'You're a very naughty billionaire,' the attacker said

 

The man in the chequered shirt pushed past me just as Louise Mensch was finishing her question. In his hand was a blue carrier bag. He looked like he was trying to leave in a hurry.

Then someone screamed. I looked round a saw a paper party plate heaped with shaving foam from the bag which he was smearing across Rupert Murdoch face and suit a couple of yards away.

“You are a very naughty billionaire,” he said.

Rupert just sat there not moving. Not saying anything.

A slightly portly policeman started running across from the far side of the room but he was no match for Wendi Murdoch.

Sitting just behind her husband she instinctively leapt up and lunged at the man’s face – making contact with some papers she had in her hand.

Another aide tried to grab him before the policeman even made it to Mr Murdoch’s side.

As the attacker was led away Mrs Murdoch turned to her husband and his son. “I got him,” she said - almost gleefully.

Rather tenderly she then perched on the committee room table in front of Mr Murdoch, removed his glasses which were smeared with foam and tried to clean his face and bald head with a handkerchief and a bottle of mineral water.

Rupert himself still said nothing.

Whether he was shocked, upset you couldn’t really tell. He looked vulnerable – less the multi-billionaire media mogul and more the 80–year-old man.

His son, however, was angry. As officials tried to clear the room of the press and public he demanded of the nearest policeman – his own face covered in foam - how the man had got past security.

“Unfortunately the X-ray machines don’t pick up foam,” was the slightly lame reply.

“This is a circus,” James Murdoch replied. “Honestly, this is a circus.”

Another aide – mistaking me for a committee official – demanded to know if the cameras were off.

James then demanded an adjournment. But surprisingly his father, now with his foam-smeared suit jacket removed and wet shirt revealing his vest underneath was the one who was keen to continue.

“It’s fine. Let carry on.” I was then ushered out.

Even at close quarters Rupert’s reaction was inscrutable. At first I thought he was shocked. But now I am not so sure. It was almost as if he welcomed the ritual humiliation.



News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering