Rupert Murdoch defends Rebekah Brooks over horse

 

Rupert Murdoch has leapt to the defence of Rebekah Brooks, saying his former protegee is being criticised for "saving an old horse from the glue factory".

Mr Murdoch took to Twitter to defend the former News International chief executive after it emerged Scotland Yard chiefs loaned her a police horse which she later returned in a "poor" condition.

He wrote: "Now they are complaining about R Brooks saving an old horse from the glue factory!"

Mr Murdoch has been a strong supporter of Ms Brooks and appeared with her in front of the cameras when he first flew into the UK as the phone-hacking scandal emerged.

Asked at the time what his priority was, he gestured towards her and said: "This one."

It emerged yesterday that Ms Brooks "fostered" the animal, called Raisa, after it retired from active service in 2008 but handed it back two years later as she no longer wanted it.

She paid for food and vet bills until it was rehoused with a police officer in 2010 - months before fresh investigations into illegal activities at the News of the World.

Details of the two-year loan come amid continuing scrutiny over the close relationship between police and the media giant.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that riding enthusiast Ms Brooks was first given permission to take charge of the horse in 2008 but disclosed further details last night.

A police spokesman said: "In 2007 a request was made by Rebekah Brooks to home a retired police horse.

"Mounted Branch conducted the normal property and welfare inspection, which was passed. As a result, 22-year-old retired horse Raisa was loaned to Rebekah Brooks in 2008.

"The MPS was contacted in early 2010 by an individual on behalf of Rebekah Brooks who asked the MPS (the Metropolitan Police Service) to re-home Raisa, which was then 24, due to the horse no longer being ridden.

"When the horse was returned, Raisa was regarded by officers from Mounted Branch to be in a poor but not serious condition."

The horse later died of natural causes.

Police added: "When rehoming a retired MPS horse, the appropriate welfare checks are carried out by Mounted Branch officers."

Ms Brooks, 43, is married to racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks.

The horse she borrowed was one of 12 retired by the force in 2008. A further 29 had their duties ended between 2009 and 2011.

Many of the animals are retired with the Horse Trust charity in Buckinghamshire.

Ms Brooks remains on bail after being questioned by detectives last summer on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption.

She was arrested and questioned in July, days after resigning as chief executive.

Metropolitan Police figures showed that there were 829 potential victims of phone hacking, of whom 231 were said to be uncontactable.

The force said it informed the Leveson Inquiry on February 14 that Ms Brooks had been loaned the horse.

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Legal Recruitment Consultant

Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention