The Conservative party has announced it will now back Labour’s Commons Motion tomorrow that calls on News Corp to withdraw its BSkyB bid ‘in the public interest’. Many coalition partner LibDems had indicated they would vote for the motion and now it will be an official Government motion.
Jeremy Hunt, the DCMS Secretary responsible for the deal’s approval, will abstain but, otherwise, there will be an overwhelming majority for the move. This will pile the pressure on the Murdochs and News Corp to pull out of the acquisition and makes it unlikely the Competition Commission could sign off on the deal – even in many months time – with a Government motion on the books saying it is against the public interest.
Throughout the day, police officers have been appearing before a Select Commitee of the House of Commons trying to explain why their original investigation got nowhere. Unsurprisingly, one of the least convincing was the former Asst. Commissioner with ultimate oversight, Andy Hayman. He became a News International columnist two months after he retired, following an investigation into his expenses.
Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, NI CEO, have been invited to appear before the committee next week.