A dramatic scene unfolded inside a Parliament hearing where News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News Channel, and his son were testifying about the UK phone hacking scandal.
Near the end of the testimony, a man interrupted the hearing and threw a white substance -- reported to be shaving cream -- on Murdoch who was seated at a table. Murdoch's wife then launched up from behind her husband and appeared to hit the assailant in the head:
The Guardian was live blogging the hearing and reports the man may be from the radical group UK Uncut, and that the substance was shaving cream:
4.59pm: Reports claim the assailant is a UK Uncut activist.
4.58pm: The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg thinks it's a bandage on the young man's face – Nick Robinson says it is shaving foam and the young man hit Rupert Murdoch with it.
4.57pm: The suspect looks like he has a substance like white paint on his face.
My colleague Jackie Ashley tells Twitter: "Wendi [Murdoch's wife] can throw quite a punch."
4.56pm: The BBC says the young man has been handcuffed. Sky showed the footage again – it seemed to be an attack from Rupert Murdoch's left.
4.55pm: A young man in a checked shirt has been detained by police.
4.54pm: Someone has just tried to attack Rupert Murdoch. His wife Wendi seemed to slap the person.
UK Uncut (which we have reported on here and here), however, has since distanced itself from the attack, but still used the reports to capitalize on the publicity:
The Guardian goes on to quote Jane Martinson's account of the incident:
The man lobbed a plate of shaving foam into Murdoch's face at point blank range. Astonishing reaction from Wendi who, sitting behind her husband, immediately returned fire. James looked stunned, several members of room gasped, but Wendi then sat on desk calmly wiping foam from her husband's face. Foam all over her blue painted toes as well as two police officers who immediately grabbed him. Shock that he got foam in given tight security. Another man with a long beard also questioned.
The man was apprehended by police and led away, covered in the shaving cream he threw on Murdoch.
Subsequent reports have identified the attacker as a local comedian who goes by the name Jonnie Marbles. According to his Twitter account, the attack seems to have been planned out. In a post right before the attack he wrote:
UK political reporter Paul Waugh -- who was hit in the crossfire -- confirmed via his own Twitter account that the substance was, in fact, shaving cream. He also was close enough to hear what Marbles uttered before the attack:
The gallery was cleared after the incident and Murdoch continued to answer questions.
You can learn more about Marbles in our follow-up report here.
This is a breaking story. Updates will be added.