SHOOT: Once you've lost trust, you've lost everything.
Britain's biggest-selling newspaper was shut down last night by the Murdoch family in a surprise move designed to bring an end to the phone hacking scandal engulfing the News of the World.
James Murdoch, the chairman of News International, which owns the newspaper, announced that the final edition would be published this weekend, citing the “inhuman” alleged behaviour of some staff as prompting the decision.
The 168-year-old newspaper will donate all this weekend’s revenues to good causes and would not accept any paid advertising, he said.
Hundreds of staff now face an uncertain future. However, Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International and former editor of the News of the World, has been allowed to keep her job despite widespread calls for her to be sacked.
Last night she faced angry scenes at the paper as she broke the news to journalists. There were reports she had to be escorted from the offices by security guards for her protection.
Rupert Murdoch and his family sacrificed the tabloid as they fought to salvage their company’s attempt to take over BSkyB, the satellite broadcaster, after the scandal resulted in growing political pressure for the Government to block the deal.Last night politicians warned thatshutting the newspaper would not shut down the scandal, which they said would only end when those responsible for the hacking were brought to justice.
The historic announcement of the closure followed several days of allegations that investigators working for the newspaper had hacked into the mobile phones of military families, the victims of the 7/7 attacks and murder victims, including the teenager Milly Dowler.
It was made hours after the Metropolitan Police disclosed that more than 4,000 people had been identified as potential victims of private detectives employed by the paper.
The News of the World, the biggest selling English-language newspaper in the world, is currently at the centre of two police investigations, one into the alleged hacking, the other into payments allegedly made to police officers.