Calls for police to look into James Murdoch's disputed evidence

Scotland Yard considering action after request from Tom Watson

James Murdoch could face questioning from the police over claims he made to Parliament about an email showing that hacking at the News of the World was not confined to a single "rogue reporter".

The Labour MP Tom Watson contacted Scotland Yard after two former senior executives at the paper publicly challenged Mr Murdoch's evidence to the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee earlier this week.

Scotland Yard confirmed that it had received a letter from the MP, which it said was "being considered".

In his evidence to the committee on Tuesday, Mr Murdoch said he had been unaware of an email suggesting hacking at the paper was more widespread when he agreed a reported £700,000 out-of-court settlement with Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, in 2008.

But in a statement on Thursday night, Colin Myler, the former editor of the paper, and Tom Crone, its former legal manager, said Mr Murdoch was "mistaken" and that they had informed him of the email, which had been obtained by Mr Taylor's lawyers.

Mr Murdoch, News Corp's deputy chief operating officer, said he stood by his original evidence.

Yesterday David Cameron piled further pressure on Mr Murdoch when he said: "Clearly, James Murdoch has got questions to answer in Parliament, and News International has got some big issues to deal with."

Mr Watson, a member of the committee, said the police involved in the inquiry into phone hacking now needed to investigate what happened as a matter of urgency.

He said: "It shows that he [James Murdoch] not only failed to report a crime to the police, but, because there was a confidentiality clause involved in the settlement, it means that he bought the silence of Gordon Taylor, and that could mean that he is facing investigation for perverting the course of justice."

The email at the centre of the latest controversy contained transcripts of hacked phone messages. Critics of News International say it shows that, at the time of the settlement with Mr Taylor in 2008, it was known within the company that the practice was not confined to the former royal editor Clive Goodman and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, said: "I think that people will want to look at the comments that were made and want to resolve the different versions of events that we've seen. In the end, this is going to be a matter for the police, but I think the chair of the Culture Select Committee, John Whittingdale, is right to now inquire of James Murdoch to try and reconcile this discrepancy."

Mr Whittingdale said Mr Murdoch would be asked about the allegations.

"We were going to ask James Murdoch in any case to supply us with additional information and we will certainly be asking him to address this point when he does so," he said.

In a separate development last night, it emerged that Lord Justice Leveson, who will chair the phone-hacking inquiry, twice attended events at the home of Matthew Freud, the husband of Elisabeth Murdoch.

The Cabinet Office confirmed that the men first met in February 2010 at an Oxford dinner where Mr Freud offered to work pro-bono on promoting public confidence in sentencing. They then met on two further occasions for evening events at Mr Freud's London home in July and January.

Government sources stressed there had been 50 or 60 other people present at the time.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick