News Corp Chairman/CEO Rupert Murdoch’s testimony before a British Parliament committee was briefly suspended after he was nearly hit in the face by a protestor armed with a plate of shaving cream. His wife Wendi sprang to his defense and deflected the assault. Police have arrested the attacker. James Murdoch criticized authorities for not protecting his 80-year-old father better. Proceedings were recessed for 15 minutes before resuming. What a humiliating thing to happen in the House of Commons when the eyes of the world are watching. Here is my live-blogging of the evidence presented by Rupert and son James Murdoch before the MPs:
1714: Rupert says there is no evidence that families of 9/11 victims had their phones hacked. James is more cautious, saying he doesn’t know the veracity of the “appalling” allegations.
1709: Committee resumes. James denies any inference that out-of-court settlements were paid to buy silence. Says only became aware of Milly Dowler voicemail hacking when it broke in the press.
1700: Rupert Murdoch has been apparently hit in the face with a plate of shaving foam by a man shouting, “Greedy.” James Murdoch has remonstrated with police for not protecting his father properly.
1659: Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng defended her husband. What a shameful thing to have happened in the House of Commons.
1655: A shout and James Murdoch springs to their feet. A policeman dashes across the room. Police are handcuffing man behind his back. Proceedings suspended.
1651: Asked why Rebekah Brooks suggested there were still more revelations to come, James claims ignorance. He apologises for what’s happened.
1650: Rupert admits the way News Corp has handled the crisis is “terrible”, but he doesn’t believe that either James or Les Hinton made any great mistakes.