Rupert Murdoch and News International will this weekend make a full ‘mea culpa’ to the British public for the phone hacking scandal through a series of full-page advertisements headed: “We are sorry.”
In simple black text on a plain white background, the letter signed by Mr Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp, will read: “We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out. I realise that simply apologising is not enough.”
The advertisements will run in every national newspaper in the UK this weekend, including the Financial Times.
The statement comes just a day after Mr Murdoch told the Wall Street Journal that News International had made only “minor mistakes” in his handling of the crisis.
On Friday several MPs, including Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition, and Labour campaigners on phone hacking including Lord Prescott, Tom Watson and Chris Bryant, sharpened their criticism of the Murdoch family’s handling of the crisis. Rupert Murdoch and his son James will appear before MPs on Tuesday.
Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, resigned on Friday after a week of pressure that has already seen the closure of the News of the World, the Murdochs’ biggest-selling UK newspaper, and the withdrawal of News Corp’s planned bid to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting.
But Mr Murdoch will say that News International will take “further concrete steps” to resolve the scandal created by allegations of phone hacking across its newspapers.
“Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this,” he writes. “In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.”
The News Corp chairman promised more initiatives in the coming days to tackle the damage caused by the phone hacking scandal.
With the departure of Mrs Brooks, the spotlight in the fallout of the phone-hacking scandal has fallen on the Murdochs.
Earlier on Friday, Mr Miliband said: “It’s not just about one individual, it’s about the culture of an organisation.”
He continued: “Rupert Murdoch says that News Corp has handled these allegations extremely well. He still hasn’t apologised to the innocent victims of hacking. He clearly doesn’t get it.”