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

6Les Hinton

Key dates

6 March 2007 CMS oral evidence session

7 December 2007 Les Hinton moves to Dow Jones & Co.

15 September 2009 CMS oral evidence session

24 October 2011 CMS oral evidence session

205.Les Hinton was the Executive Chairman of News International until 7 December 2007, when he was appointed Chief Executive of Dow Jones, which had been acquired by News Corporation, which also owned NI. He was thus in post as Chairman of the time of the arrest of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire in August 2006, and gave evidence in this capacity, and in his capacity as Chairman of the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee, to the CMS Committee on 6 March 2007. For the 15 September 2009 evidence session he was no longer employed by NI. He resigned as Chief Executive of Dow Jones on 15 July 2011 and therefore by the time of the 24 October 2011 evidence session he was no longer employed by a News Corporation company.

CMS Chapter 8 conclusion

Les Hinton misled the Committee in 2009 in not telling the truth about payments to Clive Goodman and his role in authorising them, including the payment of his legal fee. He also misled the Committee about the extent of his knowledge of allegations that phone-hacking extended beyond Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire to others at the News of the World (see paragraphs 84, 85 and 91).

Para 84:

84. The total amount paid to Clive Goodman is extraordinary when one considers that he had been convicted of a criminal offence and that his actions had helped stain the reputation of the company. The double payment of a year’s salary was, by any standards, ‘over-generous’ and it is impossible, therefore, not to question the company’s motives. The pay-offs to a convicted criminal hardly reflect well on Les Hinton, who had authority over both payments. When questioned about them in 2009 he was startlingly vague and—inexcusably—sought to portray his role as a passive one, simply following the advice given to him by his subordinates. The evidence we took in 2011 suggests that he not only authorised the payments, but took the decision to make them in the first place. Furthermore, he was responsible for the double payment of Clive Goodman’s notice and, his ‘selective amnesia’ notwithstanding, he would have been perfectly well aware of what he had done. We consider, therefore, that Les Hinton misled the Committee in 2009 regarding the extent of the pay-off to Clive Goodman and his own role in making it happen.

Para 85:

85. The testimony regarding the payments to Clive Goodman is not the only evidence from Les Hinton which we find unsatisfactory. He first appeared before the Committee on 6 March 2007, precisely four days after Clive Goodman’s letter alleging widespread involvement in phone hacking, which was copied to him. Whether or not Les Hinton had seen this letter before his appearance in 2007, he certainly had by the time he did so on 15 September 2009 when he said: ‘There was never firm evidence provided or suspicion provided that I am aware of that implicated anybody else other than Clive within the staff of the News of the World. It just did not happen’. This was not true. Clive Goodman had certainly provided ‘suspicion’ of wider involvement, but Les Hinton failed to mention it to the Committee. At no stage did Les Hinton seek to correct the record, even when invited by the Committee to do so. We consider, therefore, that Les Hinton was complicit in the cover-up at News International, which included making misleading statements and giving a misleading picture to this Committee.

Para 91:

91. We accept that, however distasteful it may seem, there was nothing inherently sinister about News International paying Clive Goodman’s legal fees in respect of the criminal charges he faced. Now that we are certain that he authorised the payment, however, we are distinctly unimpressed by Les Hinton’s 2009 assertion that he did not know whether or not the company had paid those fees. Declarations of ignorance or amnesia do not assist News International in its bid to convince the Committee, and the wider public, that it had nothing to hide. If it was legitimate to have paid Clive Goodman’s legal fees, the company would have been better advised to admit to having done so. Again, we consider that Les Hinton’s unwillingness to be explicit over the payment of legal fees was a deliberate effort to mislead the Committee over News International’s payments to Clive Goodman after he was charged and convicted.

206.In summary, the sting of the CMS Committee’s conclusions is found in three allegations made against Les Hinton, namely that he sought to mislead the CMS Committee as to the:

a)Extent of pay-off to Clive Goodman and his role in making it happen;

b)Extent of his knowledge of allegations that phone hacking extended beyond Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire to others at NOTW;

c)Payment of Clive Goodman’s legal fees.

Extent of pay-off to Clive Goodman and his role

207.Clive Goodman received two payments: the first of around £90,000 (the “£90k payment”) as a gratuitous payment accompanying his dismissal, and £153,000 as compensation and legal fees in settlement of his employment claim.206

Written evidence before CMS

2010 Report

208.Written evidence was received by the CMS Committee from Colin Myler in August 2009 in advance of the Les Hinton evidence session on 15 September 2009:

5. Did News International make any payments to Clive Goodman after his conviction? If so, how much was the payment and on what grounds was it made? (Q1536)

In July 2007, employment-related claim(s) made by Clive Goodman against News Group Newspapers Limited were settled. The nature of the claim(s), the circumstances giving rise to it/them and the terms of the settlement (including the amount of any payments) are subject to mutual and legally binding confidentiality obligations. These are standard in compromise agreements entered into under section 203 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.207

2012 Report

209.Les Hinton was the author of the letter to Clive Goodman informing him of his dismissal dated 5 February 2007 (and received by the CMS Committee before the Les Hinton evidence session on 24 October 2011):

Dear Clive

I am sorry to have to be writing this letter, but am afraid that events of the last few days and months provide us no choice but to terminate your employment with News Group Newspapers Limited.

This action, I know you understand, is the consequence of your plea of guilty, and subsequent imprisonment on 26 January, in relation to conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages. This obviously constitutes a very serious breach of your obligations as an employee, such as to warrant dismissal without any warnings. In the circumstances of your plea and the court’s sentence, it is reasonable for us to dismiss you without any further enquiries.

I recognise this episode followed many unblemished, and frequently distinguished, years of service to the News of the World. In view of this, and in recognition of the pressures on your family, it has been decided that upon your termination you will receive one year’s salary. In all the circumstances, we would of course be entitled to make no payment whatever.

To summarise, in formal language, the following arrangements apply with immediate effect (but may be varied or revoked in the event of a successful disciplinary appeal);

(a) Your dismissal takes effect immediately and your final day of employment is therefore today.

(b) You will be paid, through payroll, on 6 February 2007, 12 months’ base salary, subject to normal deductions of tax and national insurance.

(c) [ … ]208.

(d) [ … ]209.

Again, Clive, I am deeply sorry we have found it necessary to take this measure, but we have no other choice.

Of course, you have the right to appeal against your dismissal. If you wish to appeal, you (or your legal representative) must do so in writing to Stuart Kuttner within two weeks of the date of this letter. You would then have the opportunity to present your case at an appeal hearing in accordance with our disciplinary procedure. You may be accompanied at the hearing by a fellow employee or a NISA representative. Lodging an appeal will not delay the dismissal taking effect.

If you have any questions, please contact Stuart Kuttner.

Yours sincerely,

Les Hinton

Executive Chairman

News International Limited210

Les Hinton oral evidence to CMS for 2010 Report

210.Les Hinton was asked by Philip Davies MP to explain the payments that were made after the convictions:

Mr Hinton: Well, there were employment-related payments made to them after their conviction. I have been told by News International that they are subject to confidentiality. Even though I have been told not to relay the information, I do not remember it except that in the case of Mulcaire it had reached some point of employment tribunal proceedings but I ended up being advised that we should settle with them and I authorised those settlements.211

211.Les Hinton repeated in a number of answers that he was advised to settle and that is what the organisation did,212 and that he had been advised not to discuss the terms of the settlement.213 Morrison Foerster acting on behalf of Les Hinton, referred to Q2126, and also referenced a number of questions as repeated references to Les Hinton accepting “ultimate responsibility for the Goodman settlement, whilst also acknowledging, accurately, that he had relied on the advice of others concerning it.”214 For example:

a)Q2127: I was told that we should settle and I agreed to do it;

b)Q2128: I was given advice by [the lawyers] that there were grounds that we should settle and I accepted the grounds;

c)Q2136: People not involved, the Legal Department of New International and the Human Resources Department of News International, who were in no way involved in any of this, gave the advice that these people were entitled to a settlement which I authorised.

d)Q2184: I was the Executive Chairman of a wholly-owned subsidiary and therefore I was responsible for management decisions [like the settlements] so there was no delegation, I would have taken that responsibility myself … . [T]hat decision would have been mine entirely;

e)Q2186: There was action taken by Mulcaire and Goodman and the judgment was made by our HR and legal people that we should reach a settlement, which we did;

f)Q2187: Well, I decided to act upon the advice of the lawyers and HR.

212.Other questions consider the reasoning behind the settlement.

Q2132 Philip Davies: Can I finally put a proposition to you and just gain your reaction to it before letting someone else try and jog your memory. A payment might have been made, might it not, to Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire to make sure that they did not spill any beans to anybody else about any of the other activities that had been going on at the News of the World? What do you make of that presumption?

Mr Hinton: Not surprisingly, I was waiting for you to get to that point, but I cannot actually see what silence there was left because these chaps had been through months of police interrogation, months of investigation, they were taken before the court and I do not know what silence there was. There was a court hearing, there was a rigorous police inquiry; I am not sure what silence you are talking about, so therefore I think it is wrong to assume that.

And:

Q2182 Paul Farrelly: That is a surprising answer. Can I just come on to the payments to Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire which have been mentioned because that is also a new fact that has been established by this inquiry. There was some gossip in Private Eye and from Tom Crone and Stuart Kuttner, after a bit of going back and forth, we gained the admission that these payments had been made. Colin Myler in a letter to us has also said that you were aware of the terms of the settlement. Can I ask you what was the process of authorisation of both these settlements when you were there in terms of who would have signed them off, was it you or would they have gone to the board as well?

