Murdoch announces ‘Sun on Sunday’

By Graham Fahy and Ian Dunt

Rupert Murdoch dramatically intervened in the ongoing chaos at the Sun today with a promise to bring out a new Sunday newspaper.

The media mogul promised to stay in London for the next few weeks to settle nerves following a wave of arrests.

He also said all arrested staff could return to work and cancelled the ongoing suspensions.

"We will build on the Sun's proud heritage by launching the Sun on Sunday very soon," he wrote in an email to staff.

"We're doing everything we can to assist those who are arrested. All suspensions are hereby lifted until or whether charged and they are welcome to return to work. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.

"We will obey the law. Illegal activity simply cannot and will not be tolerated at any of our publications.

"I am staying with you all in London for the next several weeks to give you my unwavering support."

Reports suggested the email lifted spirits in the news room, which had become increasingly treasonous over the company's response to the police investigation concerning bribery of officers.

Reporters on Murdoch's three News International titles, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times are furious that News Corporation's management standards committee (MSC) assisted police with information which led to the arrest of nine journalists associated with the Sun in connection with alleged payments to police and other public officials.

The investigation into bribery of public officials by the tabloid is focused on "suspected criminality over a sustained period of time" involving tens of thousands of pounds.

"The management has done nothing to protect us from this appalling invasion of our work," a source close to the paper told Reuters.

"Nobody has said, 'You can't do this to journalists.' A lot of people are angry".

Barrister Geoffrey Robertson, used a column in The Times earlier this week to call on journalists to fight for their human rights.

"Every media organisation has a duty to assist the police in uncovering serious crime. But it also has a fundamental duty to protect the sources that have been cultivated by its journalists under a promise of anonymity," he later said to Reuters.

Wapping staff are concerned a witch hunt by the MSC will lead to further arrests as huge numbers of internal emails are examined for evidence of illegal activity. They are also outraged that details of their confidential sources may have been turned over to police, breaking one of the core principles of ethical journalism.