Tag Archives: news international

Hunt out to dry? Clegg refuses to back Tory culture secretary as Lib Dem MPs push inquiry

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is piling the pressure on Jeremy Hunt, whose closeness to the Murdoch empire has been embarrassingly laid bare by the Leveson Inquiry in the past few weeks, by refusing to endorse David Cameron’s decision not to refer his culture secretary to the official adviser on the ministerial code, Sir Alex Allan. Here’s how The Observer is reporting it:

Nick Clegg refuses to back Jeremy Hunt as Lib Dems demand investigation

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, has refused to give unequivocal backing to Jeremy Hunt over his handling of the BSkyB takeover controversy as senior Liberal

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LDV Caption Competition: Vince & Dave “Watch your step” Edition

There’s no prize at stake – just the opportunity to prove you’re wittier than any other LDV reader…

Here’s Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable, the man who declared war on Murdoch, side-by-side with the man who LOL-ed with News International. What do you think might be being said or thought by or about them?

And the winner of our last caption comp is…

Some fantastic entries for our most recent caption competition, Nick & Dave “Can you feel the love?” Edition.

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Do you think News International could be done for stalking?

From our Facebook page:

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ITV: Three ex-News International executives misled Parliament say MPs

ITV News reports:

The long-awaited and potentially explosive report on phone hacking from the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee is due tomorrow morning.

MPs had their last meeting this morning to sign off the report and ITV News can reveal some of the findings.

MPs are set to find Colin Myler, Tom Crone and Les Hinton guilty of misleading the committee and therefore Parliament.

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PMQs: Miliband hits barn door – twice

Britain back in recession, embarrassing emails about government links to Murdoch. These are gifts to the opposition. The most open of open goals at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

I liked Miliband’s opening question:

Today we had the catastrophic news that Britain is back in recession. I am sure that the Prime Minister has spent the past 24 hours thinking of an excuse as to why it is nothing to do with him, so what is his excuse

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Willie Rennie: Murdoch says “Jump”, Alex Salmond says “How high?”

Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has said that First Minister Alex Salmond has been sullied by James Murdoch’s revelations at the Leveson Enquiry.

Amongst e-mails filed for the Enquiry to consider, one from Frederic Michel, News International’s Director of Public Affairs, about a meeting with Alex Salmond’s advisers on 15 June 2010.

It’s on Page 80 here.

So, it seems that not only was Salmond apparently prepared to call Jeremy Hunt to lobby on behalf of News

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I would have sacked Vince Cable for standing up to Murdoch – what Ed Miliband said 16 months ago

Ed Miliband The SunJeremy Hunt is in hot water today following the revelations at the Leveson Inquiry of the closeness of his relationship with the Murdochs during their attempted takeover of BSkyB.

The culture secretary was handed quasi-judicial responsibility for handling the deal after Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable was snared by the Telegraph declaring war on the Murdoch empire before it became fashionable.

According to the Guardian, the Labour party ‘is likely to demand an urgent Commons statement from Hunt to set out the nature of

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Thatcher papers show 25 Tory MPs considered joining early SDP

A number of things hit the headlines this morning as the Margaret Thatcher Foundation reveals papers from 1981.

The early morning BBC radio headlines focussed on a meeting between Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch around the time News International acquired:

Margaret Thatcher had a secret meeting with Rupert Murdoch at Chequers weeks before his 1981 purchase of the Times newspapers, newly released files show.

A note by her press secretary Bernard Ingham says the prime minister thanked Mr Murdoch for “keeping her posted”.

But the contentious issue of whether to refer the bid to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission was not raised.

But as …

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LDVideo: Harris & Pugh on Murdoch’s new Sun on Sunday paper

The News of the World is dead, long live the Sun on Sunday… starting from this Sunday. Here’s how two Lib Dems have responded to the announcement by News International…

Evan Harris: I’ll buy SoS ‘to see what it’s like’


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In other news… Vince upsets Tories, Liverpool to choose mayor, Radcliffe hexes Clegg, and Hughes settles with Murdoch

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

  • Cable sticks by Les Ebdon as his choice of ‘university tsar’ – the Lib Dem business secretary is opening up a rift in the Coalition:

    Business Secretary Vince Cable is standing by his candidate to head the university fair access watchdog, despite a rejection by MPs. Les Ebdon had been put forward by ministers as their preference for director of the Office for Fair Access. But MPs on a select committee have voted to try to block the appointment. However ministers are not backing

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    News International tried to bully the Lib Dems, says Observer. It didn’t work.

