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Editor of The Times of London steps down

Dec. 13, 2012 at 7:49 AM

LONDON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Another editor has resigned in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that has plagued Britain and Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

James Harden, editor of The Times of London, announced he was resigning Wednesday, yielding to pressure from Murdoch's News Corp.'s British newspaper unit, The New York Times reported.

"It has been made clear to me that News Corp. would like to appoint a new editor of The Times," Harding told his staff. "I have therefore agreed to stand down."

The Times was critical of News Corp.'s handling of the scandal, fueling speculation that the publication's coverage may have led to Harden's departure, The New York Times said.

Tom Mockridge, chief executive of News International, resigned Dec. 2.

Also Wednesday, regulatory filings indicated Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International, received a $17.6 million severance package that included "compensation for loss of office" and "various ongoing benefits."

Brooks was editor of the News of the World and The Sun publications, which were accused of widespread phone-hacking involving athletes, actors and others in the public and private sector. She is expected to go to trial in September on charges she made illegal payments to public officials. She also was charged with conspiracy to intercept voicemail messages and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks has denied the charges. The settlement agreement, reached when she left in July 2011, stipulates she must return much of her compensation if she is found guilty.

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