Mr Hinton: Putting aside signatures, I would take responsibility for a payment such as that. As I said before, we employ lots of people all over the place. Any settlement of that sort is usually brought to my attention and I would have the chance to object to it. In that particular case, I decided not to and to authorise them. Just to make sure I am answering your question properly, the judgment about that would have been made by the Legal and Human Resources Departments, not by the News of the World.

Les Hinton oral evidence to CMS for 2012 Report

213.There are repeated references in the 2011 evidence session to the settlement being authorised:215

Q1321 Chair: Can I start off by asking you about the letter which you sent to Clive Goodman in February 2007, in which you said that he was being dismissed, but that, in the light of his frequently distinguished years of service to the News of the World and in recognition of the pressures on his family, it was decided that, on his termination, he would receive one year’s salary? Can I ask whether you came to that decision? Did you seek advice on it? Was it agreed with others? Can you tell us a bit about the background to that?

Les Hinton: That was quite a while ago, Chairman. Of course, I would have had discussions with others, but I don’t recall with whom I had them. But it was my decision to do that.

Q1322 Chair: You decided that he should receive one year’s salary payment of £90,000, and you authorised that payment.

Les Hinton: I did.

Q1323 Chair: Right. That was a decision for you; you did not have to refer it to anybody else.

Les Hinton: No, I made that decision myself.

Q1324 Chair: Right. Following your letter, Mr Goodman wrote to Mr Cloke saying that he wished to formally launch an appeal against the termination of his employment. That letter was sent at the beginning of March, but the payment that you had already offered him in your original letter went ahead. Why was that?

Les Hinton: I can’t recall exactly what the process was of those payments, Chairman, but what I can say is that, in my mind and, I think, in others’ minds, the matter of my having given Goodman a year’s salary and the subsequent appeal were treated separately.

And:

Q1329 Chair: The settlement you agreed was £153,000. We were told by Jon Chapman, I think, that that was broken down approximately into £40,000 in compensation, £13,000 in legal expenses and £90,000 in notice, but you had already paid £90,000 in notice, so it appears you ended up paying it twice. Can you explain that?

Les Hinton: All I can tell you, Chairman, is that we looked at the settlement proposal—that was a settlement proposal which I was advised was the best we could achieve, and I decided to go ahead with the £150,000.

Q1330 Chair: But it was a settlement proposal a component of which was a year’s notice. Surely, you could have said, “Well, we’ve paid the year’s notice already.”

Les Hinton: That’s a fair question, Chairman, but at the time that’s not what we did.

Q1331 Chair: So you paid him, in essence, two years’ notice, or one year’s notice twice over?

Les Hinton: We paid him a year’s salary, and we paid him the £90,000 of notice in relation to his appeal, yes.

Les Hinton written evidence to CMS for 2012 Report

214.Les Hinton did not provide written evidence for 2010 Report. He did provide written evidence for the 2012 Report by letter dated 31 August 2011, a few months in advance of his oral evidence session:

I appeared before the Committee on 6 March 2007 and 15 September 2009. On each occasion, I answered all questions truthfully and to the best of my knowledge and recollection.

When I appeared before the Committee on 6 March 2007, I said I believed Mr Goodman was the only person at the News of the World who knew about the illegal conduct that led to his imprisonment, but that investigation was continuing under the new editor, Colin Myler.

Mr Myler’s previous evidence refers to the investigations and reviews that took place prior to, and after, his arrival at the newspaper.

The allegations in Mr Goodman’s 2 March 2007 letter were made in response to my letter to him dated 5 February 2007 summarily terminating his employment. You have already been given evidence that these allegations were taken seriously and investigated.

You have also been told in recent evidence that inquiries were made by Mr Myler and Daniel Cloke, Group Human Resources Director, as well as the review of 2,500 emails by Mr Cloke and Jon Chapman, Director of Legal Affairs for News International. All three were experienced, capable and respected senior employees, and none had been involved in any of the matters at issue. The law firm of Harbottle & Lewis LLP was then retained, and the results of their work are set forth in their letter dated 29 May 2007.

The recent submissions, including those by Mr Myler, Mr Chapman, and Harbottle & Lewis LLP, refer in greater detail to the actions that followed receipt of Mr Goodman’s letter. As for Mr Goodman’s assertion that he had been promised he could come back to a job at the newspaper “if [he] did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in [his] mitigation plea,” I had no reason to believe that his allegation was accurate, and am not aware of any evidence to support it. Accordingly, as I testified before the Committee in 2009, no evidence was provided to me that the conduct of Mr Goodman had spread beyond him.

I hope the Committee finds these comments helpful. While grateful for the opportunity offered to reconsider my previous evidence and to make additional comments, as my evidence was given honestly, and as I left News International in December 2007, I have nothing further to add.216

Written and oral evidence provided to CMS provided by other witnesses

215.As part of the 2010 Report, on 4 November 2009 NI submitted written evidence to the CMS Committee in relation to the grounds for settlement and Les Hinton’s authorisation of payments. This evidence was prepared by Jon Chapman:

Clive Goodman’s employment with News Group Newspapers Limited was terminated in early February 2007. Subsequently, he engaged a City law firm with a view to bringing employment tribunal proceedings, the primary claim being that News Group Newspapers Limited failed to follow the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedure in relation to termination of his employment. This procedure was introduced in October 2004 (it ceased to apply earlier this year) and contained minimum requirements to be met in relation to any dismissal. Failure to meet such requirements made a dismissal automatically unfair, entitling the affected employee to bring an unfair dismissal claim, with a potential compensatory award of (what was then) up to £60,600 (in addition to any contractual notice pay entitlement). News Group Newspapers Limited had not followed the requirements of the statutory procedure, so the dismissal was undoubtedly unfair under the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedure. In such circumstances, it is open to an employer to argue before the tribunal that, even if the statutory procedure had been followed to the letter, the outcome would have been the same and that the employee was not, thereby, prejudiced. The options were, thus, for News Group Newspapers Limited to defend the matter in tribunal relying on this defence (which, it has to be said, even in gross misconduct cases where correct procedure has not been followed, is by no means guaranteed to succeed) or to try to reach a settlement of the matter on reasonable terms. In all contentious employment cases in the News International group, a recommendation as to whether to defend or to try to settle is made by me to relevant senior management, based primarily on cost (to settle or legal and other costs to defend), the very significant internal time and resource required to deal with a defence, likelihood of success and publicity the matter may attract. I applied this analysis to the Goodman claim and recommended to Les Hinton, our then Executive Chairman, that we explore settlement on reasonable terms. After some discussion with Mr Goodman’s lawyers, a proposed settlement was reached which was approved by Les Hinton and Daniel Cloke, our Director of Human Resources. This was then embodied in a compromise agreement. This is a type of settlement agreement required to be used in employment cases and which complies with the specific requirements of section 203 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. In this case, we used a standard-form News International compromise agreement and only minor changes were made to it. In particular, there was nothing tailored specifically to Mr Goodman’s possible future activities.

Pursuant to the agreement, Mr Goodman was paid his notice and an agreed settlement amount. It should be noted that, as a matter of policy, News International companies tend always to pay notice, even in cases of summary dismissal. As is normal under the terms of compromise agreements, Mr Goodman’s legal costs relating to his employment claims and their settlement by compromise agreement were paid by News Group Newspapers Limited.

I should conclude, in relation to Mr Goodman, by stating that, in my view, there was nothing at all underhand about this compromise agreement. It was achieved following negotiation with a senior employment lawyer from a City firm and was implemented through a standard-form News International precedent. It was entered into in July 2007, some time after Mr Goodman’s release from prison, and, in my view, far too late for any silence effectively to be “bought” (which I know has been the suggestion from some quarters).217

216.As part of the 2012 Report, on 6 September 2011 Jon Chapman, by that time the former Director of Legal Affairs, News International, and Daniel Cloke, by that time the former Group HR Director, News International, provided oral evidence to the CMS Committee (in advance of the Les Hinton session). Jon Chapman said that Les Hinton asked him to help with the Clive Goodman dismissal letter of 5 February 2007.218 He said that Les Hinton indicated that he was going to pay 12 months’ salary, and he said that he wanted to do it on compassionate grounds because of Mr Goodman’s family situation. The double payment of notice was put to Jon Chapman:

Q669 Philip Davies: Absolutely, I think we’d all agree with that. What then is bizarre in the extreme to a layman like me is given that if Clive Goodman had gone to a tribunal, the upper limit of what he could be given was £60,000, and having said that you were absolutely adamant that the right decision had been taken—there was nothing to support his allegations—so you could have defended yourselves at the tribunal, that didn’t happen. [ … ] what on earth were you doing paying him a further £140,000 on top of the £90,000 he’d already been given as a year’s salary? How on earth could you justify that?

Jonathan Chapman: May I answer that? We didn’t take the decision. The decision was taken by Mr Hinton that it should be settled, following our work on it and recommendation, having been told to try to get a reasonable settlement figure. The position is that it was a stark choice: settle at a reasonable figure or end up in tribunal. The tribunal proceedings would have been several months down the line. At the tribunal proceedings, Mr Goodman would have been able to make a number of allegations, which we did not believe, having done our exercise, had any foundation, but he would have been able to make those allegations in a public forum. There was a—this is a pragmatic, commercial business decision, to my mind, and can be characterised as that. Many companies, particularly big companies, pay out on employment claims of little or no merit for pragmatic reasons, because they do not want stuff to be raked up. Even if allegations that are unfounded are made in the context of a tribunal, those who wish to believe those allegations will believe them.

And:

Q674 Philip Davies: So you did not take the first year’s salary that had already been given into account?

