Mystery of £1.7m payout for Rebekah Brooks

James Murdoch to face fresh questions from MPs on deal with former executive.

James Murdoch will this week face fresh questions from a parliamentary inquiry into News International's financial links to Rebekah Brooks, who resigned at the height of the phone-hacking scandal. Mr Murdoch's reappearance at the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee is expected to be dominated by doubts cast on his earlier claims not to have known about the extent of phone hacking at News of the World.

But last night it was claimed that Ms Brooks, who edited NOTW before rising to become chief executive of NI, had received a £1.7m payout, a chauffeur-driven car and a central London office as part of her severance package. It is understood that Mr Murdoch will face claims on Thursday that Ms Brooks has been told she will one day be able to return to the company, possibly in as little as two years. Previously it has been reported that Rupert Murdoch told Ms Brooks to "travel the world" until the scandal had passed.

Ms Brooks resigned from her role in July, days after NOTW was closed following revelations that the teenage murder victim Milly Dowler was targeted by phone hackers after she went missing in 2002. Ms Brooks was later arrested and bailed in connection with allegations of phone hacking and corruption. NI has paid the Dowler family £2m in settlement of their civil claim, while Rupert Murdoch has donated £1m to charities chosen by the Dowler family.

Companies House records show that Ms Brooks resigned from 23 directorships related to the firm, according to The Observer. Tom Watson, the Labour MP and a member of the culture committee, told the newspaper: "It is remarkably curious that such a generous package is given to Ms Brooks when others have been cut loose. It is almost as if she hasn't really left ... I am sure Mr Murdoch will want to explain the decision to his shareholders."

Mr Murdoch, NI's executive chairman, was recalled to the culture committee on Thursday after his evidence given in July was contradicted by former NOTW editor Colin Myler and ex-legal chief Tom Crone. In particular, he will be challenged about what he knew, and when, about the extent of phone hacking at the newspaper group, notably claims that he was told in 2008 about a transcript of a phone message about Gordon Taylor, former chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association.

The NOTW's claim that hacking was limited to a "rogue reporter" – Clive Goodman, jailed with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire – has been shown to be untrue. Papers obtained by the culture committee from Farrer & Co, NI's former solicitors, include notes, emails and bills that leave executives at the media empire open to claims of serious cover-up.

Since the closure of the Sunday redtop in July, the investigation into allegations of wrongdoing has widened. Last week, police said the number of possible hacking victims was close to 5,800, as Carole Caplin, one-time adviser to Cherie Blair, had been told by police her messages were hacked by Glenn Mulcaire working for NOTW. Investigations are also continuing into allegations of computer hacking and payments to police.

NI declined to comment last night. When The IoS put the location of the office to Ms Brooks's spokesman yesterday lunchtime, we were told the details could not be disclosed for "security reasons".

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits