Gordon's back and 'hacked off' with the Murdoch empire

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN10 - David Cameron, Le...

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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has withdrawn its bid to takeover British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB), a "victory for British people up and down the country," one top British Labour politician gloated.

The news came as Tory Prime minister David Cameron launched a two for one inquiry into the "hackgate" scandal that has gripped Great Britain over the past seven days. Cameron also reiterated the call for Executive Rebekah Brooks to resign from her post.

Ed Miliband said that 200 hacks from the paper had been sacrificed to keep Brooks in her job.

But, although there was this sudden shoulder of unity, it didn't last long as Ed Miliband was still questioning why David Cameron had employed ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who claimed that several people had warned Cameron not to employ him.

David Cameron bounced back and said that he was given assurances by Coulson that he did not know of the alleged hacking when he was editor of the red top tabloid Sunday newspaper. Cameron said he would be disappointed if he had been lied to, but that not only that, Coulson would have to answer to the Police if the allegations published in the Guardian newspaper were true.


Former PM Gordon Brown made an astonishing return to the Commons to lift the lid on the so called alleged criminality that had been going on at News International. The former PM, in places, used parliamentary privilege (which means he can say what he likes without fear of legal claims) to make a series of claims against Rupert Murdoch's empire, and to also slam the Tories and News Int's so called close relationship. He even denied that Labour had been "cosy and comfortable" with the Murdoch empire when Blair and him were in power from 1997 - 2010. He was slapped down by Tory benches, who angrily shouted "sit down, sit down."


The PM, alongside the Deputy PM Nick Clegg, and the leader of the Opposition Labour's Ed Miliband stood shoulder to shoulder in the Commons while Cameron told MPs that there had been a "firestorm" that had engulfed the British press, politicians, and police, and that this judge led inquiry would get to grips with what had been going on once and for all.

The inquiry, that will be ajudicated by top Judge Lord Justice Leveson will oversee this:

1) What exactly happened at Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News International and specifically the News of the World.

2) Look at British Press ethics, and make recommendations about how to regulate the British Press better in light of the evident failings at the Press Complaints Commission, the self regulatory body that tries to keep hacks in line when mistakes are made.

There is also a Police criminal inquiry going on where top Cops will be investigating some 4000 mobile numbers and 3000 landline numbers. 170 people have been contacted so far over alleged phone hacking. David Cameron said in his statement to the Commons that he preferred an independent body to regulate the media, as self regulation was seen too much by the public as newspapers trying to regulate themselves.

The Labour leader Ed Miliband said that he welcomed the broader inquiry - but gloated that it had come about because of Labour's constant dogging on the issue. All three leaders met on Tuesday night to discuss the terms of the inquiry, and there was consensus that the inquiry must leave no stone unturned.

Cameron said that this was not a "revenge for expenses" but a need to show the public that politicians, the press, and the police are here to "serve" the public in a professional manner. He issued a stark warning to Rupert Murdoch telling him to clean up the mess of his business, rather than focus on mergers and takeovers.

MPs welcomed the inquiry.

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