Labour MP Calls for James Murdoch to Resign From BSkyB
Tom Watson, the MP who has led much of the fight on phone-hacking, said the News Corp. deputy COO is "not a fit and proper person."
LONDON -- Tom Watson, a Labour Party MP on the Culture Select Committee that is investigating phone-hacking, has called on James 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.
"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."
In an impassioned debate at the Party conference, Watson said that it was only a matter of time before phone-hacking was discovered to extend beyond the News of the World to other News International titles including The Sun.
"Do you really think that hacking only happened on the News of the World?" he said, according to reports of the conference proceedings.
"Ask the current editor of The Sun. He used to joke about lax security at Vodafone when he attended celebrity parties. Ask the editor of The Sunif he thinks Rupert Murdoch's contagion has spread to other newspapers. If he gives you an honest answer, he'll tell you it's only a matter of time before we find The Sunin the evidence file of the convicted private investigator that hacked Milly Dowler's phone."
Watson also said that concerns had been raised at The Times.
Speaking as political parties attempt to account for their own close relationships with Murdoch's power base. Watson said that a culture had been
The culture where hacking was allowed to thrive was down to "police failure, a newspaper out of control, politicians refusing to act".
"There is no point in us glossing over it. We got too close to the Murdochs and allowed them to become too powerful," he said.