News Of The World's 'Thank You And Goodbye'

The News Of The World has been published for the last time - with the headline "Thank You and Goodbye".

Emotional staff left the newspaper's offices together as the paper rolled off the presses for the final time in its 168-year history.

Editor Colin Myler led employees from the building to rapturous applause holding a copy of the last ever front page.

The headline read: "Thank You and Goodbye." Inside the paper, an apology to readers admitted: "Quite simply we lost our way."

Many of the staff - some wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the paper's logo - wept or held their heads in their hands.

Earlier they had gathered in the hallway of the NOTW headquarters in Thomas More Square, Wapping, in anticipation of their final exit.

Brandishing the front and back pages, Mr Myler paid a moving tribute to his "professional" team and the paper's readers.

"It's actually the 8674th edition after 168 proud years," he said.

"It is not a record of any editor to want to close a title - of course I didn't close it.

"I want to pay tribute to this wonderful team of people here who after a really difficult day have produced a brilliantly professional newspaper."

To massive cheers, he added: "As I said to the staff this morning, this is not where we wanted to be or where we deserve to be.

"But as a final tribute to 7.5 million readers, this is for you and for the staff. Thank you."

Offering further praise for his team, he added: "They are the best professionals I've ever worked with and have been privilege to work with.

"They are now looking for other jobs, hopefully they'll find jobs within the company, they are the best at what they do and I'm sure they won't be out of a job for very long."

He ended: "Now, in the best tradition of Fleet Street, we are going to the pub."

In stark contrast to the stirring address in London, there was no fanfare at the Newsprinters presses in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.

Print team manager Nick Taylor simply pressed the button to start a print run of around five million copies - double the usual number to hit the stands.

Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, said the move to close the News Of The World was "a collective decision".

The 80-year-old made the comments yesterday at a media conference in Idaho before his scheduled visit in London today.

Earlier, NI's chief executive and former editor at NOTW Rebekah Brooks wrote to MPs repeating her innocence in the phone hacking scandal.

In the letter, she claims she had no knowledge of the practice taking place while she was in charge .

Earlier, a 63-year-old man - understood be to a private investigator who worked for the tabloid - has been released on bail.

Former NOTW editor Andy Coulson and former royal reporter Clive Goodman were released on Friday night on police bail after being arrested earlier.

Speaking outside his home yesterday morning, Mr Coulson said: "I think this is a very sad day for the News Of The World.

"More importantly to the staff who, in my mind, are brilliant, professional people and I really feel for them."

Shares in BSkyB - owner of Sky News - tumbled amid fears over the future of News Corporation's bid for the satellite broadcaster.

By the end of trading on Friday the price of shares had fallen 7.6% to 750p .

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron has come under pressure to name a judge quickly to head the inquiry into phone hacking at the NOTW .

It comes after News International denied reports that police are investigating suspected deletion of emails by an executive.

The Guardian reports Scotland Yard is probing claims that a member of staff deleted "millions of emails" from an internal archive.

Police refused to comment on the allegations but a NI spokeswoman said the assertion was "rubbish".

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