Rupert Murdoch 'Not Fit' To Run Company
News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch is "not fit" to run a major company, according to an MPs' report - as the firm claimed some parts of the report were "unjustified and highly partisan".
The report by the Culture, Media and Sport select committee saw its members split along party lines - which News Corp highlighted in a statement.
The committee said Mr Murdoch, along with his son James, should "ultimately be prepared to take responsibility" for the "wilful blindness" of News International and News Corporation over the phone-hacking scandal.
But the pair were both cleared of misleading Parliament.
The committee agreed that former News Of The World editor Colin Myler, ex-legal manager Tom Crone and Les Hinton, who worked for Rupert Murdoch for more than 50 years, had misled it.
The trio could be referred to the House of Commons to decide whether there has been a contempt of Parliament.
Conservative MPs on the committee were keen to point out that they had not backed the statement about Mr Murdoch's suitability to run a major corporation.
It was included in the committee's report after the five Labour members and one Liberal Democrat backed it in opposition to the four Tories.
Conservative committee member Philip Davies accused the Labour members of "getting carried away" over Rupert Murdoch.
But Labour MP Tom Watson, who tabled the amendment branding the News Corp boss unfit to run a major corporation, said he was disappointed that the Conservatives had been unwilling to support him.
"These people corrupted our country. They brought shame on our police force and our Parliament. They lied, they cheated, blackmailed and bullied and we should all be ashamed when we think how we cowered before them for too long," he said.
Louise Mensch, another Conservative, said Mr Watson's amendment had undermined the credibility of the report.
"We all thought that was wildly outside the scope of a select committee, was an improper attempt to influence Ofcom and to tread on areas that are not the province of a select committee," she said.
Ofcom is currently investigating whether News Corporation is a fit and proper controlling investor in satellite broadcaster BSkyB, which owns Sky News.
News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch said in an email to staff: "The report affords us a unique opportunity to reflect upon the mistakes we have made and further the course we have already completed to correct them.
"I recognise that for all of us - myself in particular - it is difficult to read many of the report's findings. But we have done the most difficult part, which has been to take a long, hard and honest look at our past mistakes.
"There is no easy way around this, but I am proud to say that we have been working hard to put things right."
News Corporation, which has a 39% stake in BSkyB, said: "Hard truths have emerged from the Select Committee Report: that there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World; that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive; and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009.
"News Corporation regrets, however, that the Select Committee's analysis of the factual record was followed by some commentary that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan. These remarks divided the members along party lines.
"We have already confronted and have acted on the failings documented in the Report: we have conducted internal reviews of operations at newspapers in the United Kingdom and indeed around the world, far beyond anything asked of us by the Metropolitan Police.
"We have volunteered any evidence of apparent wrongdoing to the authorities; and, we have instituted sweeping changes in our internal controls and our compliance programs on a world-wide basis, to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again anywhere at News Corporation."
It added: "As we move forward, our goal is to make certain that in every corner of the globe, our company acts in a manner of which our 50,000 employees and hundreds of thousands of shareholders can be justly proud."
Former News International chairman Mr Hinton was found to have misled the committee when he gave evidence in 2009 about payments made to former royal correspondent Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for phone hacking.
Mr Hinton said the allegations by the committee were "unfounded, unfair and erroneous".
Mr Myler and Mr Crone misled it over their knowledge that other staff were involved in phone hacking, according to the report.
"The behaviour of News International and certain witnesses in this affair demonstrated contempt for that system in the most blatant fashion," the report said.
"Their instinct throughout, until it was too late, was to cover up rather than seek out wrongdoing and discipline the perpetrators."
Mr Myler, who is now editor of the New York Daily News, said in a statement that he stood by his evidence to the committee.
"I have always sought to be accurate and consistent in what I have said to the committee," he said.
Mr Crone said he does "not accept" allegations he misled Parliament, adding that "for the second time in a week, I seem to be the subject of serious allegations which lack foundation".
Mr Myler and Mr Crone told the committee they informed James Murdoch at a June 2008 meeting of the significance of the "For Neville" email, which apparently revealed that phone-hacking was widespread.
But Mr Murdoch said he only learned in late 2010 of "critical new facts" proving that the practice of illegally eavesdropping on private voicemail messages went beyond a single "rogue reporter".
Despite clearing him of misleading the committee, MPs did however call James Murdoch's claims that he only new in 2010 that hacking was widespread "simply astonishing".
Another former former NOTW editor, Rebekah Brooks, was censured for presiding over a culture that led to journalists of the newspaper impersonating members of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's family and hacking the teenager's phone.
The Culture, Media and Sport select committee first investigated hacking claims in 2009.
It reopened its inquiry last July after it emerged that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked.
