UK & World News
Murdoch: Hacking Report Was 'Difficult Reading'
News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has admitted an MPs' report that branded him "not a fit person" to run a major media company was "difficult reading".
The Culture, Media and Sport select committee found that News Corporation and News International had "corporately misled" their inquiry over the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World.
Although the MPs cleared both Mr Murdoch and his son James of deception, they said the pair should "ultimately be prepared to take responsibility" for failings at the two companies.
In a message to News International staff Mr Murdoch said: "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, the owner of Sky News, acknowledged its response to the phone-hacking scandal had been "too slow and too defensive" but criticised the MPs' report as "highly partisan".
"News Corporation regrets... 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," it said.
"These remarks divided the members along party lines."
The key paragraphs questioning Mr Murdoch's suitability to run a major company say: "This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International.
"We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company."
Media regulator Ofcom is considering whether BSkyB should hold a broadcast licence in the wake of the phone-hacking crisis at News International, which is owned by BSkyB shareholder News Corporation.
Following the MPs report, BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch emphasised to reporters that News Corp and BSkyB are "separate" companies.
"We believe that Sky's track record as a broadcaster is the most important factor in determining our fitness to hold a licence," he said.
The inclusion of the statement about Mr Murdoch fitness to run a company was opposed by the four Conservative MPs on the committee but was included after being voted for by the five Labour members and one Liberal Democrat.
Conservative Louise Mensch said Labour MP Tom 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.
But Mr Watson, who tabled the amendment, said he was disappointed that the Conservatives had been unwilling to sign up to it.
"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.
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what do you think?
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'Difficult Reading'. So were his papers that's why I stopped buying papers 25 years ago. Looks like the tories tried to cover him to the very end I would like to see murdochs leave bskyb as well
In my opinion, Tom Watson should not have been on the committee anyway. He had a personal gripe with the Murdochs since they exposed his expenses fiddle. He has never forgiven them since. Tom Watson should have declared an interest and excused himself from the enquiry. Of course the Conservatives were unwilling to sign a document that Tom Watson has "doctored" purely to get his own back on the Murdochs. Tom Watson included his personal amendment without agreement with anyone else, and to do that was unacceptable. He had destroyed the whole enquiry and the findings with his personal vendetta.
What rubbish! Watson may have an agenda but he said nothing which is untrue and only what the Torys fear to say.
Michael, I did not say that Tom Watson had said anything untrue. He had a personal issue with the Murdochs and should not have been on the committee. If the committee had issued the findings without Tom Watsons personal amendment, then everyone else would have agreed with the document and it would have been passed. Its only because of his vendetta with the Murdochs that is has lost its meaning somewhat.
What was his expenses fiddle. To my knowledge there was not one, just an attempted media slur pretending there was
Totally agree with peter. Tom Watson is a sad loser being a Labour MP. He was caught with his fingers in the cookie jar and can't get over it.
i think it was the telegraph who broke the expenses scandal and not the murdochs.dont forget it was a 6 to 4 vote for the line that was added not just Tom watson. i wonder if the torrys were told not to vote for this by there leader.
If you want a good example of why Murdoch is not fit to run a news corporation just take a look at the headlines of today's Sun newspaper. It basically mocks Roy Hodgson in a way that is totally unacceptable. I believe there have been over a hundred complaints to the press commission already and I doubt that they are Sun readers just people that have read it through the grapevine. Most people won't be aware that the Sun has yet again dragged us all into the gutter. If this government really wants to do something about literacy standards in this country it could start by giving the press complaints commission some teeth so that journalists who perpetrate trash are hounded out of positions of influence.
One man should not be able to wield so much power. So he found it painful reading? Good. Now he knows how it feels for all the people he's hurt over the years through his gutter press. If the Sun don't agree with the appointment of Roy Hodson, why not explain why in an adult fashion instead of cruelly highlighting his speech impediment? That's the politics of the school playground.