Phone-hacking scandal:

Wapping at war as former allies turn on James Murdoch

News of the World's former legal manager and editor dispute committee evidence

Two senior executives from News International turned on James Murdoch last night, accusing him of misleading Parliament in his evidence on phone hacking at the News of the World.

Colin Myler, the newspaper's former editor, and Tom Crone, its legal manager, issued an extraordinary public statement disputing crucial evidence given by Mr Murdoch on Tuesday.

Mr Murdoch told MPs that when he authorised a payment of over £700,000 to a victim of phone hacking in 2008 he was "not aware" of an email about hacking which appeared to implicate the paper's chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, suggesting illegal behaviour went beyond one "rogue reporter".

But in a statement released last night Mr Myler and Mr Crone disputed Mr Murdoch's version of events and said that they personally had drawn it to his attention.

"We would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken," they said. "In fact, we did inform him of the 'for Neville' email."

News International's parent firm, News Corp, said last night that Mr Murdoch "stands by his testimony".

The contradiction of Mr Murdoch's evidence by two of his most senior advisers, whom he chose to consult before authorising the payment, led to calls for an urgent explanation from him. Tom Watson, a member of the select committee, said: "If these allegations are true, you can only reach the conclusion that James Murdoch misled Parliament.

It is a remarkable state of affairs and we require an urgent statement from News Corp as to what they would do to put this right, bearing in mind Rupert Murdoch's assurance that the company has a 'zero-tolerance' approach to wrongdoing."

Throughout his evidence Mr Murdoch insisted that the reason he authorised the payment to Mr Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers' Association, was because of legal advice that it would cost more to fight the case than to settle early outside of court. Phone-hacking campaigners claim that the real reason was to prevent further allegations being aired in court – in particular those implicating Mr Thurlbeck.

Both Mr Crone and Mr Myler are angry at the way they have been treated by News International and fear they are being set up to take responsibility for the corporate failures to deal with the phone-hacking crisis.

James Murdoch, the senior News Corp figure at News International's headquarters in east London from December 2007, and now deputy chief operating officer of News Corp, signed off the Taylor payment in April 2008.

When the existence of the payment was revealed in 2009, News International, under the command of Mr Murdoch, continued to deny that there was any evidence of the involvement of its employees other than Clive Goodman, the royal editor of the News of the World, who had been jailed in 2007 along with the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, whom the paper employed on contract.

In statements, NI argued then that hacking had been the work of a single rogue reporter: "From our own investigation, but more importantly that of the police, we can state with confidence that, apart from the matters referred to above, there is not and never has been evidence to support allegations that: News of the World journalists have accessed the voicemails of any individual; News of the World or its journalists have instructed private investigators or other third parties to access the voicemails of any individuals; there was systemic corporate illegality by News International to suppress evidence."

Ten current or former News International executives and reporters have been arrested this year on suspicion of involvement in phone hacking or bribing police, including the former chief executive, Rebekah Brooks.

Until early this year, the company's executives stuck to the same "rogue reporter" line, including in evidence to Parliament. Mr Myler previously told MPs: "The sequence of events is very simple, and this is very clear: Mr Crone advised me, as the editor, what the legal advice was and it was to settle. Myself and Mr Crone then went to see James Murdoch and told him where we were with the situation. Mr Crone then continued with our outside lawyers the negotiation with Mr Taylor. Eventually a settlement was agreed. That was it." An MP asked: "So James Murdoch took the ultimate decision?" Mr Myler replied: "James Murdoch was advised of the situation and agreed with our legal advice that we should settle."

After the discovery at the NOTW of the "for Neville" email, no action was taken against Mr Thurlbeck and he continued to work as chief reporter. He was arrested in April by the Operation Weeting team investigating phone hacking and is currently on police bail. He is understood to still be on the News International payroll.

James Murdoch's knowledge of hacking

James Murdoch's testimony to Parliament, 19 July

Tom Watson MP: "When you signed off the [Gordon] Taylor payment, did you see or were you made aware of the full Neville email, the transcript of the hacked voicemail messages?"

James Murdoch: "No, I was not aware of that at the time."

Statement by Colin Myler and Tom Crone, 21 July

"Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday's CMS Select Committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken.

In fact, we did inform him of the 'for Neville' email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers."

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