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Rebekah Brooks flanked by minders as she announces News of the World closure to angry staff

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RRebekah-BrooksEBEKAH Brooks, the News International chief executive who was editor of the News of the World at the height of the phone hacking corruption, was flanked by security guards for her own safety as she announced the paper's closure.

 

Mrs Brooks walked onto the news floor of the world's biggest Sunday paper to announce it was closing after 168 years. The last edition is this Sunday.

She had a burly minder on either side of her for her own safety. The announcement left many staff in tears and many more furious.

Her brief comments left the paper's current editor Colin Myler livid and he asked her to leave the newsfloor in no uncertain terms while he 'addressed the troops.'

More than 400 journalist jobs are now at risk.

Mrs Brooks' job however is safe.

Her handling of the crisis, and especially dealings with the police investigating the phone hacking, has been savaged by her critics.

Mr Myler had only 10 minutes notice that she was about to tell staff of the closure.

The official line from Rupert Murdoch's son James was 'wrong-doers have turned a good newsroom bad'.

He added: “Having consulted senior colleagues, I have decided that we must take further decisive action with respect to the paper. This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World.”

The newspaper was already collapsing in on itself following day after day of shocking allegations that journalists hacked the phones of everyone from murdered schoolgirls to the families of Britain's heroic war dead.

The scandal was also threatening to block Murdoch's takeover of satellite broadcast BskyB.

Insiders say the closure of the News of the World is tactical genius.

NI bosses had always wanted to turn the title's sister paper The Sun into a seven day operation.

Two days ago the web domain name 'the-sun-on-sunday' and derivatives were snapped-up by an unknown buyer.

One senior reporter on the paper, who asked not to be named, said: “It is an inspired move. He cherry picks a handful of News of the World staff to run a Sunday edition of The Sun and bin the rest.

“Talk about evil genius. It will save him millions.

“But in the end he's going to have to get rid of Rebekah.”


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