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  1. ITV Report

Rupert Murdoch 'not fit' to run News Corporation

News Corporation Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch Photo: Reuters

Rupert Murdoch has been accused of not being "a fit person" to run a major corporation after MPs said their phone hacking inquiry had been repeatedly misled in a "cover-up" by the media mogul's News Corp empire.

The report said:

  • Rupert Murdoch is not "a fit person" to run a major international company
  • News of the World and News International misled the Committee about phone hacking
  • As reported by ITV News last night it also finds former News International executives Colin Myler, Tom Crone and Les Hinton guilty of misleading the Committee
  • As ITV News reported last night it heavily criticises James Murdoch but does not go as far as saying he misled. It says it raises "questions of competence" on his part and talks of "his lack of curiosity, wilful ignorance even" and calls it "astonishing."
  • The failure to properly investigate phone hacking and the way evidence of wrongdoing was ignored showed "willful blindness" by News International and News Corp and Rupert and James Murdoch "should ultimately be prepared to take responsibility."
  • The "whole affair demonstrates huge failings of corporate governance at the company, and its parent, News Corporation."
  • Rebekah Brooks is blamed for the Milly Dowler hacking. It says the Editor should accept responsibility for the actions and culture at the paper.
  • The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer and former policeman John Yates "both bear culpability" for not investigating the phone hacking evidence properly.

Political Editor Tom Bradby has the full report:

In an email to News International staff this evening, Mr Murdoch said many of the findings had been "difficult to read".

The report affords us aunique opportunity to reflect upon the mistakes we have made and further thecourse we have already completed to correct them.

I recognise that for all of us – myself in particular – it is difficult to read many of the report’s findings. But we have done the most difficult part, which has been to take a long, hard and honest look at our past mistakes.

There is no easy way around this, but I am proud to say that we have been working hard to put things right.

We certainly should have acted more quickly and aggressively to uncover wrongdoing. We deeply regret what took place and have taken our share of responsibility for not rectifying the situation sooner.

However, there was bitter controversy among MPs as the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee itself came under fire for splitting along party lines over criticisms of the role played by Mr Murdoch and his son, James.

Tories on the committee refused to back the report after Labour MPs combined with the lone Liberal Democrat to push through a series of amendments on a 6-4 majority vote.

Hard truths have emerged from the Select Committee Report: that there was serious wrongdoing at the News of the World; that our response to the wrongdoing was too slow and too defensive; and that some of our employees misled the Select Committee in 2009.

News Corporation regrets, however, that the Select Committee's analysis of the factual record was followed by some commentary that we, and indeed several members of the committee, consider unjustified and highly partisan. These remarks divided the members along partylines.

– News Corporation

The committee chairman, Conservative John Whittingdale, expressed concern that the failure to agree a unanimous report - which is the normal practice of select committees - would mean its impact was "diluted".

Nevertheless, it did agree to refer the matter to the House of Commons to consider whether there had been a contempt of Parliament and what punishment should be imposed.

Mr Whittingdale stressed that the committee had all agreed that three former executives of News Corp's UK newspaper arm News International - Les Hinton, Colin Myler and Tom Crone - had misled it.

Les Hinton, Former News International Executive Chairman Credit: Reuters

I accept that there are valid criticisms of my conduct in this matter but for the second time in a week, I seem to be the subject of serious allegations which lack foundation.

– Tom Crone, former Legal Manager at News International

I am shocked and disappointed by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's allegations that I have misled Parliament and was 'complicit' in a cover-up. I refute these accusations utterly. I have always been truthful in my dealings with the committee and its findings are unfounded, unfair and erroneous.

– Les Hinton, Former News International Executive Chairman

Conservative Louise Mensch said they had produced a "partisan" report after Labour MPs Tom Watson and Paul Farrelly introduced a series of amendments "wildly outside" the scope of the inquiry at the committee's final session on Monday.

"That will mean it will be correctly seen as a partisan report and will have lost a very great deal of its credibility, which is an enormous shame," she said.

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