• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Author: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Operated as A 'Shadow State' in U.K.

Rupert Murdoch
Pool/Getty Images

Member of parliament Tom Watson tells a press conference for his book "Dial M for Murdoch" that the conglomerate has exerted "a malign and corrupting influence" on British public life.

LONDON -- Labour Party member of parliament Tom Watson said Thursday Rupert Murdoch's News Corp's publishing division News International operates "like a shadow state."

Speaking at the launch of Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain, the MP, who co-wrote the tome with The Independent writer Martin Hickman, also highlighted fresh revelations in the phone-hacking scandal engulfing Murdoch's news operations and the growing pressure in the U.S.

STORY: Book to Shine Spotlight on Rupert Murdoch's U.K. Papers and Their Political Influence

Watson described Murdoch’s News International as exerting "a malign and corrupting influence" on British public life to the press which included journalists representing Murdoch-owned The Times of London and The Australian.

Watson told a packed press conference in Westminster Central Hall the book will also lead to readers to expect actions in the U.S. to be brought against News Corp. there under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Watson and Hickman detailed fresh revelations from former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, that in July 2009 an edict from editors on high at News International tasked six reporters with finding out "anything they use" about the Parliamentary committee members investigating phone-hacking claims.

STORY: News Corp. Moves to Fix Breach of Foreign Media Ownership Rules (Report)

"If this book shines a bit more daylight on what their (Murdoch's News Corp.) has done, and helps free Britain from their influence, it will have been worth it."

The book's publication comes ahead of the long-anticipated findings of the DCMS parliamentary committee due to be published April 30.

Watson was the lead questionerof Rupert and James Murdoch in front of a parliamentary committee last summer.

The book hits the shelves and e-book stores Thursday.

News Corp. is likely to issue a statement later today.