MPs divided over calling on Brooks to clarify Clifford payout evidence
Showdown imminent over whether MPs need to hear new testimony from former NI boss
A meeting between members of the parliamentary inquiry
investigating phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's News International
will take place this week amid mounting tensions over its future
Members of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hold conflicting views of the scandal, with some MPs seeking fresh evidence from at least one senior Wapping figure – the News International former chief executive Rebekah Brooks.
A first draft of the MPs' long-awaited report was produced before Christmas. There will be calls tomorrow for Ms Brooks to be asked to explain her role in authorising a £1m payment to the publicist Max Clifford in 2010 for having his phone messages intercepted.
The money was paid at a time when the company was still insisting hacking was limited to a single royal reporter.
While it is unlikely that Ms Brooks, who is currently the subject of a police investigation into the affair, will be recalled as a witness, MPs are expected to seek written clarification of what she knew about the payment.
She gave evidence to the committee in July immediately after Rupert and James Murdoch.
Operation Weeting detectives investigating phone hacking arrested Ms Brooks's former assistant at her home in Essex last week.
Allegations of phone hacking will again be centre stage today when the editor of The Sun, Dominic Mohan, and one of his most famous predecessors at the tabloid, Kelvin MacKenzie, who has since defected to the Daily Mail, give evidence to Lord Leveson's inquiry into press standards.
Two of the senior figures from the committee, Labour's Tom Watson and the Conservative MP Louise Mensch, have denied they are clashing in a so-called "Beauty versus the Beast" row over how much blame should be apportioned to James Murdoch in the final report. In his second appearance before MPs in November, Mr Watson compared the News International chairman to a "Mafia boss" while Mrs Mensch has praised the consistency of Mr Murdoch's evidence.
Mr Watson said he would be reviewing the written and oral evidence today before deciding whether to press for more witnesses to be called.
While there is a growing consensus among the committee to move towards a conclusion, Mr Watson said there was a "distinct possibility" of fresh hearings.
This is despite the suggestion by the Conservative chairman of the committee, John Whittingdale, who has previously indicated that enough testimony had been heard.
Among the other key issues likely to dominate MPs' discussions tomorrow are the credibility of Mr Murdoch and the former News of the World executives the former editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone, who dispute his testimony about how much he knew before he sanctioned a £700,000 payout to the phone-hacking victim Gordon Taylor. New emails emerged last month which appeared to question James Murdoch's assertion that he received little briefing from News of the World executives prior to authorising the settlement to Mr Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association. News International said the emails were consistent with Mr Murdoch's testimony.
The Labour MP Paul Farrelly, who sits on the committee, said it was important that the final report was not hurried: "The first draft of the report appeared just before Christmas and it will need lengthy discussion. This is in order to get it right, and make sure it stands the test of time, given that the police and judicial inquiries are likely to unearth further evidence."
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Work until you’re 70: Chancellor accused of ‘living in fantasy land’ over Autumn Statement pension reforms
What made Charles Saatchi grab my throat, by Nigella Lawson - as she accuses him of threatening to 'destroy' her with drug claims
Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
Paul Walker death: Eight-year-old son of Porsche driver Roger Rodas tried to rescue his father
- 1 North Korea: Kim Jong Un 'sacks powerful uncle and has his aides executed'
- 2 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
£50000 - £70000 per annum + London: Harrington Starr: Senior Automation QA Eng...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: SQL 2008 R2/2012 Deve...
£38000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Creative Audit Se...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, P...