Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Milly family call on Brooks to quit

News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch are seen outside Mr Murdochs London flat. Sunday July 10, 2011.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, right, meets with Sally Dowler, left, and her daughter Gemma
SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 07: Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference with his wife Wendi on July 7, 2011 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference has been hosted annually by the investment firm Allen & Company each July since 1983 and is typically attended by many of the world's most powerful media executives. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Relatives of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler have called on Rebekah Brooks to "do the honourable thing" and quit.

They urged the News International chief executive to leave her post as lawyers claimed Surrey Police knew about Milly's phone being hacked almost a decade before relatives found out.

Speaking after a Whitehall meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, family lawyer Mark Lewis said his clients "take the view that Rebekah Brooks should do the honourable thing".

"They don't see why she should stay in the job," he added. "They see this as something that went right to the top. She was editor of the News of the World at the time that Milly was taken in 2002. She should take editorial responsibility."

Both Mr Lewis and former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick said Surrey Police should have told the Dowler family that they may have been targeted.

He told the press conference: "Apparently Surrey Police knew at the time that the phone was being hacked into. Why they didn't tell the family at all... is a matter for Surrey Police to answer. What it does show is that this relationship between the police and the press is not restricted to the Metropolitan Police."

The call followed a plea from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for Rupert Murdoch to "do the decent thing" and reconsider his BSkyB bid.

Meanwhile, Ed Miliband has questioned David Cameron's claim he was not aware of serious allegations linking Andy Coulson to a convicted criminal.

The Labour leader said the Prime Minister had "questions to answer" after insisting last week he had not been passed detailed information in the run-up to appointing Mr Coulson as his communications director.

Mr Miliband insisted Mr Cameron has failed to explain away claims the Guardian informed his senior aide, Steve Hilton, that Mr Coulson had rehired Jonathan Rees, a convicted criminal, while he was editor of the News of the World.

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