Scotland Yard probe phone hacking emails
Labour leader calls for new rules on media ownership
James Murdoch investigated over alleged 'cover-up'
Board to discuss his future as BSkyB chairman
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:55 PM on 17th July 2011
Ed Miliband has cranked up the pressure on Rupert Murdoch by demanding the break-up of his UK media empire as the tycoon was hit today by new body blows over the phone hacking scandal.
The Labour leader called for all political parties to agree on new laws governing media ownership, significantly cutting the billionaire's market share. He accused Mr Murdoch of having 'too much power over British public life.'
Mr Miliband's demand came amid claims from a Scotland Yard source that executives at News International - including Mr Murdoch's son James - were being investigated over a possible 'cover up' of the hacking scandal.
Piling on the pressure: Ed Miliband has called for the UK empire of Rupert Murdoch to be broken up, as he believes too much influence in the media can lead to abuses of power such as the phone hacking scandal
The Sunday Telegraph reported that the Met want to know why a series of emails were not handed over to police until January this year - four years after they had been passed from the company to an outside law firm.
A Met source was quoted as saying: 'It would have to be proved that James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks or any other senior executive knew the information handed over in 2011 was actually in the system in 2006 and suppressed it.'
James Murdoch and Mrs Brooks, the former News International chief executive, have denied any knowledge of widespread wrongdoing.
Facing questions: Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and News Corp Europe chief executive James Murdoch are to appear in front of a Commons committee on Tuesday
In an interview with the Observer, Mr Miliband said the current laws governing the media were outdated and needed to be changed so they could keep up with the burgeoning digital era of publishing and broadcasting.
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Despite the closure of the News of the World, News International withdrawing its bid for BSkyB, and the eventual resignation of Mrs Brooks, Mr Miliband said Mr Murdoch had not done enough to restore public faith in a badly tarnished media industry.
He said: 'I think that we've got to look at the situation whereby one person can own more than 20 per cent of the newspaper market, the Sky platform and Sky News.
'If you want to minimise the abuses of power then that kind of concentration of power is frankly quite dangerous.'
Mr Miliband added to rumours that News International would be launching a Sunday Sun, saying that it would only add to the Murdoch dominance of the UK media market.
He is clearly enjoying his role as champion against abuses of media power, not least because it has revitalised his Labour leadership and has seen a healthy increase in his personal rating in the polls.
Today his Commons deputy Harriet Harman described Mr Murdoch's empire as 'too powerful and too rich'.
The 'concentration of power' that he had built up should not be allowed to happen again, she said.
Their comments will be seen as a warm-up to the Murdochs and Mrs Brooks appearing before the Commons culture, media and sport committee on Tuesday.
News International has confirmed to the Sunday Telegraph that senior executives had read a series of emails allegedly exposing phone hacking at the News of the World.
In the intervening years before the emails were handed to police, James Murdoch is said to have paid Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association £700,000 to settle out of court.
Critics claim the confidential agreement effectively had bought his silence.
Mr Murdoch has said he would never have made the payment if he had known then the full facts of 'industrial scale' hacking which is thought to have targeted thousands of people.
The police investigation has now spread to the investigative unit of The Sunday Times, according to a report in the New York Times.
The investigation will look into allegations that journalists hacked into email accounts and took part in other online privacy invasions, a person with knowledge of the scope of the inquiry told the newspaper.
One target of the investigation is alleged to be Jonathan Rees, a private detective employed by the News of the World.
Tom Watson, the Labour Minister who has led the campaign against phone hacking, claims police have evidence that Mr Rees was paid by News International and that he had claimed to have met with members of the Sunday Times investigation unit.
The claims were published in the New York Times, which is currently in a circulation battle with Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.
It was also reported that:
Shareholders are calling for News Corporation, the parent company, to sell its newspaper titles in the UK to stop the scandal spreading to the U.S.
James Murdoch's position as BSkyB chairman will be discussed after the board agreed a special session.
The Liberal Democrats have written to Ofcom urging an investigation which could see News Corp being forced to sell its 39 per cent stake in BSkyB.
Lawyers acting for David Beckham have contacted police over his fears he was the target for News of the World private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
Sir Paul McCartney's press aides claim they were hacked when he split from his second wife Heather Mills.
Radio breakfast DJ Chris Evans has announced he has joined the list of hacking victims.
Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy is leading his party's demand for the watchdog to launch a BSkyB investigation under the Broadcasting Act which forces Ofcom to consider 'any relevant conduct of those who manage and control such a licence.'
Sorry: The apology advertisement from Rupert Murdoch and a promise to co-operate with the police which appeared today in several newspapers
The regulator is claiming it cannot act while there is a criminal investigation in progress, but this was dismissed by the Lib Dems. Ofcom is expected to respond later this week.
Beckham, the former England football captain, believed he was the target for phone hackers over the past decade. He has instructed his solicitors to find out if he is on the list of 4,000 possible victims.
Chris Evans, 45, the Radio 2 Breakfast Show host said he has no intention of suing for damages after being told by police he had his phone hacked.
He said 'I was hacked. It's official. Scotland Yard contacted my people to inform them my name was on the list and notes were made.
'Do you want to sue?' I was asked. 'You'll almost certainly receive some cash,' I was told. ''No thanks, I replied, count me out. After some of the stupid things I did back then, I'm lucky to be still here.'
Meanwhile, News International has made a fresh apology in today's national newspapers, placing adverts declaring there should be 'no place to hide' from the police investigation.
The publisher's advert, is headed: 'Putting right what's gone wrong' and states that the company's 'obligation' includes 'full co-operation with the police' and 'compensation for those affected'. It says the organisation is 'committed to change'.
In relation to the police inquiry, it reads: 'There are no excuses and should be no place to hide. We will not tolerate wrongdoing and will act on any evidence that comes to light.'
The advert concludes: 'apologising for our mistakes and fixing them are only the first steps.
'It may take some time for us to rebuild trust and confidence, but we are determined to live up to the expectations of our readers, colleagues and partners.
'We will not stop until these matters are resolved.'
In: World News, Other News, Politics
Tags: new, international, murdock, brooks, phone, hacking, scandal, polic, arrested, london, milliband,
Location: London, England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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