Rupert James Murdoch

James and Rupert Murdoch giving evidence to the committee last year

Credit: PA

Politicians and the general public were "led up the garden path" Paul Farrelly said today, as the culture select committee issued its report accusing News International of misleading parliament.

In a press conference following publication of the report, The members of parliament that made up the committee were in agreement on a number of the conclusions, including the allegation that Les Hinton, Tom Crone and Colin Myler misled the committee.

But there were also amendments the committee was divided on, like the accusation that Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company", an amendment that was passed by a majority of six to four.

Philip Davies said the suggestion that Murdoch is not fit to run a major international company is "completely ludicrous", while Louise Mensch added she felt this part of the report was "stuck in".

But Tom Watson said there was a need "to raise the bar".

"There is a judgment you have to make, whether you go for a weaker report or whether you stand up for what you believe."

He added that he "just felt it was important" that the committee "spoke out."

Within the same amendment, Mensch discussed why she voted against the allegation of a "lack of effective corporate governance" at the company.

"Clearly there were failures of governance at News Corporation, but it's not for members of the select committee to be advising News Corporation shareholders on what they do or don't do".

She added that "there is a lot in this report on which the committee completely agrees", but that some members could not agree on the report as a whole "because of the line about Rupert Murdoch".

At the end of the press conference Farrelly added that while the report at this stage was not able to go further due to ongoing police investigations, "other things may emerge which may warrant re-examination of evidence".

"All the pieces of this jigsaw are yet to be put together. The human cost of this has to be at the forefront of our thoughts and I hope your thoughts."

Committee chairman John Whittingdale said the committee was "exploring uncharted water" and as a result will be drawing the findings of the phone-hacking report to the attention of the House.

"There will be others with more knowledge than me to advise on what potential consequences could be."

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