Press Release – Victims of press abuse: “the Government is compromised when it comes to the Murdochs”; Leveson Part Two must proceed immediately

Posted: July 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

The Secretary of State the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP has today announced that she remains minded to refer the 21st Century Fox bid for Sky on plurality grounds only, but not on the grounds of commitment to broadcasting standards, while the Government continues to block the second half of the Leveson Inquiry from proceeding.

The second half of the Leveson Public Inquiry was established to investigate allegations of cover-up and corruption at News International while James Murdoch was the CEO.  The Sun, another News UK newspaper, is facing a civil trial of claims for phone hacking and illegal blagging in October which date from Rebekah Brooks’ editorship of the paper, as well as a civil trial of allegations that she and James Murdoch destroyed evidence and concealed illegality.

Commenting, Hacked Off Director Jacqui Hames said;

It is clear to anyone that this Government is in thrall to the Murdochs and the public interest is cast aside when it comes to anything which interferes with their companies’ commercial and political agenda.

“The outcome of The Sun’s civil litigation this autumn will be extremely embarrassing for this administration if disclosure reveals a cover-up at a second News UK newspaper, as the Government seeks to bury the investigation into the Murdochs’ corporate governance record.”

Hacked Off Joint Executive Director Dr Evan Harris said;

The truth is that this Government is compromised when it comes to the Murdochs.  The Secretary of State has bent over backwards time after time to help the Murdochs avoid proper scrutiny and accountability.  Firstly, by failing to explicitly ask Ofcom to investigate the Murdochs’ corporate governance record either as part of their Broadcasting Standards investigation or as a standalone matter. Then, by saying she remains minded to not refer those matters to the CMA. And finally, by all the while preventing the Leveson Inquiry’s second half from getting to the bottom of corruption at International.”

Notes

Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press, and we work with the victims of press abuse to achieve those aims.

PRESS ENQUIRIES AND INTERVIEWS: press@hackinginquiry.org or call Nathan Sparkes on 07554 665 940