Press Release

MP welcomes News Corp withdrawing the BSkyB bid

13th July 2011

Dr Hywel Francis, Labour MP for Aberavon has welcomed the news that News Corp has withdrawn their bid of BSkyB and said,

‘I agree with the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband MP who said that this was a victory for people up and down the country who have been appalled by the phone hacking scandal and the failure of News Corporation to take responsibility.

‘I am delighted that even before the House of Commons was due to call on Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation, to withdraw their bid for BSkyB, they conceded.’

‘As soon as I heard last Friday the Prime Minister announce that two independent inquiries were to be set up into the News of the World phone hacking scandal I decided to write him a letter in my capacity as chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights in Parliament.

‘As with many other people inside and outside my constituency of Aberavon I was deeply disturbed by the terrible revelations earlier in the week that the News of the World had hacked into telephones of some of the most vulnerable people in our country’.

He also said,

‘The Prime Minister had said that he wished to consult widely – including with Parliamentary Select Committees – on the terms of reference for the Inquiry on the regulation of the press. I was particularly concerned about balance between the freedom of the press and the right to protect the privacy and family life of ordinary citizens in this country. For me it is an ethical question, a moral question and fundamentally a question about the future of our democracy. Obviously Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp needs to be scrutinised very carefully, in this respect. I welcome the fact Ofcom has decided to examine whether this company is fit to own all or part of BSkyB and also that the bid has been referred to the Competition Commission’.

He added,

‘It should be placed on record that our democracy has been defended by the longstanding campaigning of the Guardian newspaper. We should also be indebted to the courageous and persistent campaigns of my fellow MPs, Chris Bryant and Tom Watson. Their powerful and principled speeches on 5th July during the Emergency Debate were on a par with the late Robin Cook’s Iraq War resignation speech’.


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