Rebekah Brooks, the News International chief executive, is expected to be interviewed by police investigating the phone-hacking and bribery scandal at the News of the World, according to reports.
Ms Brooks is believed to have contacted Scotland Yard detectives and offered to be interviewed as a witness rather than a suspect. It is thought that she will answer the questions of detectives involved with Operation Elveden – which is investigating allegations of inappropriate payments to police.
Reports in The Daily Telegraph and The Times also suggest that other senior executives at Rupert Murdoch-owned News International have given witness statements to detectives involved with Operation Weeting, the Met’s inquiry into phone hacking.
There is no suggestion that Ms Brooks, 43, is suspected of wrongdoing and she has always maintained that she was unaware of alleged phone hacking at the now defunct News of the World, which she edited from 2000 to 2003.
The news comes as the Government faces increasing pressure to put Rupert Murdoch’s planned takeover of BSkyB on ice, with Whitehall lawyers reportedly attempting to find a way to freeze the takeover to avoid the embarrassment of the Liberal Democrats siding with Labour in a Commons vote.
Mr Murdoch held talks with some of his most trusted lieutenants last night after flying in to the UK on the day the News of the World was shut down to take personal charge of the crisis. Among those who met over dinner was Rebekah Brooks.