News Corporation

Martin moore of Hacked Off says the report's findings 'raise serious questions about the fitness of News Corp to hold a broadcasting licence'

Credit: By Mike Knell on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A report by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that found News International misled parliament "cannot help but raise serious questions about the fitness of News Corporation to hold a broadcasting licence", the Hacked Off campaign said today.

The committee's report into phone hacking included a claim that News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch "is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company".

In response Martin Moore of Hacked Off, which is campaigning for reform of the press in the light of the phone-hacking scandal, said the findings of the report "are devastating to the reputation of the parent company and the family that runs it".

"The select committee is effectively saying that the most senior figures at News International, either knowingly or by a culpable failure to act properly, covered up illegal activities and sustained intrusion into the private lives of hundreds of people.

"These findings cannot help but raise serious questions about the fitness of News Corp to hold a broadcasting licence."

Unanimous conclusions within the report include that the committee found it was misled by former legal manager for News International Tom Crone, former News of the World editor Colin Myler and former executive chairman of News International Les Hinton.

It also found that "corporately the News of the World and News International misled the committee about the true nature and extent of the internal investigation they professed to have carried out in relation to phone hacking".

The report added that it was the company's instinct" to "cover up rather than seek out wrongdoing and discipline the perpetrators".

In its statement responding to the report Hacked Off said News International "could start making amends by coming clean even at this late stage by waiving legal privilege in respect of the Leveson inquiry over documents held by its law firm, Burton Copeland, as the committee recommends."

The statement adds that if the Leveson inquiry didn't already exist "we would certainly need it now".

"It remains the task of the inquiry to establish how much further wrongdoing went in this company, who else colluded in the cover-up, both inside and outside the company, and whether these activities went further than News International."

News Corporation says it is "is carefully reviewing the select committee's report and will respond shortly".

An email from the company states: "The company fully acknowledges significant wrongdoing at News of the World and apologizes to everyone whose privacy was invaded.

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