    News International ‘bullied Liberal Democrats over BSkyB bid’ is the headline in today’s Observer, with the paper reporting:

    Rupert Murdoch’s News International launched a campaign of bullying against senior Liberal Democrats in an attempt to force through the company’s bid for BSkyB, high-level sources have told the Observer.

    Lib Dem insiders say NI officials took their lobbying campaign well beyond acceptable limits and even threatened, last autumn, to persecute the party if Vince Cable, the business secretary, did not advance its case.

    According to one account from a senior party figure, a cabinet minister was told that, if the government did not

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

    LibLink | Vince Cable: My brush with the Murdochs – and the lessons I learned

    Business Secretary Vince Cable writes today at the Mail on Sunday on his own reaction to the “Murdoch mania” press coverage and his experiences of News International during his first year as a Cabinet Minister:

    My own direct experience was as the Minister with responsibility for competition and takeovers.
    I had to take a decision on whether to approve or refer the bid from News International to acquire the remaining (just over 60 per cent) shares in BSkyB that it did not already own.

    My involvement started with a courtesy call from James Murdoch last summer telling me of the bid

    Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

    News International’s William Lewis, BBC’s Robert Peston, and the alleged act of theft which aimed to bring down Vince Cable

    Rewind to December 2010, and you will recall the furore which greeted the revelation by the BBC’s Robert Peston that Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable had been secretly taped by undercover Telegraph hacks “declaring war” on Rupert Murdoch and his bid for BSkyB.

    Vince was almost forced to resign, responsibility for handling the bid was handed over to a Murdoch-friendly Tory, and the Telegraph was embarrassed by the implication that they had censored the story in order to avoid assisting media rival News International.

    A report in today’s New York Times sheds a new and extraordinary light on that sequence of events, and suggests that:

    • The Telegraph was not sitting on the Cable/BSkyB scoop, but was all set to run it as a follow-up to the paper’s initial story focusing on Vince’s forthright views on the Coalition;
    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 13 Comments

    LDVideo: Clegg and Huppert on phone-hacking

    Below you can see a video produced by the national party of Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, Julian Huppert, talking to the deputy prime minister about the phone-hacking scandal.

    Posted in YouTube | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

    Opinion: Hackgate – Who do you trust?

    5 Live Drive had a poll yesterday on “Who do you trust?”, particularly with Hackgate in mind.

    Emerging, blinking, from two weeks of saturation “Breaking News”, answering that question is a good way to take stock of where we are.

    Who do I trust?

    Vince Cable is the first person who springs to mind. He (inadvertently publicly) “declared war on Mr Murdoch”. He was then forced to be “hors de combat”. He said “I think we are going to win” and we did. Murdoch is in retreat. Well done, Vince.

    Tom Watson is the second person I trust as a result of this …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

    Stephen Williams: Labour spent £38m taxpayer cash on News International advertising

    From a party news release:

    The Government spent nearly £38m on advertising in News International titles between 2005 and 2010, a Parliamentary answer to Co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Treasury Committee, Stephen Williams, has revealed.

    The figures show:

    • More than £17m was spent advertising in The Sun, including £4.5m between April 2009 and March 2010.
    • More than £7m was spent advertising in the News of the World, including £1.8m between April 2009 and March 2010.
    • £877,153 was spent advertising in all News International titles between April 2010 and March 2011.

    Commenting, Stephen Williams said:

    Despite the dire state of public finances, the Labour Government continued

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 10 Comments

    Opinion: The phone hacking scandal is an attack on civil liberties

    Wikipedia defines civil liberties in the following way:

    Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery and forced labour, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one’s self, the right to privacy, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to marry and have a family.

    Traditionally when we think about civil liberties we think about how freedom can be taken away from the individual by the state.

    So what are we to …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

    PMQs: The tectonic plates shift

    Oh, what a joy to be Leader of the Opposition at times like these!

    Prime Minister’s Questions today was certainly one of the most important this year. David Cameron has been in a sort of partial purdah for the last few days, no doubt preparing his answers. What we got was quite a substantial exposition of the response to what I’ll call, for the purposes of brevity, “Murdochgate”.

    The exchange between Cameron and Miliband started with a large degree of agreement. Indeed, it was almost as if the PM had pulled the rug from under the Leader of the opposition by …

    Posted in PMQs | Also tagged , , , , , and | 12 Comments

    Hughes, Farron and Foster write to Rupert Murdoch – full text of letter

    Simon Hughes, Tim Farron and Don Foster have written to Rupert Murdoch about the proposed take-over of BSkyB by News International.

