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Rebekah Brooks 'got £1.7m payoff, London office and limousine'

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Rebekah Brooks gives evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

© PA Images / PA/PA Wire

Rebekah Brooks was given £1.7m in cash, a London office and a chauffeur-driven limousine when she left News International, it has been reported.

Brooks left the newspaper group in July at the height of the phone hacking scandal and was later arrested in connection with the case.

It was reported at the time that she secured a £3.5m severance package. However, The Observer claims that Brooks was given £1.7m and use of her company limousine and driver for two years.

She was also given an office in an "affluent central London" area to use for two years, although Brooks's spokesman asked the paper not to reveal its exact location for security reasons.

Records at Companies House showed she had resigned from 23 directorships related to News International.

The new claims are expected to be raised when James Murdoch returns to be questioned by the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee on Thursday.

The recall comes after discrepancies arose between his evidence and that of key News International employees, who claim Murdoch was aware of the extent of the hacking.

Tom Watson, the Labour MP who helped to expose the News of the World scandal, said: "It is remarkably curious that such a generous package is given to Ms Brooks when others have been cut loose. It is almost as if she hasn't really left the company. I am sure Mr Murdoch will want to explain the decision to his shareholders."

> News Corp shareholders vote against James Murdoch
> News International knew of phone hacking in 2008, documents suggest

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