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December 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Rebekah Brooks

Reports emerged today (Thursday) that Rebekah Brooks, the former chief of News International, News Corp’s British newspaper unit, received a “golden parachute” of some $17.4 million after being forced to step down during the height of the phone-hacking scandal last year. She was arrested twice this year, once on charges of conspiring to intercept communications and later for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, presumably meaning that she participated in a cover-up of the hacking at News International publications, including The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World. On Wednesday, James Harding stepped down as editor of another News International newspaper, the London Times, saying, “It has been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor.” Unlike the huge compensation package that Brooks — often described as Murdoch’s protégé — received, Harding is leaving with less than $2 million, according to the rival London Telegraph. Editorially the Times had been critical of News International’s handling of the hacking scandal. The Times‘s staff gave Harding a big send-off, with the paper carrying news of his resignation on its front page, complete with tributes from politicians and the outgoing CEO of News International, Tom Mockridge. Andrew Neil, the former editor of the Sunday Times, tweeted tonight that under Harding, the newspaper had become “way too liberal/wishy-washy for Old Rupe.