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LONDON (AP) - James Harding, editor of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's Times of London, announced he was resigning Wednesday, and said he was pressured to step down.

Harding had led the British newspaper for five years. In a speech to his editorial staff, he praised the newspaper's coverage and said it had been an honor working there.

"It has been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor of the Times," he told his newsroom. "I have, therefore, agreed to stand down."

Murdoch's News International did not give a reason for Harding's departure when it announced that the 43-year-old had told the directors of The Times on Wednesday of his plans. Murdoch praised Harding for leading the newspaper through "difficult times," saying he had great respect for the editor and hopes they will work together again.

The company declined to comment on the context of Harding's speech.

Harding began his journalistic career at the Financial Times, opening its Shanghai bureau and serving as Washington bureau chief before joining The Times as business editor.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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