Secret recording reveals dark side of Murdoch take on hacking scandal

An extraordinary secret recording of Rupert Murdoch has been obtained by Channel 4, showing a contrasting side to the press baron’s public face in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch said his appearance to the House of Commons Select Committee on the issue was the “humblest day” of his life.

However, a recording apparently taken by employees at The Sun reveals a different side to Murdoch.

He is heard on the tape saying: "I mean, it's a disgrace. Here we are, two years later, and the cops are totally incompetent.

"The idea that the cops then started coming after you, kick you out of bed, and your families, at six in the morning, is unbelievable. But why are the police behaving in this way? It's the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing.

"And now they're arresting their own, who never even took money... They're going to put all newspapers out of business".

The recording captures him making a pledge to support any staff convicted of wrongdoing over the phone hacking allegations.

"I will do everything in my power to give you total support, even if you're convicted and get six months or whatever," he says.

"You're all innocent until proven guilty. What you're asking is: what happens if some of you are proven guilty? What afterwards? I'm not allowed to promise you - I will promise you continued health support - but your jobs. I've got to be careful what comes out - but frankly, I won't say it, but just trust me."

One of the assembled audience says during the meeting that: "It would be nice to hit back when we can".

"We will", Murdoch says. "We will".

"The people who came in and turned over Rebekah [Brooks] on a Monday morning," says Mr Murdoch.

"There were about 15 or 16. Most of them, a dozen, were from Manchester, a murder squad or something. And there were three local cops. It's ridiculous."

Channel 4 News reported that a NewsCorp spokesman told them: "No other company has done as much to identify what went wrong, compensate the victims, and ensure the same mistakes do not happen again.

"The unprecedented co-operation granted by News Corp was agreed unanimously by senior management and the board, and the MSC continues to co-operate under the supervision of the courts. Rupert Murdoch has shown understandable empathy with the staff and families affected and will assume they are innocent until and unless proven guilty."