Ian Burrell: NI's standards committee once looked like a fig leaf. Now some say it's the enemy within

The Management and Standards Committee is being criticised for throwing journalists to the wolves

There has always been a bunker mentality at News International, which makes it all the harder to deal with a perceived enemy within. So the resentment directed at some second-floor offices at the Thomas More complex where Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers are based, is considerable. "There's a sense of betrayal," said one source from The Sun.

The offices in question are home to the Management and Standards Committee (MSC) which News Corporation set up last year to root out criminality and malpractice. Every morning, around 100 personnel – a mixture of lawyers, forensic accountants, police officers and specialist computer analysts – arrive for work at the offices, which have their own security system and are inaccessible to the staff of News International.

Among the companies represented are the law firm Linklaters, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the forensic IT consultants Stroz Friedberg and, of course, Scotland Yard. Some 300 million emails, taken from News International computers, are being scrutinised for possible criminal offences.

The work is being overseen by a committee headed by Lord Grabiner QC, one of Britain's leading corporate lawyers. Alongside him is an in-house lawyer, Jeff Palker, News Corp's general counsel for Europe and Asia. But it is the other two executive members of the MSC, both former journalists, who have provoked deep-felt anger in NI newspapers. The MSC's Will Lewis is the former group general manager of NI and was previously editor of The Daily Telegraph. Simon Greenberg, Associate Editor and Head of Sport, was once a sports editor on the News of the World under the editorship of Rebekah Brooks. "If Will Lewis came into The Sun newsroom now there would be a riot," said one source. "The Sun wasn't on the police radar until the MSC started handing over material."

News Corp sees itself as being caught between a rock and a hard place. When it established the MSC it was derided as a fig-leaf body designed to give an impression of good corporate governance. Now, after its inquiries have led to the arrest of most of the star performers on Britain's best-selling paper, the committee is being criticised for throwing journalists to the wolves.

False rumours were circulating among Sun journalists yesterday that Lewis and Greenberg had taken a skiing holiday to coincide with a series of arrests last month. There is also bitterness over an MSC comment referring to the cleansing process as "draining the swamp". And there was further unhappiness that a rallying email from The Sun's editor Dominic Mohan was issued as an NI statement rather than a message to staff. The feeling at Thomas More Square is increasingly one of "Whose side are you on?"

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Database Executive - Leading Events Marketing Company - London

£23000 - £25000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Databas...

Recruitment Genius: Publishing Assistant

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

Guru Careers: Print Project Manager

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A Print Project Manager is needed to join one...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living