The Secretary of State the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP has today announced that she is minded to refer the 21st Century Fox bid for Sky for a six month regulatory investigation on the grounds of both plurality of ownership of media and “genuine commitment to broadcasting standards”.
Jacqui Hames, who was subject to illegal press intrusion when she was a police officer, welcomed the Government’s change of heart on the broadcasting standards referral, but criticised the ongoing suppression of the second part of the Leveson Inquiry.
Ms Hames said,
“If the Government was serious about investigating the corporate governance record of the Murdochs they would have allowed the Leveson Inquiry to be completed by now, but they are blocking it. An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority is no substitute for a judge-led inquiry which looks into police corruption and corporate cover-ups”.
The second part of the Leveson 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 claims of hacking, and Murdoch and Brooks are facing allegations that they destroyed evidence and concealed illegal acts.
Commenting, Hacked Off Joint Executive Director Dr Evan Harris said,
“This investigation will only be worthwhile if the corporate governance record of the Murdochs is fully examined.”
“The Murdochs have presided over a raft of corporate governance failures: criminal conduct committed on an industrial scale at News of the World, claims of hacking by The Sun, the Mazher Mahmood scandal, allegations of a decade long cover-up, a racial and sexual harassment saga at Fox News and a fake news scandal which may have libelled a murder victim.”
“The CMA must be required to investigate the Murdochs’ corporate governance record in newspapers in full.”
“Most importantly, the Government must proceed with the second part of the Leveson Inquiry, to get to the bottom of the criminality and cover-up which occurred at News Corporation.”
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.