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Rupert Murdoch: 'Rebekah Brooks is my top priority'

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Rebekah Brooks

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Rupert Murdoch has told reporters that protecting Rebekah Brooks is his "first priority" in dealing with the News of the World hacking scandal.

The News Corp chief arrived in the UK today to hold crisis talks with executives on how to handle the controversy, which stemmed from accusations that the News of the World hacked into mobiles belonging to murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and relatives of 7/7 bombing victims.

Murdoch has faced pressure to fire Brooks from her position as chief executive at News International after it emerged that the hacking of Dowler's voicemail occurred during her time as News of the World editor.

However, the 80-year-old made his position clear today when he responded to a reporter's query about what was his top priority by gesturing to Brooks and declaring: "This one".

Murdoch previously stated that News International will "proactively cooperate with the police in all investigations" under Brooks's leadership.

Murdoch's son James also praised Brooks for her strong "standard of ethics" and claimed to be "satisfied that she had [no] knowledge" of the hacking undertaken on behalf of her paper. Brooks herself has refused to resign from News International.

Rupert Murdoch's vow to stand by Brooks comes on the same day as the final edition of the News Of The Worldwas published, putting some 200 jobs in jeopardy.

> News of the World final front page revealed

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