British lawmakers recall Murdoch over phone-hacking evidence

LONDON (REUTERS) - British lawmakers said on Tuesday they would recall media mogul Rupert Murdoch to clarify evidence he gave to them last year after he was secretly recorded belittling a police inquiry into alleged crimes committed by journalists on his papers.

Mr Murdoch told staff at his Sun tabloid in a private meeting in March he had been wrong to help the police investigation into illegal tactics which he said the industry had used for decades, comments that sharply contrasted with the profuse public apologies he had given Parliament's media committee.

Mr Murdoch, the head of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, had described himself then as humbled and appalled by the revelations of illegality and phone-hacking that forced the closure of his prized News of the World tabloid two years ago.

"The committee has voted to ask him to reappear in light of the comments he made to News International staff," committee chairman John Whittingdale told Reuters, adding that they had not yet set a date for the hearing.

The Sun meeting was secretly recorded and broadcast last week, and on Tuesday police told lawmakers they were seeking to obtain a copy of it.

"We are seeking to obtain... The tape of the meeting during which Rupert Murdoch appears to have been recorded, and we will then assess the full contents of that tape," London Police Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told Parliament's Home Affairs committee.