The reappointment of Rebekah Brooks as head of the News UK operation is yet another outrage in the series of repugnant actions of Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers over the last five years.
Last time she held the post she oversaw its catastrophic descent into the disgrace of the phone-hacking scandal. Two hundred people lost their jobs when she panicked and closed its biggest-selling paper the News of the World. More than 50 journalists were arrested and six were jailed. Staff were furious at having to pay for her ineptitude with their jobs.
Put on trial herself, she was acquitted, to the astonishment of many, after Murdoch spent an estimated £5 million on her legal defence. If she really knew nothing of what her staff were up to, then she must have been really incompetent.
Just 15 months later, after receiving a payoff of £16 million when forced to resign in 2011, Murdoch has called her back. The same day two senior journalists on the Sun, who had endured three years of legal torment and trial but also been acquitted, walked out of their jobs after decades on the paper.
CPBF chair Ann Field said: “The whole scandal was about the unaccountable power the Murdoch press had accumulated through their domination of the national press and their hold on politicians. The return of Rebekah Brooks shows Murdoch thinks he can still do what he likes and no-one can touch him. “If Murdoch thinks Rebekah Brooks can renew her intimacy with politicians to save his UK empire he will be in for a shock. People are disgusted at his arrogance and the tide of opinion is against him.
“We urge the Labour Party and all those concerned about media ownership and abuse of media power to demand the establishment of a Leveson-compliant independent press regulator, and measures to safeguard media plurality with limits on the extent to which any one company can dominate the market."