News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch are seen outside his central London residence July 10, 2011. / AP
LONDON - British lawmakers say News International chief Rebekah Brooks has agreed to testify before a parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking. Rupert and James Murdoch have been issued a summons after they declined to appear.
Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee will hold hearings next week about the scandal that has destroyed one Murdoch newspaper and wrecked the mogul's bid to buy broadcaster BSkyB.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that if the Murdochs had "any shred of sense of responsibility or accountability" they would appear.
It is unclear whether they can be forced to appear.
Brooks is chief executive of News International, the News Corp. unit that controls British newspapers.
The news came as Scotland Yard made a seventh arrest related to the inquiry, taking a 60-year-old man into custody early Thursday morning at a residential address in West London.
The man, whose name was not disclosed, was being held at a police station. British media identified the arrested man as Neil Wallis, the former executive editor of the defunct tabloid News of the World.
Police in Britain rarely identify suspects before they've been charged.
Murdoch's company is rapidly coming under scrutiny on the other side of the Atlantic, with a U.S. lawmaker calling for an investigation into whether News of the World journalists tried to bribe New York City police for the personal information of Sept. 11 terror attack victims.
Murdoch's hope of making BSkyB a wholly owned part of his News Corp. empire collapsed on Wednesday in the face of what Prime Minister David Cameron called a "firestorm" that has engulfed media, police and politicians.
News Corp. has already shut down News of the World, the scandal-loving Sunday tabloid which is the focus of police investigations of phone hacking and bribery of police officers. The closure was a doomed effort to keep the BSkyB bid alive.
Cameron has appointed a judge for a wide-ranging inquiry into the News of the World scandal and wider issues of media regulation, the relationship between politicians and media and the possibility that illegal practices are more widely employed in the industry.
"It clearly goes beyond News International," Clegg said.
"It is clearly something much more systemic," Clegg said. "I don't think we should allow ourselves to believe that it is just because of the Murdochs, or Rebekah Brooks, or it's all about one commercial transaction, however significant."
Shares in BSkyB steadied Thursday, rising 0.6 percent to 709.5 pence ($11.43) in early trading in London. The shares closed higher on Wednesday for the first time since they began falling sharply last week amid fresh phone hacking allegations.
The News Corp. bid for BSkyB unraveled with stunning speed after The Guardian newspaper reported that the News of the World had hacked into the phone of teenage murder victim Milly Dowler in 2002 and may have impeded a police investigation into the 13-year-old's disappearance.