U.K. Lawmakers Unite To Oppose Murdoch Bid For Broadcaster

Jul 13, 2011

There's a lot happening right now in the expanding scandal in the U.K. over allegations that newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International illegally obtained private information — sometimes by paying police — about thousands of people, from members of the royal family and a former prime minister to victims of the 2005 London bombings and the 9/11 attacks.:

-- It's "question time" in Parliament (watch here), and Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that there will be a "public inquiry" led by Lord Justice Brian Leveson. "The judge can take the inquiry in any direction," Cameron told lawmakers.

-- Cameron's Conservative Party, the opposition Labor Party and Liberals have joined to call on News International to drop its bid for BSkyB, an independent British broadcaster. While, as NPR's David Folkenflik points out, the vote is not binding, The Atlantic declares that the BSkyB bid "is falling," and that "Murdoch's dreams are on the verge of collapsing."

-- As The New York Times writes, Cameron is also seeking to "distance himself from Murdoch." The prime minister hired a former News of the World editor (the News International tabloid, which folded Sunday, has been at the center of the scandal) as his first spokesman. That person, Andy Coulson, resigned after about a year during an earlier phase of the so-called hacking scandal. Cameron has said he was not aware of Coulson's involvement in News of the World's actions.

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