The MPs' report came a day after David Cameron was summoned to the Commons to account for the lack of an investigation into the row over the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's involvement in the bid for BSkyB.
what do you think?
A contradiction of terms here - there is no such thing as a powerful committee of MP's. Ebvery committee of MP's I have watched have revealed a patheitc, unintelligent bunch of idiots that three year old school children could run rings round.
Ah yes but Mick, they THINK they are powerful!
Yes Mick, have you ever thought of becoming an MP and serving on a committee? Something tells me you're an ideal candidate!
Gary W Beard
Politicians have outlived their usefulness. The banks run the country now and make all the big decisions. MP 's are little more than pampered lapdogs.
This mind numbingly boring phone hacking story just rumbles on and on. It is a great pity that the police and various committees of MP's didn't put as much time and energy into investigating the expenses scandal which saw thousands of pounds stolen from the public purse. Oops my mistake, an accounting error I will repay allowed many to get away with thieving
The boys and girls in Westminster like it. It detracts peoples minds away from money matters.
Good comment Dave the amount of thieving going on in Parliament it should be renamed Ali Babas cave
The very fact that the government own GCHQ seems to have not been noticed by themselves. Not to mention they are the ones, so far as I'm aware, financing all the secret services to bug everyone they like, whenever they like. This story amounts to, who do we believe the most, newspaper reporters or politicians? ...
Most MP's are not fit to run the country so whats new here ?
The MPs are not fit to run a bath let alone a country.
Watching the conservative spokeswoman reading out their statement in response to the verdicts on the news a few minutes ago left me totally astonished. She stated (with aplomb and utter arrogance) that they believed the verdict was 'partisan' and wrong! They say not one conservative would be allowed to agree with this report and will therefor vote against it! Cameron, your party has just condemned themselves as the party that backs corruption, illegal activities and arrogant hostility towards anything that remotely looks like democracy. Lets have a vote of confidence in this bankrupted and despicable coalition and get them out ASAP.
Sorry to drift away from the subject, but I am increasingly concerned as to what has happened to both Karmacanic and Grant Berry? Of course they may simply be away on holiday or just giving it a rest, but I hope they are well as I do miss their cutting edge ripostes. Please be back soon or I will be giving it up too! TTFN Roger.
They probably ran out of credit and are waiting to top there phones up..
Roger - I also miss Grant Berry. Do you remember Harry ? What has happened to him ? Harry probably would not be allowed to post on here, the censors would eliminate every word he said.
I remember Harry! His rants are so missed...
Well, like the rest of you I am amazed and disappointed at the Tory reaction, especially since I am a party member. One reason foir staying in is that I look forward top voting for Cameron's successor as party leader. There is no way that Murdoch could be regarded as fit to run any business, and certainly not one as vast as NI, or one that can distort the news.
I think we should start a campaign to get Tom Watson to be Prime Minister! he has the courage of his convictions and is not afraid of getting up the noses of either the Murdochs and their entourage, or the Tories. I expected better from Louise Mensch, I had her down as an intelligent woman but to come out with the "this is outside our remit" rubbish just shows she is a Cameron poodle, shame. I wonder what happened to Harry too, maybe he is Grant Berry! just look for a post with the words "Bliar" "Liebor" (always spelt the US way for some reason, no matter how many times I picked him up on it), or "Clown", these were Harry's trademarks and he will not be far.
She is intelligent. It's just that she knows which side her butter's on.
Why does it appear,the Conservative members are supporting the Murdoch empire,prehaps the rumors between the Murdochs and the Conservarives are true,and the tories are not letting on
surely i am not the onlyone to be sick and tired of hearing about the murdochs. i cant really see what they have done thats all that bad. so they or rather people who worked for them tapped a few phones big deal why is everyone so upset about having their conversation overheard. have they some sinister secret they want to keep hidden the majority of these peoples lives are of absolutely no interest to me and i should think to many people. gazza, russell brand, charlotte church. do i really have to go on. think of the stories they exposed , money grabbing mps fiddling expenses racism in the met. etc. without the likes of the murdoch newspapers we would be none the wiser.more power to them i say
he is fit to run a company he s corrupt like the rest of them
mmm same could be said of the majority of MP's the difference being they are wasting people's lives with their incompetence. if RM is so incompetent then how has he become the worlds biggest media mogul like him or not you don't get to thet position by being an idiot
Harry now writes Sun editorials for Rupert having been fired by Nick Griffin for being too racist.
So the Tory Mps don't support this committee's findings on Murdoch? Can't think why. Anything to do with that last paragraph 'Cameron summoned to the Commons to account for the lack of an investigation into the row over Jeremy Hunt's involvement in the bid for BSkyB?' Or am I being cynical?
Tories still under Murdocks influence
Personally I think Murdoch is just as fit to run an International Company as Cameron is to run an International Country