7-17-2011UK's top police chief quits over hacking scandal
Britain's top police chief resigned and the former head of Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper business was arrested on Sunday over a phone-hacking scandal that is lapping at Prime Minister David Cameron's door.
Analysts said the gathering pace of heads rolling had turned up the heat on Cameron and Murdoch over their handling of the scandal, with the media tycoon due to be questioned by parliament in a possible showdown on Tuesday.
Paul Stephenson, London's police commissioner, quit in the face of allegations that police officers had accepted money from Murdoch's News of the World paper and not done enough to investigate hacking charges that surfaced as far back as 2005.
The scandal has shocked the public and raised concerns not only about unethical media practices but about the influence Murdoch has wielded over British leaders and allegations of cozy relationships between some of his journalists and police.
With politicians from Australia to the United States demanding to know if similar abuses occurred elsewhere in Murdoch's global media business, the 80-year-old has been forced on the defensive and the position of his son James as heir-apparent has been called into question.
Murdoch, who some media commentators say at first misjudged the strength of public anger, published apologies in several British newspapers at the weekend.
He lost another loyal executive on Friday when Les Hinton, another former head of his UK newspaper business, resigned as chief executive of Murdoch's Dow Jones & Co which publishes The Wall Street Journal.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that members of the board of BSkyB, where James Murdoch serves as chairman, were due to meet in a special session on July 28 to discuss his future.
If James were to be felled by the scandal, British media speculated that his sister Elisabeth could secure the eventual succession to their father.