Decision to launch new Murdoch newspaper premature, says MP

 

Rupert Murdoch's decision to launch a Sunday version of The Sun was denounced by a politician today as “massively premature”.

During a visit to the newspaper's headquarters in Wapping, east London, today, Mr Murdoch declared his "unwavering support" for its journalists as he announced he was lifting the suspensions of all arrested staff.

The media mogul said he will begin publishing the top-selling tabloid seven days a week by launching a new paper called the Sun on Sunday "very soon".

Labour MP Chris Bryant, who has led the phone-hacking campaign, criticised the decision.

He said: "I think it is massively premature because one would have thought the Murdoch empire would want to wait until Leveson had completed his inquiry and the police and prosecuting authorities had completed their investigations.

"He (Mr Murdoch) is meant still to be 'draining the swamp' and yet the swamp is meant to produce another newspaper."

The Sun has been rocked by the arrests of 10 current and former senior reporters and executives since November over alleged corrupt payments to public officials.

There has been widespread speculation that News International - the UK newspapers division of News Corp - would begin publishing a Sunday version of The Sun ever since the News of the World was closed last July over the phone-hacking scandal.

PA

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