Jonathan Chapman: As I said, my brief at that time, having come into this exercise after the appeal proceedings and being asked to deal with Mr Goodman’s lawyer, was to settle the matter. On the £90,000 payment, I don’t know the circumstances of that, I’m afraid, but it was not part of the settlement. It was gratuitous, in other words. It was not part of a settlement agreement.

217.Jon Chapman also gave evidence that on the editorial side at News International, “there has certainly always been more of a feeling of family compassion and humanitarian stuff,[ … ]I do not think that there is anything sinister in that; I just think there is quite a big feeling of family on newspapers. When someone messes up badly and commits a crime, I think there was also a feeling that, yes, they have done a terrible wrong, but their family should not suffer.”219

New evidence before this Committee

Leveson Inquiry

218.Jon Chapman’s evidence to the CMS Committee in 2011 ties in with what he told the Leveson Inquiry. In discussing providing assistance to Les Hinton for Clive Goodman’s dismissal letter of 5 February 2007, he said:

The position here was that Mr Hinton decided to make a payment of 90,000-odd to Mr Goodman. This was made in February. We think, we hope that is the case now and there won’t be another revision of when it was paid. I think at that stage Mr Hinton, indeed everybody else, was very far from expecting there to be an unfair dismissal claim come along from Mr Goodman. Several months later, after his appeal was turned down, there was an unfair dismissal claim. Lawyers’ letters were received and I was tasked with seeing if that could be settled for a reasonable amount. So the £90,000 is outwith the settlement process. It was paid over, and it’s not part of the legal settlement, it was paid over gratuitously and I think in the belief, perhaps mistaken, by Mr Hinton that that would be the end of the matter.220

And:

LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: I think it’s fair, Mr Chapman, that however it’s characterised, it’s essentially the same point, isn’t it: although on the face of it, giving nearly a quarter of a million pounds to somebody in these circumstances would cause a lot of eyebrows to be raised, the underlying protection of the brand was what was important. Is that a fair way of putting it?

A. That’s absolutely correct, sir.221

Les Hinton responses to Committee of Privileges

219.The main theme of Les Hinton’s submission on this allegation is that at the 2009 oral evidence session he repeatedly accepted ultimate responsibility for the Clive Goodman settlement, and that he relied upon the advice of others to make that decision. In their 15 August 2012, Morrison Foerster stated that his 2009 evidence is consistent with his 2011 evidence, and that Les Hinton’s “testimony on all occasions is consistent [ … ] with other accounts of the Goodman settlement.” for example that of Jon Chapman as part of News International’s written evidence for the 2010 Report (4 November 2009), and Daniel Cloke’s written evidence (31 August 2011).222

220.Morrison Foerster made brief references to the first £90k payment (for example, in paragraphs 40–41), which correctly note the inter-twining of the two payment issues by the CMS Committee in its Chapter 8 conclusion, and that other relevant evidence from other people (for example, Jon Chapman—written in 2009 and oral in 2011 and who assisted Les Hinton with Clive Goodman’s dismissal letter) has not been criticised. Morrison Foerster submitted that neither Jon Chapman’s evidence, nor Les Hinton’s of 2011 nor his authorisation of the first £90k payment, undermines in any way Mr Hinton’s testimony as to his role in the ultimate settlement of Clive Goodman’s employment claims.223

221.Morrison Foerster also suggested that the CMS Committee had “spuriously” asserted that NI tried to buy Goodman’s silence: “At the time of the settlement, Goodman had been subject to a police investigation and a court hearing. Whatever the CMS Committee now makes of the police and other inquiries related to this matter, the idea that there was any silence to be bought at this point defies common sense.”224

Our conclusion

222.At the time of giving evidence on 15 September 2009 we know that Les Hinton had:

a)Written the dismissal letter for Clive Goodman (5 February 2007);

b)Authorised the first £90k payment; and

c)Authorised the payment of money to settle Clive Goodman’s employment claims.

223.We also know that at the 15 September 2009 oral evidence session:

a)He did not refer to the first £90k payment, but nor did News International;

b)He did not specify any figures for any payments made to Clive Goodman;

c)He made repeated references to authorising the settlement having taken advice.

224.We know that the external evidence from others, such as Jon Chapman (before the CMS Committee in 2011 and Leveson), was that, however unusual, the first payment was a gratuitous payment. We also know that at the 24 October 2011 oral evidence session, the CMS Committee did not put to Les Hinton (a) that he had not mentioned the first £90k payment, nor (b) that by failing to do so he had misled the CMS Committee in 2009. We note that the CMS Committee did not separate the two payments within its conclusion.

225.Les Hinton failed to tell the CMS Committee about the first £90k payment when giving evidence on 15 September 2009 for the 2010 Report. He knew about the payment, because he authorised it as part of the dismissal of Clive Goodman, and he was the author of the letter dismissing him and offering him the payment. The letter is not from a standard template, but is familiar and friendly in tone and content—we conclude that at the 2009 evidence session Les Hinton would have remembered writing it. We also conclude that Q2126 at the 2009 evidence session was sufficiently clear and broad to require a full answer encompassing both payments to Clive Goodman. However, the questions put to him for the 2012 Report did not challenge his failure to inform the CMS Committee of this first payment. His evidence on the remaining employment payments made as part of the settlement of Clive Goodman’s claims was nonetheless consistent throughout, namely that he had taken advice, and decided to authorise the settlement. We do not agree with the CMS Committee that in relation to this second payment he was “startlingly vague and—inexcusably—sought to portray his role as a passive one, simply following the advice given to him by subordinates.”

226.The CMS Committee’s conclusion on this issue does not distinguish between the two payments. Our reading of the CMS Committee’s 2012 Report is that the Committee thought the payments to Clive Goodman were over generous and that this was not a routine settlement of an employment dispute. The CMS Committee were concerned that the payments were made to keep Clive Goodman quiet. The Committee were entitled to draw those conclusions, but that does not mean that Les Hinton committed a contempt in giving his evidence. A criticism of behaviour is not the same as a finding of contempt.

227.We have found this conclusion particularly difficult. However, applying the standard of proof, and without any direct lie as opposed to omissions that we can point to within his evidence, we have concluded that the allegation that Les Hinton sought to mislead the CMS Committee as to the extent of the payments to Clive Goodman and his own role in authorising them is not significantly more likely than not to be true. We make no finding of contempt in relation to this issue against Les Hinton.

Knowledge of allegations of extent of phone hacking at NOTW

Written evidence before CMS

2010 Report

228.The CMS Committee had before them a transcript or copy of the prosecution submissions on sentence, pleas in mitigation and sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Gross from the sentencing hearing of Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire.225 It appears that all Counsel and the Judge accepted without argument on the point that any information retrieved by Mulcaire from the non-Royal household victims was to be passed to NOTW. In particular, the prosecution confirmed that counts 16–20 related to Mulcaire alone, and that the purpose was to pass information on to NOTW.226 In his sentencing remarks Mr Justice Gross told Glenn Mulcaire: “As to Counts 16 to 20, you had not dealt with Goodman but with others at News International.”227 Les Hinton referred to the sentencing hearing during the 2009 evidence session.228 We conclude that he was aware of what had been said about the involvement of others at the sentencing hearing on 26 January 2007.

229.The CMS Committee also had a copy of the letter from Lawrence Abramson (Partner at Harbottle and Lewis) to Jon Chapman, dated 29 May 2007, providing the results of the external review of emails.229

2012 Report

230.Les Hinton was the author of the Clive Goodman dismissal letter (as set out above). Clive Goodman’s letters appealing his dismissal of 2 and 14 March 2007 were received by the CMS Committee for the 2012 Report:

[As published by the CMS Committee—version assembled from two redacted copies submitted to them. For unredacted version see below]

2 March 2007

Dear Mr Cloke,

Re: Notice of termination of employment

I refer to Les Hinton’s letter of February 5, 2007 Informing me of my dismissal for alleged gross misconduct.

The letter identifies the reason for the dismissal as “recent events”. I take this to mean my plea of guilty to conspiracy to intercept the voicemail messages of three employees of the Royal family.

I am appealing against this decision on the following grounds:

(i) The decision is perverse in that the actions leading to this criminal charge were carried out with the full knowledge, and support of [REDACTED]. Payment for Glen Mulcaire’s services was arranged by the [REDACTED].

(ii) The decision is inconsistent, because the paper’s [redacted] and other members of staff were carrying out the same illegal procedures. The prosecution counsel, the counsel for Glen Mulcaire, and the Judge at the sentencing hearing agreed that other News of the World employees were the clients for Mulcaire’s five solo substantive charges. This practice was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the Editor. As far as I am aware, no other member of staff has faced disciplinary action, much less dismissal.

(iii) My conviction and imprisonment cannot be the real reason for my dismissal. The legal manager, Tom Crone, attended virtually every meeting of my legal team and was given full access to the Crown Prosecution Service’s evidence files. He, and other senior staff of the paper, had long advance knowledge that I would plead guilty. Despite this, the paper continued to employ me. Throughout my suspension I was given book serialisations to write and was consulted on several occasions about Royal stories they needed to check. The paper continued to employ me for a substantial part of my custodial sentence.

(iv) Tom Crone and the Editor promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in my mitigation plea. I did not, and I expect the paper to honour its promise to me.

(v) The dismissal is automatically unfair as the company failed to go through the minimum required statutory dismissal procedures.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Goodman

cc Stuart Kuttner, Managing Editor, News of the World

Les Hinton, Executive Chairman, News International Ltd230

Unredacted: From Clive Goodman’s evidence during R v Brooks, Coulson and ors, 19 March 2014, p.107

Q: [ … ] “I refer to the letter of February 5, 2007 informing me of my dismissal for alleged gross misconduct. The letter identifies the reason for the dismissal as ‘recent events’. I take this to mean my plea of guilty to conspiracy to intercept the voicemail messages of three employees to the Royal family.

