming to our conclusion, we have considered what knowledge Colin Myler had of evidence that other NOTW employees had been involved in phone-hacking (and other wrongdoing) at the time of the CMS Committee oral evidence session on 21 July 2009. We know that he had:

a)Conducted Clive Goodman’s appeal against dismissal in spring 2007;

b)Seen Tom Crone’s 24 May 2008 Memorandum (on the Gordon Taylor settlement);

c)Been briefed on or before 10 June 2008 on the contents of the Silverleaf Opinion of 3 June 2008—but appears not to have read the actual document;

d)Discussed the settlement of the Taylor case (at various times) with Tom Crone, Julian Pike and James Murdoch in May and June 2008;

e)On 11 July 2009, ten days before the CMS Committee oral evidence session, been told by Neville Thurlbeck of his hacking of David Blunkett’s phone in 2004.

114.We also know from his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry that he had some “discomfort” and “felt that there could have been bombs under the newsroom floor”.

115.The evidence that ten days before the CMS Committee oral evidence session he had been told that Neville Thurlbeck had hacked into David Blunkett’s phone in 2004 is damning. It substantially discredits his other evidence. Colin Myler knew that at least one other was involved in phone hacking. He remembered this fact sufficiently well to record it in his statement to police some 17 months later.

116.On 21 July 2009 he had the opportunity in the line of questions from Philip Davies MP131 to tell the CMS Committee that he knew that others were involved. The questions put to him were clear. We note in particular his response to Q1405:

Q1405 Philip Davies: Can I just explore a bit further the idea about how many people at News International were involved [ … ] the idea that it was one rogue maverick journalist appears now to be a somewhat discredited theory Given that the people who have been the victims of this [ … ] have nothing to do with the Royal Family, …

Mr Myler: No evidence, Mr Davies, has been produced internally or externally by the police, by any lawyers, to suggest that what you have said is the truth, is the case. [ … ]

117.We find that Colin Myler tended to dodge clear questions. For example, Q1406 “ … would you at least acknowledge that the circumstantial evidence would suggest that more people than Clive Goodman at News International were involved in this particular practice?” which Mr Myler chose to answer:

Mr Crone said earlier, how can we speculate on something like this? For an investigative newspaper I do not know of any newspaper—and this is the fourth national newspaper that I have had the privilege of editing—or broadcasting organisation that has been so forensically investigated over the past four years—none.

118.The correct information was within Colin Myler’s knowledge. Even setting aside his witness statement to the MPS, the surrounding evidence makes clear that the answers to the CMS Committee on this issue, and in particular to Qq1405 to 1410, were misleading. The content and tenor of his evidence to the CMS Committee does not match, and is not as clear as, his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry; there is no statement to the CMS Committee that is as honest as his “bombs under the newsroom floor” evidence.

119.Colin Myler started the oral evidence session on 21 July 2009 by raising the topic of the “For Neville” email and Gordon Taylor settlement, but his evidence to the CMS Committee did not suggest that the email was evidence of a broader involvement in phone hacking beyond Clive Goodman. The questions about the involvement of others at NOTW were put by the CMS Committee in the light of the “For Neville” email being produced and disclosed to the Committee; their questions tended not to the existence of the “For Neville” email, but to seeking information about who else had been involved. When his 2009 response to Q1405 was put to him in the 6 September 2011 evidence session, Colin Myler stated that he had made clear in 2009 “that the “For Neville” email was clearly a significant development” . This is somewhat of an understatement—in his 24 May 2008 Memo Tom Crone had described it to Colin Myler as “fatal” to their case and “damning”.

120.Colin Myler did not tell the CMS Committee that the Silverleaf Opinion included advice other than advice on the level of damages. Whilst he does not appear to have read it, he had been briefed on it, and we conclude that he knew at the very least that leading Counsel’s advice was in the same strong terms as Tom Crone’s 24 May 2008 Memo.

121.We have concluded that the allegations are significantly more likely than not to be true, and that Colin Myler misled the CMS Committee by “answering questions falsely about [his] knowledge of evidence that other News of the World employees had been involved in phone-hacking and other wrongdoing”. We make a finding of contempt in relation to Colin Myler.


105 Q1451 being one of the few exceptions.

106 Qq1452–1457

107 Q1455–1456

108 Erskine May (24th ed), p819

109 Erskine May (24th ed), p823

110 Q1430 to Colin Myler and possibly also in Q1450 and Qq1511–1512

112 Q1548

113 Q915

114 Q923

115 Q925

116 Q926

117 Qq915, 918, 919, 920 and 951 (and at other times during the 2011 oral evidence session)

118 Q920

119 CMS 2012 Report, Ev 240 The first reference by the CMS Committee to Michael Silverleaf QC’s name was to Julian Pike on 19 October 2011. It appears from the cover letter which disclosed the Silverleaf Opinion and other documents from Farrer & Co that the Opinion was requested at the Julian Pike evidence session.

120 CMS 2012 Report, Qq (Crone) 793, 795, 820, (Myler) 905, 907, 976, 977

124 The reference is to the 24 May 2008 Memo.

128 Colin Myler to CoP, 14 July 2016. Having considered the substantive points raised, we concluded that they had already been addressed, for example at paragraphs 99, 110 and 120.

129 Colin Myler to CoP, 9 February 2015, section 7

130 Julian Pike to CSP, 3 August 2012

131 Qq1405 to 1410




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13 September 2016