James Murdoch's Press Advisor Steps Down

11:32 AM PST 09/27/2011 by Sofia M. Fernandez
Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

Alice Macandrew is one of News Corp.'s first senior execs to resign over handling of phone hacking scandal.

Alice Macandrew, advisor and spokesperson to News Corp.'s James Murdoch, has resigned. She stepped down in July but news of her departure became public Tuesday when the company failed in its attempts to bring her back into the fold, reports the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper.

Macandrew is one of the first senior News Corp. execs to resign over the media conglomerate's handling of the phone hacking scandal. She was personally appointed by Murdoch as his chief press spokesperson in 2009 and played a major role in News Corp.'s public relations strategy when the  Guardian began reporting on the phone hacking and cover-up.

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Also this week, Labour Party MP Tom Watson has called on Murdoch to resign as chairman of Britain's biggest pay-TV giant BSkyB.

Speaking at the Labour Party's annual conference, Watson told delegates that that Rupert Murdoch's youngest son had lost credibility as an executive.

"Let's tell Ofcom what we think about James Murdoch," Watson urged delegates.

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"I wouldn't put him on the board of an ornamental garden. He's certainly not a fit and proper person to chair a major broadcaster."

Ofcom, the British media regulator in charge of broadcasting, is currently looking at whether News Corporation meets the so-called "fit and proper" standards required to own a broadcaster in the light of the mountain of phone-hacking revelations.

BSkyB, whose board have given James Murdoch their unanimous support, said they had "no comment."

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