UK parliament to put Murdochs on the spot | Pakistan Today

UK parliament to put Murdochs on the spot

Father-and-son act Rupert and James Murdoch top the bill on Tuesday in what promises to be a day of gripping political drama in the normally staid surroundings of the British parliament’s committee rooms. It will be the first time the Murdochs have been questioned in public since a newspaper phone hacking scandal reignited two weeks ago, sparking a firestorm that has raged through their News Corp media empire, brought down Britain’s top policeman and tarnished Prime Minister David Cameron.
The hearing, likely to attract an audience of millions via the live news channels of the BBC and Sky — part-owned by News Corp — is a further chance for politicians to show they have broken Murdoch’s spell after decades spent trying to win favour with the media mogul. The British parliament has a renewed sense of purpose, two years after it was plunged into scandal by reports in another newspaper of widespread fiddling of expenses by MPs. However, it must not overplay its hand when the camera-shy Murdochs step before it in what will be a cramped and sweaty room in the modern Portcullis House annexe to parliament.
“I don’t want us to be a lynch mob,” said John Whittingdale, the Committee chairman, a member of the ruling Conservative party. “On the other hand, I don’t want us to let them off without properly addressing the questions which we have,” he told BBC TV. The phone hacking scandal centred on News Corp’s News of the World tabloid has rumbled on for several years. The floodgates opened when a lawyer for the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler alleged the paper hacked her phone when she went missing and deleted some of her messages, giving her family false hope she was alive.

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