The fate of Rupert Murdoch’s business empire continues to attract attention globally. Leaders we deserve is providing regular updates, as the Leveson Enquiry in the UK into Government and news media relations continues
This post will be updated regularly. Earlier LWD posts include:
The Murdoch meltdown
The closure of The News of the World
The business model of Rupert Murdoch
Leveson enquiry continues to attract media attention with Rebekah Brooks, the former Sun editor, taking the stand at the Leveson enquiry. The BBC asks whether she have been treated differently if she had she been a “grumpy old man of Fleet Street”
Her testimony suggests that the Government will face more political problems from the stories produced through the enquiry which was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron. These appear to leave the spotlight on culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, as well as Mr Cameron’s own relationship with the former Sun editor.
Selective amnesia and his status as someone on bail in connection with phone hacking hinder evidence to Leveson from Andy Coulson
Independent newspaper suggests Coulson’s evidence ‘leaves toughest questions at Prime Minister’s door’.
Personal view [TR notes for LWD]:
Coulson at times showed a grasp of the unspoken implications of questioning as well as more generally as someone thoroughly cautious and well-prepared with a few key points to make (no conspiracy; was not hired to influence Robert Murdoch’s political decisions.
Story picks up as Leveson enquiry resumes. David Cameron’s closeness to Rebekah Brooks is not particularly new.
May 3rd 2012
BskyB distances itself from its major shareholder News Corporation in a statement from its chief executive Jeremy Darroch.
May 2nd 2012
Select committee finds Rupert Murdoch unfit to run News International. James Murdoch is also severely criticised.
Committee appears to have exceeded its brief, particularly with the most damning criticism, where voting occurred along partisan lines.
The Washington Post notes:
The parliamentary report issued Tuesday [Ist May 2012] was far harsher than most British observers had expected. It was approved by a 6 to 4 vote, with the four members from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party staunchly objecting to the description of Murdoch as an unfit proprietor.
The former First Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell reported as political target of phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News International.
Jeremy Hunt ‘On probation’ by Prime Minister’s statement.
Telegraph reports Cameron could fire Hunt if new evidence emerges.
Leveson rejects Government plans to review Jeremy Hunt’s conduct over BSkyB bid saying “It’s not my problem”
The Guardian: Rupert Murdoch’s evidence to the Leveson inquiry was like one of his tabloids: a lively mixture of accurate and inaccurate reporting, one-eyed comment and total fantasy.
Sky News, itself part of the story reports on Simon Hughes’ call for an investigation into Jeremy Hunt’s conduct during BskyB takeover bid.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that George Osborne is facing questions over whether he was lobbied by Rupert Murdoch and played a role in supporting News Corp’s attempted £8bn takeover of BSkyB.
April 26th Murdoch
Two inter-related stories today. In Parliament, Jeremy Hunt defended his ‘quasi-judicial’ role in the BskyB bid by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Mr Murdoch appears before the Leveson enquiry into Media ethics.
The BBC reports Rupert Murdoch’s witness statement
The Independent sees the Jeremy Hunt story as “a toxic trail” leading from Jeremy Hunt to the Prime Minister’s involvement in the Murdoch bid for B Sky B.
The Scotsman: Cameron admits “we all did too much cosying up” to The Murdochs.
April 25th 2012
The BBC continues its reporting of the Leveson enquiry with a ‘What the papers say’ review.
The Daily Telegraph examines the testimony of James Murdoch [24th April 2012] to the enquiry concluding that the Government’s relations with the Murdochs are coming under close scrutiny and ‘revealing a lack of candour’
The Guardian focuses on another close political relationship: between Rupert Murdoch and Alex Salmond
April 23rd 2012
Lord Patten tells Leveson enquiry:
Plainly, Mr Murdoch took the view that publishing a book which was critical of the Chinese leadership would not improve his chances [of expanding his business interests in China] , so he instructed HarperCollins to drop the book on the grounds that [the book] was no good”.
Image of Rupert Murdoch is from livetradingnews.com