I am appealing against this decision on the following grounds:

(1) The decision is perverse in that the actions leading to this criminal charge were carried out with the full knowledge and support of The News of the World’s editor, Andy Coulson and deputy editor, Neil Wallace. Payment for Glen Mulcaire’s services was arranged by the managing editor, Stuart Kuttner.

(2) The decision is inconsistent because the paper’s news editor, Ian Edmondson, and other members of staff were carrying out the same illegal procedures. Prosecution counsel, the counsel for Glen Mulcaire and the judge at the sentencing hearing agreed that other News of the World employees were the clients for Mulcaire’s five solo substantive charges. This practice was widely discussed at the daily editorial conference until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor. As far as I am aware, no other member of staff has faced disciplinary action, much less dismissal.

(3) My conviction and imprisonment cannot be the real reason for my dismissal. The legal manager, Tom Crone, attended virtually every meeting of my legal team and was given full access to the Crown Prosecution Service’s evidence files. He and other senior staff of the paper had long advanced knowledge that I would plead guilty. Despite this, the paper continued to employ me. Throughout my suspension I was given book serialisations to write and was consulted on several occasions about the Royal stories they needed to check. The paper continued to employ me for a substantial part of my custodial sentence.

(4) Tom Crone and the editor promised on many occasions that I could come back to a job at the newspaper if I did not implicate the paper or any of its staff in my mitigation plea. I did not and I expect the paper to honour its promise to me.

(5) The dismissal is automatically unfair as the company failed to go through the minimum required statutory dismissal procedures. Copies to Mr Kuttner and Les Hinton”

And:

14 March, 2007

Dear Mr Cloke,

[ … ]

In the meantime, I would be grateful if you could provide the following documents:

(i) A transcription of the sentencing hearing from the Old Bailey on January 26, 2007.

(ii) Full details available by a print out of every story payment requested by me from October 2005 until my arrest to include details of which executive approved each credit for payment, which executive authorised each credit for final payment, and from which budget each credit came. Also, the same audit trail for story payment requests from me that were not authorised for payment.

(iii) Emails and other documents relating to my transfer from the Editorial Management budget to the News budget and any further relevant documents.

(iv) Copies of emails passing between [REDACTED] and me, [REDACTED] and me, [REDACTED] and me, [REDACTED] and me, and [REDACTED] and me for the period October 2005 until January 26 2007.

(v) Copies of emails passing between [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] for the period October 2005 until the present day insofar as they relate to me or any work carried out by me, or relate to Glen Mulcaire or ‘Alexander’ or any work carried out by him.

(vi) Copies of emails passing between [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] for the period October 2005 until the present day insofar as they relate to me or any work carried out by me, or relate to Glen Mulcaire or ‘Alexander’ or any work carried out by him.

(vii) Copies of emails passing to and from [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] for the period October 2005 until the present day insofar as they relate to me or any work carried out by me, or relate to Glen Mulcaire or ‘Alexander’ or any work carried out by him.

(viii) Copies of emails passing between [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] during the period from August 2006 to the present day insofar as they relate to me or any work carried out by me, or relate to Glen Mulcaire or ‘Alexander’ or any work carried out by him. Further, copies of any emails passing between [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] relating to my criminal case.

(ix) Copies of [REDACTED] mobile phone records for 2005, 2006 and 2007 showing calls to and from Glen Mulcaire.

(x) Copies of [redacted] appointments diary for the period from August 2006 to the present date.

(xi) A full transcription of [REDACTED–Les Hinton’s231] testimony to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s select committee hearing into the self regulation of the Press, given on March 6 2007.

In view of the additional documents that are essential in order for me to prepare properly for the appeal hearing, I think it sensible and reasonable to reschedule Tuesday’s meeting until I have been given reasonable time to consider these further documents.

I look forward to your response as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Goodman

Unredacted: From Clive Goodman’s evidence during R v Brooks, Coulson and ors, 19 March 2014, p.113

(4) Copies of e-mails passing between Stuart Kuttner and me, Andy Coulson and me, Neil Wallace and Me, Jules Stenson and me and Ian Edmondson and me for the period October 2005 until January 6 2007”.

5) Copies of e-mails passing to Andy Coulson and Stuart Kuttner for the period October 2005 ‘til the present day insofar as they relate to me or any work carried out by me or relate to Glen Mulcaire or Alexander or any work carried out by him”.

(6) Copies of e-mails passing between Andy Coulson and Ian Edmondson for the period October 2005 until the present day insofar as they relate to”, and you go on to mention Glen Mulcaire, Alexander --

No 7. “E-mails to and from Neil Wallace and Andy Coulson”.

No 8, “E-mails passing between Tom Crone and Stuart Kuttner and Andy Coulson from the period from August 2006”, your arrest, “to the present day”.

231.A set of emails between Lawrence Abramson and Jon Chapman, including initial instructions, were also before the CMS Committee ahead of their evidence session with Les Hinton on 24 October 2011.232

Les Hinton oral evidence to CMS in 2007

232.Les Hinton gave evidence a few days after Clive Goodman sent his letter by post appealing his dismissal—cc’d to Les Hinton. There is no evidence that it would have reached Les Hinton in advance of this evidence session.233

Q90 Chairman: Les, can I come back to the Goodman case? The official version of events appears to be that Clive Goodman broke the law and has paid the penalty for doing so; that his editor was unaware that he broke the law but nevertheless took responsibility, because he was the editor, and resigned; and that is the end of it. Can you tell us what investigations you carried out to determine whether or not anybody else was aware of what Clive Goodman was doing?

Mr Hinton: First of all, the police obviously carried out pretty thorough investigations, and the result of their investigation was the charge against Clive and against the private detective. Clive went to prison; the News of the World paid a substantial amount to charities nominated by Prince Harry, Prince William and the editor, who told me he had no knowledge of this activity but felt that, since it had happened on his watch, he should take his share of the responsibility, and he resigned. The new editor has been given a very clear remit to make certain that everything is done in the form of seminars and meetings. [ … ] I believe absolutely that Andy did not have knowledge of what was going on. However, he is no longer the editor and what matters now is that we have to start somewhere. What we are doing now is a very rigorous programme to make sure that the conduct of the journalists there is as impeccable as it reasonably can be expected to be.

Q91 Chairman: I commend what you are doing now, but Clive Goodman was paying for some of this information. Those cheques presumably required approval, did they not, from somebody else?

Mr Hinton: There were actually two issues involved in the Goodman case. There had been a contract with Glenn Mulcaire, during which he was carrying out activities which the prosecutor and the judge accepted were legitimate investigative work. There was a second situation where Clive had been allowed a pool of cash to pay to a contact in relation to investigations into Royal stories. That, the Court was told, was where the money came from and the detail of how he was using that money was not known to the editor. That is not unusual for a contact, when you have a trusted reporter—which Clive was—to be allowed to have a relationship which can lead to information and which involves the exchange of money. That is what happened in that case.

And:

Q95 Chairman: You carried out a full, rigorous internal inquiry, and you are absolutely convinced that Clive Goodman was the only person who knew what was going on?

Mr Hinton: Yes, we have and I believe he was the only person, but that investigation, under the new editor, continues.

Les Hinton oral evidence to CMS for 2010 Report

233.The following questions and answers are of relevance to our inquiry:

Q2106 Chairman: [ … ] May I start by referring back to the evidence which you gave to the Committee in March 2007 because at that time in relation to the Clive Goodman affair you said that there had been a full rigorous internal inquiry, that you were convinced that Clive Goodman was the only person that knew what was going on but that the investigation continued. Can you say what the final outcome of that investigation was and if it remains the case that you are convinced that only Clive Goodman knew about the tapping of phones by Glenn Mulcaire?

Mr Hinton: Yes, Chairman. As you have already heard, when Colin Myler took over as Editor he continued studying the events there and had the assistance, as you know, of a firm of solicitors, and I know from recollection he went through thousands of emails. He never delivered any evidence that there had been anyone else involved. At the same time as that of course our biggest concern was that the News of the World, having gone through a pretty terrible time, that he was going to make absolutely certain that whatever lapses had happened in the past would not be repeated. I think he gave you some pretty detailed information about the measures that he took to be certain that everyone there was well aware of the rules and the boundaries, but, no, there was never any evidence delivered to me that suggested that the conduct of Clive Goodman spread beyond him.

And:

Q2115 Philip Davies: Can I ask you about your suspicions about other people being involved at the time when many of the phone-tapping incidents had nothing to do with the Royal Family, and so given that Clive Goodman was the Royal Reporter did you or anybody else think to yourself if people who were not part of the Royal Family were being tapped then surely this must go beyond Clive Goodman?

Mr Hinton: That is a good question but you have to put yourself in the position that we were in at the time remembering that the police had conducted an exhaustive inquiry that went on for many months, even before the charges were laid against Goodman and the private investigator, and I think it is reasonable, when we are looking at the work carried out by some of the best brains at Scotland Yard, for us to accept that that had found no evidence beyond speculation—and there was a great deal of speculation in other newspapers, as you know, some of it perhaps (but probably not) malicious—and there was never any substantive additional evidence produced. Although I have not followed meticulously all the proceedings since the summer I did look at the evidence that John Yates of the Yard provided to you only a couple of weeks ago and I think he said rather pointedly that the Guardian story that has so excited this Committee and certain parts of the media contained no new evidence and in the two months since its publication no new evidence had arisen. I think it is fair to say that since no evidence has come up it would be hard to find any because there are lots of very capable people I am sure from establishments such as the Guardian looking for it and it has never been presented. We were in a situation where there was no clear evidence, there was lots of gossip but the most important thing at that point, having gone through this really difficult period—and the News of the World is populated, I promise you, overwhelmingly by decent hard-working people—they did not deserve the difficulty they had gone through and I was attaching a lot of importance to getting things back to normal with Colin’s appointment.

Q2116 Philip Davies: Do you accept that even if you were unable to identify a particular individual, given that other people’s not just people in the Royal Family phones were being tapped, that other people at the News of the World must have been involved in this?

Mr Hinton: I am afraid I cannot quite follow the logic of that because whatever may have been happening in the offices of the private investigator, whether or not it was being relayed to the News of the World, I just had no reason to believe that, but there was a lot of gossip, there was a lot of speculation, there were a lot of accusations that we could never find any firm foundation for, so in the light of them we went, I promise you, to extraordinary lengths both within the News of the World itself and from my own position at the time—I was also Chairman of the Editors’ Code Committee—we clarified the Code. There were a number of measures taken across the industry because there was only so much you could do retroactively.

And:

Q2125 Philip Davies: I will read out again what John Kelsey-Fry said. He said in defending Clive Goodman that it was important to recognise Clive Goodman’s involvement. He made the point that whoever else may have been involved at the News of the World Clive Goodman’s involvement was limited to the counts on which he pleaded guilty. Would you not accept that everybody is making that point? The Crown accepted that Clive Goodman had got nothing to do with the other counts laid against him. Is not all the evidence pointing that other people at the News of the World were involved, even by the lawyer who may well have been paid by the News of the World?

Mr Hinton: I can only tell you what I have told you and that is that we found no evidence and nor did the police to take any action against anybody else. We took every measure we could both in taking care of what had happened in the past, and we tried to discover whether there had been any misconduct, and to make certain, above all, that it was not going to happen again.

And:

Q2154 Mr Hall: Mr Hinton, in evidence that we have had previously from Colin Myler and Mr Coulson, and again repeated by you this afternoon, that the Goodman case was a one-off case, you said that all the evidence points to that and you backed that up by saying that there was a very thorough police investigation. The police investigation was very specific with a very specific remit. It did not have the remit to do a broad investigation into the wider practices of the News of the World. Is that correct?

Mr Hinton: I do not know. I do not know quite what the grounds were. They spent a long time and they have said it again and again that they had no evidence to charge anyone other than Goodman and the private investigator. I would imagine the police would make an investigation as broad as they see fit and you know what they have said. Certainly I have never spoken to any of them and they have never spoken to me about it. There was never any suggestion by them or anyone else other than the media that the place was a ferment of telephone hackers.

Q2155 Mr Hall: They had other evidence of telephone hacking and telephone tapping of the Royal Family and other celebrities. Goodman was responsible for the Royal desk. Who was responsible for other people whose phones were tapped who came to light in this investigation? Who was the editor who was responsible for that?

Mr Hinton: I do not know who else’s phones were tapped by reporters from the News of the World.

And:

Q2160 Mr Hall: By Mulcaire and admitted by his counsel.

Mr Hinton: I know that it has been said that he tapped an awful lot of phones including Andy Coulson’s and I think Rebekah Wade’s, now Rebekah Brooks, but whether he was doing it on behalf of the News of the World we never had that evidence provided to us.

And:

Q2168 Paul Farrelly: I just wanted to respond to the point made about Mr Yates’ evidence. We have asked you back here because we want to establish how you responded in the affirmative to the Chairman’s question that you carried out a full rigorous internal inquiry and you said yes you had. Can I just ask you on what basis did you feel able to give that answer, that to your recollection Tom Crone said that various investigations had been undertaken internally as the facts established themselves as the charges and trial developed. Can you tell us on what basis you gave us that answer?

Mr Hinton: Okay. You have had the benefit of hearing the testimony of people that were much more closely involved in it than I, but when it all happened my first detailed conversation was with Andy Coulson and I said, “Andy, we have got make certain the extent to which this has been going on.” He had numerous conversations, the charges were laid, he invoked the help of Tom Crone, who is a company lawyer with a lot of experience and who again was disassociated from this, and there was a decision to bring him in to meet people and to help the police with their enquiries to make sure that they were being properly informed and helped without people that might have an interest in what was being told. We brought in a firm of solicitors and there were many, many conversations with the police, and not involving me. There was never firm evidence provided or suspicion provided that I am aware of that implicated anybody else other than Clive within the staff of the News of the World. It just did not happen, Paul, and had it have happened then we would have acted. I cannot tell you the state of alarm that Andy was in when all this happened because he felt a massive burden of responsibility for it having happened on his watch, which is why in the end he decided to quit. That was leading up before Andy’s departure. When Colin came in things were still very live but at that point everybody was pretty exhausted by it all. There were two things I wanted Colin to do: (a) keep speaking to people, keep looking around to see whether or not any of this had happened before and (b) to settle the staff down because most of them of course had had no involvement in this at all, this was just Clive, and to get people focused on doing their job and being proud of what they do. He had a two-fold issue, a leadership issue and the issue of cleaning up and making certain that we were doing everything we could. We co-operated a lot with the Press Complaints Commission and through our own commonsense to make certain that we had as thoroughly as possible made people aware of the need to behave very, very carefully in certain areas.

And:

Q2178 Paul Farrelly: When we interviewed Tom Crone, who you say is a very experienced old hand, he told us that the first that he learned of the contract between Greg Miskiw and Glenn Mulcaire, and indeed the “for Neville” email, was in April 2008 when Gordon Taylor’s lawyers produced it, and then he had a second thought and told us that it may have been referred to in the trial, which it was indeed, that sort of approach, and what you are telling us about the details that were disclosed to you as to the extensiveness of the inquiry, it does not suggest that there was a very thorough inquiry into all these activities.

Mr Hinton: I do not remember. They spent a lot of time doing it. It is very possible looking back on it that there were things that they failed to do that they might have done, but I have to say that in talking to them it was my impression that they were being very conscientious. Whether or not they did everything they might have, whether or not there were things they should have done or should have uncovered and did not is a fair point, but I think that they tried very, very hard and they did it in a climate again where there was no suggestion by the police that there were loads of guilty men lurking around the News of the World. That just was not the climate.

Les Hinton oral evidence to CMS for 2012 Report

234.The following questions and answers are relevant to our inquiry:

Q1325 Chair: Right. The appeal letter you were copied into suggested, as I am sure you will recall, that Clive Goodman claimed that he was by no means the only person who had knowledge of illegal activity. Indeed, the knowledge was widespread and frequently discussed at editorial conference. Was this complete news to you when the letter arrived?

Les Hinton: Yes, it was.

And:

Q1340 Paul Farrelly: Can I read out an answer that you gave to me in September 2009? I will quote you: “There was never any firm evidence provided or”—two key words—“suspicion provided that I am aware of that implicated anybody else other than Clive within the staff of The News of the World. It just did not happen, Paul. Had it happened we would have acted.” Having been through Clive Goodman’s allegations and settled with him, that statement you gave to us in September 2009 was not anywhere near the truth, was it?

Les Hinton: I don’t think that I would regard Mr Goodman’s letter as evidence of anything. There were accusations and allegations by an employee who had been dismissed for gross misconduct.

Q1341 Paul Farrelly: We can quibble about what constitutes evidence, but you use the words, “or suspicion provided”. Clive Goodman provided you with plenty of suspicion, didn’t he?

Les Hinton: We reacted very responsibly—and you have heard more detail than you are going to get from me about it—to what Mr Goodman claimed. At the end of it, we could discover no basis for what he was claiming. I think, therefore, my statement is valid.

235.In Qq1409–1410 Les Hinton said that the entire premise of the investigation was a response to what Goodman had claimed.

236.Other evidence considered the investigations undertaken by NI:

Q1419 Damian Collins: Do you accept, Mr Hinton, based on your evidence to this Committee both in 2007 and in 2009, that this Committee was misled by News International about the nature of these internal investigations, how rigorous they were and whether they had led to anything?

Les Hinton: It is very easy now to look back at all this in the much more difficult environment that we are in now. I felt at the time that what had been done was thorough, and I thought myself that it was sufficient, and I think others did too.

And:

Q1421 Damian Collins: But if we take what you have said at face value today, you simply did not know. You just left it to other people to get on with it. You did not know if there had been a rigorous internal investigation, because you have never been shown any evidence of it.

Les Hinton: But I was never provided with any evidence of suspicion against people, either, so that was the important issue for me.

And:

Q1451 Mr Watson: Just on the point—I think my colleague, Damian, might have got this, but I just want to get it right. You said that you were told that there was a vigorous investigation. Just let me know, who told you that?

Les Hinton: At the time that the initial arrests happened, Andy Coulson was the Editor there and he was overseeing the entire reaction to it, and my conversations and the conversations which led me to tell you what I did—and I think Mr Coulson, in his own evidence, reiterated it—that was the basis on which I believed there had been an internal inquiry into who was aware of Clive’s activity.

Q1452 Mr Watson: So it was your belief that the vigorous investigation was taking place as a result of the things that Andy Coulson told you.

Les Hinton: Andy was the man in charge of the newspaper when all this happened, yes.

