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Police have now taken the man into custody and the hearing has begun again. The motivation of the assailant is still unknown but the assembly was outraged by the attack. James Murdoch looked in shock while security staff helped fend off the man.
After 15 minutes the meeting was restarted and Tory MP Louise Mensch could continue her questioning. Labour MP Chris Bryant commented briefly to a BBC reporter shortly after the event, saying it was a ‘despicable’ thing to do, especially to a man of more than 80 years of age.
The hearing is part of the ongoing investigation into the phone-hacking scandal which is currently threatening to undermine both the Murdoch media empire and the British government under David Cameron. The employment of his former communications director Andy Coulson, who has been named as one of the key facilitators of the phone-tapping practise, has left the opposition in doubt over the Prime Minister’s sense of judgement.