Officer who led hacking inquiry keeps Murdoch job

The Times
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The Independent Online

The Times will continue to employ the services of Andy Hayman the former senior police officer who led Scotland Yard's original investigation of phone hacking by the News of the World and concluded that there were "perhaps a handful of victims".

News International yesterday confirmed that Mr Hayman would continue to work for the newspaper, the sister title of the News of the World, but other sources at the organisation said that it was "of primary concern" that News Corp's other brands were not contaminated by the fallout from the hacking scandal.

As Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations at the Metropolitan Police, Mr Hayman led the investigation into the activities of Glenn Mulcaire in 2006-07. Scotland Yard has since confirmed that more than 4,000 people may have had their phones hacked.

Yesterday both The Times and The Sun were obliged to report the closure of their newspaper stablemate. But the demise of the News of the World does not appear to have alleviated the concerns of all big advertisers that they might be tainted by association. Renault said yesterday that it was withdrawing its business from all News International titles.

The scandal was yesterday being carried on the website of The Wall Street Journal, the title which Rupert Murdoch spent so long trying to acquire for News Corp. Les Hinton, who oversees the paper for Mr Murdoch, was executive chairman of News International at the time of the hacking and is likely to be called to give evidence to the forthcoming public inquiry.

Simon Middleton, a leading brand strategist, said: "What they have done is opened the back door and booted the News of the World out thinking that's going to take away the rot. But now the story is not about the News of the World any more; it is about News International. The toxicity in the brand has spread to the whole stable – not just the other newspapers but the whole corporation."

Charities including the Royal National Lifeboat Institution rejected the chance to advertise for free in this Sunday's final edition of the News of the World. "Accepting any such offer would be potentially damaging to our reputation," said the RNLI.