LONDON (SatireWire.com) — Britain’s phone-hacking scandal has claimed another News International subsidiary as media baron Rupert Murdoch today told Parliament he will shut down Scotland Yard.
Murdoch said the 182-year-old police force – also known as London’s Metropolitan Police Service, or “The Met” — would perform its final public duties on Sunday. As a gesture of contrition, the Yard will immediately stop taking bribes from News International publications. Sir Paul Stephenson, who resigned as Met Chief last weekend, also said he would return his eight News International “Employee of the Month” awards.
The shutdown of News International’s largest daily police force comes on the heels of the closure of News of the World, its largest daily tabloid. Both subsidiaries were caught up in the scandal, as editors and reporters from Murdoch’s papers hacked the voicemails of thousands of Britons, and police decided The Hack & Mail was a good name for a pub to have a drink in until the whole thing blew over.
But speaking to Parliament Tuesday, Murdoch concluded the best course of action was to shut down Scotland Yard, which had never turned a profit. The move comes as a shock not only to 52,000 unemployed Met officers and staff, but to former News of the World employees who had planned on working there.
Although details of the original Yard purchase are sketchy, Murdoch appears to have bought The Met about six years ago in exchange for lunch at the Crystal Room in Westminster.
“For a while none of us knew Murdoch had bought us,” said Assistant Police Commissioner John Yates, who had resigned days earlier. “It wasn’t until the 20th lunch or so that we realized who we worked for.
“I heard it was the same at (London’s) The Times,” Yates added. “It took a few months for the staff to realize they were putting out shit.”
In addition to shutting News of the World and Scotland Yard, the scandal has also caused News International to abandon its proposed purchases of BSkyB and Interpol.
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