Les Hinton written evidence to CMS for 2012 Report

237.Les Hinton did not provide written evidence for the 2010 Report. For the 2012 Report he did provide evidence, as set out at paragraph 214 above.234

Written and oral evidence provided to CMS provided by other witnesses

Burton Copeland—August 2006

238.Burton Copeland provided written evidence to the CMS Committee in August 2011 for the 2012 Report that they were instructed by NGN to assist in dealing with requests from the MPS for information relating to the investigation: “BCL was not instructed to carry out an investigation into “phone hacking” at the ‘News of the World’.”235

Harbottle and Lewis review—2007

239.In 2011 Daniel Cloke in oral evidence for their 2012 Report told the CMS Committee that Les Hinton knew about the review and that he showed him the letter received from Harbottle and Lewis.236

240.In terms of the breadth of the Harbottle and Lewis review, that firm told the CMS Committee as part of the 2012 Report that:

this was a classic civil litigation question: a client asking the Firm to evaluate, in the context of a civil law employment dispute, what impact certain documents might have if they came to be disclosed in that potential litigation. No lawyers specialising in (or indeed with any real knowledge of) criminal law had been involved at all, precisely because this was a civil law question.237

Jon Chapman on Harbottle and Lewis

241.Jon Chapman told the CMS Committee for the 2012 Report that:

To my knowledge, the 2007 Email Review was never intended to be a general internal inquiry or investigation into the issue of voicemail interception at the News of the World. To characterise and hold it out as such now, and to refer to it on several occasions in the same context as a major police investigation and an inquiry by a regulatory body, seems to me to be very misleading.

The 2007 Email Review only came about as a result of the very specific circumstances of the internal disciplinary process involving Clive Goodman, and its scope and terms of reference were determined by that process and not by any other factor [ … ] Mr. Hinton, the Chief Executive, asked Daniel Cloke, the then head of human resources, to carry out a review of emails between Mr. Goodman and five other individuals (whose names are known to the Committee and the public). I was asked to assist in that exercise. 238

242.It appears from the evidence from Daniel Cloke that he discussed the email review with Les Hinton on three occasions (although there is little detail as to the content or depth of any discussion): upon receipt of the Goodman letter (March 2007); the internal Cloke/Chapman review having been completed; and when the 29 May 2007 letter from Harbottle and Lewis (Abramson to Chapman) was received.

New evidence before this Committee

Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT)

243.It is apparent from his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry and from his evidence to and the judgment of the SDT that Lawrence Abramson was negligent in his work on the email review, and that had he completed his work to a proper standard, emails would have been identified which showed that phone hacking at NOTW spread beyond Clive Goodman.

244.Lawrence Abramson’s direction to the team he assembled at Harbottle and Lewis was that although the brief was phone-hacking, they should look more widely “So anything that News would not want to be presented in the public domain I would have to bring to the client’s attention.” Also that although the brief was for emails from 2005 onwards, they should also look at the earlier material with which they had been provided. However, the “opinion that [Abramson] was asked to give was “very, very limited” to the documents that CG had requested”.239

245.Working to those directions, paralegals working in his team identified and flagged certain emails as being of concern. They included emails containing words such as “lifting quotes from tele”, “not on mail”, “editor in jail” and “turning mobiles”. Lawrence Abramson failed to notice these flagged emails (the SDT said “due to genuine, major, but inadvertent oversight”) before agreeing the 29 May 2007 letter to News International which was seen by Les Hinton. The letter stated: “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”.

246.The emails came to be known as the “toxic emails” during the Leveson Inquiry. It is also clear from the SDT judgment that the date range of the emails sent to Harbottle and Lewis was greater than that reviewed internally by Chapman and Cloke.

247.The SDT noted that it was Les Hinton who had asked for an independent outside view of the work on the emails that had been carried out internally. The SDT considered that one of the consequences flowing from Abramson’s error, was that:

The hare started running before the SCCMS. There was a mistaken belief before that Committee that the Firm’s review had been full and thorough. The Tribunal had found that the review was narrow, employment-related, and was not the review that the SCCMS had been told that it was by others.240

Tom Crone’s December 2006 Memo

248.The memo was sent in draft to Andy Coulson by Tom Crone with the intention being that it be sent on to Les Hinton. Les Hinton’s evidence to this Committee is that he has no recollection of having been sent, having received or having read it, and Tom Crone has not answered this point, stating instead that he is bound by legal professional privilege.241

249.We asked the CPS whether there was any evidence to support Andy Coulson’s reliance in R v Brooks, Coulson and ors (and the Judge’s summing up), that this document was in fact sent to Les Hinton. The CPS provided further documentation, but those documents did not prove that Les Hinton had received the December 2006 Memo.

Evidence of Rebekah Brooks in R v Brooks, Coulson and ors

250.Rebekah Brooks told her trial that she had met Clive Goodman for lunch on 12 April 2007 after he had been released from prison and that she offered him work. There is a receipt for the meal and a staff expenses form. Her intention was to try to stop the Employment Tribunal. Whether she told and/or had the authority of Les Hinton to do so, is a matter of debate. In her evidence (in chief and under cross-examination) she said both that it was her idea alone and that it was her and Les Hinton’s idea,242 but also that as to whether Les Hinton knew and approved of what she was doing, she had had a couple of conversations with Les Hinton about it and thought that the job offer was discussed, but that she was left to see if it was an option.243

251.Clive Goodman made a note of his meeting with her, which he explained during cross-examination (16 May 2014) at the trial, but in his note he says that Rebekah Brooks: “claimed not to have consulted Hinton over this offer and said she would hire who she liked and take whatever internal or external criticism that came her way. After all, she said, who really cares about a few media stories?”

252.It is clear from the emails disclosed within the trial transcript that Rebekah Brooks contacted Clive Goodman after the lunch to seek an answer to her offer.

253.Les Hinton had told the CMS Committee for their 2012 Report that he did not remember anyone suggesting to him that Clive Goodman should have his job back (what Rebekah Brooks was doing was not really the same), and that he did not have in mind that Clive Goodman would ever receive another penny in remuneration for employment from NI.244

254.When this evidence was raised with Morrison Foerster, they responded that that the trial transcripts are outside of this Committee’s remit. In addition, they stated that, if the trial testimony is correct, then it demonstrates that Rebekah Brooks was uncertain whether or not Les Hinton had suggested that she offer Clive a job. Further, that Clive Goodman’s contemporaneous evidence should be preferred, namely that “Ms Brooks admitted that she did not have a clear recollection about many events leading up to the lunch. Mr Goodman’s note, the only contemporaneous record of the lunch conversation, states that Ms Brooks had told Mr Goodman that she had made the job offer without Mr Hinton’s knowledge.”245

Leveson Inquiry

255.Les Hinton did not provide oral or written evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. Evidence from Jon Chapman does shed some light on the thinking at News International on the corporate side away from the newsrooms:

Q. Did you have any, to be more precise, discussions about the one rogue reporter defence, which was News International’s public line?

A. No, I did not.

Q. May I ask you whether you had a view as to whether that public line was correct?

A. I wasn’t as closely involved, obviously, because of my role on the corporate commercial side, so I didn’t really know about what had been happening. When the arrests were made in August 2007, it was a complete surprise to me. I have to say that my own view is I knew there was rumours and I’m obviously aware of what was said in sentencing. When it came to my attention subsequently, that would be some time later, years later, that there were allegations that it went beyond them, I was very disappointed and a bit surprised, I have to say.246

Les Hinton’s responses to Committee of Privileges

256.In their letter of 15 August 2012, Morrison Foerster made the following submissions on behalf of Les Hinton:

a)Paragraph 66: “By the time of Mr Hinton’s 2009 testimony, various investigations and reviews had occurred, as discussed at length before the CMS Committee, and no evidence had been provided to Mr Hinton that the conduct of Goodman had spread beyond him. (Q2168.) The CMS Committee’s suggestion that Mr Hinton was complicit in a cover-up for failing to mention Goodman’s letter as a “suspicion” completely ignores that Goodman’s accusations had been investigated and re-investigated, and Mr Hinton was presented with no evidence to support them. Although the CMS Committee has with the benefit of hindsight criticised the work of everyone who in 2006 and 2007 investigated phone-hacking at News of the World, Mr Hinton had no reason at the time to doubt the good faith or competence of the many persons who had conducted such investigations.”

b)Paragraph 67: “ … the Report failed to note that Mr Hinton had testified only moments prior to the single supposedly misleading statement (there was “never firm evidence provided or suspicion provided” (id)) as follows: “there was a lot of gossip, there was a lot of speculation, there were a lot of accusations that we could never fund any firm foundation for … ” (Q2116.) This passage told the Committee exactly what had happened. Goodman had made “a lot of accusations.” Those accusations were investigated. At the time, Mr Hinton had no reason to doubt the thoroughness or good faith of the investigations. The investigations did not find any “firm foundation” for the “accusations.” Having provided this explanation, it was appropriate to state later in the same testimony that Mr Hinton had not seen any firm evidence or suspicion. Taken as a whole, and read fairly, there is nothing misleading in Mr Hinton’s testimony, or anything to suggest that Mr Hinton was complicit in a cover-up.”

c)Paragraph 68: pointing out that his dismissal of Goodman without confidentiality requirement (at that stage) and involvement of Harbottle and Lewis is not consistent with a cover-up.247

257.In their letter of 2 February 2015 Morrison Foerster made the following submissions:

a)Paragraphs 18 and 19—that Mr Hinton’s answer which refers to gossip and speculation was clearly not a reference to the sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Gross, but to media reports and similar sources. That a fair reading of his evidence is that Mr Hinton did not deny that there were suspicions of wider abuses, e.g. Q2115 which refers to phone hacking where the victim was not connected to the Royal family. In his answer, Les Hinton points to:

… the position that we were in at the time remembering that the police had conducted an exhaustive inquiry that went on for many months, even before the charges were laid against Goodman and the private investigator, and I think it is reasonable, when we are looking at the work carried out by some of the best brains at Scotland Yard, for us to accept that that had found no evidence beyond speculation—and there was a great deal of speculation in other newspapers, as you know, some of it perhaps (but probably not) malicious—and there was never any substantive additional evidence produced.

b)Paragraphs 20 to 22—Morrison Foerster submit that “Mr Hinton made the obvious point—time and again—that News International and the News of the World had been at great pains to investigate those suspicions in order to determine whether anyone else was involved.” They point in particular to the instruction of Burton Copeland, internal and external (by Harbottle and Lewis) email reviews, interviews by Colin Myler and Daniel Cloke of the individuals named by Clive Goodman, and the long-running police investigation.

