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News of the World to close on Sunday amid hacking scandal

By
News Of The World paper

© Rex Features

The News of the World is to close this Sunday following devastating allegations about phone hacking and a mass desertion of advertisers.

In a statement, News Corporation's James Murdoch said that Sunday's News of the World will be the final issue after 168 years in print. It will be edited by Colin Myler and all the revenue will go to good causes.

Today, the Royal British Legion announced that it has dropped the News of the World as its campaigning partner after allegations that the newspaper may have hacked into the phones of bereaved relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The report follows claims that the paper also hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, as well as families of people who died in the 7/7 London bombings, among others.

> Rupert Murdoch backs Rebekah Brooks over News of the World phone hacking scandal
> News of the World bosses 'know who commissioned Milly Dowler hacking'

Ford, Specsavers, Sainsbury's, Asda, Dixons and Boots are among the companies that have announced plans to remove their advertising from the newspaper in light of the scandal.

In a statement to staff at News International, reported in full by The Guardian, the company's chairman Murdoch said that the paper's closure was part of steps to "address the very serious problems that have occurred". He said that the News of the World's 168-year history has been "sullied by behaviour that was wrong".

Police investigate News of the World journalists over alleged phone hacking
"Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our company. The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account, but it failed when it came to itself," said Murdoch.

"In 2006, the police focused their investigations on two men. Both went to jail. But the News of the World and News International failed to get to the bottom of repeated wrongdoing that occurred without conscience or legitimate purpose. Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued."

> Glenn Mulcaire blames News of the World pressure for phone hacking
> News of the World lied to us, says Press Complaints Commission

Murdoch said that after consulting senior colleagues, he decided to close the UK's most popular newspaper this Sunday and give all of the final issue's revenue to good causes.

"While we may never be able to make up for distress that has been caused, the right thing to do is for every penny of the circulation revenue we receive this weekend to go to organisations - many of whom are long-term friends and partners - that improve life in Britain and are devoted to treating others with dignity," he said.

"We will run no commercial advertisements this weekend. Any advertising space in this last edition will be donated to causes and charities that wish to expose their good works to our millions of readers. These are strong measures. They are made humbly and out of respect. I am convinced they are the right thing to do."

Labour MP Tom Watson responded to the news by saying: "No-one was going to buy this paper anymore. No-one was going to advertise in it. They destroyed this paper."

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