Private Eye was ahead of the news when Rebekah Brooks nee Wade dropped a bollock... A SUN IN THE OVEN? ONE question asked with increasing frequency as the News of the World phone hacking scandal continues to grow is: how long can the wicked witch of Wapping, Rebekah Brooks, remain at the helm of News International? When Rupert Murdoch cancelled his trip to Davos and came to London in January to take control of the situation following the sacking of News of the World assistant editor Ian Edmondson and the resignation of former Screws editor Andy Coulson as David Camerons communications supremo, he told Rebekah, who remains the apple of his rheumy eye, that he had decided with regret that it was time for her to step down as chief exec of News International. The harpy hung on Both in her current role and in her previous jobs as editor of the News of the World and later the Sun, she was too closely associated with the hacking scandal and NIs spurious denials to remain. It was time, Rupert told his flame-haired protégée, with the faintest hint of a quaver in his voice, to move on. Rebekah pleaded with the Dirty Digger not to be cut adrift and begged her friend David Cameron to intercede on her behalf. Following this intervention Murdoch, who is quite an old softie at heart, relented. The harpy hung on. But the Rebekah problem has not gone away. How can Brooks be dispensed with in a face-saving way without shouldering the blame for being in charge during the hacking years? A happy solution presents itself: motherhood! Rebekah, 43, has heard her body clock ticking and wishes to present husband Charlie with a bouncing baby Brooks before it is too late. The couple have therefore embarked upon an intensive programme of Ugandan discussions aimed at bringing a little hacker into the world in 2012, when Rebekah will be able to step down gracefully with a nice seven-figure leaving present and concentrate on matters maternal. Bless! * * * * * Anti-Social behaviour BACK in January 2009, Brooks (or Wade as she then was) used the annual Hugh Cudlipp lecture to boast about her proudest achievements as editor of the Sun. Campaigns provide a unique connection to the public, she told an appreciative audience including her boss, James Murdoch. For me, nothing can illustrate this connection better than our recent Baby P campaign. The public outcry was deafening. And we began our fight for justice with a determination to expose the lack of accountability and responsibility for Baby Ps brutal death. Hows that looking, two years down the line? The court of appeal has ruled that Ed Balls sacking of Sharon Shoesmith as director of childrens services was unlawful and ordered Haringey council to provide her with hefty compensation. And two weeks ago the Sun was forced to carry a grovelling apology to another Haringey social worker, Sylvia Henry, for naming and shaming her: It is now clear that Ms Henry was not at fault or to blame in any way for decisions contributing to Baby Ps tragic death and should not have been a target of our campaign We have agreed to pay her compensation. Presumably a severe dressing-down has been delivered to all responsible by News Internationals chief executive Rebekah Brooks!