Former 'NOTW' reporter to give evidence to MPs


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The Independent Online

Neville Thurlbeck, the former chief reporter of the News of the World, has been asked to give evidence to MPs about whether a crucial email on the extent of phone hacking at the paper was described in detail to James Murdoch.

The journalist was arrested in April on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemails and subsequently dismissed by News International. He claimed this month that a dossier which he said implicated a NOTW executive in hacking and proved his own innocence had been suppressed by senior managers.

John Whittingdale, chairman of the Common's Culture and Media Select Committee, has written to Mr Thurlbeck asking him to provide written testimony on the dossier and his belief that the email, which contained transcripts of voicemails left by and for Gordon Taylor, boss of the footballers' union, was not seen by Mr Murdoch.

The committee recalled Mr Murdoch this month to give further evidence on claims by Tom Crone, the NOTW's head of legal affairs, and Colin Myler, the title's editor, that he had been given the full details of the email. Any evidence Mr Thurlbeck gives could have a significant bearing on the deliberations of the committee.

In a statement, Mr Thurlbeck's lawyers said he was considering Mr Whittingdale's request and that he continued to deny the allegation for which he was dismissed by News International.