“As Mr Hinton explained to the CMSC, he believed that those investigations had been thorough and that they had not found any evidence of other abuses at the News of the World beyond Clive Goodman. The fact that Mr Hinton authorised those investigations in the first place plainly demonstrates that he was aware of the possibility that others at News of the World were involved. … Mr Hinton had no reason at the time to doubt the good faith or competence of those who had conducted such investigations.”

c)Paragraph 28—that as an executive in a large media company such as News International, it was perfectly proper for him to rely on the advice of others, such as Harbottle and Lewis.

d)Paragraph 29—that the Committee of Privileges had decided to

“fasten upon a semantic distinction between “suspicion” and “evidence” … Mr Hinton made abundantly clear in his appearances before the CMSC that he was—as were all members of the Committee—well aware of the suspicions, the accusations, the allegations that phone hacking at the News of the World went beyond Clive Goodman and Mulcaire. He was equally clear in emphasising time and again that News International had thoroughly investigated the allegations and suspicions, but had found no evidence to support them. It turns out that Mr Hinton and his employer were ill-served by the external law firm that failed in its assigned task, through no fault of Mr Hinton. It will reflect poorly on the Committee of Privileges and its members if it tries to take out of context an isolated instance of Mr Hinton’s use of the term “suspicion” when the core of his testimony on all relevant points was completely accurate, based on his knowledge at the time.”248

258.Their letter of 6 March 2015 includes the following information:

a)Paragraph 7—“ … Mr Hinton of course was not aware—nor could he have been aware in 2009—of the many later self-serving statements that contended that the investigations to which Mr Hinton referred in his 2009 statements were more limited than Mr Hinton had been led to believe.”

b)Paragraph 9—“in 2009, Mr Hinton made clear time and again—with the one exception of a sentence taken out of context by the Committee—that, while he was aware of suspicions, accusations, and allegations, no one had presented to him evidence that phone hacking at News of the World extended beyond the conduct of Mr Goodman. Viewed fairly and in context, Mr Hinton’s statements on this topic are accurate and consistency. By no stretch of the imagination can they be judged to be deliberately misleading or betraying a “lack of candour”. It is not relevant to a fair consideration of whether Mr Hinton misled the CMSC that we all now know that there is evidence that persons at News of the World other than Mr Goodman were engaged in phone hacking, because there is no evidence that Mr Hinton knew of any such evidence at the time of his appearance before the CMSC.”

c)Paragraph 16—Les Hinton could not have known in 2009 of the subsequent evidence from the Police that there were deficiencies in the initial investigation, nor of the limited nature of the review by John Yates (in 2009 in response to the Guardian published the “for Neville” email and 2005 Contract).

d)Paragraph 18—with specific reference to Q2116—in the context of 15 September 2009 Les Hinton did not believe that others were involved–the answer was not misleading, but truthful based upon what he knew at the time.249

e)Paragraph 25—“Had Mr Abramson done his job correctly, we would not be writing this letter.”

f)Paragraph 26—the email search did not include Neville Thurlbeck or Greg Miskiw; however, the investigation was prompted by Clive Goodman’s specific, detailed allegations “which provided a roadmap and identified five individuals he alleged were involved.” Further, there is no information Les Hinton was at that time aware of any allegations of any hacking-related conduct by Neville Thurlbeck or Greg Miskiw.

g)Paragraph 29—Lawrence Abramson’s second Witness Statement to the Leveson Inquiry admits that he failed to review certain emails. The Witness Statement is dated 8 December 2011, yet is not referred to in the 2012 Report which was published on 27 April 2012. Indeed CMSC comment “Lawrence Abramson was undoubtedly simply doing his job as a lawyer. Indeed, he seems to have made some effort to alert News International to problems that he uncovered.”

h)Paragraphs 48 to 49—Les Hinton relied upon Andy Coulson. “As we now know, Mr Coulson may have had his own reasons for not being candid with Mr Hinton in 2007 but, at the time, Mr Hinton believed that Mr Coulson was accurately reporting the position.”

i)Paragraph 50—The police did not contact Les Hinton in any way during their investigation nor ask to speak with him about phone-hacking.250

Our conclusion

259.The evidence on this issue is not clear cut. We have borne in mind that there is a clear and important distinction between what as a matter of fact Mr Hinton knew and did as a result, which we might consider was or was not reasonable, and separately, the totality of what he knew—and what of that knowledge was presented to the CMS Committee in 2009. It is only this latter question that goes to the issue of whether Les Hinton committed a contempt in the evidence he gave to the CMS Committee in 2009. The CMS Committee’s conclusion is about the “extent of his knowledge of allegations”.

260.At the 15 September 2009 evidence session, the CMS Committee had not yet received the 29 May 2007 Harbottle and Lewis letter (that was disclosed in November 2009), whilst the letters from Clive Goodman appealing his dismissal were not disclosed to the CMS Committee until 11 August 2011 as part of James Murdoch’s and Harbottle and Lewis’ written evidence for the 2012 Report. As such, as at 15 September 2009, any evidence of the allegations made by Clive Goodman was within Les Hinton’s knowledge and not within the CMS Committee’s knowledge.

261.We have given particular consideration to Qq2115, 2116, 2154, 2155 and 2168 from the 15 September 2009 evidence session in order to consider what was picture drawn by Les Hinton’s evidence and whether it did present his actual knowledge at that date. The picture drawn by these questions is:

a)The MPS had found no evidence beyond speculation;

b)There was never any substantive additional evidence produced;

c)There was no clear evidence, although there was lots of gossip;251

d)Whatever Glenn Mulcaire had been doing, Les Hinton had no reason to believe it was being relayed to NOTW;

e)There was a lot of gossip, speculation and accusations that they could never find any firm foundation for; 252

f)There was never any suggestion from the police “or anyone else other than the media that the place was a ferment of telephone hackers”;253

g)There was never firm evidence provided or suspicion provided that he was aware of that implicated anybody else other than Clive Goodman within the staff of NOTW.254

262.We have noted that Les Hinton did provide information about the email review and that the Clive Goodman claim was settled, but at no stage in his 2009 oral evidence did he state that one of the sources of the accusations, suspicions etc. was Clive Goodman. We consider that the questions put by the CMS Committee provided an opportunity for him to disclose the information.

263.We know that Les Hinton had seen or was aware of the sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Gross in R v Goodman and Mulcaire, and indeed in 2009 the Committee put questions to him based upon the Judge’s remarks. We also know that he knew that Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks’ phones had been tapped.255 We know that Les Hinton was aware of the Burton and Copeland work and had a level of oversight on the internal reviews by Colin Myler, Daniel Cloke and Jon Chapman as part of the Clive Goodman employment appeal, and in addition of the Harbottle and Lewis reviews. It is not clear from the evidence that Les Hinton knew the limited remit of these investigations. Again, whilst it is possible to criticise him for not ensuring that there was a full and joined-up internal investigation, this is not a matter for us because it is not relevant to the question of contempt. We have also taken into account that one of the sources of information for Les Hinton was Andy Coulson.

264.We have considered whether the ordering of investigations about suspicions plainly demonstrated that Les Hinton was aware of the possibility of the involvement of others as has been submitted by Morrison Foerster, and whether he demonstrated that to the CMS Committee. We also note his reliance on the police investigations and their decisions not to bring further charges or interview others at NOTW.

265.We have looked again at paragraph 85 of the CMS Committee’s 2012 Report which is the paragraph referred to in Chapter 8 for the conclusion that Les Hinton misled the CMS Committee about the extent of his knowledge of allegations that phone hacking extended beyond Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire to others at NOTW. The relevant parts of paragraph 85 are:

… he certainly had [seen Clive Goodman’s 2 March 2007 letter] by the time he [gave evidence] on 15 September 2009 when he said: ‘There was never firm evidence provided or suspicion provided that I am aware of that implicated anybody else other than Clive within the staff of the News of the World. It just did not happen’. This was not true. Clive Goodman had certainly provided ‘suspicion’ of wider involvement, but Les Hinton failed to mention it to the Committee. At no stage did Les Hinton seek to correct the record, even when invited by the Committee to do so. We consider, therefore, that Les Hinton was complicit in the cover-up at News International, which included making misleading statements and giving a misleading picture to this Committee.

266.Part of paragraph 85 which supports the Chapter 8 conclusion on this issue concerns the CMS Committee’s conclusion that Les Hinton was complicit in a cover-up. This clearly presupposes that there was a cover-up by News International, and our conclusions as to News International are linked to our decisions on this issue. In this context we have looked at the strength of the evidence in relation to Les Hinton to see whether any conclusion on this issue can fairly be drawn in relation to his evidence notwithstanding our conclusion on corporate liability.

267.Our overall impression of Les Hinton’s evidence in 2009 is of a deliberate strategy to provide accurate evidence, but only up to a point. That point was disclosure of information which was already part of the public record. Beyond that point he did not disclose. This meant that he did not provide information about Clive Goodman’s naming of names within his employment appeal. His answers tend to suggest that the accusations, allegations, suspicions and gossip are external to NOTW, NGN and NI. The failure to disclose tends to create a suspicion that Les Hinton’s answers were misleading and designed to be so; but for a finding of contempt there needs something concrete upon which to fix that contempt. The CMS Committee concluded that they had invited him to correct the record, but he failed to do so. Les Hinton’s answer in 2011 was that he didn’t regard Clive Goodman’s letter as evidence of anything but “accusations and allegations by an employee who had been dismissed for gross misconduct.”, and that NI had reacted to what Clive Goodman claimed and “could find no basis for what he was claiming. I think, therefore, my statement is valid.”