    They ask Murdoch to respond to public opinion by changing his commercial strategy in the UK: withdrawing his News Corporation bid for BSkyB and concentrating all his efforts on cleaning up News International.

    The letter in full:

    Proposed take-over of BSkyB by News International

    Ever since the report of our Information Commissioner ‘What Price Freedom?’ and the conviction and imprisonment of Goodman and Mulcaire in 2006, there has been growing concern about the policy and practices of UK newspaper titles owned

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

    “Yates must go” – Dee Doocey exposes News International and Met Police’s cosy relationship

    A Freedom of Information Request has revealed that the then Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman and Assistant Commissioner John Yates had lunches and dinners with News of the World and executives of News International while investigating alleged criminal allegations against the News of the World.

    Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly policing spokesperson and member of the Metropolitan Police Authority said:

    Such a cosy relationship between the News of the World, News International and senior Met police officers who were leading an inquiry into the News of the World phone hacking allegations goes to the very heart of the

    Posted in London and News | Also tagged , , , , and | 2 Comments

    In (partial) defence of Labour’s so-called ‘Lay Off Murdoch’ instruction to party’s MPs

    ‘Lay off Murdoch’ — that was the ever-so-quotable paraphrase that the New Statesman used to accompany this article by Dan Hodges, revealing how the Labour Party press team had issued a circular ‘to all shadow cabinet teams warns Labour spokespeople to avoid linking hacking with the BSkyB bid, to accept ministerial assurances that meetings with Rupert Murdoch are not influencing that process, and to ensure that complaints about tapping are made in a personal, not shadow ministerial, capacity.’

    In reality, Labour’s communications chief Tom Baldwin — yes, himself a former Murdoch employee — did not use the phrase, ‘Lay off …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 13 Comments

    The Lib Dems on ‘Hackgate’ and Murdoch: Ashdown, Huhne, Hughes, Farron, Oakeshott all join the fray

    It’s been a frenzied week in British politics, with attention for once focused less on the mis-deeds of politicans than the criminality practised by many journalists, both at the News of the World and beyond. Here’s a brief round-up of what the Lib Dems have been saying…

    BSkyB takeover: Lib Dems hint at backing Labour motion to delay deal (Guardian)

    The Liberal Democrats have indicated they could back a Labour move in parliament to delay the Murdoch takeover of BSkyB until after the police investigations into phone hacking. …

    Hughes told Sky News: “We have to be careful and I would

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

    ‘Yates of the Yard’ should have listened to Huhne on ‘Hackgate’

    Today’s Telegraph carries an interview with the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Commissioner John Yates with a full mea culpa for his failure to get to grips with British journalism’s criminal free-for-all. As the paper notes:

    Mr Yates had the opportunity to reopen the case in 2009 but chose not to do so after just eight hours’ consideration, including consultations with other senior detectives and Crown Prosecution lawyers. … In his interview, Mr Yates addresses last week’s revelation that Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator working for the News of the World, had allegedly hacked into teenage murder victim Milly Dowler’s mobile phone

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

    Ed’s learning: he’s done a Dave over Murdoch

    Credit where it’s due, fair’s fair, and well-played.

    As Paul Walter noted here on LDV on Wednesday, Labour leader Ed Miliband is having a good war, sticking up for clear and proper principles — a judge-led public inquiry, referring News International’s BSkyB bid to the Competition Commission, and the public call for the resignation of Rebekah Brooks — that resound well with the public.

    By contrast, David Cameron is on the back-foot over the unravelling scandal at News International, compromised both by having hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his director of communciations (despite warnings), …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

    Brian Paddick writes: The Lib Dem Guide to phone hacking

    Uniquely perhaps, I was a victim of the News of the World’s private investigator, Glen Mulcaire, when I was a senior police officer at New Scotland Yard, working along the corridor from the officers who conducted the first phone hacking inquiry in 2002. But they never told me I was victim.

    It was only a couple of years ago when my solicitor received a call from a Guardian journalist, that I knew Mulcaire had my name and mobile phone number in his notebook.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 10 Comments

    Why a part of me is cheering on Rupert Murdoch

    At face value, the figures released by News International this week showing that The Times and Sunday Times had registered some 105,000 customer sales since its paywall was erected in July sounded like good news. As analysts attempted to decipher the company’s ‘fuzzy numbers‘, doubts began to creep in.

    Understanding those paywall figures

    The reality appears to be that roughly 50,000 individual users have subscribed to gain access to the newspapers’ content, whether online or through the iPad app or the Kindle edition. The other c.50,000 customer sales are for single-use or pay-as-you-go access to the website, and will …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 8 Comments



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