In a rare show of cross-party consensus, the David Cameron government has signalled its willingness to support the opposition Labour party's motion in the House of Commons, asking media baron Rupert Murdoch to withdraw his takeover bid of BSkyB.
The motion is to be tabled tomorrow in a clear sign of Britain's
political establishment rising against the illegal and unethical
news-gathering practices of Murdoch's media company in Britain, as
evident in the phone-hacking scandal.
The motion reads: "This House believes that it is in the public interest
for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw its bid for BSkyB".
Murdoch currently owns 39 per cent of the broadcaster BSkyB, and the bid
is to own the remaining shares to give his company total control of
what will become Britain's biggest media company, bigger than even the BBC.
Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg are
scheduled to meet opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband later today to
discuss the issue that has seriously diminished Murdoch's influence in
In other developments, Murdoch has been asked to appear before the
Culture, Media Sports committee of the House of Commons and give
evidence in the imbroglio that involves the press, politicians and the
The invitation to appear before the committee has also been addressed to
his son, James Murdoch, and chief executive of News International,
New revelations today included the dismayed former prime minister Gordon
Brown going on television to state that Murdoch's News International
used criminals and the 'criminal underworld' to access details about his
tax, bank account and also the health records of his son, Fraser.
Top officials of the Scotland Yard were grilled on live television today
by the Home Affairs Select Committee chaired by Labour MP, Keith Vaz.
They were closely questioned why earlier police inquiries on the issue
did not look at related evidence, and prevent the illegal practices.
It was revealed during the session that News International did not
cooperate during the earlier inquiries, while Sue Akers, the deputy
assistance commissioner currently heading the police inquiry named
Operating Weeting, guaranteed a thorough inquiry into the scandal.
The phone-hacking scandal has thrown open a can of worms across
politics, media and the police with Murdoch's influence suffering
Brown expressed surprise in an interview to BBC
at the 'level of criminality' allegedly indulged in Murdoch's News
International, and said the group had links with the 'known criminals
and the criminal underworld' in Britain.
Brown, whose tax and bank details were allegedly secured illegally at the behest of Murdoch-owned newspaper titles, accused The Sunday Times of trying to bring him down as a government minister.
He said he was "in tears" when he was told by News International journalists that The Sun
had details of his son Fraser's medical condition (he has cystic
fibrosis) because he had wanted the information to be kept private.
"Sarah and I were incredibly upset about it, we were thinking about his
long term future, we were thinking about our family," he said.
He said he did not know how the newspaper had got access to the details: "The fact is, it did appear and it did appear in The Sun newspaper".
UK Political Rivals Join Forces Against Murdoch's Bid
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