News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch faced a surprise attack from a man during a parliamentary committee hearing on Tuesday over the phone hacking scandal. The unexpected incident forced a 10-minute halt of the proceedings.

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BSkyB Chairman James Murdoch and News Corp Chief Executive and Chairman Rupert Murdoch (R) appear before a parliamentary committee on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19, 2011. At centre rear is Rupert Murdoch;s wife Wendi Deng. REUTERS/Parbul TV via Reuters Tv

Murdoch was sitting next to his son James in front of a panel of MPs at the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, when a man, understood to be comedian Jannie Marbles, threw a plate of foam pie at him.

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A man (L) tries to attack News Corp Chief Executive and Chairman Rupert Murdoch (3rd L) with a white substance during a parliamentary committee hearing on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19, 2011. REUTERS/Parbul TV via Reuters Tv

Murdoch's wife Wendi immediately leapt from her front-row seat and threw the plate back at Marbles saying, I got him, I got him, according to witnesses. Marbles was quickly arrested and taken away in handcuffs, The Australian reported.

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Wendi Deng (2nd L) lunges towards a man trying to attack her husband, News Corp Chief Executive and Chairman Rupert Murdoch, during a parliamentary committee hearing on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19, 2011. REUTERS/Parbul TV via Reuters Tv

Check out the video below:

Who is Jannie Marbles?

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Police detain a man who tried to attack News Corp Chief Executive and Chairman Rupert Murdoch with a white substance during a parliamentary committee hearing on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19, 2011. REUTERS/UK Pool via Reuters TV

Comedian Jannie Marbles - real name Jonathan May-Bowels - is a well-known activist. He is one of the founders of a left-wing protest group.

It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat, Marbles, 26, tweeted moments before he carried out the attack. He had been tweeting live updates from inside the hearing on an iPhone.

According to a media report, within 20 minutes of the attack the number of people following the comedian's Twitter account had gone up from just over 1,000 to more than 8,000.

Marbles is purportedly associated with a protest group called UK Uncut, which targeted Barclays, Topshop and Vodafone over alleged tax avoidance with a series of sit-ins, Mail online reported.

Check out the pictures and the video, showing Jannie Marbles attacking Murdoch.