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Scotland Yard to probe Rupert Murdoch tape as media giant is recalled by MPs

The Metropolitan police is to launch fresh inquiries into what Rupert Murdoch knew about illegal payments to public officials in exchange for stories following the emergence of a tape recording of comments made by Murdoch in March during a meeting with News International journalists.

Questions: MPs want Murdoch to return for questioning

Assistant commissioner Cressida Dick told MPs on the home affairs select committee that Scotland Yard was trying to obtain the March tape, while Exaro - the investigative website which unearthed it - said all evidence would be handed over.

Dick said: "We will assess the full contents of that tape."

In the tape, Murdoch said the culture of payments to public officials from journalists "existed at every newspaper in Fleet Street" and raged at police: "I mean, it's a disgrace. Here we are, two years later, and the cops are totally incompetent," he said.

The comments were made in a meeting with journalists from The Sun.

Meanwhile, the Commons culture, media and sport select committee is set to recall the 82-year-old to be questioned again following his appearance with son James two years ago over the phone hacking scandal.

Murdoch has always maintained he knew nothing about payments being made to public officials for stories, however, in the tape Murdoch responds to a question from a Sun journalist asking if he would agree that the payments culture was inherited rather than instigated by current staff, by saying: "We're talking about payments for news tips from cops. That's been going on a hundred years, absolutely."

The investigation by Scotland Yard into illegal payments made to public officials, Operation Elveden, has so far led to the arrests of 70 people.

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