Myler and Crone

Colin Myler, left, and Tom Crone giving evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee this morning

Credit: PA
Tom Crone, former News International legal manager, and Colin Myler, the final editor of the News of the World, have denied being part of a phone hacking cover-up at News International over the.

Giving evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee this morning, the pair insisted that they clearly informed News International chairman James Murdoch of the seriousness of the contents of the so-called "For Neville" email, which suggested phone hacking was more widespread than first suggested by the company.

The pair released a joint statement last month, after Murdoch claimed in his own evidence to the committee that he was not aware of the email.

Myler added at today's hearing that "everybody perfectly understood the seriousness of what we were discussing".

MP Damian Collins asked Myler if he found it "slightly extraordinary" that despite everyone knowing the significance of the document, "it was never discussed again".

"No I don't," Myler responded. "I think that the responsibility regarding to corporate governance of the company goes beyond my pay grade."

He added that the joint statement was put out "because it was wrongly alleged that as a result of what Murdoch had said we were guilty of having concealing or covering up a sequence of events".

"There are lots of things that have come to light from different areas and if we had known then what we know now things would have been massively different," he added.

But he said that he was "very comfortable" with his role in the events at the time.

Crone also denied suggestions that the joint statement contradicted previous evidence given, and that he had misled the committee when given evidence in 2009.

Crone also claimed during the hearing that former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson, had told him he "hoped to persuade" News International bosses to allow former royal correspondent Goodman to return to the company after he had served his sentence for conspiracy to intercept phone calls.

Crone said that Coulson had shared these hopes with Crone on more than one occasion.

Crone added that he passed on these "hopes" to Goodman, saying he "felt sorry" for him, but said any return by Goodman would not be as a reporter, but in a different role, such as sub-editor.

"Mr Coulson's theme on this was he felt the company had a duty of care to Clive Goodman and he felt that Clive Goodman, if he was guilty and once had paid his penalty, that he hoped he could persuade Les Hinton that Goodman could still come back. So he wasn't effectively thrown on the scrapheap."

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