On the back foot, under fire from the public, Parliament and the rest of the press, Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn News Corporation's takeover bid for BSkyB.
On the back foot, under fire from the public, Parliament and the rest of the press, Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn News Corporation’s takeover bid for BSkyB, to the relief of David Cameron and the delight of Ed Miliband.
The news came as MPs were set to debate the takeover, with all sides vowing to stand up and be counted and say no to Murdoch.
Mr Miliband said:
“This is a victory for people up and down this country who have been appalled by the revelations of the phone hacking scandal and the failure of News International to take responsibility.
“People thought it was beyond belief that Mr Murdoch could continue with his takeover after these revelations. It is these people who won this victory. They told Mr Murdoch: ‘This far and no further’.
“Nobody should exercise power in this country without responsibility.”
While the BBC’s Business Editor Robert Peston described it as “a huge humiliation”.
“This was [News Corp’s] biggest investment plan of the moment. It was one of the biggest investments they’ve ever wanted to make.
It is an extraordinary reversal of corporate fortune… And questions will now be asked whether this is the full extent of the damage to the empire.”
And Tom Watson MP, who has been fearless in is determination to take on the Murdoch empire, told Sky News:
“The nation is getting and angrier and angrier about this. The real issue is issue is there is no corporate humility at the top. There has been no apology from them. Until someone carries the can and somebody apologises, they can’t move on…
“As long as Rebekah Brooks remains, it’s difficult to see how they can pass the ‘right and proper’ test.”
The debate on Murdoch will still go ahead in the House this afternoon, though there will be no vote. We will have more reaction to this breaking news and other aspects of the scandal later today.
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