Keep refreshing for updates from the select committee hearing from 11am. You can read Iain Dale's interview with Tom Watson here and Amber Elliott's interview with John Whittingdale here

That's it from the committee - James Murdoch's main tactic seemed to be to dodge difficult questions and deny all knoweldge of various goings on, but apologise for them at the same time. Unsuprisingly this didn't wash with the committee, especially heavyweights like Tom Watson.

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Farrelly is grilling Murdoch on Glenn Muclaire, and says "you were effectively supporting the man who hacked Milly Dowler's phone".

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Steve Farrelly asks if James Murdoch was involved in the "so called million pound settlement" with Max Clifford. Murdoch says he was aware of it in general terms but he wasn't involved.

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Asked about cash payments by Therese Coffey, Murdoch says the rules are being significantly tightened.

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Steve Rotheram asks if News International thought they were untouchable. He suggests that The Sun published "outrageous lies" about the Hillsborough disaster, and that because they got away with it News International have felt themselves above the rules ever since. Murdoch apologises for the way The Sun dealt with the disaster, and refuses to rule out closing down The Sun if their journalists have engaged in illegal activity.

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Tom Watson says that his name appeared on electronic devices seized by the police, and that he has been informed he may have been a victim of phone hacking himself. He also claims to have evidence that he was smeared by Rebekah Brooks. He asks Murdoch if he is aware of this? Murdoch says he isn't. Watson is running rings about Murdoch, who doesn't seem to have much knowledge of what has been going on.

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Tom Watson is questioning Murdoch again. He says he has evidence that a friend of Prince William was targetted by a private investigator, and did James Murdoch know about this? Murdoch denies knowledge. Watson tells Murdoch to check the company's invoices and emails. Murdoch says he's not aware of the names of private investigators who were used.

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Mensch seems to suggest that more "incredibly damaging" revelations are to come, and Murdoch should come clean about any other malpractice. Murdoch says he's being as transparent as he can and News International are complying with the criminal investigation. Mensch asks if Murdoch will be honest with the committee about future revelations. Murdoch repeats his promise to be transparent.

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Mensch - your evidence suggests that Mr Crone authorised surveillance on lawyers of 9/11 victims. James Murdoch calls the whole thing "unacceptable" and "appalling". Murdoch apologises on behalf of the company even though "he did not condone" the surveillance.

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Louise Mensch asks "to your knowledge how many other papers at News International have been involved in hacking?" James Murdoch says an investigation is underway but he doesn't want to prejudge. He says he doesn't know. Louise Mensch says "so far you're coming up empty".

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Murdoch says NewsCorp are investigating transparency throughout the business, and he feels its going well.  He says a lesson learned is not to allow the newsroom to investigate itself.

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Louise Mensch is now asking questions - she apologises but says she will have to leave immediately after she has asked her questions as she has to pick her children up.

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"Theres a lot of supposition... but what never happened was Myler and Crone showing me the evidence or explaining the advice of the QC." says Murdoch, holding his ground.

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Farrelly with the bit between his teeth now: "So in July 2009 you were the only person in London who thought there was one rogue reporter?"

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The MPs continue to ask questions that make it clear that Murdoch isn't telling the truth--Watson, Farrelly and Davies have all taken this line. But all this will do to Murdoch is embarrass him in the eyes of shareholders, nothing more.

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On the key meeting again, Farrelly asks did you not ask who else Glen Mulcare was hacking and whether he was doing it on his own back. Your dad would have done that, says Farrelly. I wouldn't want to speculate says Murdoch.

"Its a remarkably uncurious approach" says Farrelly. Murdoch talks the question into the ground, saying he had no reason to believe there was any need to "probe further"

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Paul Farrelly questioning Murdoch now. The Labour MP has spent much of his carreer on Fleet Street; perhaps this expertise will help. Mind you, I'm not convinced the city desk of the Observer, where Farrelly worked, has much in common with the NOTW newsroom.

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Surely the key issue on running things differently since the phone-hacking scandal began is the hiring of PIs to follow lawyers acting for claimants suing News International. Davies might have missed a trick there  

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Asked whether they now run things differently and in a less "lax" manner. Murdoch states his determination to "sort it out" and explains the issue has been one of the companies overriding of late.