268.Then there is the question of the lack of firm evidence of the involvement of others until the disclosure of the “For Neville” email, which was disclosed after Les Hinton had moved to Dow Jones, and the negligent act which prevented the external Harbottle and Lewis email review from revealing the “toxic emails”. There is strength in Morrison Foerster’s argument that, had that review been completed properly, they would not have been writing to us.

269.The CMS Committee focussed on the “extent of his knowledge of allegations”. On that basis we agree that Les Hinton’s evidence was misleading because it did not reveal that Clive Goodman was the source of one of those allegations. But whilst the CMS Committee did not know this information on 15 September 2009 at the Les Hinton evidence session, they did know it a month and a half later when the Harbottle and Lewis letter was disclosed to them, clearly showing the names of others at NOTW whose emails had been investigated as part of Clive Goodman’s employment appeal.

270.Weighing all of the above, we consider that the evidence that Les Hinton misled the CMS Committee about the extent of his knowledge of allegations that phone-hacking extended beyond Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire to others at the News of the World does not meet the standard of proof we have set for a finding of contempt (that the allegations are significantly more likely than not to be true). We make no finding of contempt on this issue.

Payment of Clive Goodman’s legal fees

271.Clive Goodman received two sets of legal funding from NI:

a)From his arrest on 8 August 2006 through to sentencing on 26 January 2007, News International paid for Clive Goodman’s legal fees for his legal representation in criminal proceedings, for example, the brief fee for John Kelsey-Fry QC.

b)In relation to his employment claim, as part of the settlement, £13,000 in legal fees were paid.

The CMS Committee noted:

89. The settlement with Clive Goodman, including the element to cover his legal fees, was authorised by Les Hinton in 2007. However, when asked in 2009 whether or not News International had paid Clive Goodman’s legal fees, Les Hinton answered “I absolutely do not know. I do not know whether we did or not.” When he was asked if he knew who would have authorised such a payment he answered: “I would guess the Director of Human Resources but I do not know”. When questioned in 2011 about the discrepancy between his 2009 answer and the fact that he authorised the payment of the fees, he said: “if I had been sure at the time, I would have told you”.256

272.Written evidence submitted by NI in 2009257 explains that there were two sets of payments. The first part of their evidence is about the payments made in relation to Clive Goodman’s employment tribunal proceedings: “As is normal under the terms of compromise agreements, Mr. Goodman’s legal costs relating to his employment claims and their settlement by compromise agreement were paid by News Group Newspapers Limited.”258 There is an entirely separate answer in response to the question “Did News Group Newspapers, News International or News Corp pay or contribute to the payment of the legal fees of either Goodman or Mulcaire?”:

News Group Newspapers Limited paid for Clive Goodman’s legal representation in the criminal proceedings involving him. Throughout those proceedings, he was an employee of News Group Newspapers Limited.259

This does not identify who at NGN authorised those payments.

273.In giving oral evidence in 2009 Les Hinton distinguished between, on the one hand, payment of legal fees in the criminal case of R v Goodman and Mulcaire (2006–2007), where he said he did not know, and could not recollect whether he had given authority for the payment of legal fees, and on the other hand, his role in authorising the payments relating to Clive Goodman’s dismissal and subsequent employment tribunal claims, for which he accepted responsibility.

274.When the questions put to Les Hinton in 2009 are analysed on this basis, a clear distinction can be drawn between his answers:

a)Qq2117 to 2122 relate to the criminal proceedings, to which Les Hinton says that he does not know if those legal fees were paid.

b)Q2126 onwards relate to the civil (employment) proceedings, and at the first question,260 Les Hinton clearly states that he authorised those payments.

275.At Q2117 Les Hinton was asked by Philip Davies MP: “I want to focus on the payments that you have made to Clive Goodman and Mulcaire specifically since their conviction, or certainly after they were arrested and charged. First of all, did you in any way pay for any of the legal fees for Clive Goodman or Glenn Mulcaire?” (emphasis added). Whilst the reference to conviction in terms of dates means that it could be either criminal or civil fees, this part of the question is skewed by reference to arrest and charge which can only be criminal as it happened months before Clive Goodman’s employment was terminated and both Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman brought claims post-conviction. Moreover if Q2117 is read within the set of linked questions (all by Philip Davies MP) through to Q2121, there is a clear sense that Les Hinton is answering in relation to criminal proceedings, hence his comment at Q2121 “When employees get into difficulty it is not unusual for them to be indemnified by the company which employs them and for their legal fees to be paid … ” Les Hinton repeatedly told the CMS Committee he did not know who authorised legal fees for the criminal proceedings.

276.In 2011 Les Hinton gave further evidence about the payment of legal fees, again relating to the criminal proceedings:

Q1384 Philip Davies: Mr Hinton, you said that when you gave evidence to us in 2009 you answered honestly—that is what you said earlier on today. Back in 2009, I asked you whether or not the legal fees for Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire had been paid, and your answer was, “I absolutely do not know. I do not know whether we did or not.” Then you say it again, “I honestly do not know.” Was that absolutely honest?

Les Hinton: It was absolutely honest. Two things: first, I wasn’t sure and, secondly, I wasn’t expecting the question. Thirdly, I also said to you that it would not be unusual in such a case for someone’s legal expenses to be met, and I know that in a written request that the Committee made subsequently that question was answered. No, I was not—I was not being dishonest.

And:

Q1387 Philip Davies: So can you explain to us, now that you do know that you authorised the payment of their legal fees, why you did that?

Les Hinton: Since we spoke, a couple of things that I didn’t mention at the time, or didn’t occur to me to mention, were, first, that I was out of the country for a good two weeks from the moment of the Goodman arrest. I spoke to Mr Coulson who told me that he was organising a solicitor and legal representation for him, and I allowed him to do that. I did not subsequently question it.

277.While the Culture, Media and Sport Committee was sceptical about Mr Hinton’s memory, there is no evidence that he misled the Committee in relation to his role in the payment of legal fees or the fact that he authorised the payments to Mr Goodman to settle his Employment Tribunal claim. We make no finding of contempt on this issue.


206 James Murdoch’s written evidence for the 2012 Report stated (Ev 172): I am informed that Mr Goodman was paid £90,502.08 in April 2007 and £153,000 (£13,000 of which was to pay for his legal fees) between October and December 2007. The first payment was approved by Mr Daniel Cloke, Director of Human Resources for News International. The second was approved by Mr Cloke and Mr Jon Chapman, Director of Legal Affairs for News International. These payments were in the context of an unfair dismissal claim brought by Mr Goodman.

208 Returning property.

209 P45

211 Q2126

212 Qq 2127–2132, 2136, 2187, 2195, 2226, 2204–2209

213 Q2137

214 Morrison Foerster to CSP, 15 August 2012, para 34.

215 In addition to those quoted, see also Qq1327–8, 1345, 1390–1393

218 Q662

219 Q701

222 Morrison Foerster to CSP, 15 August 2012

223 Morrison Foerster to CSP, 15 August 2012

224 Morrison Foerster to CSP, 15 August 2012, para 48

225 Put to or discussed by Tom Crone – Q1399 and Q1442.

226 Transcript sentencing hearing 26 January 2007 pp.41–2

227 Transcript sentencing hearing 26 January 2007 p.179

228 For example, Q2172

229 CMS 2010 Report, Ev 464; see para 77 of this Report.

230 N.B. this version pieced together from differently redacted copies, CMS 2012 Report, Ev 177 and 216

231 CMS 2012 Report, Ev 218 version provides name.

233 Linklaters to CoP, 18 April 2016

236 CMS 2012 Report, Q636. Letter as above at paragraph 77

241 Morrison Foerster to CoP, 14 April 2016, para 7; Tom Crone to CoP, 12 April 2016

242 Rebekah Brooks evidence, R v Brooks and ors, 26 February 2014

243 Rebekah Brooks evidence, R v Brooks and ors, 5 March 2014

245 Morrison Foerster to CoP, 14 April 2016, para 19

247 Morrison Foerster to CSP, 15 August 2012

248 Morrison Foerster to CoP, 2 February 2015

249 Q2116 Philip Davies: Do you accept that even if you were unable to identify a particular individual, given that other people’s not just people in the Royal Family phones were being tapped, that other people at the News of the World must have been involved in this?

Mr Hinton: I am afraid I cannot quite follow the logic of that because whatever may have been happening in the offices of the private investigator, whether or not it was being relayed to the News of the World, I just had no reason to believe that, but there was a lot of gossip, there was a lot of speculation, there were a lot of accusations that we could never find any firm foundation for, so in the light of them we went, I promise you, to extraordinary lengths both within the News of the World itself and from my own position at the time—I was also Chairman of the Editors’ Code Committee—we clarified the Code. There were a number of measures taken across the industry because there was only so much you could do retroactively.

250 Morrison Foerster to CoP, 6 March 2015

251 A-C Q2115

252 D-E Q2216

253 F Q2154

254 G Q2168

255 Q2160

257 CMS 2010 Report, Ev 464 ff, also reproduced in CMS 2012 Report, Ev 231ff, with redactions removed

259 CMS 2012 Report, Ev 233– dated 4 November 2009

260 “Perhaps you could explain to us the payments that were made after their conviction?”




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13 September 2016