LONDON, (Reuters) – News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was warned by police in 2002 about serious malpractice and possible illegal activities by reporters at a newspaper she edited, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday.
His allegations could increase pressure on Brooks, one of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s closest confidantes and who has so far insisted she knew nothing of alleged illegal practices at the paper, to resign.
Brooks has so far survived a scandal at News Inter-national that last week prompted the closure of the 168-year-old News of the World paper she once edited and on Wednesday forced Murdoch to abandon his multi-billion dollar deal for pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB.
Last week, Brooks insisted she had no idea an investigator working for News of the World hacked into the voicemail of a missing 13-year-old girl, later found murdered. She was editor of the paper at the time.
Commentators have expressed disbelief that she could have known nothing about corrupt practices at the paper and called repeatedly for her resignation but News Corp head Murdoch has stood defiantly by Brooks.