Murdoch should rethink BSkyB bid: British deputy PM

11th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

British deputy prime minister turned up the pressure on Rupert Murdoch Monday, urging him to reconsider his bid for pay-TV giant BSkyB amid public "revulsion" over the phone hacking scandal.

Nick Clegg spoke after meeting the family of Milly Dowler, a murdered schoolgirl whose mobile phone voicemails were allegedly accessed and deleted by the News of the World, a claim which led to the tabloid's demise last week.

"I would simply say to him (Murdoch): 'Look how people feel about this, look how the country has reacted with revulsion to the revelations, so do the decent and sensible thing and reconsider, think again about your bid for BSkyB'," Clegg told BBC television.

His comments came as the coalition government faced growing calls to delay its decision on Murdoch's bid and as Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote to watchdogs to seek their advice on the matter.

It was unclear if Clegg -- the leader of the Liberal Democrat party which is the junior partner in the 14-month-old coalition -- was speaking on behalf of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

A government decision on whether Murdoch's News Corporation should take full control of BSkyB originally looked set to go through in the coming days, but it now risks being delayed for several months at least amid the furore.

News Corp. aims to take full control of the broadcaster by acquiring the 61 percent of the satellite broadcaster that it does not already own.

Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband has threatened to call a parliamentary vote on Wednesday on whether the decision should be delayed amid the scandal over the News of the World.

Murdoch closed the 168-year-old tabloid on Sunday in what commentators said was a bid to save the BSkyB deal.

© 2011 AFP

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