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Rebekah Brooks resigned as editor of the British paper that hacked into voicemail for news scoops.
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It was also alleged that the tabloid hacked into the phones of relatives of the victims of London's 7/7 attacks. The issue of paying off police officers surfaced again, as well. Two high-ranking officers resigned from Scotland Yard as a result.
With Rebekah Brooks and News International at its center,
the phone-hacking scandal spiraled out to the highest levels of government. British prime minister David Cameron came under fire for his close relationship with Brooks. Cameron attended Brooks' 2009 wedding, and hosted her twice at Chequers, his holiday residence. Cameron's former director of communications was Andy Coulson, who had preceded Brooks as editor of News of the World, and resigned after a previous phone-hacking incident.
The details of the News of the World phone hacking incidents shocked many in the British public and government, and the media firestorm around it was unprecedented. The Milly Dowler revelations in particular lead to calls for Brooks' resignation. Initially Rupert Murdoch refused calls for Brooks' resignation, and refused to accept it when she offered. However, the scope of the scandal widened each day and the public's anger mounted, Brooks stepped down on July 15, 2011. In a statement she said, "As chief executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place. I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate. This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past. Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted."
Rebekah Brooks faced another blow on July 17, 2011, when she was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and on suspicion of corruption allegations. Brooks was not charged with anything, and released on bail until October 2011. Andy Coulson was also arrested.
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