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James Murdoch to step down

James Murdoch to step down

James Murdoch has stepped down as chairman of BSkyB but will retain his place on the organisation's board.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said Mr Murdoch had made the "right decision" but added that the police investigation into the phone hacking scandal must be completed in order to "get to the bottom" of what happened at the News of the World.

David Cameron said it was a matter for Mr Murdoch and the company's shareholders.

Mr Murdoch stepped down as the head of News International last month after months of pressure over his handling of the phone-hacking council.

Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Harriet Harman said Mr Murdoch's resignation should not "distract us from the fundamental, structural problems of media ownership".

"Murdoch owns too many newspapers. Never again must we allow any individual or organisation to acquire such a concentration of power when it comes to media ownership," she said.

Conservative MP John Whittingdale, Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said he was surprised the resignation didn't come sooner.

"I can’t speak on behalf of the Committee, because the Committee hasn’t met because Parliament is in recess, but certainly, I was not wholly surprised," he said.

"I had expected actually that he would have stepped down at the time when it was announced he was returning to New York, and it’s perhaps a little surprising it has taken this long."

According to ITV News, the Committee are likely to find that former News of the World Editor Colin Myler and former legal manager Tom Crone misled Parliament in their evidence on the hacking scandal. 

Major shareholders in NewsCorp have called for the company to appoint a new chairman to deal with controversy over phone hacking.

Although unlikely to receive a majority vote, the proposal filed by Christian Brothers Investment Services is likely to put further pressure on the company’s board to remove Rupert Murdoch from his position.

 

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