James Harding has run the flagship Times newspaper since 2007. In his resignation speech, Harding said, “It has been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor of The Times. I have, therefore, agreed to stand down. I called Rupert this morning to offer my resignation and he accepted it.” The Times has been somewhat critical of its parent company during the phone-hacking scandal and reports suggest this may have been the reason Harding ankled. This is the second time in two weeks that News Corp.’s UK press arm, News International, has lost a senior exec. News International CEO Tom Mockridge said he was stepping down on December 2. In related news, The Telegraph reports that senior News International execs have made informal approaches to the British government about being allowed to combine The Times and The Sunday Times into one operation. Under an agreement Murdoch made back in the early 80s when he acquired the papers, he is bound to keep them separate. Since Harding’s announcement yesterday, it has been speculated that Sunday Times editor John Witherow may replace him.