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"Mr Davies, there's a contrast between financial controls and then following the recommendation of experienced council" says Murdoch. He's trying to square the "cavalier" attitude suggested by Davies with the formal caps on the size of settlements different News International executives can authorise.

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Davies asks Murdoch why he was so cavalier with payouts without all the information. "I cannot believe [your decisions] was a course of action any chief operating officer would ever take." He also notes his surprise at someone asking for external legal advice but then not look at it. How will Murdoch respond?

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Davies is pursuing a potentially fruitful line of questioning here. In the background to settlement specifics, its hard to belive Murdoch's characterisation of his informal 15 minute chat with Myler and Crone when it involved signing sizable checks.

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Philip Davies, a Conservative, now asking the questions. He's decided to concentrate on settlements, their size and who authorized them.

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After probing questions and an important revelation, Watson cannot resist a bit of grandstanding. He finishes his questioning by calling James Murdoch the first Maifa boss in history not to know he was running a criminal enterprise.

"Mr Chairman!" says Murdoch, taking offence again.

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In a boisterous conclusion to his questioning, Watson describes the Mafia concept of Omerta, accusing News Interantional of a conspiracy of silence and criminaltiy. Murdoch is "offended" by such a suggestion.

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Watson says Thurlbeck had a conversation with Crone in which Crone said he intended to show Murdoch the crucial "for Neville" email. The case against Murdoch mounts.

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Watson has ambished Murdoch with news of a meeting Watson had with Neville Thurlbeck.

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Given that the Committee's chair, Whittingdale, is unhappy that Watson is still sits on the committee in spite of his new job in the shadow cabinet office, the Labour MP is being given plenty of time for questoning.

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The Watson-Murdoch exchange makes it clear that increasingly Murdoch's culpability comes down to the word of Mordoch against the word of his two subordinates, Myler and Crone. Murdoch's argument is hard to believe. He claims Myler and Crone didn't mention endemic criminality in the NOTW newsroom while discussing the Taylor case. As Watson points out, one would think that would be high on the agenda of a meeting concerning phone hacking at NOTW.

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You are seriously suggesting that there was no mention to the for neville email given that this was central to what you were discussing, says Watson. Murdoch maintains he knew of the email and knew it was fatal for the case but he was not aware of wider problems at NOTW.

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Murdoch has stuck to his claim of ignorance. Clearly, the risk for him is that he comes across as a negligent executive, something that can't help his career aspirations.

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"Did you mislead this committee?" asks Watson. Murdoch pauses to sip his water before denying he did. It follows from that, says Watson, that your think Myler and Crone mislead the committee. Murdoch agrees.

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Watson is concerntrating on the legal advice recieved by Murdoch's colleagues, Crone and Myler, that suggested widepread illegality at the time of the Taylor case. Murdoch continues to pass the buck, insisting that Crone, the in-house lawyer and Myler did not make him fully aware of this.

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Here's the heavyweight clash of the day: Watson v Murdoch. Watson starts with a mischievous opening question: For legal reasons, can you confirm you are not under arrest or on bail?

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Shifting blame onto the News of the World editorial team, Murdoch says he was ignorant of the illegality of the paper and it would have been the responsibility of the editor to report to him with any suspicions.

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In resonse to a question from Liberal Democrat, Adrian Saunders, there was no "willful blindness" at News International with regards to phone hacking. When Saunders asked Murdoch Jnr. if he was familiar with the concept of willful blindness in the summer's questioning, he fluffed the answer with his father having to intervene and save some embarassment.

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Are you humbled by this, asks Jim Sheridan. Murdoch says he and the whole company is humbled and he trying to learn lessons from illegality at News of the World. Of course, it was his father's jaw-dropping admission that the day he was questioned by the Committee this summer was "the most humble day of my life" that grabbed the heaadlines.

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John Whittingdale, the Committee's Chairman goes to the heart of the matter of the "for Neville" email with his first question. Murdoch says he was aware of the email was evidence that the company would lose the Gordon Taylor case if it went to court. But he insists he never knew it as the "for Neville email".

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Things getting going now. On an important day for the Murdoch dynasty, expect plenty of difficult questions for heir to the throne, James. Questioning is likely to focus on the crucial "for Neville" email from Tom Crone to Colin Myler and the hefty payout to Rebekah Brooks.

 

Tags: James murdoch, News International, News of the World, Phone hacking