Select committee finds the Murdochs not suitable to govern News Corp
Rupert Murdoch was branded unfit to run a major international company by a committee of MPs today following his role as the chairman of News Corporation amidst the phone-hacking scandal.
In a report put together by the Commons’ culture, media and sport select committee, both Rupert Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch, were criticised for their role for showing “wilful blindness” about the scale of the phone-hacking scandal.
The report says: “Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company” before adding that both he and his son James should take “ultimate responsibility for the scandal.”
According to the report, James Murdoch exhibited a “lack of curiosity…wilful ignorance even” during the negotiations involving the 2008 Gordon Taylor phone-hacking settlement. The MPs also questioned the younger Murdoch’s competence following his “astonishing” decision to not seek more information on the “for Neville” email.
The report also described Les Hinton, former executive chairman of News International, as deliberately misleading Parliament on several occasions. The MPs concluded that his evidence in 2009 and in 2011 was “complicit” in a cover-up of wrongdoing at the Murdochs’ corporation.
Rebekah Brooks, the former Sun and News of the World editor and ex-News International chief executive, was largely spared from the MPs’ criticism because of an ongoing police investigation into Brooks’ involvement in the hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s voicemail.
The MPs, however, said that Brooks must take responsibility for “the culture which permitted” unethical newsgathering methods over Dowler in 2002. The MPs said: “The attempts by the News of the World to get a scoop on Milly Dowler led to a considerable amount of police resource being redirected to the pursuit of false leads.”
Both Colin Myler and Tom Crone were mentioned in the report as the MPs said: “Both Tom Crone and Colin Myler deliberately avoided disclosing crucial information to the committee and, when asked to do, answered questions falsely.”
Following the damning report released by the MPs, News Corporation are yet to respond diplomatically. They did, however, release a statement saying: “News Corporation is carefully reviewing the select committee’s report and will respond shortly. The company fully acknowledges significant wrongdoing at News of the World and apologises to everyone whose privacy was invaded.”