Rebekah Brooks was given 11m pay-off from News Corp after phone-hacking scandal, official documents reveal


Rebekah Brooks was given 11m pay-off from News Corp after phone-hacking scandal, official documents revealFormer News International chief executive was forced to quit at the height of the phone hacking scandalNI Group accounts reveal 10.852million 'compensation for loss of office'She will also have legal costs covered in two court cases, over alleged payments to public officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
Firm gave 2million to the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler whose phone was hacked
Editor of The Times, owned by Murdoch, resigns

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UPDATED:

01:43 GMT, 13 December 2012

Rebekah Brooks received 10.8million after resigning as chief executive of News International

Rebekah Brooks received 10.8million after resigning as chief executive of News International

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks walked away with almost 11million when she resigned at the height of the phone-hacking scandal.

Her pay-off when she quit as chief executive of News International last year was initially believed to be 3.5million, then reportedly 7million.

But accounts published yesterday by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation revealed the true sum was significantly higher and will continue to grow.

They reveal that Mrs Brooks, a close ally of Murdoch and friend of David Cameron, received 10.8million as ‘compensation for loss of office.’

The sum – which dwarfs the 2 million compensation paid by News International to the family of Milly Dowler for hacking her phone – includes ‘various ongoing benefits’ including funding a London office and staff for two years.

Mrs Brooks will also have ‘all legal and other professional costs’ relating to the court cases she is fighting paid for ‘until those investigations are concluded’. The accounts note that the company expects more costs will be incurred. The former executive denies three sets of charges.

She has been accused of conspiring with her husband, Charlie, and others to pervert the course of justice. She is also facing charges of conspiring to intercept the voicemails of individuals.

Earlier this month Mrs Brooks appeared at the Old Bailey, alongside Mr Cameron’s former spin doctor Andy Coulson, another ex-editor of the News of the World, over alleged illegal payments to public officials.

The editor of The Times, James Harding, quit yesterday. He said: ‘It has been made clear to me News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor.’

Mrs Brooks was a close ally of Mr
Murdoch and part of the 'Chipping Norton set' which also includes Mr
Cameron and Jeremy Clarkson.

She edited the News of the World and the Sun before becoming chief executive of News International in 2009.

She was thought to have been instrumental in securing The Sun's backing for the Conservatives in the 2010 general election.

Mr
Cameron faced repeated criticism for getting too close to the Murdoch
empire and his friendship with Mrs Brooks, and her husband Charlie who
he went to Eton with.

Last
month Lord Justice Leveson's report into media standards found Mr
Cameron's closeness to senior media executives like Rebekah Brooks had
created a problem of ‘public perception’.

The report said: 'Mr Cameron went to great lengths
to secure meetings face-to-face with Mr Murdoch and other News
International executives and editors.

‘The benefits of this may have played some part in the outcome but should not be overestimated.'

Mrs Brooks is understood to have been a key ally in persuading Mr Murdoch to back the Tories at the 2010 election. Her husband Charlie (left) was at Eton with David Cameron

Mrs Brooks is understood to have been a key ally in persuading Mr Murdoch to back the Tories at the 2010 election. Her husband Charlie (left) was at Eton with David Cameron

He added: ‘The evidence does not, of course, establish anything resembling a
‘deal’ whereby News International’s support was traded for the
expectation of policy favours.’

Giving
evidence to the Leveson Inquiry – set up in response to the phone
hacking scandal – she revealed details of text messages she had
exchanged with the Prime Minister.

One,
from October 2009, referred to having 'country suppers' and wished him
good luck for his speech at the Tory party conference.

'I
am so rooting for you tomorrow not just as a proud friend but because
professionally we're definitely in this together! Speech of your life!
Yes he Cam!'

Mrs Brooks was a key ally of Rupert Murdoch, editing his flagship red top papers before becoming chief executive of News International

Mrs Brooks was a key ally of Rupert Murdoch, editing his flagship red top papers before becoming chief executive of News International

It also emerged that Mr Cameron ended
his messages with 'LOL', until it was pointed out that it was textspeak
for 'Laugh Out Loud' and not 'Lots of Love'.

However
their relationship soured after details of alleged phone hacking at the
News of the World emerged in the summer of 2011, and the Prime Minister
lead calls for her to resign.

In
an internal email to staff she announced she was standing down saying:
'I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt.

'I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist.'

David Cameron and Mrs Brooks were close friends but their relationship became the source of embarrassment for the Prime Minister when it emerged he signed off texts 'LOL' thinking it stood for 'Lots Of Love'

David Cameron and Mrs Brooks were close friends but their relationship became the source of embarrassment for the Prime Minister when it emerged he signed off texts 'LOL' thinking it stood for 'Lots Of Love'